For many mums, enjoying a bit of ‘me time’ and getting active again – while also caring for their baby – can prove a struggle.
That’s where new classes aimed at mum and baby could help.
Suffolk Sling Dance launched in Culford and Stowmarket last week and I took my own one-year-old along to see what it was all about.
Former performer and dancer Debi Sheridan, who leads the classes, said she enjoyed sling dancing with her daughter before moving to Honington in May and realising there was nothing like it in this area.
“The sling dancing really used to brighten my day and I’d look forward to going all week,” said Debi.
“It’s gentle exercise and I wouldn’t have to pay for child care as I took baby with me to class. It was time to bond with my baby as she enjoyed the dancing, too, and we had cuddles as we danced.”
With that in mind, I put on my favourite trainers and got baby Clara comfortable in her carrier, ready for our first sling dancing experience.
After a gentle warm-up my muscles and brain were ready to dance, and I could tell Clara was enjoying it as she was clapping and chattering away.
We then learned simple routines – no dance experience is necessary – to chart tracks, including smash hit Despacito and the Disney theme from Moana.
About two thirds into the class I realised not only had I worked up a sweat, but my arms were aching and I hadn’t stopped smiling.
All too soon we were cooling down to the Peter André classic ‘Mysterious Girl’ and stretching to my favourite Bruno Mars song ‘Just the Way You Are’, before the class was over.
I looked around the hall to see almost every other baby asleep – including Ella, Debi’s 14-month-old – while in typical fashion Clara was wide awake and full of beans.
But then I took her out of the sling and strapped her into her car seat for the drive home. Within seconds the chatter had stopped and by the time I arrived home she was in a deep sleep.
So Suffolk Sling Dance gets a big thumbs up from this mum: Fun, exercise, a chance to socialise, bonding time and a 90-minute nap afterwards – what more could mum or baby want?
- Classes are at Culford Village Hall on Tuesdays 10-11am and St Peter’s Church Hall, Stowmarket, on Fridays 10-11am. Classes cost £6, with the first taster class costing £1.
All you need to take part is your own sling or baby carrier and comfortable clothes and footwear. For more information, call Debi on 07531 928075 or go to www.facebook.com/suffolkslingdance