For professional dancer Cara Horibe, impending motherhood is no reason to stop moving.
After all, dancing is a part of her life.
"Everyone keeps asking me, so are you still teaching?" said Horibe, who is seven months’ pregnant. "I might just do it till I pop. Right now, I feel good. I actually have a few friends who are dancers who are pregnant. We all feel the same way. It’s kind of in our blood. It just feels kind of natural."
Horibe has danced since she was 9 years old, starting with Drill Team Hawaii and then 24/7 Danceforce in Kaneohe. Ballet, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary — you name it, she’s danced it.
The Castle High School graduate moved to Los Angeles in 2006 and got her first break competing as a member of Fanny Pak on MTV’s "America’s Best Dance Crew." She went on to play a cheerleader in Disney’s "High School Musical 3" and danced for singers Janet Jackson, Avril Lavigne and Nicki Minaj.
But all that caught up with her about five months ago. Even though she is only 30, the wear and tear on her body had become so great that Horibe decided to return to her birthplace of Honolulu and focus on teaching dance.
By that point, though, Horibe also was pregnant and struggling to get through a rough first trimester. Her morning sickness was so severe, she often could not get out of bed. It was gone by the second trimester and Horibe was able to regain her energy. Good thing, too.
"I’m the type of person, I get grouchy if I don’t work out," she said.
While reading about pregnancy and childbirth, Horibe found articles that compared labor to a marathon. So she thought: Why not be in the best shape for it?
Her doctor said working out was fine, just not to go overboard.
So Horibe had to dial it back a little. Her previous fitness routine included the Insanity workout, an extreme, hourlong DVD session. She’s taking a break from that.
Of course, dancing leapt back in to her life to fill some of the void. Horibe started teaching, and because she’s not the type to stand back and just observe during instruction — she likes to get up and get involved — her lessons can become a workout for her.
Horibe teaches at Drill Team Hawaii a few times a week and just started beginning adult hip-hop classes at ProtoHub Honolulu, a shared workspace and community center in Kakaako.
» Age: 30
BEGINNING HIP HOP
Her active pregnancy doesn’t end there: She also swims, walks her dog, and occasionally goes on hikes. Hiking allows her to reconnect to nature, she said, something that was difficult in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago, Horibe hiked the Kuliouou Ridge trail.
Horibe and her fiance, Justin Schiada, are expecting a baby girl in January. So far, Horibe has remained fit and healthy, but her doctor wants her to gain weight. For the 105-pound dancer, adding weight has been the challenge of her third trimester. She’s gained less than 15 pounds and her doctor ordered her to drink milkshakes.
The baby (which she and Schiada have named Lantana Cherie) is pretty active in utero and she lets mom know when she’s exercised enough.
"She’s already very ‘vocal,’" said Horibe. "She lets me know when to stop. She’ll kick around, put pressure on me, and I’ll say, ‘OK, I hear you.’"