I had the opportunity recently to ask Layla Gerrish some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Layla is an amazing dancer, she takes to the stage with incredible poise and grace. Her love for ballet is phenomenal. Below are her responses.
Q1: When did you start ballet?
I started ballet at the age of five
Q2: Where do you currently dance?
I am in between dance schools at the moment. I have just finished dancing with Premiere Studios on the Central Coast NSW and am about to start Pre Professional training with Ellison Ballet in New York
Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?
I started dancing en pointe when I turned 11. So 5 years
Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?
I currently wear Ganor Minden pointe shoes
Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?
My first ever dance class was a ballet class. I fell in love with it straight away
Q6: What is your favourite variation?
I love lots of different variations for different reasons. Some of my favourites include; Paquita Variation 1, Aurora, Esmeralda, Giselle, Raymonda Dream Variation and Gamzatti Temple Variation
Q7: What company would you love to work for?
This is a really hard question because there are so many great companies I would love to dance for. I think I will just trust that if I’m lucky enough to be offered a job in a company then that will be the right company for me at that moment in time
Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?
My favourite memory / most memorable moment in ballet would have to be dancing in the YAGP finals in New York in 2019. It was such an incredible, eye opening experience
Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.
My dance friends at Premiere Studios inspired me everyday. Watching them learn, grow and achieve on a daily basis has helped me become the dancer I am today. Other inspirational ballerinas include Darcey Bussle, Marianela Núñez, Lauren Lovettte, Skylar Brandt, Thomas Dilley and Jolie Lombardo
Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
“Go out on stage and enjoy yourself”
Q11: Advise you’d give a young version of yourself?
The advice I would give to my younger self would be to trust in the process and to believe that whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re probably right
Q12: Best thing about being a ballerina?
There are so many things I love about being a ballerina. I love the challenge, I love that it’s different, I love being around like minded people, I love dancing on a stage and I love connecting with the audience and making people smile
Q13: Hardest thing about being a ballerina?
One of the hardest things about ballet is that perfection is almost impossible to achieve. There is always something that needs improving or changing
Q14: It seems like such hard work, did you ever have days growing up where you were like “ugh maybe I’ll just pick an easier career so I can be like a normal teenager”?
No I’ve never really had a point in my life when I wished I was a “normal teenager”. I love being different. That’s one of my favourite things about ballet. I am very grateful I am able to dance everyday. So when things get a little tough I just remind myself of how lucky I am
Q15: Classical or romantic tutu?
Q16: Have you ever suffered a serious injury?
Yes, I fractured my foot last year when my mum accidentally reversed over it in the car. 🤦♀️
Q17: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I live near the beach so in my free time I love to surf and swim. I also love water skiing and wake boarding.😊