Knocked up and dancing

Our last writer on MFA Monday, Amanda McCorkle, wrote that she became pregnant 3 months after she graduated with her MFA.  Amanda = Heroically Brave.

As a woman, I frequently get a question that goes something like this *with slightly squinty eyes panning the head left to right trying to decipher me*:

“so when are you planning to have children…oh I guess you are waiting because of your dance…dancers must have children late….are you having children late?” 

Then I will respond, slightly baffled, with “Well, that’s sometimes tr–”

The follow-up response puts them into one of two camps.

Camp 1: “oh– (realizing the invasiveness of the question) well, you’re still young.”

Camp 2: “people are having children later and later, I’m sure you want to maintain your body because you can only dance so long”

At that point I usually have my Resting B@&*# Face on, but ever the educator, I shift to positive language and attempt to redirect the conversation as quickly as possible.  He/She (usually she) is just curious and trying to figure me out.  It’s lovely that she’s taken an interest in me.  And if I’m being honest, I’m really sensitive to language and tone.  I accept that.  It’s the complexity of the situation that I’m frustrated with.  I then attempt to answer and educate my interviewer by storytelling with examples of women who have succeeded from all angles.  Children, no children, children early, children late, curious, open and lead-strong women who have lived in community and connection with others (via parenthood, friendship, marriage) allowing people to impact and affect who they are.

I have found some great resources on dance and motherhood.  Check them out here:

Baby on Board— teaching dance while pregnant

Two Career Dancers on Pregnancy

Working Mother: Jennifer Ringer

Beautiful photos of pregnant ballerina

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