30 Under 30: Jyla Davis, 28
After travelling and performing in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, professional dancer Jyla Davis is now focused on fostering young talent in her hometown.
Davis is the owner and director at Ladner's Studio West Dance, which she bought three years ago.
"It's just boomed. It's absolutely been a huge success," she says.
She is also the main instructor at Delta Secondary School's Dance Academy—currently in its inaugural year—where high school students receive professional training in technique, choreography and performance.
Davis started her own dance training at around five years old, became competitive in her youth and won scholarships to continue her training in New York, L.A. and Toronto.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a long list of professional successes, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Her musical theatre credits include Peter Pan, Cats and Thoroughly Modern Millie, to name a few. She was an actor in Nickelodeon's TV movie Spectacular! and she danced for Avril Lavigne in the 2006 Olympic closing ceremonies in Torino, Italy. Davis was also performance director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
"And now I'm back in my hometown and I want to just give back to the community," she says.
Davis strives to offer her students the highest-quality training so they can decide if dance is something they want to pursue professionally and, if that's the case, they will have the skills to do so.
"I want my students to be really versatile and be strong in all genres of dance," Davis says.
When she is not teaching, Davis still finds time to perform and is part of the TapTastic tap dance group.