School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: July 2009
Dancing with your belly, rocking with your baby

by Riet van Rooij

“The permission to dance with passion and to dance forever jolted me from unconscious inertia and self-conscious imitation to the intuitive dance of my soul.”

— Gabrielle Roth Maps to Ecstasy

Put some music on again. Stand squarely on both feet and run through the points for attention in ‘Standing strong’ once more. Then mentally lay your baby in the middle of the dish of your pelvis. Ask him to dance; tell her that you’re now going to move in contact with her... Your child lies in the centre... Move fluidly around your baby, in circles, in semicircles... Just imagine that you are turning round him or her like a hoop, left... right.

Next rock him back and forth in your pelvis, bobbing from left to right... or shaking playfully... place him against your spine, at the back of your pelvis... Place him against your abdominal wall, far to the front... Experiment a little, caress your baby with your movements... flow with your body along her... and enjoy. Fluid as a stream you twist around your baby: dreamy, voluptuous, nurturing... Look for your own forms, discover your own game.

Allow your arms, your hands and your upper body to join in as well. And carry your child through the room with you. Submit to your shyness... or whatever you feel. Devote your feelings to your child... talk to him... sing... and keep moving. Do your dance together. Dancing is going with the flow, dance creates joie de vivre, dancing facilitates changes. Celebrate together: subdued or exuberant, sad or happy, on your own or with your partner.

Finally settle with the music. Have a nice lie down or sit comfortably.

How do you dance with your baby as a ‘pregnant’ man?

You stand behind your lady, up against her, and lay your hands on her belly. Her hands can rest on yours. Together, then, you constitute – with both of your pelvises, bellies, arms and hands – one big womb. What’s more, you could lift up her belly a little bit; your baby can then nestle in your hands. Often the baby’s movements can be felt if you support the pregnant belly in this way.

You could also dance with your baby and his mother by gyrating around them with your own flowing movements and enveloping them both in these. This offers more freedom, space, and it also makes eye contact with your partner possible: another experience. You could devote this ‘couple dance’ to each other and to your baby, honouring your ‘trinity’ with it.

A third possibility is this one: try to imagine that you are carrying your child in your belly, that you’re laying your child in your pelvic dish... (see above for instructions). Inconceivable? It is for many women too! You see, knowing that there is a child in your belly is rather different to actually experiencing it. If a mother-to-be feels movements in her belly she doesn’t automatically have contact with her child... In short, even a woman is making use of her powers of imagination and her will to tune herself in. Give it a go!?


Riets book on pregnancy and birth with exercises and visualizations on cd for mothers and fathers-to-be 'Pregnant with heart and soul' is being published in the UK Binkey-Kok Publications in August.

Paperback, 160 pages, ISBN 9789078302247

Back to contents

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.