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! 



Our IN PERSON outdoor classes start in APRIL 2021!  


LATE WINTER 5 FUN Classes Safe at Home Series Starts FEBRUARY 2021


Ballet with a CREATIVE Twist! K -10th

Contemporary with a JAZZ Twist! 1st -10th

Saturday Creative Ballet for 3-5 year olds

Saturday Classes

Creative Ballet for Ages 3yrs- 5 yrs (Preschool and Kindergarten )

Saturdays: 5 Sessions. 9:30 am - 10:15 am

 February 27 & March 6,13, 20, 27 

Monday Classes 

Ballet with a CREATIVE Twist!

Mondays: 5 sessions

February 22, & March 1,8,15,22

Level 2 (3rd- 5th) 5:15pm -6:45pm 

Level 3: (6th- 10th) 5:15pm-6:45pm 

( please not Ballet level 1 is now offered on THURSDAYS - see below) 


Thursday Classes 

Contemporary with a JAZZ Twist! 

Thursdays: 5 sessions

February 25 & March 4,11,18,25

Level 2: (3rd- 5th) 5:15pm -6:45pm 

Level 3: (6th- 10th) 5:15pm-6:45pm 

Ballet with a CREATIVE Twist 

February 25 & March 4,11,18,25

Level 1: (K-2nd) 4:00pm -5:00pm

THE LJD SCHOOL'S  SAFE AT HOME DANCE CLASSES continue this winter with our new expanded virtual curriculum! Both uplifting and engaging, our curriculum has been fine-tuned during our successful spring and summer programs. As we added more interactive elements, and our students began to use the Zoom technology creatively, our young dancers progressed technically and creatively. By including time for thoughtful discussions our classes encourage young dancers to interact with each other and their teachers in ways that counteract feelings of isolation and are meaningful. The warm and non-competitive feeling we have developed in our live classes shine through in our Zoom classes as well with lots of good humor and fun! 

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

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"My daughter lives for her LJD classes.

The joy on her face is contagious!"

LJD Mom Meg P. 

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