Skytribe dance studio was launched by performer Doe Demure in September 2015.
The premises in Leicester had previously been used as a dance school but evidently not for some time. Although the studio was fitted with mirrors, some of these were cracked, the floor was dull and splintered, and there was damp around the windows and some fairly severe patches on the ceilings. Doe took the keys in August 2015, scrubbed the place clean and treated all ofthe damp. Her Chicas Locas burlesque girls (also known as the 'cleaning fairies') came in to help mop and polish the place up.
Doe spent days freshening the walls up with a new coat of paint herself . Fixtures and fittings, door handles, leaky loos and all manner of DIY jobs were fixed and/or replaced with the help of family. Floor specialists were called in to sand and varnish the whole 1750 sq ft of wooden flooring and glass merchants to cut and fit new mirrors to replace the broken ones.
A month later, in September 2015, the studio was ready to launch looking fresh, inviting and ready for dancing!
But who is Doe Demure and where did Skytribe Studio come from?
Doe Demure didn't start out her career as a performer; she began as Hannah Myatt, an active child, but unable to afford a dance school she would teach herself gymnastic tricks and make up dance routines in her bedroom. Eventually her Mum (who worked in a Learning Disabilities unit) brought home a crash mat which had been discarded at work to help prevent injuries. Doe was sporty, creative and loved to dance. She got involved in school dance shows whenever possible, went on to attend a youth theatre group and studied dance at GCSE achieving an A*, but didn't have any typical dance training.
As a 17 year old Leicester girl, wanting to do something to make a difference, she signed up to train as a Mental Health nurse. With a particular interest in body image Doe decided to specialise in eating disorders. Unfortunately, qualifying during the NHS job crisis at the time of the economic fall in 2007, meant the promised jobs in Leicester weren't available. Undeterred Doe managed to secure a job in Oxford at a Child & Adolescent mental health unit with a specialist eating disorders programme. After gaining some experience as a staff nurse she returned to Leicester but the job situation wasn't any better.
Doe took on a number of jobs to pay the bills, a shot girl, a pharmacy dispencer, make-up counter assistant... but took the opportunity to spend time rekindling her love of dance.
It began with pole dancing at 'The Flying Studio'; one class and Doe was obsessed. She trained to level 4 of Genevieve's pole dance syllabus. She even put a pole up at home and invited friends round to teach them some tricks.
During one of the classes Genevieve taught a warm-up using hula hoops. Doe started looking online for somewhere to learn how to hoop. There wasn't anywhere locally so she ordered some DVDs and taught herself. This is how she discovered Hoop dance (not to be confused with hooping for exercise, or circus hooping). Excited, she wanted to share her new skills with others and organised her first hoop dance classes in 2009. She invited all of her friends and they invited their friends... the class was busy and everyone was having fun learning something new, this was a turning point for Doe. She realised she'd been ignoring a longing to create.
Doe began taking modern Oriental belly dance classes with Andrea of 'Chaines Dance company' the same year; this was the start of an enduring friendship as well as a deep love of belly dance. She was soon performing professionally with the company at weddings and corporate events. With Chaines she also learned Bollywood, Hawaiian hula and Cabaret/Moulin Rouge/Vegas showgirl styles- all of which she performed in their shows- but was always looking to learn more. Doe began weekly classes with Maria D'Silvas to learn a more traditional Oriental belly dance style. She searched out workshops with various other teachers to further her knowledge of Hawaiian hula, classical Indian dance and took some Bollywood classes with Anand of 'Desi Masti'.
in March 2011 a job came up to teach weekly burlesque classes for company 'Bijoux Burlesque', Doe applied, but thinking she didn't have the experience and had no chance of getting the job almost turned back on the way to the interview. Luckily she found the courage to carry on because she got the job. As part of the role she was asked to run burlesque shows for her students to perform in. Doe had never intended to perform burlesque but her students seemed to expect she would, so who was she to disappoint? More than a little nervous she performed a solo burlesque act under her new 'Doe Demure' persona, terrified of how the crowd would react to her big finale- a sparkly nipple tassel reveal. They applauded heartily and the whole experience was very freeing, insecurities falling away. This strengthened Doe's resolve to share the feeling with other women; she realised that she could still make a difference to other peoples lives outside of nursing, and that dancing could improve body confidence as well as create a community spirit of support and camaraderie which can be rare in today's society. And who doesn't want a little glamour and naughtiness in their lives?
In late 2011 Doe left Bijoux Burlesque to develop her own dance courses in belly dance, burlesque and hula hoop, and she founded her dance groups Chicas Locas Burlesque and Skytribe Hula hoop. Doe started running her own shows and travelling all over the UK to perform at burlesque shows, festivals and events. Doe has since performed at the Miss Great Britain finals, as an opening act for band 'The Eels' and internationally at UKHG Banyoles, Spain, to name a few.
The learning doesn't stop here however, in a quest for ever more specialist knowledge Doe developed a special affection for Tribal Fusion belly dance. Tribal fusion pulls together Doe's love of belly dance coupled with her curiosity for all things dark and Gothic. She has taken numerous workshops in Tribal fusion style, with teachers such as Michelle Manx, Piny Orchidaceae, and including 10+ hours with Morgana from Spain and a 4 day weekend intensive course with Jill Parker from the USA, the founder of the modern Tribal fusion phenomenon. She now specialises in Tribal Fusion belly dance and has a third performance group- Skytribe Tribal Fusion.
After time it seemed like the logical step for Doe to open a dance studio to create a base for her ever growing dance community to call home. Doe's vision was to create an empowering and creative space for women to learn and grow.
And so Skytribe Dance Studio was born.
Find out more about Doe on her website at www.doedemure.co.uk
(Skytribe founder: Doe Demure)