Known for the graceful precision and the elegance of her movements, Florence Leclerc has been a dancer, choreographer and instructor for over 15 years.
Though also trained in contemporary dance, ballet, social and Latin dances, flamenco, theatre and mime, it is with oriental dance that her creative exploration takes on its full meaning and blossoms.
Melding femininity and the pleasure of movement, oriental dance allowed her to unleash the force of her expression, to unfold the grace and beauty that feed her creative imagination.
Traditionally practised by women, oriental dance originates from Middle Eastern countries and its name is a direct translation of the Arabic term “raqs sharqi.” Its practice expresses femininity as well as highly emotional tales and the vital impulse that awakens the body. For Florence, oriental dance is synonymous with self-esteem and the free expression of feminine power that comes from within. It embraces the beauty of the female body in all its shapes and sizes, going against all standards.
It is encouraged by this powerful mindset that Florence founded the Grace & Beauty Ensemble in 2015. She acts as its main choreographer and sometimes as a performer. The Debout project, in collaboration with Kaeshi Chai from New York, strongly contributed to the prestige of the troupe, which is dedicated to the outreach of oriental dance. With the Grace & Beauty Movement Academy, Florence intends to broaden her field of action by offering an evolving learning program for oriental dance with video tutorials on the Patreon platform.
Thanks to the quality of her choreographic work and her rigorous teaching, Florence is called upon to share her knowledge and to collaborate internationally. It is with great joy that she travels the world, notably the United States, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, at times to perform, other times to direct a troupe or to teach a workshop. The creation of the Grace & Beauty Movement Academy is therefore aligned with this desire to break down barriers, for accessibility and for professionalism that characterize her approach to oriental dance.
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Since her teenage years, Florence Leclerc has shown a keen interest for the performing arts. A love that lead her towards a college training in theatre. With her growing interest for dance and her undeniable talent, she joined the Enan folkloric dance troupe. Thanks to the exceptional teaching of Denise and Ahmed Enan, who encouraged her and passed on to her a deep love of elegant oriental dance, she acquired a solid experience. With this strong foundation, she began a new college training in a dance program. Following this degree in ballet and contemporary dance, she dedicated herself to creative explorations with dance, theatre and mime.
Her talent grew and she gained recognition when from 2011 to 2014, she participated in several international competitions and won many awards, including the Rakstar 2014 title in Miami. In 2014, she seized the opportunity to perform with the Arabesque Dance Company in the Sawah production, directed by Yasmina Ramzy in Toronto. She then became a member of the Ya Eshta professional collective, and developed ties with the Orientalys Festival and the Festival du Monde Arabe.
Through all these enriching experiences, she forged unwavering bonds with musicians Ali Omar El Farouk and Naeem Shanwar with whom she is always delighted to collaborate. For Florence, dance is a community affair, a chosen community that is woven through meetings and crossroads. She feels deep gratitude for the undeniable contributions of the artists that paved the way for her, notably for the great generosity of Yasmina Ramsy in sharing her knowledge, her perseverance in bringing recognition to oriental dance on the Canadian scene, her artistic sense and the opportunities that she has offered to so many dancers, including Florence, with pieces performed accompanied by an oriental orchestra. She also acknowledges Aziza’s support, experience and generosity as well as Valerick Molinary’s and Mercedes Nieto’s creativity, authenticity and generosity. She also wishes to highlight the profound artistic influence, the transmission of an ever-renewed passion and the respect for the art and its culture of her mentor, Lebanese Simon.
Deeply passionate about her art, she loves creating choreographies as much as she loves performing them. As any passion is a pleasure to share, teaching dance is a true vocation for her.
Lately Florence is focusing more on the creative and innovative aspects of her art, while developing her online clientele though the Grace & Beauty Movement Academy. She is in a constant process of deepening and questioning and views the world around her with an increasingly critical eye through the richness of oriental dance.