Lydia Johnson Dance School Announces Fall Classes in Two Locations, as S.O. President Sheena Collum Welcomes Them to South Orange

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From Lydia Johnson Dance School:

Fall registration is now open for Lydia Johnson Dance School’s beloved nonprofit creative dance classes! Due to a sudden change in the Burgdorff Center’s use policies, LJD will continue to hold classes on Mondays and Thursdays at Burgdorff; however, Wednesday and Saturday classes will now be held at St. Andrew’s Church in South Orange Village. Located on the corner of Ridgewood Rd and South Orange Ave. there is free parking at the SOPAC and NJ Transit lot right across from the back of this historic building, and many spaces are open on both Saturdays and on Wednesday afternoons. 

Laura Di Orio LJD School ballet teacher and Principal LJD dancer performing in a NYC studio showing. Photo by Nir Arieli

South Orange President Sheena Collum has warmly welcomed the school. 

“I’m very happy to welcome this unique nonprofit dance school to South Orange! Lydia and I are excited to partner as LJD plans to expand the school’s Scholarship and Teen Internship programs in South Orange. We also look forward to planning free performances in South Orange which will be donated by the professional LJD troupe!”

Classes will be on the same schedule with a few exciting additional choices on Wednesdays. LJD has been welcomed by the staff and the Board at St Andrew’s, where classes will be held in the lovely Choir Room or the spacious Parish Hall. The professional dancers who teach classes will continue on the same schedule. LJD is a nonprofit NJ 501C3 organization and rents any spaces used. There is no affiliation with the religious orientation of the church. 

LJD Student Company performs in NYC. Photo by Nir Arieli

LJD is an alternative to commercial dance education, offering a warm, nurturing, non-competitive approach, which features professional dancers who love teaching and a curriculum with a focus on both technique and the skill of choreography. The composition element is taught and coached by Lydia Johnson, whose choreography has been acclaimed in The New York Times, Dance Informa, Dance View Times and Critical Dance, and about whom the The New Yorker has recently commented, “Johnson is a craftsman and a poet.” 

The professional Company is honored to be invited back to perform at The Fairfield County Dance Festival in Connecticut on July 25. The Company and Student Company will both perform in Maplewood Village as part of the Maplewood Summer Streets series on Friday night July 28 at 6:30, followed by the jazz band Blue Sphere. 

Classes and registration can be found here: The professional Company is here:

LJD professionals dancers with Lydia: from left Craig Hall (Guest Artist from New York City Ballet ), Lydia Johnson, Laura Di Orio, Katie Lohiya and Malik Williams in the Studio. Photo by Dmitry Beryozkin

Info on the new South Orange location! 

South Orange is of course Maplewood’s sister town and has a wealth of wonderful shops and restaurants, parks and playgrounds! Right down the street from St Andrew’s is The Order, a popular café; across the avenue is the duck pond and Flood’s Hill, with a playground at Cameron Field. Three Daughters Baking Co. is on Vose Ave, and Jackie and Son is a few blocks down on the avenue! Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream is near Starbucks on Sloan Street across from Miti Miti – such a fun spot with tacos and more. These are just a few of the choices in the Village of South Orange. 

Registration for all classes is open now! Keep in mind, many classes last fall had waiting lists, so do register soon. For questions and information, email to set up a time to talk with Lydia. 

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