I had the pleasure of visiting Laylas Dance Academy, a studio designed for dancers of ALL abilities.
Layla is a Russian-trained gymnast, who was scouted when she was just 3 years old! After an injury, she turned her passion to dance and fell in love with the ancient art of Egyptian-style belly dancing, and was trained under the world's premier belly dance instructor, Raqia Hassan. Her journey as a belly dancer is fascinating, she is the founder of Lotus Dancers, and she has danced on concert stages, in music videos, and is hired for celebrity private parties, such as the Kardashians, and MTV. She has even been flown across the world to dance for the President of Iraq and the Saudi Royal Family. Her TV and video productions around the world have reached over 100 million viewers.
After traveling the world from Paris to Egypt and Dubai, Layla decided to bring her passion of fun and exciting international dance to her local community.
As a mother of a special needs child, Layla knows first hand the challenges families can face on this journey. She started a program called, Dance From Your Heart, which provides classes for special needs children, where they are able to dream, believe, and freely express themselves through movement and dance in a positive and vibrant environment.
She subscribes to the philosophy of O. Ivar Lovaas, "If they can't learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn."
Check out these adorable images of Layla's dancers dancing in Tutu Yummy's Tutus.