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! 


Saturdays: June 6,13, 20

For ages 3-6- Intro and Creative Ballet

9:30- 10:00 am

This class is a joyful dance experience combining our Intro to ballet with our Creative ballet curriculum with ballet basics woven into songs, stories, free dance sequences and a weekly surprise!


For Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd graders- 3 Classic Story Ballets

10:15- 11:00 am

This class will include ballet basics in the context of experiencing 3 of the most important of the story ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Hear the story and dance to the incredible music of these ballets following a beginning ballet sequence to keep our technique progressing.   


Thursdays: June 4,11,18

Dance Exploration

Level 1: 1st & 2nd at 4:45- 5:30pm/ Level 2: 3rd- 5th at 5:45- 6:30pm/ Level 3: 6th grade &up at 6:45- 7:45pm

In this exciting and varied dance experience workshop each week we will offer one of the following workshops: Hip Hop, Broadway Jazz and Contemporary with LJD Repertory. 

From Lydia: 
Despite our true sadness at not being able to hold our acclaimed camp on site at the beloved Burgdorff Center as we have for years, we are excited about our summer 2020 dance camp at home curriculum. Our new lower tuition rates reflect this change. This spring we have seen such growth and joy in our Zoom classes that we are inspired to create as upbeat and meaningful a curriculum as possible. Holly, Laura, Katie and I are honored to be working with our LJD students who have shown great resilience, creativity and kindness toward each other even as they navigate this difficult situation. 
We are now offering 2 camp choice for full info on each camp click here:
Mini Dance Camp for 3-6 yr olds: 1 hour 9:30-10:30, 3 days a week (M,W,F) for 3-6 year olds . The tuition is $60 a week. 
Dance Camp for1st grade though early high school: 2 Hours 9:30-11:30 M-F 
The tuition is $195 per week. 

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. 

 LJD School classes take place at  The Burgdorff Performing Arts Center

10 Durand Rd in Maplewood, NJ 07040

All professional photos by

Liz Zenobi Photography

Proudly created with