Mums Can Dance!

and they really should.

Growing up, all I did was dance. I went from lesson to competition to practise to costume fitting to team rehearsal and then back again – and I loved it. Being part of my local dance school was the best thing I did, we were part of a great community, we gained confidence and sportsmanship and how to be part of a team. Many of my life-lessons have been learnt through some dance experience or another. I went on to study dance at College and then University, and qualified as an IDTA Freestyle Dance Teacher in 2008. Although I have had sensible day jobs and my dancing and teaching has taken more of a back seat in my adult life, I have always been involved with dance to some extent or another.

Then I became a Mum.

Since having my son, of course he has been my top priority and my time is devoted to him, as it should be. But there did come a point after he was born where I longed for just a bit of time to myself, doing what I love: dancing. I needed the adult conversation, a different focus, and boy did I need the exercise!

I approached many different schools in Bristol with my CV, enquiring if they needed a teacher and if they had any suitable adult classes for me to attend. I have to say, this was a miserable experience at a time when I really needed a boost. Some schools were not interested in letting someone come to their classes who was a teacher, even though I had no intention of poaching their students or ideas. My worst experience was when I met with a well-known franchise who had a teaching opportunity – after discussing where I would teach and a positive meeting, I received an email out of the blue telling me I had been unsuccessful. I expect the reasons for this are simple – I don’t look like a dancer any more. In my adult life and since being pregnant, I have gained weight at an uncomfortable rate. It would be astonishing if it wasn’t so depressing. I have recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism which certainly hasn’t helped with my weight gain but I don’t want to make excuses – I am not as active as I should be, and I don’t always make sensible choices when it comes to food. This aside, I am still the same person I used to be – I still have the same experience, knowledge and ability to teach children. I am passionate, reliable and I know what I am doing.

From this point I couldn’t decide if I should just accept people’s attitudes towards me when it came to dance and throw in the towel. My confidence had taken enough of a knock and I wasn’t sure if I had the strength for more rejection. Could I really throw away years of hard work, dedication and passion because people are small minded? I decided no, I couldn’t and sent one more email….

Thank goodness I did. As soon as I met with the Director of Streetenvy Dance and Fitness Academy I started to feel excited about this possible opportunity. I had struggled to find many well established dance schools in Bristol, and this one immediately had a fun, positive and genuine vibe about it. Simon was more interested in getting to know my personality and capability than whether I was a size 8, and we instantly hit it off. He invited me to join an adult intermediate street dance class and help with some of the kids classes. I was delighted! The adult class has been a great outlet for me – I have met loads of lovely, funny and like-minded people who don’t want to talk about nappies/breastfeeding/sleep, and this has also encouraged me not to talk about these things for once! I have got to use these skills I have had locked away for so long, learning complex choreography and remembering routines. It has been great to feel like me again. I have also got to work with some adorable children and devise a routine for their show which took place at the weekend – and I even performed in it too! It was such a great experience and just what I needed. I am so grateful to have found a place where dance comes first, where you can be yourself and where my experience as a dance teacher is valued.

Of course now I am expecting number 2 and sporting a sizeable bump, I am going to have to wind things down with my dancing, but really hope once our new baby has arrived I will be able to return to this great dance school and utilise the support and positivity once again. I have always dreamed of running my own dance school – this isn’t the right time in my life to do so, but maybe one day when our children are older and at school I will be able to make this happen. For now, I am just happy to dance as and when I can, and keep meeting great people who also love to dance.

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Have you found it hard to return to your hobbies or passions after having a baby? I’d love to hear about your experiences, feel free to leave me a comment below. Xx

0 thoughts on “Mums Can Dance!

  1. Hi Sarah.
    I found your post very interesting. I also suffer with an underactive thyroid and I find it so hard to lose weight and keep it off.
    All I can say is you have the most amazing thing happened already on your life which I hope one day will happen to me! (A baby and another one on the way). Dancing is an added bonus and you will be amazing at it just like u always were.
    xx

    1. Thank you so much hun, such lovely words. You are right, nothing will ever be more important than my children and I am really lucky l. Wouldn’t change anything for the world. I think you will make a lovely mum and I believe it will happen for you, I think thyroid problems can make it harder to conceive from what I’ve read. Are you on levothyroxine, has it helped? I’ve not known about mine for long. Thanks again lovely and stay positive xxxx

  2. I’m obsessed with volleyball and knitting to an equal degree. I went back to volleyball at 10 weeks post partum. It was great to get out but the breast feeding baby guilt was terrible. I also didn’t knit much until he was 4-5 month old. I sorely missed it but I also needed rest. I’m not working out like I should and sneak too many sweets. But I try to give myself a break and just live on my thriving baby. I’ll find my new balance and so will you!

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Well done for returning to volleyball after 10 weeks that’s amazing! I have struggled to find time for knitting but hope to make something special for the new baby. Thanks again for your lovely comment xx

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