eet Layla Abdo, 11, from Stars Dance Studio in Miami, FL.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started dancing at a really young at age 3. My mom took me to a performance and I asked: “what are they doing on the stage, I want to do that.” Since then I’ve been working hard and have become really dedicated to the art of dance.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been easy pursuing dance. I am not naturally flexible and most aspects of dance are challenging to me. But I’ve actually used this time during quarantine to work on my weaknesses. I’ve been training in tap and working on my musicality.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I do struggle with negative self-talk so a lot of time the limitations are the ones I put on myself by thinking I can’t do something or that I’m not good enough.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
I have had others try to encourage me to train in one genre of dance and it just didn’t feel right for me at the time. I decided to train in as many genres as possible because I am young and want to be able to explore what I love or what I may grow to love.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I actually have a positive thought jar that is full of inspirational quotes. When I have negative thoughts in my head I try to block it out.
What is your favorite quote?
Be the reason someone feels welcome, seen, heard, valued, loved, and supported.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m attending Radix’s virtual nationals which I’ve very excited about.