Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dancing During Pregnancy - by Christie Roberts


In January 2011 my role as a dancer with SCD began to rapidly evolve when I found out that my husband and I were expecting our first child. My first trimester challenged me in a number of ways, particularly as a dancer, as I was working alongside nausea and exhaustion. The company members were extremely understanding and supportive.

Christie's baby boy!
SCD's first company baby ...
and the only boy in the cast of our show Woven.
It was at this time that the company was developing our first full length show, “Woven”. While learning my choreography for the show, “Aneurysm” by Trish Armstrong, I found myself personally connecting with the character I was portraying. My interpretation of the piece was that of someone going through many changes in their life, which supported and mirrored some of the physical and mental symptoms I was feeling. At the time I was experiencing a sense of being outside of myself, which I thought was conveyed through the piece as well.

After the first trimester was over, I began to feel more like myself again. In class I truly felt more grounded, rooted into the floor in my movements. With this I also found myself feeling more cautious, unwilling to take risks physically.

When summer came around, and I was 6 months along, I was still participating in and enjoying the classes offered by SCD. At this time though, there were new limitations to myself as a dancer in light of my growing belly. Obviously movements that required rolling on my stomach were no longer in my realm of motion, but I also felt challenged by getting up off the floor quickly. Artistic director Sarah Lochhead was a pillar of strength throughout the journey, encouraging me to adapt my movements, and celebrating the changes I was experiencing.

In August, at the  “My Moves: Choreographic Intensive, I felt empowered by the creative process that was designed to challenge us as choreographers and dancers through he use of improvisation and imagery to creative movement phrases. Dancing with my 8 month belly bought me to a new place in my movement. Improv has always been a challenge for me, but it was so different for me in this workshop. Using my belly to guide my dancing was a beautiful experience for me, leading me to places I wouldn’t have gone to before.
My beautiful and healthy baby boy was born in late September, he has been a precious gift to my family. He is now 3 months old and I am looking towards making a return to dance. This will come with a new set of challenges, which I will face with the continued support of the fabulous SCD crew. 

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