Dance shoes? Yes.
Water bottle? Yes.
Baby? You bet!
Community dance instructor Andrea Deighton takes a life-long love of dance seriously. So seriously, she’s helping people discover her passion as early as possible by running Bring Your Own Baby dance classes.
Andrea teaches community dance workshops for the elderly, people with Parkinson’s and other movers through Dancenorth. But when her son, Ottie was born and she took some time off from teaching, an idea began to take shape.
“Working for Dancenorth has enabled me to also develop my own programs external to the company, and becoming a mum opened my eyes to the parental community in Townsville,” said Andrea.
“There are a lot of young families here.”
Dancing with Bub
Andrea was inspired to develop a new style of dance workshop after participating in Song Circles, a social singing group for mums. She wanted to create a dance class that supports the physical, mental, and emotional health of new mums. Her Bring Your Own Baby dance classes help mums learn to move in their new bodies pre- and post-birth.
“I became interested in the physical act of holding our babies,” Andrea says.
“There are so many ways we can hold them, and it can be physically demanding, and we can and do end up with injuries, so it is important to develop natural strength.
“Your body changes throughout pregnancy, and these dance lessons help you to learn how to move in your new and changing shape and space while encouraging bonding with your baby.”
But BYO Baby dance classes are not just for mums and their bubs. Dads and grandparents are also welcome. For older babies and children (up to five years of age), Andrea provides a play space with toys so the kids can play while the mums and carers learn to dance.
Daning without Bub
For those with older kids, or no kids, Andrea offers a three-week dance workshop called Flashback.
“Flashback follows a structure of a jazz technique class and is heavily led and repetitive,” she says.
“You do not need any experience at all, it is not about getting it right. We all just get in and dance. Flashback is inclusive of all levels – beginner to experienced. I take you through an extended warm up and choreographed sequences leading to learning a dance routine.”
Andrea has one important motto in her classes: “It is cool to be uncool.”
This article was supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.