Layla Taj was born in Long Beach, New York. Her journey in the performing arts began as a child when Layla's mother, a native Greek/Egyptian aristocrat (beauty queen of GAPA and SAG actress/singer) matriculated Layla in ballet classes at the Rockville Center Ballet Academy of dance, and in oriental dance when she was just nine years old. Dance training and classical piano indoctrination was also part of Layla's itinerary on a daily basis . Following her academics in school, Layla composed numerous music demos and acquired three major record deals. She was branded a successful recording artist landing her A hit single on the Billboard chart. Her career set the high standard of artist professionalism early on in the Performing Arts but Layla longed to return to her first love " Dancing. "
Layla sought out primary master teachers overseas who were notable, She was dedicated to learning the classical style of Egyptian Orientale and not fusion which was so popular in New York. She soon discovered top master teachers residing in Germany so Layla migrated to Europe and began seeking out workshops with the master teachers from Cairo such as Raqia Hassan, Mahmoud Reda and Mohammed Gadawwi. Mohammed Gadawwi met up with Layla one evening with her friend in Belin at an Arabic nightclub. he saw the charisma and talent layla possessed when she danced. He bluntly remarked
" There are dancers and there are stars, Layla is a star ! ". This comment coming from a master's master teacher fueled her artistic impetus for years to come.
Layla then focused on her goals, she created signature choreographies and designed lavish costumes, she set out to become the upper echelon of star dancers. Immersed in intensive training like that of an athlete, Layla's dedication paid off and she was being noticed by the International Dance industry. Layla was requested to perform in the Gala show at the Stockholm Belly Dance Festival in Sweden. From that point, her career began to accelerate. She auditioned for general managers at the top 5-7 star hotels and resorts in the middle east. The general mangers took notice and She procured several contracts to perform as the principle in house dancer at The Hyatt Regency, The Ritz carlton in Sharm el Sheikh Egypt and the Sheraton Towers and casino in Cairo, Egypt. She was then summoned to dance for Saudi royalty as well as leaders of the countries in the royal mansions on the resort grounds. Food and beverage manager Adel Saadt called Layla "The classiest and most beautiful dancer I've ever seen. " and he has seen them all!
Layla continued her explorations and journeyed onto Dubai, UAE. Upon honoring her contract Layla was offered an additional contract in Cairo at the Semiramis Hotel along with Egyptian Dancer Dina but she turned it down politely. Layla says ” The management offered to help me acquire an apartment in Cairo living independently and offered to put together an orchestra of 21 musicians for me, dancing 3 nights a week when "Dina (famous Egyptian star dancer) " was not performing, but I wasn’t interested in paying rent or living outside of the hotel independently." she adds "also Performing very late at night in an extremely smoke filled room was not appealing to me. I really detest cigarette smoke. " So After Cairo, Layla returned to Sharm el Sheikh for yet another contract where the resort provided a new condo and a personal driver for her to travel to and from the resort. Layla says " I was the first tenant in the new complex but I felt secure there." After five years of gathering experience in Egypt, Layla returned to the states and graced world news publications making headlines. She was given the honorific " The Dancing Queen " in several newspapers. She was hired by the Egyptian tourist Authority and the united nations to dance for the Ambassador Youssef Zada of Egypt and other foreign diplomats and dignitaries. She was also honored to be invited to a private luncheon for Zahi Hawas (Famous Egyptian Archaeologist) to welcome into Nyc the famous exhibition of King Tut.
Shortly after, Layla wanted to relocate to a warmer tropical climate, so she took the advice of a friend and moved to Southwest Florida. It wasn't long before word spread across counties that " Layla Taj " was in town. Requests began to pour in almost immediately for weddings, and Layla had the honor of performing for what was termed "The Wedding of the Century" at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. Layla says " out of all the innumerable weddings of which I've performed in the world, I didn't anticipate the most impressive to be in Sarasota, Florida. " And again , world News Publications and journalists put her in the headlines calling out to it's readers to see her Breathtaking shows.
In 2020 Layla created a non-profit Corporation. She is the president of “ The Egyptian Cultural Performing Arts Society Inc. " It's only one of its kind in the United States and is dedicated to educating the public about Egypt by presenting a mesmerizing multi-media cultural program. The program combines historical folkloric dances of Egypt combined with modern Raqs Sharqi numbers. It has received Rave Reviews and her cleopatra VII has earned her notoriety among the Ivy League universities and libraries.
Layla Taj has carved her own path and signature style in the industry by raising the bar and exceeding above other dancers with majestic performances that Classify her as a well respected dance artist of very high standard.
it's no wonder Her resume reads like an artist's dream.