Two significant life events occurred last year. 1). I had a baby. 2). I took up burlesque classes.
The baby came with nine months’ warning.
The burlesque was a spontaneous response to Significant Event Number One.
A friend invited me, sensing that a bout of sexy dancing might improve her body image.
‘Yes!’ I exclaimed. ‘Burlesque.’
Because, as much as I loved my baby, I too had a range of post-pregnancy issues that sexy dancing might solve.
Like getting out of the house alone.
Becoming a mother shrank my world. There are benefits to slowing down life but I do miss some things like netball, work (sometimes) and drinking too many margaritas on a Friday night. Now I spend a disproportionate amount of my day sitting on the lounge room floor with a small person. Dance class enables me to leave the house without my baby.
As a first-time mother, there’s time to fill in: ‘free time’ structured around feeding and sleeping. I meet my new mother friends for coffee. This is not as simple as it sounds. Our babies need to be awake at the same time, and then there’s the actual leaving of the house with a baby. (They come with a lot of paraphernalia and have no sense of urgency.)
Burlesque is a weekly event where I can leave the house with just my phone, wallet and keys, and talk to an adult with all of my attention. There is no freedom like that of a mother without her child.
I want to move my body. And I want to reclaim it.