This week’s MUSE is Laurel Desmarais. She just opened Maeva Movement, an East Nashville studio dedicated to empowering individuals through the freedom of alignment and sprinkling it with creativity and fun. They offer classes in Yoga, Pilates and Dance for movers of all levels.
You can check it out at the Grand Opening party this Friday June 9th 7 to 9 PM at 604 Gallatin Ave. Suite 204
A sparkling unicorn introduced me to Laurel Desmarais. Well, sort of. 2 weeks after I moved to Nashville, I was fist pumping with a unicorn clutch held high at Madonna’s Nashville Bridgestone concert in January 2016. At the end of the show I heard my name. A photographer friend, Michael Weintrob, from NYC was standing there and he had the most lovely lady (Laurel!) with him. They had moved from NYC to Nashville a year earlier. Thanks Madonna, I was wishing to find a local photographer and a movement coach- score!!! I completely fell in love with Laurel the first time we hit a dance floor together a month later. And forget about it when I took my first dance class with her, such joy, exuberance and fluid flow fun!
Laurel finds inspiration everywhere from great food, music and cultural experiences to being in nature and also from the people around her. She believes that “if you really tune into your environment there is such beauty and complexity in this world. I try to experience everything fully so it then comes out in my own expression.”
Lily Guilder’s first project in Nashville was to design costumes for “Space is the Place part 2,” a work created choreographed by Laurel and performed by Fall Dance company (I am costuming their new piece on June 15th). We used altered versions of Lily Guilder’s ready to wear line showing the high level of dancability and versatility!!!
Laurel leads movement retreats in beautiful places all over the world. I was lucky enough to join her in Peru where we visited Machu Picchu and learned about local weaving techniques. She helped me select the fabrics I brought back (available now in select pieces from my Festival 2017 collection).
She recommends checking out the new WXNA radio station here in Nashville where you get to hear all kinds of shows that could broaden your musical library. She says “I love hearing something that immediately makes me go what was that, I want to hear more."
Her favorite quote is "Movement is the song of the body" -Vanda Scaravelli
I am so grateful to have Laurel in my life. She is fun and always willing to test out some Lily Guilder or jump in a photo shoot but also shows up behind the scenes to help organize a runway show or be an idea sounding board. She inspires me to be a better version of myself and I owe much of my Nashville joy and success to her!