ABOUT LAYLA ISIS
Layla Isis is a renowned performer, choreographer, and instructor of Oriental Dance (Belly Dance). Established as one of the most highly sought after professional belly dancers in the NYC area, she has performed countless shows in the region and around the world across a wide array of platforms. Known for being an exceptionally skilled and polished dance artist as well as an engaging and charismatic entertainer, her performances have garnered the respect and admiration of both her contemporaries and clients, described as “sophisticated and elegant – raising the level of the art form” and “refreshingly natural, fluid and dynamic.”
Layla is a uniquely expressive and diverse performer, drawing on her formal acting education, her musicianship, as well as her years of study in Oriental dance. As an entertainer, theatrical dance artist, or instructor, Layla’s impassioned vision of belly dance as a soul stirring, elevated, and utterly joyful celebration of life and beauty is what shines though.
Film and television highlights include Sex and the City 2, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Dr. Oz, and Martin Scorsese’s new HBO series.
While holding court for many years as the reigning house dancer for dozens of popular live music clubs and restaurants in NYC, Layla developed her craft and was given numerous opportunities to perform and travel with some of the most highly acclaimed dance companies and projects around.
In 2004, she was hired by Miles Copeland to join the Bellydance Superstars for an extended contract in Barcelona and several television appearances in London. She is one of the five stars of Temptation of Bellydance, a lavishly produced performance DVD by Emmy-nominated Micheal Drumm in 2006.
On the New York stage, she performed Off-Broadway at The American Theatre of Actors as a principal member of Jehan’s Goddessdance, and has also been invited to perform and choreograph for productions with HereArts, NYC Fringe Festival, Gilgamesh Theatre Group, PURE, Taino Dance Theatre, and the Tomoko Aoki Dance Company.
In 2008, she joined The Dalia Carella Dance Collective as a principal member, and the classical Arabic music and dance ensemble Zikrayat in 2010. She remains an active member of both companies, performing frequently for prestigious dance festivals, theatrical shows, and cultural events around the region. In 2012, she co-founded a new creative endeavor called Entelechy Dance with her dance partner Mariyah that aims to express the elements of psyche, myth, and mystery through theatrical dance. The two created The Siren Revival, a series of curated dance concerts performed in 2013 and 2014 to wide acclaim. Her work with these companies provides her with continuous inspiration, challenge, and growth as an artist. She also currently performs regularly with Infinity Bellydance, a troupe she co-created along with several of NYC’s leading dance artists offering beautiful and exciting special event entertainment.
NOTABLE EVENTS & CLIENTS
Layla has performed for many notable events and celebrities such as The Bollywood Music Awards, Rachel Ray, Ashanti, Akon, Marc Jacobs, David Tutera, Phillip Glass, Yerba Buena, The Roches, Gyptian, and Hakim at esteemed concert halls such as Town Hall, Irving Plaza, The Bottom Line, The Rainbow Room, and television networks FOX, BET, SonyAsia, and Telemundo. Other favorite events include sharing the bill with Gogol Bordello at the first annual New York Gypsy Festival at The Roxy and performing at Lincoln Center, The United Nations, and The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Corporate clients include Dish Network, Loreal, Toyota.
EDUCATION AND BACKGROUND
Layla has been dancing, acting, and singing her way through life since childhood. Her mother, a modern dancer, and father, a T’ai Chi master, both encouraged her early inclinations of expressing energy and artistry through the body. She received formal training in acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, graduating in 1998. Soon after she attended her first bellydance class in 1999 at the legendary Serena Studios and immediately felt that she had found her artistic home. At the school, she studied extensively with Serena Wilson and Bellyqueen co-founder Jenna. In 2002, she discovered the Temple of Jehan, and apprenticed under her tutelage for several years. Since 2008, Layla has studied and collaborated with leading world fusion dance star Dalia Carella and takes workshops with many leading instructors from around the world.
Drawing upon her background in theatre, a variety of movement forms, spiritual traditions, and her passion for dance as a conduit to boundless creative and transcendent potential, Layla continually strives to explore new mediums to open hearts and minds with her unique talents and knowledge. She is also a dedicated student and seeker in the healing arts and is currently developing her instructional brand coming soon. This new venture aims to help other women discover the same healthy, healing, and harmonizing relationship with the feminine and their bodies that she has through belly dance and conscious evolution.
"Elegant, sensual, gorgeous, strong, lovely, sweet and funny too. A "total" artist all around."
Jenny L. (Bride)
"We were blown away! She was so entertaining and so classy, and I immediately knew I wanted her for my wedding."
Marvin M. (Bar-Mitzvah father)~
“Your dancing is sophisticated and elegant. You raise the level of the art form”
Honey T. (Bride)~
“Thank you so much for doing an amazing job! Everyone loved you! You made my dream come true”
Pepin family, (birthday party)~
“You were FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL and mesmerizing! THANK YOU SO MUCH for such an excellent performance. Everyone wanted your card. YOU WERE PERFECT for our party.”
“To watch Layla dance is to be owned by her, body and soul”