Layla Harrison
– Classical Ballet classes in London

Layla Harrison, classical ballet teacher at Danceworks in London


Minimum age: 12

Monday: Classical Ballet

  • Level: Professional
  • Time: 11am-12:30pm
  • Price: £14
  • Studio 10


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’ 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’ and returned to New York for a gala week of the same production the following year (The Danny Kaye Playhouse).

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’ (performed over several years at The Royal Opera House and Holland Park and was filmed for the B.B.C.); ‘Alice’ (Ashton); ‘solo girl’ in Mark Annear’s ‘Theme and Variations’ in her graduation performance

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 as soloist for the Royal Academy of Dancing in ‘Les Sylphides’ (York) and 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 has taught at many dance schools/brands over the years whenever her performance schedule has allowed. Establishments include: Danceworks 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; Crystal Ballet; 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 been running the successful Dunsford Performing Arts Summer Courses for eighteen years.

Classical Ballet class description

Layla’s classes are musical and focus on classical artistry and the upper body as much as technique and placement. Her classes will help to improve strength, stamina, technique and artistry, passing on knowledge from the many wonderful teachers she has worked with and her diverse career in Ballet. A good application of classical ballet technique is required.


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