Layla Amis, a native of Florida, attended New World College of The Arts in Miami on full scholarship. She continued her education in Chicago, training with Biruite Barodicaite, Anna Czaun, Jonathan Levy, Elana Anderson, Kevin Iega Jeff, Hubbard Street Chicago and on full scholarship at Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center.
Layla has danced professionally with New World Modern Dance Company, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and as a principal dancer with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, the Gail Gilbert Dance Ensemble and Moving People Dance Santa Fe. She has performed works by Mia Michaels, Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Tomi Paasonen, Gail Gilbert, Robert Moses, Nora Reynolds, Raoul Trujillio, Rulan Tangen, Kevin Wynn and Sam Watson.
In 1998 Layla moved to Santa Fe, NM and served as Artistic Director for Dance Arts Los Alamos for two years. In 1999 Layla co-founded Moving People Dance Santa Fe, a non-profit professional contemporary dance company and school. Layla served as School Director and co-Artistic director for Moving People Dance Santa Fe for five years, teaching ballet, modern dance technique and repertoire, as well as producing, directing and choreographing for over 20 pre-professional and professional productions.
In 2005 Layla accepted the position of School Director for Alonzo King's LINES Ballet in San Francisco. During her time at LINES Layla helped build the LINES Ballet Summer Program to one of the premiere Summer Intensive programs in the country, along with creating a Year Round Training Program for young pre-professionals and Discovery Project, a national outreach program.
In 2009, Layla returned to New Mexico to serve as Executive Director for Moving People Dance Santa Fe. Currently, Layla is the co-Director of Modas Dance and teaches and choreographs for various dance organizations around the country.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Cooper currently living in San Francisco. However
having spent a considerable amount of time growing up in NYC and the Bay
Area, he considers himself a native of both coast. Over his carrier he danced with
two major companies, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem, the
latter with whom he was a principal dancer with for 9 years. His travels touring
with these companies have taken him all over the world. Including guesting with
various dance companies as New York City Ballet, Royal Birmingham Ballet,
Washington Ballet, Miami International Dance Festival and many more.
In 2004, Mr. Cooper retired from dancing full time, feeling it was time for for him to start spending the majority of his time giving back in the form teaching, coaching & choreographing. Until 2007, Mr. Cooper was also involved in and part creator of a National Outreach Program for kids at risk, called Athletes For Kids (AFK), involving professional dancers and star professional.
When time permits, Mr. Cooper continues to take advantage of opportunities to dance as a freelance dancer on various dance projects and galas nationally and internationally. He also continues to be apart of the Lines Ballet School teaching staff & New York City Dance Alliance. Currently he is also co-creator & Director of a new National Summer Program called Modas Dance Summer Intensive. Extended bio available at