Jen Peters: What was early
pregnancy like, and how did you tell
Ashley Bouder: I was preparing
Swan Lake when I found out. I had
to tell the costume department, and
then I told Peter [Martins]. He had
the best reaction, just so happy! I was
also getting sick during rehearsal,
so I told John Stafford, who was
rehearsing me, so we could end early
some days or take it easy.
Maria Kowroski: The company
was in DC when I was two months
pregnant, and, of course, I was
performing in a white leotard. My
chest was really big and I kept
thinking, I hope no one can tell! I
kept closing my dressing-room door
and taking naps. I finally told Peter
because casting was going up and I
didn’t want to do Concerto Barocco
because it’s too hard (and in white)!
Abi Stafford: I had to do an extra
Dewdrop during Nutcracker the
day after Christmas. I was almost
thinking I should just tell them so I
wouldn’t have to. But it was almost
time for my three-month checkup,
and I wanted to be sure everything
was fine before I told anyone.
JP: Did anyone ever assume
you weren’t coming back to
AB: I think everyone here knows
you are coming back, but I’ve
had outside people say, ‘Oh, so
you’re done dancing?’
AS: Or they say, ‘Are you going to
MK: I’m glad it happens to you guys
too. Since I’m old, people always
JP: What’s your time frame for
MK: I am planning to start back
the first week of spring season, so
five months after delivery. It’s really
individual; the company is very
AS: I had Colin in July and came
back for Nutcracker. I scheduled
outside gigs to give myself a goal of
four months off. I was really grateful
to have my first show in Maryland,
not New York!
AB: I’m maybe overly ambitious.
I’m hoping to take two months. My
friends tell me the longer you stay
home, the harder it is to go back!
JP: How did you approach class
MK: I took class until nine months,
just barre and a bit of center. I didn’t
wear my pointe shoes because I was
afraid of breaking my ankles, since I
was so heavy!
AS: I performed until four months,
took class through five months
and then stopped. I was afraid to
overexert myself, so I just enjoyed
some time off. I did absolutely
AB: I still do everything except
jumps, and am hoping to wear my
pointe shoes the whole pregnancy. I
stopped jumping around six months
because Marika Molnar, our director
of physical therapy, watched class
and didn’t like how it looked for my
JP: Did you continue with full
AB: Yeah, I can’t bend backwards,
but my arabesque somehow got
better? My hips don’t feel any
looser, though; my side extension
AS: I never felt any looser either!
JP: How did you deal with the
AS: I definitely had some body-
image issues. I didn’t really
accept what was happening to
my body until about six months.
Afterward my doctor said to be
patient and trust that everything
will go back.
MK: It was hard not being able to fit
into costumes. Watching the scale
go up at the doctor’s office was
strange. But as long as the baby is
healthy, that’s what matters.
JP: What did you do to get back in
MK: I started with Gyrotonic, to get
everything strong again, and bike
and elliptical for cardio.
JP: Any pregnancy cravings?
MK: I ate healthier than normal, a
lot of salmon and eggs for protein.
Towards the end I really lost it,
though—all I wanted was chocolate
“I wondered what my body
would be like after: What if I can’t
dance as well?” —MARIA KOWROSKI