People That You Meet” is a series of interviews conducted and posted by the Vanessa Pollock Team/Keller Williams, highlighting residents of the South Orange-Maplewood community and their diverse and interesting lives.
This installment is an interview with Lydia Johnson, choreographer for ‘Lydia Johnson Dance’.
What town do you live in?
- South Orange
Where did you live before that?
- New York City- the West Village
What brought you to SOMA?
- I wanted more natural space and green for my children and I still needed to get to NYC for rehearsals so this area was perfect!
What do you do (for a living or as a serious hobby)?
- I’m a choreographer with a professional dance company “Lydia Johnson Dance”. We rehearse & perform in New York and have performed at SOPAC. The LJD School holds ballet, contemporary and choreography classes at The Burgdorf Center in Maplewood Village taught by our company members . It’s a creative approach which is quite different from commercial dance studios . As part of our mission as a not- for- profit we have a scholarship program which provided $25,000 in scholarships last year to kids who otherwise would not be able to pursue their passion for dance!
What’s your favorite feature of your home?
- An old fashioned porch!
Where do you love to go on a date night?
- To hear music in NYC or locally at Trumpets, Hat City Kitchen or SOPAC
What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 5 years?
- Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
What’s something that amazes you?
- The beauty and kindness of many people when you least expect it!
Describe your family:
- I have three wonderful twenty- something kids: Evan, Zander and Phoebe. They all grew up here and went to SOMA schools and graduated from CHS. Evan and Zander are making films together now and Phoebe is directing theater in New York ! They live in Brooklyn and Queens . I’m so very lucky they are nearby! Evan and his lovely fiancée Katelyn are getting married on October.
Favorite local place to eat?
- Parkwood Diner!
Of all the places you’ve traveled, which is your favorite?
- A cottage in Maine with no electricity. It’s down a winding dirt road a mile from the nearest house overlooking Cobscook Bay.
- Peaceful interludes in nature.
What inspires you?
How would you describe your “style”?
- Casual but funky, dresses, sneakers, black white and grey.
Coffee or tea?
Also, Do you have a charity or organization that you are passionate about?
- In addition to LJD School Scholarship Fund, I support a small organization in NYC called GEMS. Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of girls and young women by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth.
People That You Meet: https://vanessapollock.com/people-that-you-meet/