Hi, I’m Jenny Wood! I believe that art in all its many forms can open our hearts and feed our souls. Throughout my life I have explored many different types of art such as painting, photography, fiber arts, sewing, and working with clay along with dancing and yoga to connect with myself and my place in the world. I first felt the transcendental power of dance as a teenager through the moving meditation of the Dances of Universal Peace in Philadelphia. As I continue my life’s journey, I continue to seek opportunities to connect with people through art and dance.
I had my first experience with bellydancing in 2003. Falling in love with the dance immediately, I studied intensely with Najia of Philadelphia Bellydance and supplemented my training by taking workshops with Sahra Saeeda, Amar Gamal, Malika, Virginia, among others. In 2005, I began dancing professionally with Najia’s troupe 1001 Dreams which presented me opportunities to dance at events including the Philadelphia King Tut Exhibit, Philadelphia Housing Authority, Pop Raqs, East Coast Bellydance Classic, as well as appearances on Mind TV and Splurge. In addition to public performances and private parties, I danced regularly at several Philadelphia area restaurants such as Casablanca and Fez, and was the principal dancer at Al Dana. I loved interacting with people so much at my shows, that I jumped at the chance to teach bellydance classes at the DelawareCountyCommunity College even though I was pregnant. After giving birth to my first child and moving to Austin Texas, I danced regularly at Pharas Restaurant and taught bellydance at the Southwest YMCA.
I first learned about the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth while preparing for the birth of my second child. My husband and I attended a Bradley Method class and the information we learned helped us immensely – we were able to have the most beautiful backyard water birth that I had hoped for. That experience helped me truly understand how birth can be a transformative and creative process which can unlock deep aspects of ourselves. Feeling empowered by natural birth, I decided to become an Affiliated Bradley Instructor. As an instructor, I strive to educate pregnant women to build confidence in the power of their bodies. My life is enhanced by sharing in the experience of these developing families.
I eventually began to feel that the time had come to unite my passion for Birth with my love of dance – this led me to Dancing for Birth. I completed my Dancing for Birth Instructor training and certification requirements in September 2012. It is a pleasure to offer dance classes that create a space for exercise, growth, and a celebration of the Mothers’ journey. Classes are fun with music and dance, but they also include time to learn more about the labor process and to respect the changes that are occurring at this time of life. With joy, women have the opportunity to come together as a tribe and honor their feminine power. Being supported by women who have walked this path before is both comforting and helps us to determine who we will be as mothers of the next generation, grandmothers of the following and ancestors of the future.
If you are interested in learning more about my Bradley Classes or Dancing for Birth Classes, please visit my website www.mamawise.com.
“When I dance, I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I dance.”
“Belly dancing , is one way that certain cultures have devised over time to lower rates of fetal malpositioning in the last 3 months of pregnancy or even to change a baby’s position during strong labour”
–Ina May Gaskin