The Dancing for Birth™ training was awesome! I learned so much! I am currently planning on finishing up certification and teaching the classes, in addition to my Hypnobabies courses, but we will see if it works out.
In a nutshell, Dancing for Birth™ is a prenatal and postpartum fitness class and a birth and new motherhood support circle, with bits of birth empowerment and childbirth education incorporated into it. There is a basic flow to the structure of the classes, but the content is flexible--instructors can choose what to include each week based on the needs of their students. There is a huge list of benefits to dancing during pregnancy, birthing itself, and the postpartum time. Not to mention it is a whole lot of fun!
I had a wonderful time bonding with all of the other women who were at the training. It was a very passionate group, and the nature of the workshop allowed us all to become close very fast. Most of the other trainees were doulas, but we also had some midwives and belly dancers. One thing I really liked about the workshop was the opportunity to practice some comfort techniques, including the double hip-squeeze and several rebozo techniques.
I found that the vast majority of what was taught was very compatible with Hypnobabies. We talked about how having "sensation" is necessary to follow your instincts in childbirth, but there was not talk of "preparing for pain." There was some of the idea that "you don't birth in your brain, you birth in your body," which is not what we teach in Hypnobabies, because we teach that you most definitely do use your mind during birth--it is where your birthing hormones come from. However, I think "birthing in your body," it is just different wording for a concept that is taught in Hypnobabies--birthing in a state where our conscious, analytical thinking is pushed aside, a state we call hypnosis, but other people have different words for it. Dancing is a naturally hypnotic activity, so it makes sense that dancing during your birthing time would promote the ideal mental state.
We also did a game where music plays and everyone dances, then the music fades and people pretend to be having pressure waves (most people chose to stop dancing and lean forward onto something, which would work with using the Hypnobabies lighswitch), then the music fades back in and everyone gets up and dances again. This exercise reminded me a lot of something we do in Hypnobabies called a "birth rehearsal," and I could see how the techniques of both programs could work together as we did it.
We did another exercise where we compared the measurements of the pelvic outlet (from pubic bone to tail bone) in a deep squat (with hips below knees) versus a standing squat (hips above knees, pelvis tilted back, upper body leaning forward). I recommend trying this yourself--you may be surprised at what you find!
All instructor training workshop participants take home a copy of the Dancing for Birth™ DVD, and I have been practicing with it every other day since I got back. I have difficulty sticking to exercise routines, but since dancing is so fun, I'm more likely to do it (plus, I'm trying to get a good grasp on the moves for teaching it, if that works out) I am looking forward to having dance to use along with my hypnosis during this baby's birth!