Guest Post - "Dancing for Two" by Deepali Jamwal

**Deepali and I recently connected and the passion she has for dance blew my mind. Even through a video call, I was able to pick up on her passion for dance. We talked about different topics and agreed this one would be a very fun and informative one to do. Thank you for being my April guest blogger, Deepali**


When it comes to dancing during pregnancy, there’s often a ton of mixed opinions. My opinion, as a dancer and a mom of two who danced through both her pregnancies is – don’t stop. It's not hurting your pregnancy. If anything, you're celebrating it and taking control of your image. That's not negligence, but a revolutionary act of claiming your fitness, your body, and your passion.

I mean, honestly, there’s so little you can control when you’re pregnant (including your mood swings) that at least you can feel like you’re doing your best to stay healthy and happy.

I remember sitting in my office at 34 weeks, trying to work with my hips numb from rolling side to side trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. My feet were swollen to the point where I couldn’t fit into any of my shoes except my house slippers. My lungs were compressed thanks to my growing uterus pushing against it, and I couldn’t take 5 steps without running out of breath. And oh! Don’t even get me started on morning sickness and midnight cramps. Every time I heard of these women who have had sublime, serene pregnancies, envy grew deep in my chest – or maybe that was heartburn from growing uterus (I’m not sure!). It is such a hard burden to bear, when you feel trapped in your own house or job and must limit all of your activities because you are not sure when the next wave of nausea will strike. So, the least you can do for yourself is anything that’ll keep you happy.

The one thing that has kept me sane throughout my pregnancy is - *Dance*. It brings immense happiness to me. I’m blessed to be surrounded by a very loving and encouraging community who understands the positive effects that dance has had on my pregnancy and they couldn’t have been more supportive. However, every now and then I come across a few people who like to pass their judgement and troll me for “not being responsible” or for “potentially harming my baby”. I’m writing today to break all the myths surrounding ‘dancing through pregnancy’.

Dancing (or staying physically active) is great, in fact, recommended during pregnancy. Researchers say that it has multiple benefits including (but not limited to):

  • eases common pregnancy-related problems like backache, posture issues and constipation

  • increase the supply of oxygen in you and your child

  • help you handle the strain of giving birth

  • strengthen your cardiovascular system, making you feel fitter and more resilient

  • prevent blood clots and varicose veins

  • improve the quality of your sleep

  • reduce your risk of gestational diabetes

For me, the main benefit of dancing through pregnancy is – I’d be lost without it. I like to believe that I haven’t had any mood swings (you should ignore my husband if he tries to tell you otherwise), and I credit that to dancing. Those estrogen that are being released while dancing, certainly seem to be working for me. And if I'm happy, the world around me is happy and that makes this a happy pregnancy.

Otherwise, how would you explain this – with my swollen ankles and weight unevenly distributed, scratching an itch at ankle level is a feat of flexibility. However, as soon as the music goes on, my mobility was restored, and doing knee drops was no biggy. I forgot about the constant joint aches and nausea was far from my mind.

Gone are those days when pregnancy was often treated as a condition that should be greeted with as little activity as possible. Dancing through pregnancy is not a taboo anymore. As long as you have a clear chit from you doctor, you shouldn't fear to slid into a pair of stilettos and twerk away the medicalized bias that views active pregnant bodies as unorthodox. Okay, maybe I went too far! Fitting into stilettos is going to be at least an hour-long hustle in itself. But you get my point!

Keep Dancing,

Deepali Jamwal

Founder and Creative Director,

Live2Dance Seattle

Website: https://live2danceseattle.com

Phone: (206) 992 5403

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