“Dance has always been a part of my life and not just a hobby for me, but a passion. More so, it’s my passion to teach others how to dance so they feel good in their body, and increase their confidence by learning to love themselves”.
Fleur is most often to be found with her choreography notebook on the floor, and head choreographer Casper the dog at her side, creating inspiring, colourful and modern choreographies for her students to learn, or for the Fleur Estelle Dance Company to perform.
If you can’t find her there, she’ll be anywhere between happily exploring a local farmer’s market, or scuba diving somewhere deep in the ocean! She loves to live a healthy, active life – and wear a different coinbelt every day of the year 🙂
Discover more about Fleur
Why belly dancing?
I was attracted to belly dance like a moth to a flame! Once I’d discovered how beautiful, creative and elegant belly dancing can be, I wanted to spend all my time learning and developing my skills. I so love the idea that belly dancing is a personal journey for every dancer – and as I took my first shimmying steps I immediately began to feel at home in myself and my body.
For me, belly dancing helped me to overcome many of my fears, and to accept who I really am. From the very beginning, it felt instinctive and natural – and it felt so right to follow the path it created for me. (And I have to admit, I love the sparkly costumes too!)
Did you ever think you’d become a full-time dancer?
In a word, no! I danced from a very young age – when I was 3 I started ballet classes at the Vacani Ballet School, and from then on I explored many different dance forms. But I had a mainstream education (Lycee Charles de Gaulle & Royal Holloway University of London) and there were no performing arts GCSE or A-Level subjects at my school.
I’ve always been interested in the study of human behaviour, so I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. By then, belly dancing – which I’d discovered in my teenage years – had already started to become my world. So much so that I dedicated my final year thesis to the psychological impact of belly dancing upon women! The incredible pull I had towards belly dancing meant I didn’t pursue a Master’s in Psychology because I instinctively knew my future was already laid out in a different direction – the belly dance way 🙂
What inspired you to establish the Fleur Estelle Belly Dance School?
One of my favourite aspects of belly dancing is that it connects people. When belly dancers are together – whether they’re on stage, or just dancing in their leggings at a local gym – there is a beautifully supportive atmosphere.
I felt strongly that I wanted to create a similar atmosphere and a home for belly dancers, whether they be students or instructors. I wanted dancers to be able to express themselves and follow their own belly dance paths in a confidence-building, supportive, non-competitive and safe space.
What do you love about teaching?
Being able to support and empower people, and help them increase their self-confidence. Also watching the transformation from a nervous beginner to a dancer who has developed trust in their own abilities. And one of my very favourite things is to see that ‘light bulb’ moment and the joy on someone’s face when they achieve something they never dreamt they’d be able to! Whether that’s a simple shimmy, a powerful belly roll or a fast twirl with a sword balanced on their head, I love guiding students and seeing them reach their own destinations.
I approach teaching in a holistic way. Belly dance isn’t just about the techniques – it’s about becoming mindful of ourselves and our bodies. It’s about learning to feel at home with who we are. To help people achieve this, I focus very much on showing students how to build confidence and trust in their own capabilities. Helping students to push beyond their comfort zones, and stimulating them with challenges worth writing home about, are two other really important elements of teaching to me. Being a mentor both to my students and my team of instructors makes me so happy. We all continue to grow together and our love of learning is insatiable.
I feel just as excited about teaching as I did when I first taught in 2004 and established our School in 2006 – and I can’t imagine a time when I will ever feel any other way!
Does Casper really help you with your choreography?
Upcoming classes with Fleur
Fleur teaches a beginners drop-in class every Monday at Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden – find out about this class here.
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