Joanne dancing at 10 weeks pregnant

While I was busy organising my Oriental Nights Showcase Event I discovered something very exciting that was about to change my life forever. I found out that I am pregnant with my first child!

This came as a wonderful surprise to both myself and my partner and it was very difficult to keep it under wraps until I was certain that it was true and that the baby was okay. Of course this means I have a very exciting dance journey ahead of me for the rest of 2016 as my baby continues to grow and I can certainly put the belly into belly dancing.

As an dance instructor I already had some knowledge on belly dancing while pregnant so if anyone attended my classes I could give them information the dos and don’ts so that they danced safely for themselves and their baby. Of course it is very different to know it all and to actually be experiencing it and although I am currently only 11 weeks I am starting to feel some of the effects on my body already.

Ever since I felt ready for pregnancy I knew I wanted to keep on dancing throughout to keep myself fit and of course to continue my job (I certainly need money now with all the bits and pieces I need to get) but if I am advised by my doctor or midwife to stop dancing due to problems then I will have to accept that my dance career will have to take a break. I’m happy to say at the moment I am very healthy and am currently fine to keep dancing.

Of course as I said before I am starting to feel the effects of pregnancy such as feeling tired a lot. Right now I find myself feeling very drained by the end of teaching and I am going to have to learn as I get bigger to teach without dancing every bit with my students and troupe. In the later months I may need to stop doing certain movements that could be harmful so will need one of my students to demonstrate while I teach the technique.

As for performances I am not advertising my services quite as much as I used to so that I can concentrate on the local hafla’s, charity events and smaller work rather than an 30min to an hour show. I want to keep dancing but I don’t want to push myself as much as I might usually do so I can enjoy myself as I dance through pregnancy. I have decided that if I am dancing for a public performance I am going to cover my belly. I know a lot of people might think it is a shame and I shouldn’t because it is a beautiful thing (which I agree totally on) but I have to accept that some people don’t think that. I don’t want anyone watching me dance while feeling uncomfortable or “weird-ed out” my my pregnant belly so I have made this choice. Don’t worry though if I am dancing at local hafla’s and shows where the belly dance community get together then my belly will be out in all it’s glory. I am also interested in performing at mother and baby events since I think it would go down well, be lovely entertainment and encourage pregnant women to keep active.

Since I found out I have been enjoying videos of pregnant belly dancers and watching how they dance, how pregnancy changes their movements and what types of styles they are performing. I am not sure I feel safe enough to be dancing to drum solo’s when I am big but I certainly love the slow and elegant styles. Here are a few of the videos I have found and liked.

Beginning an Exciting New Journey