Pregnant Dancers Claim Identities by Taking the Stage at BYU
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Claiming Confidence

Five pregnant dancers stand looking outward with their hands on their hips.
Photo by Angela Rosales Challis

Being pregnant felt like a door closing on a big part of her life and identity, says dance professor Keely Song Glenn (BA ’08). She remembers not knowing how to “navigate moving from a dance identity to then a dance-and-a-mother identity.” Now a mother of three, she’s found that mother and dancer aren’t mutually exclusive roles, and she’s opening the door for other expecting mothers to keep dancing. Last March Glenn choreographed a dance titled “Claim” and brought together seven pregnant dancers at BYU to perform it.

“A lot of times with my pregnancies, I just wanted the pregnant part to be over,” says Glenn. She hopes the project helps the dancers “claim where they are at right now within their bodies . . . both as a dancer and an expectant new mother.”

Dancer Audrey Bishop Higley (BA ’16), whose son was born in May, says the dance helped her feel grounded in a transitional period of her life. “It’s hard not to be in charge of my body, or at least not feel like I was,” she says. But after dancing with other pregnant women, she found new control. She says, “It felt like I could still claim that I was a dancer for real.”