604 Gallatin Ave suite 204

Nashville, TN 37206

Tel: 860-303-0196



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Maeva Movement


Laurel Desmarais

Freedom through Alignment

What is Maeva

"Maeva" (my-ava) is a Tahitian word which means "a gift" and "welcome" is an umbrella for the foundation of all my teaching. Whether you are in a Pilates or Yoga class, a dance workshop or private session, I want you to feel welcome and to open the conversation of healthy movement. 


Not all bodies are the same and through investigation and knowledge I strive to explore tools that promote both healing and growth for myself and students. By staying open to multiple mind-body disciplines and approaches, we can safely move deeper into our movement practices and welcome the magic that unfolds. 


Mind, Body and Spirit align to foster an environment where we start to feel welcome in our own beings and inspire the world around us. 


I have taken pilates for many years. My injury of a bulging disc in my lower spine has been extremely difficult to overcome, inhibiting my daily activities and living in constant, excruciating pain for almost 6 years. Pilates always made me feel more aware of my body positioning. With Laurel's help, I am learning how to be pain free on a daily basis.  In just 5 short months, I am able to get through my days with renewed energy and NO pain, thanks to Laurel's knowledgeable and skilled guidance.

Shati Paul

Nashville, 2016

There are an abundance of Pilates and Yoga instructors in Manhattan.
But weekly, I make a round trip from my Columbia University neighborhood, to Williamsburg.
What she is offering is not easily found and is more than worth the trip.

Good teaching is more about observation than demonstration. Laurel's eye is the best I have found.

Karen Dietshe

NYC, 2013

Laurel's mindful Breath workshop gives teachers the tools to cue efficient movement more effortlessly by tapping into the body's most instinctive way of energizing and healing itself. You will leave feeling inspire

Alison Page owner of Aero Joe Pilates

Birmingham, 2015

Laurel Desmarias is a knowledgeable instructor, whose endless curiosity and open mindedness make her an absolute pleasure to learn from and grow with. She has been a member of New Dialect's community class faculty since 2015, and we love having her on our team. I often hear positive feedback from dancers in the Nashville dance community about how much they love Laurel's approach to contemporary dance and the warm and playful way she shares what she knows.

Banning Bouldin, Founder & Artistic Director of New Dialect

Nashville, 2016


Laurel Desmarais

I have always been a mover. I started dancing and choreographing before I can even remember anything else. At 16, I was studying at Boston Ballet, living in Connecticut and commuting daily on the train with dreams of becoming a ballerina. A year into my studies, I  suffered a herniated disk and spent the next two years dealing with chronic pain and no real prospects of continuing to dance.


At this time I started to work with a remarkable Physical Therapist Nelly Lugo-Larcheveque, who introduced me to Pilates. After a long and not always uphill road of rehabilitation, I began to rediscover my own body and create healthy movement patterns. I was able to fully return to dancing  stronger then before the injury.


I was approached by Lugo-Larcheveque to become a Polestar Pilates instructor in their Rehabilitative Program, a certification level usually available only to physical therapists, so that I could work alongside her to work with post PT clients. At this time I was also attending The University of Hartford's Hartt School for Ballet Pedagogy and teaching for their community division where I  created a Pilates curriculum for young dancers to prevent injuries.

In 2008 I relocated to New York City to further my investigation of movement. While there I taught at a multitude of Pilates settings from boutique studios to clients homes, high-end gyms to dance institutions. I was also actively performing and choreographing in the contemporary dance scene. Working with independent choreographers such as Jana Hicks, Max Stone and Oliver Steele. 


To keep my brain active and challenged, I decided to pursue a vinyasa yoga certification and in 2011, I completed my YTT 200-hr certification through Joschi International.


I was able to assist Max Stone for the Complexions summer dance program and worked with him as an extra for the indie film Frances Ha. I was also fortunate enough to visit Sweden twice for the annual Dance Forum, a ten day festival bringing together dancers from all over the world, as a guest choreographer and teacher. In 2013 I collaborated with photographer Emra Islek on a multi-media perfomance involving pin-hole photography and live piano composition.


Since relocating to Nashville I have been working on a long-term project space is the place an interactive dance experience collaborating with live music, fashion and film. 

Laurel Desmarais


604 Gallatin Ave suite 204

Nashville, TN 37206

Tel: 860-303-0196


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