Layla Harrison started her ballet training with Jean Butterworth in West Sussex. Her first professional experience was dancing with the Kirov Ballet Company in 1992 when she played the young Aurora in 'Sleeping Beauty' at the Coliseum in London. She toured New York and Canada in one of the lead roles in National Youth Music Theatre's production of 'The Ragged Child' in 1993 and returned to New York for a gala week of the same production in 1994 (at The Danny Kaye Playhouse). Selected scenes were also performed at The Royal Albert Hall (Schools Proms). Layla played the murderer's daughter in an episode of Agatha Christie's 'Poirot' ('The Dumb Witness' - Broadcast I.T.V. 1995) and joined the N.Y.M.T. for the summer season at Edinburgh festival in Cameron Mackintosh's 'Oliver!' (1994).

Layla joined The Royal Ballet School (White Lodge) in 1994 where she created the role of 'The Bird' in Mathew Hart's 'Peter and the Wolf'. This was performed many times over three years at The Royal Opera House and Holland Park and was filmed for the B.B.C. in 1996. Layla also performed at the School's annual performances, dancing 'Alice' from 'Alice in Wonderland' (Ashton).

Layla graduated The Royal Ballet School, dancing the 'solo girl' in Mark Annear's 'Theme and Variations' in her graduation performance. She joined The Royal Ballet Company for their Christmas season of 'Cinderella' (1998) and then decided to further her music theatre training at London Studio Centre. She also danced as soloist for the Royal Academy of Dancing in 'Les Sylphides' (York).

Layla graduated Studio Centre 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 also danced 'Liberty Bell' in Balanchine's 'Stars and Stripes' for its European debut. She was coached for the part by Dame Alicia Markova and footage has since been used in the documentary film 'Ballet Russes'.

Layla joined Ballet Ireland in 2002 for the 'Fireworks' tour where she was also asked to guest as The Sugar Plum Fairy in I.N.Y.B. Company's production of 'The Nutcracker'. Layla had danced in spite of injuries for some years so she had three years off to have major surgery on both feet. During this break she returned to the stage for one night only and danced alongside Adam Cooper and Oxana Panchenko in Peter Darrell's 'Jeux' for the Peter Darrell Trust's gala in Glasgow. In 2005 Layla joined English National Ballet Company for Derek Deane's 'Romeo & Juliet' at The Royal Albert Hall. She was asked to stay on for the rest of the year where she danced repertoire including 'Swan Lake', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Nutcracker', 'Giselle' & Nureyev's production of 'Romeo & Juliet'. In 2006 Layla danced in 'The Mayfly' (Ben Love), a studio performance at The Royal Opera House and in 2007 Layla featured in 'Filth & Wisdom', a short film directed by Madonna which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. In Autumn 2007, after shooting the International Marriott Hotel campaign, Layla moved up to Glasgow to dance with Scottish Ballet Company in Ashley Page's 'Sleeping Beauty'.. She returned to Scotland at the end of 2008 for the company's winter season and was asked to stay on in 2009 for the company's tour of Richard Alston's 'Carmen' & Page's 'Cheating, Lying, Stealing' for which, Layla was lucky to join a small cast of dancers. She then toured with the company to China with the same production of 'Carmen' & Ashley Page's 'Pennies from Heaven'.

Layla then shot 'Margot', a 90 minute documentary for BBC4 based on the relationship between Margot Fonteyn & Rudoph Nureyev (aired BBC Autumn 2009) and featured in the ballet student scenes in the 3D feature film 'STREETDANCE'. Layla went back up to Scottish Ballet for the Autumn tour of Balanchine's 'Rubies' and Pastor's 'In Light and Shadow' and stayed on until spring dancing many roles in Page's 'The Nutcracker'. In 2010 Layla shot a culture channel Ident for ERTU before getting married. Layla returned to Scottish Ballet for Page's production of 'Cinderella' getting to dance (among other roles) The Prussian Princess & The Spring Season Fairy. 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 on a collaboration between The Royal Opera House and Van Cleef & Arpels, held at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles, and then joined the cast of 'The Phantom of The Opera' in the West End. Layla was promoted to first cover Meg Giry and is contracted in the production until September 2015

Teaching

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 Baby 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 founded Dunsford Performing Arts in 1999 and has directed DPA’s successful summer courses, events and Days of Dance for nineteen years.