Mama Maui & me
Shaky Knees and Trembling Veils ~ The Fierce Love of the Divine Feminine
I remember my first bellydance class.
My body was both exhilarated and in shock. I couldn't believe it! What was I doing?
Shaking my hips and my tits!
It was both fun and terrifying! So much was happening. Sometimes it felt so unbearably embarrassing and sometimes like heaven!
I quickly realized that the shame and disgust that was bubbling up wasn't because I was doing something wrong.
I was doing something right.
Bellydance: Spiritual and Shamanic Roots
In a culture that disrespects women's bodies, wisdom, sexuality and the sacred feminine principle, my bellydancing was an act of defiance!
Because I could feel the joy and ecstasy pouring in when the habits of hating myself and my womanly body released their hold on my being.
I could feel my mother, her mother and my great-grandmother's oppression shaking off of my shoulders and pride fill my chest.
I could feel heavy shackles breaking and power and bliss re-animate my hips after years of protecting and suppressing my erotic nature.
I could feel my voice, my truth and my story vibrate in my throat.
The woman I was meant to be was being born.
One daring wiggle at a time.
I learnt that bellydance is the world's oldest dance and that the roots were in women's empowerment and linked to the celebration of the Divine Feminine.
Among traditional Berber or Amazigh people of Morocco, a woman would literally dance her babies into the light. Female relatives of the pregnant woman, would gather and dance a very simple, but trance inducing, bellydance. The mom-to-be would also dance during labor.
When I started dancing, I had mystical illuminations and inspirations too numerous to count. It felt like secret inner doors were being opened and in those secret rooms, lost heart, power, soul and love were there waiting for me. Always there, but only hidden by my conditioning.
This was an experiential spiritual path of embodiment.
I've since developed SEA Bellydance as a very simple, sexy and accessible path of women's empowerment and spiritual awakening.
Most of us know that Yoga frees up energy in areas of the body called chakras. Bellydance does the same.
You could call it Sexy Wriggly Yoga!
But SEA is much more than bellydance.
SEA is women's empowerment and spiritual awakening.
SEA is a tantric and transformational path designed for women.
What is Tantra?
So we need to clarify some common misconceptions about Tantra. We've been taught that it's about sex.
But did you know that the Dalai Lama is one of the foremost teachers of Tantra?
And that he's never had sex!
Tantra is a fast track of awakening. Tantra is the immediate recognition of the sacred that is always present, in this moment, and this moment and this moment.
Sometimes tantra is described as the sacred thread that runs through all of existence. A golden thread that is the love, bliss essence of all.
So why do we usually associate tantra with all the sex stuff?
Well it just so happens that sex is a very powerful way to tease out the gold threads of the sacred in the moment. And because there is so much repression and shame about sex, hearing that there can be a spiritual path that is sexual, is quite the tease!
Tantra & the Invitation of SEA
In SEA, we don't engage in overt sexual acts.
In SEA, we use bellydance and movement, conscious relating, experiential meditation, to sweetly unveil the true essence and ecstasy of life. To find the golden threads of the sacred and weave them into reality.
Another translation of tantra is to yoke, or connect. So we are finding the connections of the sacred and the so-called mundane.
A tantric path says that the divine is now and we cannot be separated from the sacred as we are That!
The fact that the world we are currently see, of greed and unnecessary suffering, that doesn't reflect the true love and bliss essence of all, is simply because of habits that we are stuck in, personal, ancestral, cultural and sometimes biological, that hide and distort the heaven that is already here on earth.
Yet in SEA Sessions or events, we do not deny arousal or passion if they come blazing through.
Because when women let go of habits of body, mind and emotion, often an ecstatic energy surges through! It is truly amazing! Lust for life and arousal is welcomed and cultivated as our life force is freed.
We are much more capable of naturally arising pleasure, of deep abiding Ecstasy, than we are taught.
This is where we step in real empowerment, real Goddess magic and this is the Radical invitation of SEA.
She's not only sweet and delicate.
She is fierce and loving and ruthless.
She is ECSTATIC!
If we all could allow our innate Ecstasy to fill us and to live us, we would be ungovernable by powers that benefit from selling us stuff we don't need.
Media could not manipulate our fears.
We could not swallow any self-hatred.
There is a wave bursting through our planet. Whether you are drawn to SEA or another Feminine Empowerment path, together we continue to rise in weaving a new world with golden threads, a world that lives in our deepest hearts that needs our willing hands, mouths and emotions to be birthed into being.
In 1996, I saw my first bellydancer and my life was forever changed.
Like in a movie, time stopped. The room disappeared and there was nothing but the dancer and the dance. Something deep was transmitted that at the time I had no idea what it was about, but it was so evocative that I was compelled to study bellydance like a moth to a flame. For a year I practiced and studied 4 hours a day. Then my teacher started to get me shows and one thing let to another.
I've since performed over 1200 shows and lived in exotic Hawaii, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and now New York City.
What was transmitted in that first experience with bellydance was an initiation into the mysteries of embodied awakening. Some may call it the Divine Feminine or the Goddess or Kundalini Shakti.
All these names refer to an energetic wisdom of the body, an inner spiritual wisdom, healer and guide. It is the vibratory awakened intelligence that is the animating force of life and evolution itself.
My life since then feels like a magic carpet ride. From growing up on a dairy farm in rural Canada, to performing internationally as a bellydancer, to now living in NYC and offering Sensual Embodied Awakening.
All the energy, experience and dedication of my successful artistic career is poured into SEA.
I love to share the transformational essence of bellydance as well as a distillation of my studies in meditation, tantra, wicca, shamanism, emotional release work and women's spirituality.
I am honored, blessed and inspired to create opportunities for Sensual Embodied Awakening.
Welcome to the Temple,
Welcome to You!
More About Tara - the Big Bio
From rough and tumble beginnings on a dairy farm in rural Canada to bellydancing around the world and now teaching embodied awakening, Tara is living proof of the transformational powers of bellydance.
In 1999, Tara took off from Canada with a backpack full of bellydance costumes, a drum and two books. Ten years later, she’s been homeless in Hawaii, eaten bugs with Hill Tribes in Thailand, bellydanced for royalty in Malaysia and fallen deeply in love in India.
Yes it sounds like "Eat, Pray, Love"! Glamour and Grit are Tara's two best girlfriends.
As a performer, Tara Star bellydanced in 5 star venues in exotic Hawaii, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh and India, performing for royalty, heads of state, weddings, TV shows and celebrities for over 11 years. She has also taught numerous workshops and festivals worldwide. She has trained extensively with bellydance master teacher and songwriter Jehan Kamal.
Tara has bellydanced for 20 years and performed in Canada, USA, Costa Rica, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. She has produced over 30 variety belly dance shows, taught several International bellydance workshops, produced over 70 world music dance events and performed approximately 1200 bellydance shows to date, with some of the best bellydancers and musicians in the world. Tara is well-respected as an artist, performer, teacher and costume designer.
In Hawaii, she produced the highly acclaimed Gypsy Spirit at the Iao, highlighting the journey of dance along the Silk Road. She bellydanced on numerous Thai TV programs (VIP) and on India’s Funjabbi Chak De. She was the featured tantra and bellydance teacher for the CTV Travel reality show, The Pleasure Zone, filmed in Rishikesh at the #1 rated Ayurvedic retreat in the World, Ananda Spa.
Also in India, Tara was the main choreographer, costume designer and dancer for the 8 Wonders of the World Food Festival, at Taj Green Cove in Trivandrum, creating variety shows representing seven different countries.
She bellydanced at the US Embassy in Mumbai, in prestigious 5 star hotels, in ashrams, for Buddhist monks, funerals, weddings, baby showers, birthdays, on beaches, for nudists (while on a whale watch!), for corporate events and with several Indian stars.
It was her studies in women's spirituality and alternative healing that led Tara Star to Belly Dance and to some of the most powerful and transformative experiences in her life.
Re-claiming the sacred feminine and masculine and assisting others in their growth and healing are the underlying motivations for her performances, studies and teaching.
Re-claiming and re-creating our human culture, a culture based on our inherent goodness, not on fear or past wounds, is her driving force and passion for the planet and beyond.
Tara has a BA in Mass Communications with a focus on Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She has been active in the International peer support group, Co-Counseling, since 1994, which gave her insights into the challenges and dreams of people around the world and she uses the principles of emotional release to make her classes a truly healing experience.
She currently studies meditation and philosophy with Jeff Carreira and is a teacher in The Mystery School for A New Paradigm. Tara trains with The Path of Pollen- a women's shamanic tradition based on the sweet honeybee.
She sources her training in Yoga, Tantra, Wicca, Shamanism and trauma healing practices to create an exciting class for body, mind and spirit.
Tara now lives in New York City and continues to travel for teaching, studying and Adventure!