Cathy Moore CNM, is the founder of In the Belly of the Goddess in the Boston area. She earned her pre/postnatal fitness certification from Dancing thru Pregnancy® in 2006. She used much of what she learned to develop a series of classes in belly dance for pregnancy and birth. We asked her to describe her program for this article.
Recognizing that Belly Dance has its origins as a Birth Dance,we seek to restore it to its rightful place in this sacred process.
My original aim was to teach belly dance to pregnant women as a tool of personal empowerment – both in the arenas of expressive creativity and for use in the labor and birth process. My focus has evolved since I began the program. I started with giving women what I felt was another “tool” to use to help them to cope with labor, and possibly to help them to achieve their goal of un-medicated birth, and so I taught just specific moves that I felt were useful for this purpose. Over time, I added more aerobic movement, more “veil work” – (dancing with a silk veil), more “fun” exercises, and an end of class rest/shavasana period with either a guided meditation or affirmations. Some of these changes that I made were a direct result of taking the DTP certification.
I love to get women into some jingly hip sashes, and get them laughing and enjoying dancing with each other. I love to see a group come together and start bonding and exchanging info and experience. And I love to hear how great they feel after a class – they really do shake out many of the aches and pains!
Both my clinical work as a practicing midwife, and though my belly dance business, I continue to learn how strong and capable women are.
In my clinical practice with the Brigham & Women’s Midwifery Group, many of the women we care for are socio-economically disadvantaged. I am hoping to bring my program to these women. Recently, I have been offering one-time mini classes in Centering Pregnancy groups, and they are always well received.