AS: Me too. Towards the end I’d get
Frosties and McFlurries. And white
AB: I was the opposite. Right away
I only wanted sweets. I would
have a pint of ice cream for dinner
while performing Swan Lake It was
ridiculous. Now all I want are big
salads and Mexican food.
JP: Coffee during pregnancy?
JP: How do you find balance
between work and baby?
MK: I’ll start with sporadic
performances. Things are happening
quickly—sitting up, rolling over—
and I don’t want to miss out.
AB: I’m excited to have my fiancé
bring her to the theater during
performance nights. She can hang
out with all the girls backstage.
[Maria looks at Dylan lying on his
stomach in a frog position.]
MK: Ahhh, he has great turnout…
bad feet, but great turnout! That’s
okay, we don’t want you to dance,
JP: I was going to ask how you feel
about your kids dancing…
AB: My fiancé already said, ‘No
stretching the baby!’
AS: He’ll only dance if he asks and
AB: It’s difficult to have a child want
to dance, because we’ve made it to
the top of our field. I would never
want her to feel inferior to her mom,
who at that point will not be cool!
JP: Do you think being a dancer
helped with labor/delivery?
MK: I don’t think it helped at all!
It is such a normal thing that every
woman’s body can do, and I realize
how truly amazing our bodies are.
This pain was like nothing I ever
experienced as a dancer. I did labor
standing up and in second-position
grand plié trying to get him to come
AS: During labor Colin wasn’t
dropping, so they almost did a
C-section. But with all my core
strength, I said ‘Get down!’ My
doctor couldn’t believe I actually
birthed him that way. After going
through childbirth I feel like I can do
JP: Is anything about childcare
MK: The amount of time breast-
feeding requires. I was in tears a lot
that first month because I felt like I
couldn’t go anywhere.
AS: The first two weeks were the
most difficult because you just aren’t
sleeping. But the hardest thing was
giving myself over completely. It was
quite an adjustment.
JP: How did you decide this was the
right time to become a mother?
AB: I’m 32, and I wanted to
come back and still be at the
peak of my career.
AS: For my husband and I, it
was our plan to have a baby
around this age—I’m 33—so it was
mostly the clock-is-ticking thing.
MK: I wondered what my body
would be like after having a baby:
What if I can’t dance as well? What
if things don’t work the way they did
before? I wanted to feel completely
fulfilled before having a baby.
JP: In NYCB history, few dancers
have had babies and come back
to perform, and now all three of
you, all principals…Do you feel like
something is changing?
AB: Definitely. People are going
to college and doing more outside
projects. People have realized you
don’t have to be a tunnel-vision
ballerina—you can be just as
dedicated and as good an artist with
more going on in your life.
MK: If not better!
AB: I remember Margaret Tracey
being phenomenal after two babies!
AS: And Kyra Nichols, too, Jenny
Ringer, Jennie Somogyi…
JP: What do you think the difference is?
MK: It’s a different mentality. For
me, this [holding Dylan] is such a
huge priority and a happiness you
can’t get from anything else.
AS: Maybe the dancing pressure is
off a bit because you realize what
real stress is!
AB: But you can also really enjoy
your time being free and dancing,
free of all that responsibility while
doing something you love, and then
go home to someone that you love.
MK: I feel like such a pedestrian
still. I have a new appreciation for
what we do as dancers. It will be
unbelievable to get back to that
level, because it feels so far away! I
will truly appreciate being onstage
and having that escape from
everything. It will be my time. In the
end we still are our own people,
even as mothers. ■
Jen Peters is a contributor to Dance
Magazine, a dancer and a mother of
two in Brooklyn, New York.
Just before this issue went
to print, Bouder gave birth
to Violet Storm de Florio.