Tango and pregnancy – a leader’s point of view
After interviews with two ladies about their experiences with tango while pregnant, a leader told us what changed for him during and after his partner’s pregnancy. The article in the third part of the ”Tango and Pregnancy” series.
Stanimir Dimitrov and his wife Petya danced throughout her pregnancy and returned to tango just a couple of months after the birth of their son. After an intense tango lesson he managed to quickly sum up how the whole process made him a more attentive dance partner and why his son loves Osvaldo Pugliese’s music.
What did you have to change in your dancing style when you found out that your wife and dancе partner Petya was pregnant?
We had to change completely our dancing style in terms of physiology. The lady in the couple became different as far as her size and shape were considered, so we had to change our posture and to avoid too big dissociation. Some figures became difficult or impossible to do. These were the differences in our performance. The feeling, however, deepened significantly. The feeling of togetherness as a couple grew. Now we are struggling to get back to our normal way of dancing and our previous postures. It is taking time.
Did you become more careful as a leader during the pregnancy? Was there a specific moment when you realised that you had to be more tender and attentive?
In my opinion, it is something that comes naturally. It happens in the moment she gets pregnant or the moment you find out that she is pregnant. We are couple, so we need to be more careful towards each other. It is like an instinct, a pure instinct to protect your significant half not just in tango but everywhere. For instance, I became a more vigilant and careful driver.
When Petya became heavily pregnant and found it difficult to dance for longer periods of time what made you want to wait for her to feel better and dance together again instead of simply dancing with other followers?
Dancing is literally some time for the two of us. When your partner is pregnant you want to spend the maximum amount of time possible with her. Sometimes it might be just sitting and listening to music but it is your time together. That was my motivation – a desire to be with my partner all the time. Some people would define it as jealousy but it is not that. We spend every working day separated at different work places. The milongas are usually on Friday nights and after having been separated all week we try to make the most of our time together at the end of it. That’s all.
Why do you think she wanted you to dance with other followers and even insisted on that despite your preference to dance only with her?
It was a way for her the keep me in good shape and to stimulate me not to lose what we learned about tango because, as I previously mentioned, we changed totally our dancing due to her shape. She wanted me to dance with other followers in order to keep the habit of, let’s put it this way, normal dancing.
Were there any changes in the tango music you like?
As a whole, our favourite tango music remained the same.
What do you like about tango so much that you made it a part of the pregnancy and birth? Moreover, you are back and have regular tango lessons approximately two months after the birth of your baby boy?
Tango music is terrific. It can soothe you and when you dance you can express any emotion. There are different melodies and the different composers let you include various feelings in your dance including the inevitable anxiety related to the pregnancy and taking care of a child. My partner and I both love tango. Also, let’s not forget that one of the main reasons we love tango is the contact. This includes the contact with other people and the friendships you develop as being a part of a tango school or a milonga.
What about the baby – does he like tango?
It turned out that he loves tango. He had preferences for different composers even before he was born. He was very active to Osvaldo Pugliese’s music and gave his mother a lot of kicks while he was still in her womb. He also reacted a lot to “Narcotango” and to some songs by “Gotan Project”. I believe he responded to the rhythm and his reaction to songs with a more distinctive bass was stronger. These were the type of songs we selected to be played as musical accompaniment during the birth. Even today he still sleeps with music in the background. He falls asleep really easily to softer songs with a vals rhythm. He still hasn’t managed to fall asleep when we play Pugliese, though.
What inspired you to take him with you to your dance lessons?
The little guy needs to be sociable. I think parents who protect their children for too long are irresponsible. When he was born the weather was perfect for walks and after a consultation with his paediatrician we took him for a walk on his fifth day. I believe it is safer to keep him with us and we feel more relaxed when he is with us, too.
Is he calm during your tango lessons?
He loves tango. Sometimes he’s not very calm but he’s a baby. It’s normal.
Would you recommend tango to people who are looking for a way to keep fit during a pregnancy?
In my view, tango is a very good option. It is not one of the easiest dances but you can choose to perform easier figures without too many turns. Additionally, tango allows you to maintain the contact with your partner. It is up to you and your partner to choose how much energy you want to put into it. Tango is a universal training.