The Creative Approach

Excellence   Creativity   Nurturing   Community

A not-for-profit, fine arts dance school linked to our New York professional company.

At the LJD School, every child is a dance maker! 


Dance to Great Ballet Music For 3-5 year olds  M,W, F 9:30-10:30 am July 5-9 and/or July 12-16


This one hour creative ballet class will be held M,W,F  from 9:30-10:30 and will introduce very young dancers to the music of great ballet composers in a child oriented and imaginative way. Our little dancers will continue to learn the pre- ballet basics as well as expanding into a wider ballet experience! Using the basic story lines of ballets by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Aaron Copeland our 3-5 year olds will add their own free -dancing to these great ballets. The class will take place at The Burgdorff Center in Maplewood Village and given this beautiful location we will include a “nature and dance” walk around the grounds each day. There will be several guest musicians playing instruments and discussing rhythm and harmony as well.



Dance Camp 2021: July 5-9 and July 12-16. 

For rising 3rd grade and up, Middle School and High School Intern Program 


The LJD Dance Camp allows young dance lovers of every level to explore dance in depth with our professional dancers who dance in the LJD Company in New York.


We offer a creative, fine arts approach as an alternative to commercial studio dance education. Each year children at this esteemed creative camp find their own niche and blossom with confidence as they learn to experience the art of making their own dances! The program is full of warmth, fun and exciting activities.  

This year we will be dancing outside on The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts patio and lawns. Small groups with parent permission may dance inside the studio with windows open. masks required in all locations. 


 It will be wonderful to be dancing in person once again and enjoying the beautiful location of this historic building!  We are truly looking forward to resuming in person. The LJD Company dancers will be teaching and will share excerpts of our professional repertory as safety allows.  


Laura .jpg

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

  • Facebook
  • Instagram




"My daughter lives for her LJD classes.

The joy on her face is contagious!"

LJD Mom Meg P.