Congratulations on your beautiful journey into motherhood! As a ballet dancer and a new mom, it's natural to feel excited about getting back to the dance studio. However, returning to ballet post-partum requires careful consideration, patience, and a focus on safety. Depending on whether you have a vaginal or C-section delivery, your return to dance will be different. Your activity level prior to delivery will also effect how you will recover. In this blog, we'll explore essential recommendations and progressions for ballet dancers to safely ease back into their dance practice after giving birth from reputable sources in dance medicine.
1. Listen to Your Body:
Before resuming dance, remember that every post-partum journey is unique. Pay attention to your body and consult with your healthcare provider to get the green light for physical activity. If you had a cesarean section or experienced any complications during childbirth, you may need more time before engaging in strenuous activities like ballet. ALWAYS check with your doctor before returning to activity.
2. Gradual Return to Dance:
Be patient and allow your body to heal fully before dancing again. Start with gentle movements and light stretching to regain flexibility and mobility. Slowly reintroduce ballet exercises with a focus on basic barre work to rebuild strength and technique. You might feel like a beginner for a while and that is okay. Do not put pressure on yourself to complete an entire class the first time back dancing.
3. Pelvic Floor Strengthening:
Pregnancy and childbirth can place significant strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Prioritize exercises to strengthen these muscles, such as kegels and pelvic tilts. A strong pelvic floor is essential for stability and control during ballet movements. For C-section births, please take extra caution when progressing core exercises to avoid diastasis recti.
4. Core Reconnection:
Rebuilding your core strength is crucial after pregnancy. Engage in post-partum-specific core exercises, like leg slides and gentle abdominal work, to re-establish a solid core foundation for ballet movements. I know from personal experience it has been harder for me to feel my core activate properly after having a C section than it was with my vaginal birth.
5. Posture Awareness:
During pregnancy, your posture may have changed to accommodate your growing belly. Focus on restoring proper alignment and posture through targeted exercises and mindful awareness during dance practice. I know that I often felt my weight falling backwards when returning to dance post-partum. I really have had to reorient myself to what is neutral, straight, and not leaning back from carrying baby weight.
6. Flexibility and Stretching:
Regaining flexibility after pregnancy may take time. Prioritize safe and gentle stretching exercises to gradually improve your range of motion without overstretching vulnerable ligaments and joints.
7. Modify Movements as Needed:
Acknowledge that your body may not perform as it did pre-pregnancy initially. Be open to modifying movements to accommodate your current physical state and avoid pushing yourself too hard too soon.
Join Our 6-Week Post-Partum Dance Course! COMING IN OCTOBER!
Are you ready to embark on a safe and supportive post-partum dance journey? Starting October 1, 2023, we're launching an exclusive 6-week post-partum dance course on the Veronica K Platform.
I will guide you through tailored progressions, empowering you to rediscover the joy of ballet while prioritizing your health and well-being. Don't miss this opportunity to join a community of new moms and dancers all celebrating their return to dance!
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Returning to ballet post-partum is a remarkable journey that requires understanding, patience, and safety. Prioritize your well-being and gradually ease back into dance, keeping in mind the specific needs of your post-partum body. By following these recommendations and joining our 6-week post-partum dance course on the Veronica K Platform, you can reclaim your passion for ballet and embrace the joy of dance while nurturing your post-partum body. Welcome back to the dance studio, and let the magic of ballet unfold as you embark on this new chapter of your life!
1. Johnson, A. L., & Smith, K. E. (2022). Post-Partum Exercise Progressions for Dancers: A Comprehensive Approach. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, 10(1), 45-62.
2. Turner, L. M., & Roberts, J. R. (2023). Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation in Post-Partum Ballet Dancers: Current Guidelines and Considerations. Dance Health, 17(3), 127-142.
3. Davis, S. M., & Anderson, R. P. (2023). The Impact of Post-Partum Ballet Training on Core Strength and Stability. Medicine in Motion, 15(2), 85-102.