Layla’s teaching focuses on musicality and artistry as much as technique and placement. Her classes will help to improve strength, stamina, technique and performance, passing on knowledge from the many wonderful teachers she has worked with and her diverse career in Ballet. Her professional experience and Royal Ballet training help Layla create an energetic and positive environment, encouraging dancers to finish class feeling worked and happy.
Layla Harrison started her training with Jean Butterworth. Her first professional experience was dancing with the Kirov Ballet Company when she played the young Aurora in ‘Sleeping Beauty’. She toured New York and Canada in one of the lead roles in National Youth Music Theatre’s production of ‘The Ragged Child’, returning to New York for a gala week the following year.
Layla then trained at The Royal Ballet School (graduating both Lower and Upper Schools). Performances during her time with RBS included: creating the role of ‘The Bird’ in Mathew Hart’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ (The Royal Opera House, Holland Park and the B.B.C. Film); ‘Alice’ (Ashton); ‘solo girl’ in Mark Annear’s ‘Theme and Variations’ in RBS graduation performance
Layla worked with The Royal Ballet Company for their Christmas season of ‘Cinderella’ and then furthered her music theatre training at London Studio Centre. Layla graduated LSC with a B.A.Hons degree and performed with the classical graduate company Images for two years. During this time Layla worked with choreographers such as Christopher Hampson, Cathy Marston, Wayne Sleep, Matthew Hart, Michael Corder & Adam Cooper. Layla danced ‘Liberty Bell’ in Balanchine’s ‘Stars and Stripes’ for its European debut. She was coached for the part by Dame Alicia Markova and filmed for the documentary film ‘Ballet Russes’ (Goldfine & Geller).
Dance work includes: ‘Cinderella’ with The Royal Ballet Company; Ballet Ireland ‘Fireworks’ tour; guest artist as ‘The Sugar Plum Fairy’ in I.N.Y.B. Company’s ‘The Nutcracker’; Peter Darrell’s Pas De Trois ‘Jeux’ (with Adam Cooper and Oxana Panchenko) for the Darrell Trust’s gala. Layla joined English National Ballet Company in 2005. Productions for ENB included: Derek Deane’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’; ‘Swan Lake’; ‘Sleeping Beauty’; ‘Nutcracker’; ‘Giselle’ & Nureyev’s production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’. Layla danced with Scottish Ballet Company from 2007-2011. Productions with SB included: Ashley Page’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’; Richard Alston’s ‘Carmen’; Page’s ‘Cheating, Lying, Stealing’. Layla toured with the company to China with the same production of ‘Carmen’ & Page’s ‘Pennies from Heaven’ followed by the UK & Scottish tour of Balanchine’s ‘Rubies’ and Pastor’s ‘In Light and Shadow’. Layla danced several roles (including ‘Poppies’ and ‘French’) in Page’s ‘The Nutcracker’; and further soloist roles of ‘Prussian Princess’ and ‘Spring Season Fairy’ in his production of ‘Cinderella’. Layla finished her eighth tour with the company in a brand new production of ‘Alice’, playing several roles including ‘The Dormouse’. Layla worked with Will Tuckett in collaboration with The Royal Opera House and Van Cleef & Arpels at Buckingham Palace and has more recently danced in projects for JLee Productions and Liam Scarlett. Layla performed at The Global Pursuit Awards and The Conde Nast Awards (both choreographed by Lynne Page).
Musical Theatre work includes: ‘Olivier Awards 2014’ (Royal Opera House, Cameron Mackintosh); Meg Giry & Ballet Girl in ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ (West End 2011-2015); 25th Anniversary Gala of Phantom Of The Opera (The Royal Albert Hall); NYMT’s ‘Oliver!’ (Edinburgh festival); The Schools Proms (The Royal Albert Hall).
TV, Commercial and Film work includes: The International Marriott Hotel campaign (Lynne Page); ‘ERTU’ Culture channel Ident (Craig Hadley); ‘Filth & Wisdom’ (Semtex, Madonna); ‘Margot’ (film for BBC4 by Mammoth Screen, Otto Bathurst); ‘STREETDANCE’ (3D feature film by Vertigo/BBC, Max Giwa & Dania Pasquini); Opening Shot, South Bank Show (I.T.V.); and ‘The Dumb Witness’ – ‘Poirot’ (Edward Bennett, I.T.V.).
Teaching work: Layla has taught at many dance schools/brands over the years whenever her performance schedule has allowed. Establishments include: DANCEWORKS professional classes; PINEAPPLE STUDIOS professional classes; Central School of Ballet evening classes; Urdang college; Hammond School; Sayers Dance Centre (Australia); Kensington School of Ballet; West London Dance Academy; GJUUM (Royal Ballet); W.A.C. Performing Arts & Media College; Totnes School of Dance; Barton Peveril Performing Arts College; Gaynor Walter School of Dance; Northbrook College; Jean Butterworth School; The Regal School; Alison Axford’s Academy; Deborah Bond Academy; Bellissimo Ballerinas; Crystal Ballet; Layla’s Ballet Ballet School and she teaches privately whenever time allows. For years Layla has choreographed festival solos, duets and groups with impressive results, many of which have won places at All England Dance Festival. Layla coaches an ever increasing number of students. Many of Layla’s students are now at vocational schools or in professional work. Layla has also examined and adjudicated various competitions including the Dance World Cup. Layla founded Dunsford Performing Arts in 1999 and has directed DPA’s successful Summer Courses, events and Days of Dance for nineteen years.
“The marriage of both technical awareness and artistic expression makes this class very special. The class has a perfect balance of focusing on technique and body awareness, while keeping the energy alive by remembering to dance! There’s a strong focus on the body and placement but we are also encouraged to use the music to influence our dynamic and movements. This class is tackled with a positive and encouraging energy that brings the best out of every dancer.
It’s a place you can be true to yourself and work hard, and feel the results. Leaving you feeling happier and more accomplished for going.” Mia Barclay
“She is a lovely teacher – confident, intelligent and responsive. The class is challenging but full of movement and loads of fun. Layla’s classes are life-enhancing in a ‘make you feel happy’ kind of way. I go whenever I get the chance” Elizabeth Wilson
|Minimum age: 14