In a mesmerizing video, one ballet dancer performs countless fouetté turns while showing off her baby bump, six and a half months into her pregnancy.
Ashley Bouder, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, tells A Plus in an email that she found out she was pregnant while preparing for a role in Swan Lake. But after consulting with her OB/GYN and a biochemist nutritionist, Bouder was reassured that performing at her current activity level wouldn't harm the baby.
"I can't imagine a role and workout routine more strenuous than Swan Lake anyway," she says. So, even at 20 weeks pregnant, Bouder finished out the show.
"My last role was the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. I had about 30 friends and family come to see that last performance to see 'us' perform. It was awesome," she adds.
Since then, Bouder says she's been exercising, taking ballet classes, teaching at Ballet Academy East, Manhattan Youth Ballet, and privately, and, once she gives birth in April, she herself plans on being back on stage by July.
"[Mentally,] being pregnant has given me a larger appreciation for the impact that ballet and the arts have on people, especially children ... I am told a lot how lucky my little girl will be to have such a huge exposure to the ballet and art world," Bouder adds.
And physically, Bouder says that maintaining her technique during her pregnancy has been a challenge.
"But then again, dancing always has a learning curve. Every day is different depending on aches and pains, injuries, tiredness, etc. This is just a little more extreme. I am enjoying the challenge. I've had to stop jumping, but I'm still doing everything else. Believe me, not everything I do looks like that fouetté video I posted. Sometimes I just plain fall over."
That "fouetté video" she refers to is this beautiful one below:
Thankfully, Bouder reports that the New York City Ballet has "been wonderful" accommodating her pregnancy. She says that she never felt like she was treated differently in casting, and she and her boss discussed how long she felt comfortable dancing.
Congratulations to the mommy-to-be and we look forward to seeing her career grow!