“If you want something you never had-you have to do something you’ve never done”-Anonymous
Ever since I was a child, being able to perform and connect with my body is something I look forward to. I love to express myself through dancing. It’s the bridge between my mind, body and soul. It provides me an emotional release and an outlet despite the ups and downs of life.
At around 8 weeks postpartum, I introduced Little M to a routine which we both liked at home. It’s my baby wearing journey through dance. He likes the beat of the music, the rhythm, the swaying and rocking, and of course, the cuddles of his Mama.
Not until December when I found a class for Mom and Babies. Thanks to Mommy Connections Calgary for bringing out the 16 days of giveaways during the holidays which I luckily won a 10 class pass! It’s a ballet class which is unique in its own way. Something I used to fantasize. The perfect time has come. The frustrated ballet dancer of me is saying,“It’s never too late to try something new”.
Balletiques classes provide a total body workout that combines the strength and elegance of ballet with the power and endurance of a traditional workout. It is a combination of ballet and fitness together making it more accessible, fun, and approachable for all.
Balletiques Mom and Baby class increases your energy and confidence by moving your body back to fitness while bonding with your baby and getting to know other moms in the community. Following a series of calorie torching, fat burning and muscle sculpting exercises at the barre and in the centre, the cool-down will focus on stretching your muscles and relaxing with snuggles with your baby.
Behind this awesome ballet-inspired fitness class is a professionally trained dancer originally from the UK, Sarah Stewart. She began her dancing career at the age of six and has shared her experience in ballet, modern and tap after gaining her Registered Teacher Status at the Royal Academy of Dance in London. She now teaches students at the School of Alberta Ballet and is the founder of Balletiques.
Using her expertise and knowledge for 30 years, Sarah teaches the basic fundamentals of ballet and demonstrates how to do steps safely and correctly. Sarah wanted to show people that ballet is an amazing form of exercise and that anyone can do no matter what age, body size or ability.
Dance has always been my joy, my passion, my love… it is who I am, it is part of me and always will be. I think it is important for my kids (especially my girls) to be taught the power of working hard, being passionate about something and being fulfilled in your work. I want them to see what a woman can become when we find the courage, that everyone can take ownership of their own life and pursue their dreams, no matter what-Sarah says.
Read more of her story in: The Motheringvine Story
Now what do I get from this? Is it just for fun? Or is it something I can gracefully thank myself for? What’s my driving force behind it?
Balletiques actually stands and embraces the values and principles by which we live our life and I absolutely agree on this:
There are a few reasons why I chose to enrol in this Mom and Baby Ballet class. Aside from the fact that I got it as a privilege or let’s say a gift, it’s mainly because I want to do something to bond with my little one while I have this time on Maternity Leave. Most importantly, I want to focus on my physical and mental health and simply because I love the art of dance. Dance classes are fun!
With Balletiques, Sarah teaches in a way that no one feels intimidated. It’s not just for those who have an experience in ballet but anyone is welcome to join. It’s actually a killer workout that you’ll be able to thank yourself after. She is skilled in this aspect and demonstrates it with confidence and grace. She has the elegance and she portrays it with art.
According to the CCSU Continuing Education, when you learn something new, your mind and your perceptions change, which in turn makes it easier to adapt to the inevitable changes life always tends to bring. Adapting to change is a skill in itself, and the more varied your life experience is, the easier it is to adapt to change.
Since Balletiques is unique, it’s considered a new learning for me. Like any new idea or information, it actually changes our brain chemistry. There’s that sense of happiness, pride and accomplishment of learning a new skill.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 5 BENEFITS?
As noted, I love the idea that I’m bonding with my little guy while I’m having the best time of my life. I cherish every moment I have with him and through dance, with the rhythm of the music, we both have our space to connect with each other.
Now I challenged myself to come up with the Top 5 Benefits of Mom & Baby Ballet.
Here is my list:
- Promotes Maternal Bonding
Being carried for nine months, dancing and swaying promotes attachment of babies with their mothers. Movement is said to imitate the swaying and motion babies felt in the womb, taking them back to a safe place. My baby gets to experience the different movements, the rocking motion, and the time close to me. If not carried, babies can also be placed on the mat giving time to themselves and be able to practice their own motor skills.
2. Improves Physical HealthIt’s an excellent class inside and out. You can definitely feel it the next day after having an energetic, muscle shaking, graceful ballet-inspired movements. This fun, low-impact class improves strength, posture, balance, flexibility and coordination. Thus, it helps in the reduction of stress and supports your weight loss journey.
3. Enhances Emotional Development
Mothers usually experience a cycle of emotional whirlwind during pregnancy and/or after birth of the baby. Dance classes help release hormones that tend to affect the emotions during this challenging yet rewarding period. It is an enjoyable health promoting activity which many people take it as an alternative form of exercise. With the release of endorphins, the hormone responsible of reducing stress, it triggers a positive feeling within our body.
4. Encourages Socialization
Research indicates that during the postpartum period, women experience a range of psychological stressors. Social support has been shown to be effective in helping women cope with this. The class is a way for new mothers to meet other moms which is one way to foster and build a support network. The class is in a relaxed and playful environment, giving you space and time to get to know and connect with one another.
5. Enhances Cognitive Development and Creativity
With a dance class like this, it helps to develop our natural abilities. There’s that sense of well-being, determination and positivity. You will definitely feel an increase of your energy level which also helps in reducing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Your creative mind starts to flourish by following new steps you could never imagined doing. The class is modified in the art of ballet and you are able to follow it safely and correctly.
With first-hand experience, I am truly enjoying this connection with my baby in a relaxed, playful setting while increasing my own strength, flexibility and tone. This class got me moving, allowing me to bond with my little one and connect with other new mamas, all in a safe and welcoming environment.
“If you never try, you’ll never know”
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