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Creativity, Joy & Community

in a Nonprofit, Non-competitive Setting 


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You will find a warm and welcoming atmosphere with

child-centered values waiting for you at LJD

Enjoy an acclaimed program that's creative, non-competitive and embraces your child's joyful dancing

Your young dancer will thrive as they widen their technical range

and create their own dances

Your whole family will get to know our inspired teachers who

dance professionally in New York with the LJD Company​

3 convenient locations in Maplewood and South Orange

Simple semester by semester tuition and registration

Scholarship and Teen Intern Programs   

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A Creative Approach

with structured & focused skill building. 

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Dance Class for kids
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Our school offers a warm, non-competitive atmosphere which encourages young dancers to feel confident and to use their creativity as they skill build. Studying at LJD includes an unparalleled opportunity to work directly with acclaimed choreographer Lydia Johnson and her dancers who have received accolades from prestigious New York dance writers over many years. The LJD School's creative approach was developed right in our community as Lydia lives in South Orange and brought her 3 children up here - all of whom attended SOMA schools. This fusion of a highly accomplished choreographer and her dance company with a local dance school is totally unique and allows students exposure to the creation and performance of dance at a professional level in an immediate and personal way. Every class includes Lydia's choreography curriculum which is structured carefully for each age group. Company dancers teach many classes as well as to hold open rehearsals .


For most children dance education is a springboard to a life of varied creativity in many realms and we aim to foster a deep enjoyment and understanding of the arts. Join us in a warm and joyful approach to dance education that has long been a part of our local area communities!

“Johnson is a craftsman and a poet; her works, which stress the ensemble and attend closely to the music, have an ebb and flow in addition to a strong emotional current. The basis of her technique is ballet, and her dancers are strong. The program at New York Live Arts includes four works, two of them new, set to a variety of musical styles, from Handel to Golijov”  The New Yorker

"What seems to count most for Ms. Johnson is music.  The four pieces...all showed uncommon skill at matching ballet movement to music, both at the large scale of structure and in small, felicitous details.  Her orchestration of bodies, adding and subtracting, followed the texture of the music wonderfully, coordinating closely with each score's formal drama"   The New York Times

"Her quiet but penetrating choreography uses the music in unexpected ways...The final movement was stunning, as the women, formerly in white tunics, changed into black leotards and formed silhouetted lines as the movements rippled backwards and forwards through the group, a haunting and memorable picture of a community." 

                                 Dance View Times

Press Quotes on the professional site: 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram

"My daughter lives for her LJD classes.

The joy on her face is contagious!"

LJD Mom Meg P. 

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