by Krista My second child was born in the month of November, just as winter was settling upon us. I had grand plans to go for daily walks, and spend as much time outside as I had with my first born, but the fact that winter is COLD and the reality of having two children under two set in pretty quickly. It was much harder to keep both happy outside than I thought, and we didn't go out as much as I liked. I missed the exercise, and the interacting with other moms and babes as I walked through the neighbourhood.
A friend of mine suggested that I join a Salsa Babies class with her, as it would give me an opportunity to get out and exercise with my little girl, and interact with some other new parents. I was interested, but not convinced, as I am not a dancer, and have no rhythm at all. The classes we took were offered through Salsa Babies Ottawa-Gatineau, who offer a free trial class before you commit. All it took was that one class and I was hooked, signing up for several sessions that lasted long past the end of winter. The classes weren't a difficult workout, but they got me moving, and my little Goose loved them. The sessions were six weeks long, and cost $80.
It is recommended that you start the classes when your child is at least 6-8 weeks old, or at least has some pretty decent head control. You need to have a carrier that you will be comfortable in for about 45 minutes, keeping in mind that you will be dancing around for the duration of the class. I was happiest in a baby bjorn, but there were a variety of other carriers in use. You also need to dress comfortably, and have runners or other indoor shoes, as you are moving around, and tend to get warm (especially with a warm baby attached to you!)
The music is also great. Salsa music is lively and uplifting, and was pretty much guaranteed to make me smile. Goose also love the music, the tempo, and all the fancy maracas she got to play with. The music and the movement were also great for soothing her if she was cranky, sometimes when teething she even slept through the entire class!
One of my big concerns with signing up was my complete lack of skill when it comes to dancing, but this really wasn't a problem with the classes. It is expected that you are not able to dance when you sign up, and you are taught the basics right at the beginning. They then review them every week. The three or four different dances are broken down into simple steps, so that you are not overwhelmed each week, and that you can build on what you have learned. If you are like me and you turn left when you should turn right, and move back instead of forward, you just laugh a lot, enjoy the great music and do what you can do.