A Pregnant Bellydancer- My story
by Melanie Austin
I had been dancing for approx 2 years when I found out that I was pregnant. Anyway I had a lot of advice about what to do what not to do as with any normal pregnancy. Everything went really smoothly throughout the months and we were performing more than ever before. Our teacher went away twice during the time I was pregnant and I took over classes and organized performances with no problems. I decided that since I would probably be unable to go to the Winter Warm up in Brisbane the following year I would go this year. The teacher was Dr. Mo Geddawi and I had a ball. I did 3 days of workshops but I must admit that I was a little bit tired by the 3rd day. There were also 2 other ladies present that were pregnant as well. And a couple of the ladies there had danced during their pregnancies so I got some tips off them.
I also started teaching Belly Dance in July. I was 6 months pregnant when we performed at the Island Sands Music and Dance Extravaganza in August. Up until then no one could tell that I was pregnant. It was that night when a few people in the audience said "is she or isn't she". My pregnancy was going well I had had none of the problems that plagued my during my first one, eg High blood pressure/swelling of the hands and feet. As far as not being able to do any movements the only things I couldn't do, and this was when I was at least from 7 and a half months onwards, was shimmy for very long and rock my hips forward and back. Other than that everything else was no problem at all.
In October I organized a workshop in Gladstone. I really enjoyed this as the nesting instinct had built up and I needed something to release it. The workshops went off without a hitch and the concert that night was wonderful with 60 people enjoying the entertainment that was on offer from Sabaya Belly dance from Rockhampton and Studio of Arabian Dance from Gladstone.
The last time I performed was when I was just over 8 months pregnant. As none of my costumes fit me anymore I did a veil solo and wore a long Kaftan like dress with no belt. After that when I stopped dancing was when I started getting High blood pressure and swelling. I had to be induced again because of this so I didn't get to try any Belly dancing during labour as the pain was too intense. After going through an 18-hour labour with my first I was a bit surprised when my son Marcus was born after only 6 hours. I think this is when the dancing I had done really shone through because after I was discharged from the hospital and was back home I was back into my pre-pregnancy clothes! Marcus is now 5 months old and I started back dancing about 1 and a half months after he was born. I also now teach 2 classes a week as well as learn new choreography from my teacher.