Community is so important when we become parents for the first time. Bristol is an amazing city as it offers a vast variety of child-friendly events, free activities, breastfeeding support groups and more.
But what is a new mums to do once she has had a baby? Yes, of course, follow the advice of your Health Visitor and Children’s Centre, join some lovely baby and toddler groups, and enjoy cake…and lots of it!
However, it is also important to do regular exercise when you have a baby or toddler but this can be hard and sometimes even harder to find an exercise class which is fun and which you will stick to.
Bristol offers a few active options for new parents and this month I have chosen to review Dance Mums Bristol.
I have known Svetlana Ovsyannikova, founder of Dance Mums, for two years now. Svetlana (pictured below) is one of those individuals who, while juggling life of being a busy mum of two, works really hard to live healthier, happier and more active life while running a small but amazing OvDa Dance Company business, which offers Dance Mums classes around Bristol for new parents.
Svetlana originally started Dance Mums classes at The Elephant House, Bedminster on Thursday mornings and classes have been such a hit that she has also just launched some new classes at the Wild Goose Space in St Werburghs.
I caught up with Svetlana this week to find out more…
Svetlana, why is it important to you to offer and expand Dance Mums?
I can assure you that dancing is not superficial, dancing is such an important activity which makes people happy. Dancing while having your baby either watching you or dancing with you is an amazing act in itself. Babies and toddlers learn our behaviour by watching, listening to us.
The world has been changing for the better and finally we accept the need to work out in order to be healthier, the must to eat better in order to live longer and to take care of your mental health.
You see, parenthood is the hardest thing I have ever done and while it is amazing and beautiful, it also can be absolutely destroying for your body, self-esteem, and your social and physical needs to name a few.
Dancemums was created to answer these demands, as a response to need of my mum friends who were so eager to do something fun with your baby, but for themselves.
Svetlana, do you need to be a dancer or have any dance experience to come along to Dance Mums classes?
Absolutely not, no dance experience is needed, you can come as you are, just eager to try our class out. I work with mums who had seen their GP after birth normally 6-10 weeks after baby was born and who is in a good recovering health to start gently exercising.
Please tell me more about what a typical Dance Mums class involves.
Our classes differ from week to week as in the beginning of every class I ask about my group needs. Every class has toning, balance, stretching exercises, we do learn a few dance routines to follow at a the end of the class. I also use toning elastic bends to make sure my mums get a work out they desire. We use a lot of Yoga and Pilatez movements as well.
But it is up to a parent to do as much or as little as they need.
Why do your classes run in blocks of classes or terms?
That is an important part of Dance Mums, commitment! I hear a lot of the same comments that the hardest thing is to come out with your baby.
When you sign up for the term, you will have it in your calendar and you will commit to come and move. Also, Dance Mums offers teas/ coffees afterwards, so attendees are able to make new friends with others as well as babies have more time to play with each other.
Lastly, in order to learn a few dance routines normally it requires consistency and repetition, we repeat our routines from week to week.
Svetlana, do your children come to your classes?
Sadly not all classes, on Mondays I bring Rupert who is 9 months now for one class. He loves it and I love having a challenge to carry him around as he is a very big boy. Amaya is 3 now and is attending her lovely preschool and she loves it. I can focus on parents who come to my classes better that way as well.
Why ‘Dance Mums’, not Dance Dads or Dance Parents?
Honestly, I wish I thought about it before I offered this class 2 years ago, we have some dads coming to our classes usually to sub for mums and they normally love it! I think dads have a lot of fun doing active things like Dancemums with their babies as well as they normally miss out while at work. I always welcome them.
What would you say to a shy parent who wants to try it out, but is super scared to come out of her/his shell?
I say, just do it! The only clown in my classes is me! I have a huge combination of classical and non-traditional dance training, that I am sure I can help you out. Just try us out, what can happen? We have a laugh at our classes.
I have people who have been coming for more than 2 years and are sad to go as Dance Mums has become an important part of their lives. We love to meet new mums. We don’t judge or show off, we just want to meet you and make your life happier and healthier.
Sounds lovely. What’s the latest news from Dance Mums?
We went out two weeks ago for drinks, and it was so lovely to see mothers making friends and having such a good time. We are soft launching our new website this month www.ovdadance.com and we are printing our own Dance Mums T-shirts! So, I am very excited.
Lastly, we hope to see more new faces next year in our new location: The Wild Goose Space in St Werburghs. We are aiming to organise an open door Dance Mums dance performance to raise money for our local charity, which is organised by our original Dance Mum: The Freya Foundation.
Dance Mums Class Details 2018
8th January 2018 – 23rd of March 2018 (there will be no classes the week beginning 12th February 2018 as it is half-term).
10 sessions in total: £6 each=£60 / drop-in fee £7.
- Mondays 10.30am – Wild Goose Space, St Werburghs
- Thursdays 10.00am The Elephant House, Bedminster
- Thursdays 11.15am The Elephant House, Bedminster
To find out more or to book please email Svetlana on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Svetlana also produces regular family friendly dance events in Redland, please find out more here: https://www.facebook.com /Tiny-Steps-Performances