ATS®/Tribal Improv by Lauramaeve

Posted in Tales from the La..., Tribal Bellydance, Words from the Dancer on January 14th, 2012 by Lauramaeve

My second set of the night, dancing to my go-to song at the time: ‘Le Toi’ by Mitsoura. This was a filler, unrehearsed and spontaneous. One  of my favourite dance moments of 2011.

Lauramaeve @ The Zoryanna Showcase, April 2011

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Autumn ’11 updates

Posted in American Tribal Style® Bellydance, Events, Festivals, Tales from the La..., Tribal Bellydance, Uncategorized, Words from the Dancer on August 29th, 2011 by Lauramaeve

Busy season has come around again and after the long (not so) hot summer in Ireland I’m looking forward to getting back in to…

F-F-Festival mode!


First up is Electric Picnic 2011  I’ll be in the Body&Soul area over the weekend hosting Speak From The Hip Presents…. Tribal Tales: a delve to the movements, music and culture of American Tribal Style® Belly Dance.  If its anything like last year its gonna be SO MUCH FUN!



With just enough time after EP for a shower and a cuppa I’ll be at Spirit of Folk giving a workshop on Folkloric and Tribal dance, catch me in the Shamanic area on the Friday evening….



…. and October sees me at Ireland’s festival of Magic and Spirituality, Féile Draíochta giving a talk and demo on The Goddess in Tribal Bellydance….

A different experience everytime – but all with the same underlying mantra…


What else, What else?? Oh yea….The September 2011 ATS® DANCE INTENSIVE!!1!

This week I announced the dates for the next ATS® Intensive and the newsletter has duly gone out. This will be the 4th run of the Intensive and I am delighted with the response I have received. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the class content and make the experience fun and enjoyable for everyone involved and this time round is no different. My students not only get a full introduction to the ATS® repertoire but they get a taste of the music, the costuming and the global culture that is Tribal Style…..

Oh! And don’t forget…

For anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the artform before they make the decision to join the Intensive I am running drop-in classes every Tuesday at Ranelagh Arts Centre. This is a relaxed, informal class where new students will not only learn a few moves they may also see an impromptu ATS® performance with yours truely and some of my lovely intermediate students. Class is from 6:30-8pm upstairs in Ranelagh Arts and its €15 on the night. Drop-in!

@ Celebrating the Body in Dance, Dublin, Aug 2011

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Posted in American Tribal Style® Bellydance, Events, General, Tales from the La..., Tribal Bellydance, Words from the Dancer on December 12th, 2010 by Lauramaeve

Required Reading

I am a dancer who is proud and passionate about her work. I have put years into honing my skills and I will continue to do so with a happy heart. I consider myself lucky to be one of those people who find their true passion in life and even more lucky to be in a position to share it with those who are curious and willing to learn.

I have assumed the responsibility of teaching this dance form to  others and I have to say that sometimes its not easy, I have wonderful students, I have a beautiful dance space – that aspect is fine – but I sometimes struggle with trying to define American Tribal Style Belly Dance® and Tribal Fusion to a wider audience.

A couple of articles have been published recently that will help me with this particular little mission.

The first is an account of a workshop with Jamila Salimpour. Asharah, the voice of Bellydance Paladin was lucky enough to be at that workshop with the 84 year old ‘Mother of American Tribal Style®’ in September of this year… Asharah gives great insight into the true origins of  ‘ATS® Old School’ moves and there are a couple of choice links at the end which are well worth checking out by anyone interested in finding out more.

The second article, taken from The Guilded Serpent, focuses on the little sister of American Tribal Style® –  Tribal Fusion and how, as writer Jasmine June puts it…

it is especially important to treat the genre [Tribal Fusion] with a level of professionalism, or else one runs the risk of discrediting the work of dancers who have dedicated their lives to creating and elevating Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.

Quite. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, in the land of La

My classes are winding down as the Silly Season approaches and plans for afoot for even more classes in the New Year.  If anyone out there would like a free taster, come along to the Dublin Holistic Centre Christmas Open Day on Dec 18th where I’ll be hosting a workshop. Info on upcoming classes, performances, workshops, and general happenings will hit the network as and when the adventure unfolds!

For now, I wish you all a Happy, Peaceful and Love filled Christmas and an Excellent New Year!

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Posted in American Tribal Style® Bellydance, Events, General, Tales from the La..., Tribal Bellydance, Words from the Dancer on July 15th, 2010 by Lauramaeve

One of the things I love about being a performer is that you never know what opportunities are lurking around the corner. Sometimes, taking advantage of those opportunities pulls you out of your comfort zone. In a good way. Well mostly in a good way… if it was a bad way then would you do it? Maybe some people would… whatever floats your boat

But I digress…

I’ve been invited to dance at The Creepshow, a new showcase for alternative performers in Dublin.

I got the call last night. The show is tomorrow night.

48 hours to get a set together….

Yup, definately outside my comfort zone.

And I LOVE it.

Fri 16 Jul 8pm @ The Turks Head, Temple Bar – if you feel like a night out with a difference. This is NOT  your normal Temple Bar hooley. Dress code: Fancy, fantasy, freakshow, fairy… no football shirts allowed.

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Steampunk & The Ferocious Mingle…

Posted in Events, General, Tales from the La... on May 23rd, 2010 by Lauramaeve

I met a lady called Rainey yesterday at Ranelagh Market. Her stall is a little piece of my own personal heaven. Steampunk happiness, beautiful jewellery and paintings = bliss!

Ladies and gentlemen, The Josie Baggley Company!

And there’s more. Rainey and Jim are hosting The Ferocious Mingle Market at the Dublin Co-op on June 13th

An eclectic Bazaar of stall candy. Our stall traders will have tons of stuff to tempt you with including Art, Crafts, Antiques, Vintage Clothes, Jewellery, Steampunk, and more!

All this and Fancy Dress! I know I’ll be there – will you?

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Don't read this if you're pregnant… or if you are thinking of having a baby. Just don't, ok?

Posted in Adventures in Motherhood, MamaLala, Tales from the La... on April 28th, 2010 by Lauramaeve

If you do – don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This is an account of the birth of my son.

Just to be sure – I’ll say it again:

Read this at your own risk.While I hope that people take this account in the right way I am aware that expectations and experiences of Birth can be sensitive and much varied. This particular experience may

a. freak/gross you out,

b. put you off ever having kids,

c. make you cry.

This is our story, this is my blog. I don’t have to give a reason for writing this down. The decision to read it is entirely yours.

Consider yourself warned.

If you are still here, Hi! 😀 Here we go…

Darragh was born on the afternoon of January 1 2010 after a 21 hour labour.

Contractions started at 7pm on New Years Eve. I had already been in hospital twice that week with false starts and a trapped nerve so I wasn’t that worried about getting there, despite the freezing temperatures. The snow had started to fall but it wasn’t grinding Dublin to a halt yet. I settled down, wrapped up in my slanket and using my pregnancy ball to ride the waves that were coming like clockwork. Textbook. I was happy, centred and excited and all set for my (almost) intervention-free birth experience.

We decided to move to the hospital around midnight. I was taken straight to the delivery room, Mark stayed by my side the whole time. Everything was going well. Until it came time for the IV. This was the only intervention I was prepared for and because they had discovered Group B Strep early in the pregnancy and I needed antibiotics. I had time to get used to the idea.

I got used to it. I wasn’t never happy about it but I accepted it.

Now tattoo needles and piercing needles don’t bother me at all. Needles in general never used to bother me until an unfortunate and painful incident a good number of years ago involving a clumsy nurse and a pulled needle put me off injections and blood donation for life.

So, as you can imagine, I was nervous about the IV needle. Fortunately I have a fairly high pain threshold and I was riding the contractions well. All I had to do was maintain my focus while they put the needle in and secured it and I would be fine. Zen baby, just close your eyes and float and it will be over in a flash….

Except it wasn’t. The first attempt to place the needle in the side of my wrist was botched and it hit bone.

I vaguely remember a flurry of activity at my left hand as they extracted the botched needle and started the process again on the back of my hand. I was more focused on trying to pull it together and centre myself again.  I was in shock and in labor – it turned into a losing battle. I lost my rhythm.

From that point on my long-dreamt-of intervention-free birth experience turned into a drug-induced nightmare. Fortunately I remember little of it. The pethidine helped with that. It didn’t so much address the pain, I just didn’t care so much about it anymore.

Gas and air rocks. I loved the world and make sure that everyone knew it. I would have been hugging the midwives if I had been able to get off the bed. I got through 2 1/2 canisters of the stuff. Good shit. 🙂

Women in labour have many different experiences with an epidural.

I put that sentence in so that if you have stuck with me through the whole needle thing, thanks, and consider this another ‘heads up’.

I didn’t want the epidural, but by the time the option was given I was exhausted and trashed and barely coherent.

They had broken my waters at 6cm dilation. Up to that point my body had progressed the labour well. ‘I’ was off on a beach somewhere talking politics with a killer whale called Fred.

It was decided that an epidural would be a good idea as it would help with the pain and tiredness.

Yea, right.

I don’t remember much of the epidural procedure. I do remember the feeling of personal invasion that stayed with me for weeks afterwards. I’m usually a tactile person and I love back rubs. But after the epi if anyone even touched my lower back it completely freaked me out. Not pain in the ouch sense of the word more like…. a ‘prickly ick’ feeling that gave me severe heebiejeebies.

And it did NOTHING for the labour pains, in fact it made them worse. That whole thing about not remembering the pain of labour does not apply here. After the epi my labour stopped and I think they gave me something to make it progress again but its all very vague. I know now that Darragh had not engaged and he was in a funny ‘L’ shaped position…

Next thing I remember was pushing and pushing and terrible cramps in my hips from the epidural and starting to think that I couldn’t do it…

And then I heard Marks voice in my ear, through all of the fuzz and pain, telling me that he loved me and that I could do it and I knew that he was right and I loved him too so I held on to his voice for dear life…

Then the Midwife said that the baby was in distress. Thats when the fun really started.

Actually it all went very quick. The Midwife and the Doctor who suddenly appeared seemed to go into superhero mode. They were fantastic. I was in so much pain but I knew I was in good hands.

Bernie, the Midwive ‘IS’ a superhero. I’m convinced.

It was a ventouse delivery, full episiotomy (like I said, fun.) and it was discovered in the final few minutes of my labour and the first few moments of his life that my beautiful baby boy was indeed in serious trouble.

We found out much later that it was a Foetal-maternal haemorrhage. Darragh was born without his full quota of blood. He was grey and gasping for breath with a falling apgar score. Mark was able to hold him for a moment and I got a quick glance of him before they whisked him away.

I’m not gonna write much about the following few hours because it will make me cry lots. I’ll just give you the happy ending:

The superhero Paediatrician made the decision to give Darragh a blood transfusion in the hope that it would turn things around and it DID. Darragh was a different baby after that, pink, healthy, glorious and adored by all the staff on the ICU and special care baby unit. More Superheros.

I finally got to hold him shortly after 7am on Jan 2. He was still wired up to lots of machines but he was over the worst. Everyone was now more focused on me. I had lost lots of blood as well and my blood pressure was yo-yoing from one extreme to another even after I left the hospital on the fourth day. I wasn’t worried. ‘I’ knew that I would be ok.

So thats it. There is not much else to say. Except that I am so lucky and so happy. Darragh is a beautiful, bright, healthy little boy and I will never be able to thank the Community Midwife team, ICU and Special Care Baby Unit team at Holles Street enough for playing their part in that. Nor can I ever fully thank the Paediatrician who hauled ass through the snow from Dun Laoghaire to save our sons life.


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WARNING: Rant alert!

Posted in MamaLala, Pregnancy and Belly Dance on November 8th, 2009 by Lauramaeve

I had a check-up with the Doc yesterday. We are both doing well but Bubs is breech. This is fine for now but the doc advised that if baby hasn’t turned in three weeks then I will be booked in for a Caesarean. The word ‘compulsory’ was used.

Bubs and I have time to change position and align ourselves in readiness for a natural birth – there is no need for panic yet.

Nonetheless – I’m feeling a bit prickly.

I’m annoyed. On principal.

WHY is it, at the merest hint of a so-called complication, that professional bodies, experts in their field no less, baulk, run for the hills and wall you in with their butt-protecting fear-based policies?

WHY is it that they resort to hospital and surgery assisted births, using unnecessary and forceful techniques when labour isn’t progressing fast enough for them (sorry about eating into your tee-off time there, Doc) and in doing so create further complications which endanger Mother and Baby… oh but wait! – We can pump you full of drugs! Yea, you don’t need to know – you’ll be fiiiine.

I’m not a vending machine and Bubs is not on a timer.

Yup…. still prickling.

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Posted in General, Tales from the La... on November 3rd, 2009 by Lauramaeve

I’ve added a Wordle widget to this blog. I’ll go in and update the cloud now and again and see what happens…

Just for fun. 🙂

Wordle: Speak From The Hip

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Posted in American Tribal Style® Bellydance, Events, MamaLala, Pregnancy and Belly Dance, Tales from the La..., Tribal Bellydance, Words from the Dancer on October 27th, 2009 by Lauramaeve

I love dressing preparing for a performance – its the girl child in me who loves pretty things…

There is the decision on which underskirt to wear with the basic costume… and indeed if the underskirt should be worn as an overskirt for this gig…. oh and maybe I’ll wear Melodias instead of pantaloons…

Then comes the coin bra, necklaces, bracelets, armlets and cuffs, the rings and hand ornaments; a decision on which type of belt – coin or shell…with tassel or fringe, and maybe a scarf underneath? Then flowers, sticks and other various ornaments for hair, the dramatic make up, the tribal dots and the all important bindi…. and not forgetting the sari, veil or one of Kathleens gorgeous Ghawazee Coats for a cover up between sets….

The Moirai Ladies in full Tribal bling at FireWater, May 2008

Call it elaborate dress up, call it armour, call it a fulfilment of fantasies, call it vanity – whatever. Its the love of creating a look for the stage, as well as presenting an art form that I am passionate about that makes every gig – no matter how small – an occasion for me.

My latest gig was a little different however. Last weekend at The Zoryanna Autumn Hafla, I took the floor wearing my trademark black and red with no decoration or pagentry aside from a few hair flowers…. and of course the all important bindi. There was no need for more – it wouldn’t have felt right.

I was nervous, as I normally am, a little more so this time as I felt more than ever that I was baring my soul… and my belly, 7 months pregnant.

It was what I wanted it to be, a return to me. Touching centre as I near the end of this part of my life and prepare for the next. I felt amazing afterwards – connected again with an energetic force that has been so much a part of my life over the past 7 years. With the changes and turns my life has taken in the last 12 months, this performance was what I needed to reconcile the new with the old.

The best part of it was communicating with the little one – who was in constant movement from the first note of the night. As I danced I was aware of little feet and hands exploring and creating a dance of their own…

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Posted in American Tribal Style® Bellydance, Events, FatChanceBellyDance®, Pregnancy and Belly Dance, Tribal Bellydance, Words from the Dancer on September 21st, 2009 by Lauramaeve


Yesterday,  I arranged to dance at The Zoryanna Autumn Hafla next month!

I have the dance worked out already – all I need a the right piece of music to go with it!

Which gives me the long awaited excuse to sort out my somewhat scattered music collection. 🙂

Being a pregnant La, this little offering will be short,  slow and gentle. Inspired as always by the gorgeous ladies of FatChanceBellyDance® and this video featuring Megha Gavin and Devyani Dance Company.


ATS General Skills and Teacher Training, Glastonbury 2008

ATS® General Skills and Teacher Training, Glastonbury 2008

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