After returning from New Orleans where I was choreographing and directing my latest dance film I discovered the news I was pregnant. After 2 years of negative tests it was a breath of fresh air to learn my body could provide a nurturing home for our little one to grow. We couldn’t have been happier.
Working as a choreographer in a dance studio means observing your body's shapes, lines, physicalising concepts, pushing your physical capacity in addition to memorising sequences. Whilst I have been pregnant I have found it challenging to work with my changing body in a creative setting however I have loved to read and experience its changes. People tell you it is a magical experience to be pregnant and it truly is. The novel feelings of contentment and peacefulness have been so welcomed by me, as a harsh critic of my body's image, admiring its abilities has been a gratifying affair.
However, the increase in blood supply running through my body, the gaining of weight from my growing bump - and the additional carbs I can’t help gravitating towards, the brain fog and the physical uncertainty of what I can and can't do had left me a little stumped when it came to my choreographic work. Yet despite the mental and physical hindrances, I have leaned into the limitations as creative means to generate restricted, isolating and emotive movement reflective of my current physicality where possible. Lets face it, the bump is sticking around for 9 months and I can’t stop in my tracks. We continue.
During the first and second trimester I have continued cold water swimming, being in the water allows for my hips to feel expansive and weightless and the shock of the cold gets my blood pumping and reduces swelling dramatically on those warmer nights. During the second trimester I have found myself with more energy (just a little more), and I picked up strength training again with my personal trainer @clareyates_pt who has educated me on what is and isn’t safe to do during pregnancy, invaluable advice and exercises. Here are a few pointers from Clare.
“Basic rules to keep in mind for exercising throughout each & every trimester:
Keep exercise low impact, low intensity.
Spend a minimal amount of time on your back but don’t avoid it altogether as there are many beneficial glute exercises, hip and lower back stretches that you’ll miss out on.