Round Belly Boogie
Pre and Post Natal Belly Dance Spiced with Yoga
Check out Kimberlee's article Yoga
for the Nursing Mama
There are no classes scheduled at this time. Please join the mailing
list to stay informed when new classes are scheduled.
Bringing your little ones:
Your little ones are welcome to accompany you. Please note that there
is no child care provided during this class and the dance studio is not
child-proof, so if your little one is mobile, it's up to you to monitor
them. I suggest
toys and books. Babies are of course welcome. Though we will not be doing
any specific mom-and-baby dance moves, moms are welcome to carry their
babies as much as they need to while dancing.
What to do prior to class:
Please speak with your physician or midwife before attending class.
We do not require a clearance form, but we do require that you speak
with your obstetrics caregiver prior to attending your first class. Every
woman, pregnancy and delivery is different, so please let the instructor
know if your caregiver gave you special instructions as to positions
or movements to avoid.
For pre-natal women, please check with your caregiver
in the visit that precedes the start of class.
women, please wait until your postpartum checkup, usually around
six weeks after delivery, before attending class.
If neither category
to you, please contact Kimberlee at DoYoga@8thElementYoga.com prior
to attending class.
Why belly dance is great for pre and post natal women:
The art of giving birth involves strength and control of abdominal and
pelvic muscles. Many dance teachers have studied the origin of various
dances and have traced the movements of belly dance (which is an amalgamation
of various Middle Eastern and Asian dance forms) back to various ethnic
dances to support labor.
For prenatal women, belly dance provides a wonderful tool to get in
touch with muscles that they may not have focused on in the past. In
fact, downward undulations, a classic move performed by belly dancers,
act of pushing
circles taught in a belly dance class are used for pain relief during
labor by various cultures; the movements a woman learns in belly dance
can often be used during labor. In fact, some caregivers in the US are
recommending belly dance for their prenatal clients.
For postpartum women, belly dance is a fantastic way to regain strength
and control in the abdominal muscles, which become stretched during pregnancy.
You may disagree, but many find it far more enjoyable and interesting
than doing stomach crunches. It's also a wonderful way to strengthen
the pelvic floor.
For both prenatal and postpartum, belly dance is a wonderful way to
relief back tension that accumulates by carrying a baby both inside and
outside your belly. Perhaps most importantly, belly dance helps women
feel graceful, powerful,
and elegant, which can be difficult in a society
where having a flat stomach is considered a sign of moral character.
Belly dance empowers women to salute their femininity while expressing
a range of strengths.
How we incorporate yoga:
We incorporate yoga into the warm-up and cool-down segments of the class
and emphasize principles of yoga throughout the practice, such as listening
to your body, breathing deeply and consciously, and staying present with
every movement. The yoga poses used in the warm-up help warm the major
muscle groups used in belly dancing; we also incorporate lots of Kegel
exercises into the warm-up and thread them throughout the class to help
strengthen the pelvic floor. The poses and breathing exercises used in
the cool-down help women find much-needed relaxation.
Please also see information about prenatal yoga
What makes pre and post natal belly dance unique:
There are some safety concerns for prenatal women in belly dance. Particularly,
we eliminate big back bends and forward bends and avoid Turkish drops.
We pay attention to balance concerns and minimize the amount of time
spent on our toes and do very few spins. We soften some of the movements
to make them less jarring and make our transitions simpler to avoid any
balance challenges. Because having the arms overhead can cause blood
pressure issues for prenatal women, we keep the hands on the hips more
than in a regular belly dance class.
Because of the unique needs of pre and post natal women, we emphasize
Kegel exercises and strengtheners for the pelvic floor, and movements
that assist with pain relief.
We will be focusing on the therapeutic aspects
of belly dance and working more on conditioning drills rather than
on performance skills. This class is designed to be a workout rather
than a how-to-become a belly dance performer lesson.
unique thing about being in a pre and post natal class as opposed to
a general class is that you will be among your peers. It's
reassuring to have community with other expecting mothers and mothers
who have recently delivered. The support and empathy can provide great
comfort during this time of
What to wear:
Please wear comfortable non-binding clothing. Workout
clothes with plenty of stretch are great. You may want to bring a hip
scarf, or something to tie your hips to accentuate the movements of your
hips. You are welcome to wear a dance bra to show the movements of your
belly, or just a plain stretch top. Stretch pants work well for bottoms.
You can be as dressed down or as dressed up as you like, but please try
to avoid lots of coins and beads, as those tend to fly off costumes and
little ones love to put shiny things in their mouths.
Please bring a hydrating beverage. Mats and all other props
About your instructor:
Please see Kimberlee's bio for
more information about her teaching background. In addition to standard
yoga teacher training, Kimberlee has been formally trained in teaching
pre and post natal yoga. She has several years of belly dance experience
with prominent Seattle instructors and has taken workshops with several
national instructors. In addition to studying Egyptian cabaret and tribal
belly dance, Kimberlee has studied ethnic Middle Eastern forms, her favorite
being Turkish Romani.
One other note about the instructor, Kimberlee had her first child in
May. She experienced the wonderful ups and downs of pregnancy, which
has heightened her sensitivity to the special needs of pregnant women.
Please contact Kimberlee at DoYoga@8thElementYoga.com or