Rosaria Gracia is well known for her versatile professional life. She has been dancing since the age of six and specialises in movement informed by celebratory dances from around the world, mostly based on Latin dances. She also carries a strong academic background.

Her projects stand for her passion of working with individuals and organisations to help flourish and develop their skills. Devising and performing at site specific shows, her experience in arts and health projects reflect her commitment to the positive effect that dance and movement can have on people’s health and wellbeing.

I booked an appointment with her to talk about her career and her pregnancy. She is eloquent, full of presence and charisma. Rosaria is already a mother and is pregnant with her second child.

In parallel to her own performances and working as a lecturer she also runs dance sessions for women; she tells me how one time, one of the ladies in
her class came up to her and complained about the pace, it was going too fast. The lady was concerned over the fact that Rosaria was pregnant and
saw it as an issue. But no one else in the class had any problems with the rhythm, she continues. “It did affect me the fact that pregnancy was seen
before my professionalism. If I hadn’t been as strong in knowing what I want to do, that might have impacted me to stop with the dance sessions.”

Burning the Clocks Brighton 2014“I did a performance last week, and I was wearing this costume that was covering my belly, so people couldn’t see that I was pregnant. We were just dancing on the stage and there were no questions around that. Afterwards when I changed and met up with the people again, they were shocked to see my belly. That is because I don’t show any difference on my upper body when I’m dancing. That invisibility is quite useful people can’t apply any preconceptions.”

There are expectations and attitudes not always fairly put, by both our surroundings and from women themselves that colour the way we deal with our capacity, she continues. Her main issue with pregnancy is psychological engagement, “There is a constant fight in a way with the idea society has of what you can do or not when you are pregnant.”

Out of curiosity about her first pregnancy, I asked how she managed to flex her professional life whilst pregnant. She gives me a straight and confident answer that she felt good physically and was very productive during most of her first pregnancy.

Further, she believes her own productivity was based on the fact that she had a deadline, she needed to get done whatever project she took on, before labour was due. She continues,“I am not sure if the levels of creativity are linked directly to pregnancy, you just need to adapt for different reasons due to what you are going through in life. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop doing whatever you are doing because of the stage you are in, I think it is the same thing with pregnancy.”

She believes organisations like ProCreate can help question the society on the attitude towards pregnant women, and be able to create that space where women have the power to choose their own limits themselves.

*ph by Heather Buckley