Belly dance doesn't require a partner, but inside a class on Seattle’s Beacon Hill, students do work in pairs.
All the women are pregnant.
If the seductive dance seems an odd choice for an expecting mom, instructor Janine Pierce says, "Historically, this dance was created for women, and many people believe just specifically to teach how to birth."
Pierce believes the movements are designed to condition a woman's body for labor, and this low-impact version is tailored for students like Tiffany Jasperson, who's 40 weeks pregnant.
From hip gyrations that build muscles to arm circles that reduce swelling, Pierce says every motion naturally preps the body for delivery. Her class is also infused with yoga and relaxation techniques.
So, does it actually work when the baby comes?
Student April Dickinson's already shimmied her way through one pregnancy.
"I only did one minute of pushing,” said Dickinson. “Yeah, I know. It was fast for my midwife. She was like, oh my gosh."
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