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Dance Like A Mother: Babywearing Dance In Manchester

When speaking to Nikki Baillie about her Manchester babywearing dance classes, I almost didn’t know where to begin – it’s certainly an original idea. But what I found out, almost immediately, was that Dance Like a Mother CIC is such an important community-based group for Manchester mums (and dads).

Since springing into action in June of this year – moving away from their previous franchise, to become independent – the Community Interest Company has achieved a lot, increasing their number of instructors from two to five, selling out nine classes a week across Manchester, and even getting themselves a cameo on Strictly Come Dancing. The team even managed to turn Piers Morgan’s recent derogatory comments regarding the masculinity of babywearing men into a positive.

The controversy inspired the Dance Like A Mother team to host a one-off dads event, raising £500 for dadmatters.org in the process. Following the success of the day, the team is now looking into setting up a regular Saturday morning class, so that working parents will have greater opportunity to get involved.

During the course of our conversation, it soon became clear that Dance Like A Mother CIC offers more than just dance classes for parents and their little ones. It’s a support network, advice base, and somewhere parents can simply let loose and be themselves. Childbirth is inarguably life-changing for mothers, and sometimes this may not be for the better. With drastic changes in work, having to put their careers and social life on hold, the group almost acts as an escape and a chance for mothers to feel like themselves again.

Nikki and her team accept that things will go wrong sometimes for new parents, and emphasise that this is okay. With a strong focus on mental health in the group, specifically on post-natal depression and anxiety, the aim is to build confidence and self-worth following childbirth. The team work hard to make Dance Like A Mother a safe space, where parents can support each other through any difficulties they may be experiencing, whilst releasing some oxytocin and endorphins in the process.

Not only is the group socially and mentally beneficial, it’s also proved to be physically beneficial to parents. Of course, following birth, women’s bodies change significantly, and it’s common for women to experience discomfort in the pelvis, hips and joints. Therefore, Nikki and her team hold this at the forefront of their minds when creating the dance routines, working with Katie Syrett, a women’s health physio, to ensure all routines are suitable and beneficial for the postpartum body. The routines also prove great for babies, considering most of them fall asleep with the closeness they get with their parent and the motion of being worn in the carrier, which can be particularly beneficial for babies experiencing reflux. So it’s a win-win-win for all.

For class timetables and booking, visit their website:

dancelikeamother.com

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