school

“And Lydia Johnson Dance, a company based in South Orange, N.J., performed a show of Johnson’s works that demonstrated perhaps the most organic choreographic fusion of ballet and modern-dance techniques ever invented.” Lisa Jo, Sagolla Backstage Magazine, 2009

New Jersey's Top Dance Program

The Lydia Johnson Dance School is honored to have been selected as the best dance program and one of only 4 arts programs praised in the October issue of the Millburn/Short Hills Magazine.

School & Company Photos

See photos of our students at work on Shutterfly!

Lydia Johnson Dance (LJD) teaches a unique blend of Dance Technique and Choreography. No prior dance training is necessary. Unlike most other dance programs LJD believes that technique is best learned as children use their creative energy to compose their own dance works. In discovering the power of different movements and vocabularies, students become motivated to increase their technical range. The works presented at the end of each class series are totally choreographed by students using the compositional techniques that have been worked on throughout the semester.

classes

All classes and school performances happen at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Rd in Maplewood.

Special Four-Week Workshop

Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz in ONE class!

Mondays: May 14, 21 and June 4 and 11

This exciting class will include a ballet barre given by Tammi Shamblin and a contemporary- and jazz-oriented center taught by Camille Mireku. This format will allow dancers to experience the direct ways in which a strong ballet base affects a dancer's technique in a number of other styles! The additional jazz combinations will be Broadway jazz-based and thrilling to dance!

Mondays 4:30-5:30 grades K–2
Mondays 5:30-6:30 grades 3–5
Mondays 6:30-7:30 grades 6–12

Total Fee for the 4 Class Workshop: $116. Register online or by mail.
(Considering donating $24 to the LJD Scholarship Fund and making your total $140)

News About Classes and Performances

LJD Dance Sampler

Due to the huge success of an “LJD Sampler” class held in the past, we’ve decided to offer it again for 1st-4th graders on Saturdays from 10:30-11:30am beginning February 22nd. The class will be taught by our wonderful instructor, Sherrell Bush, and will include a ballet barre, contemporary center, hip hop phrases and choreography! Let your child get a taste of all we have offer and find their niche! Classes run for 12 weeks at a rate of $364.

Summer Dance Camp 2014

Sign Up Now

Dance Camp Begins Monday July 7, and runs through Friday July 25, 9 AM until 1 PM. It takes place at the Burgdorff Center, Maplewood Village. Enroll for 1, 2 or 3 weeks.

Learn more...

Registration Is Open For Winter-Spring 2014 Sessions!

Winter-Spring 2013-2014 Classes

Classes begin February 1

Mondays / Ballet

4:00 - 4:45 PM: Intro to Ballet and Choreography (Pre K/K, 4-5 yr. olds)

This class focuses on the basic structures of early ballet technique while allowing children to experience a joyous exploration of movement! The choreography portion of the class encourages a growing awareness of the use of dance technique as a creative tool. The class does not culminate in the usual recital, but rather the children will share their progress with their families and friends at an Open Class at the end of the semester.

Instructors: Tammi Shamblin with Lydia Johnson

4:45 - 5:45 PM: Ballet and Choreography I (Grades 1-2)

This unique class is broken into two segments with LJD Company member Tammi Shamblin teaching a Royal Academy based ballet class followed by Lydia Johnson teaching beginning Choreography. At this age children are able to compose using choreographic tools such as: levels, theme and variation, canons, movement dynamics and spatial design. LJD classes allow children to explore the process of choreography as a learnable skill. The class culminates in a student showing of works in progress.

Instructors: Tammi Shamblin with Lydia Johnson

5:45 - 6:45 PM: Ballet and Choreography II (Grades 3-5 including beginners).

6:45 - 8:00 PM: New Level: Ballet and Choreography IV (Grades 9-12 including beginners)

We are changing our Ballet classes at this level to reflect skill level as well as age.

This is our most advanced class in Ballet and Choreography. The suggested age group for this class is 9th — 12th grades, however the class requires the completion of the Ballet III (now being offer on Tuesdays from 5-6:30) or the equivalent. (NOTE: Middle School dancers who have been attending this class in the fall of 2013 are allowed to continue in the Spring of 2014 if they cannot change their schedule to attend the Ballet III on Tuesdays)

If unsure of your child's placement level please contact Lydia at Lydia@lydiajohnsondance.org.

Instructors: Tammi Shamblin with Lydia Johnson

All Monday Classes Will Meet:
February 3 (cancelled), 10, 24
March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
April 7, 28
May 5, 12, 19
June 2, 9

Evening showing of student choreography for Ballet I, II: May 19 7pm.

Evening showing of student choreography for Ballet IV: May 19 8:15pm.

Open class day for Intro to Ballet: June 9..

This class focuses on the basic structures of early ballet technique while allowing children to experience a joyous exploration of movement! The choreography portion of the class encourages a growing awareness of the use of dance technique as a creative tool. The class does not culminate in the usual recital, but rather the children will show short pieces of choreography at the end of the semester.

Tuesdays / Intro to Ballet and Choreography

4:15 - 5:00 PM: Intro to Ballet and Choreography (Pre K/K, 4-5 yr. olds)

This class focuses on the basic structures of early ballet technique while allowing children to experience a joyous exploration of movement! The choreography portion of the class encourages a growing awareness of the use of dance technique as a creative tool. The class does not culminate in the usual recital, but rather the children will share their progress with their families and friends at an Open Class at the end of the semester.

Instructor: Jennifer Barrer-Gall

5:00 - 6:00 PM: New Level: Ballet and Choreography III (Grades 6-8)

We are changing our Ballet classes at this level to reflect skill level as well as age.

This is our third level class in Ballet and Choreography. The suggested age group for this class is 6th-8th grades, however the class is the place for older total beginners to start. High school students (9th — 12th graders) with no ballet experience will do well in this class for a semester in order to receive and introduction to the basic positions and forms of ballet. If unsure of your child's placement level please contact Lydia at Lydia@lydiajohnsondance.org

Instructor: Jennifer Barrer-Gall

All Tuesday Classes Will Meet:
February 4, 11, 25
March 4, 11, 18, 25
April 1, 8, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27

Open class day for Intro to Ballet: May 27.

Showings of student choreography for Ballet III: May 20 7pm. Students can stay through between 6 and 7pm to practice. Send a light dinner.

Thursdays / Contemporary and Choreography Workshop

4:00 – 5:00 PM: Contemporary and Choreography I (Grades 1-2)

This class focuses on a ballet-based contemporary technique. Using a floor-based warmup and progressing into a center and across the floor section using combinations from a variety of contemporary techniques, the class allows kids to experience the thrill of drop and release, full out modern movement! At this age children are able to compose using choreographic tools such as: levels, theme and variation, canons, movement dynamics and spatial design. LJD classes allow children to explore the process of choreography as a learnable skill. The class culminates in a student showing of works in progress.

Teachers: Katie Martin with Lydia Johnson

5:00 – 6:00 PM Contemporary and Choreography II (3rd — 5th grades)

A ballet-based contemporary technique class which allows for a full experience of drop and release modern movement, this Level II class incorporates additional skills as students grow in their abilities to compose dances. Theme and variation, canons, movement dynamics, spatial design, partnering and group partnering are explored in depth. At this level, children are now using music as a part of their creative process as they experience the use of music as a springboard for choreography. The class culminates in a student showing of works in progress.

Teachers: Katie Martin with Lydia Johnson

6:00 – 7:15 PM Contemporary and Choreography III (6th- 12th grades)

Students in Contemp II who continue with Contemp III will have a break to eat a light supper (please bring something non greasy and easy to eat).

Teachers: Katie Martin with Lydia Johnson

All Thursday Contemporary Classes Will Meet:
February 6, 20, 27
March 6, 13, 20, 27
April 3, 10, 17
May 1, 8, 15, 22

Showings of student choreography for Contemp I: May 15 7:15pm.

Showings of student choreography for Contemp II and III: May 22, 7pm.

Friday Mornings / Ballet for the Very Young!

These classes allows our youngest dancers to experience a joyous
exploration of movement while being introduced to the basic structures of
early, pre- ballet technique.  Through the use of music, shapes, props,
imagery, dynamics and the creative use of imagination, Ms. Pomper creates a
unique atmosphere of exploration and warmth. The final class is an open
class for parents and friends who wish to share what the children have been
learning.

Friday Mornings 10:30 – 11:15 AM
For ages 2.5 through 4 years old, no caregivers required.

Teacher: Rayna Pomper

All Friday Classes Will Meet:
February 7, 21, 28
March 7, 14, 21, 28
April 4, 11
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Open class: May 30.

Saturdays / Creative Ballet

9:30-10:15 Creative Ballet (ages 3-5)

This class for young dancers allows 3-5 year olds to experience both the basic structure of ballet and the creative flow of expressive movement. Taught by our beloved Sherrell Bush and designed by Tammi Shamblin, the class will include opportunities for creative dance work as well as the introduction of ballet positions. Music will be varied and young dancers will experience how it feels to move to different kinds of music. The semester will culminate with an Open Class Day

Taught by Sherrell Bush with a curriculum for young dancers designed by Tammi Shamblin.

Saturdays / Hip Hop

Hip-Hop Saturday Mornings at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood Village

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM Hip Hop (grades 2-12)

This class will focus on both Hip Hop and classic Jazz (Broadway) dance steps and combinations in a creative environment which allows each student to progress at their own pace. Students will learn combinations based on Hip Hop and Jazz and use these moves as a springboard for their own choreography in this genre. Taught by Sherrell Bush and Guest Artists from New York, the class will have a distinctive vocabulary not taught in our Contemporary and is a great opportunity for experiencing and working in an expanded dance vocabulary.

Teacher: Sherrell Bush

Saturdays / Sampler

10:30 11:30 AM Saturday Sampler (grades 1-4)

The Sampler will include a ballet barre, contemporary center, hip hop phrases and choreography! Let your child get a taste of all we have offer and find their niche! Classes run for 12 weeks at a rate of $364.

Teacher: Sherrell Bush

All Saturday Classes Will Meet:
February 1, 8, 22
March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
April 5, 12
May 3, 10, 17, 31

Open class for Creative Ballet: May 31.

Showings of student choreography for Sampler & Hip Hop II: May 17 11:30am.

To Register
On Line
:

Registration for the winter-spring session is opens December 1.

Paying With PayPal: We are pleased to announce our new on-line registration system for those paying for classes with PayPal. Click here to access our new system. If you have any problems please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Should you have any problem completing the process, please contact our administrator Ellen at ljdschool@yahoo.com. She will do her best to get back to you within 24 hours with assistance. Be assured that we will place your child�s name on the appropriate class list while we work through the difficulty and their class space will be reserved.

Paying By Check: If you wish to pay by check download and print out our registration form. Or here for our Friday morning Ballet for the Very Young form. Please print, complete and mail in the form along with your payment.

Scholarship students: Those wishing to apply for a scholarship or tuition reduction must complete our scholarship registration form and forward to Lydia by January 24th. After the 24th, applications will be considered if scholarships are available. Decisions will be made based on need and our limited scholarship availability. All families must complete the registration form even if they have received scholarships in the past.

Class Fees:

Fees for Monday and Tuesday Intro to Ballet, Friday Ballet for the Very Young, and Saturday Creative Ballet are $375. Other courses are $425 for one-hour classes and $450 for 1 1/4-hour classes.

2nd and 3rd Class discount: Two or three classes for the same child are $100 off for each of the 2nd and 3rd classes.

Refund Policy

We offer a complete refund after the first class has been tried. We offer a refund of the semester fee minus $40 after the second class. We offer a refund of the semester fee minus $100 after the third class.

After the third class there are no further refunds for dropping out of the class.

Special Events

During the semester dancers from the company will perform as guest artists, demonstrating partnering, phrasing and performing excerpts from LJD’s repertory. Our dancers all have extensive teaching experience and love to work with kids!

Instructor Bios

Ballet

Rayna Pomper has taught ballet for preschoolers and Kindergarten in a number of settings in New Jersey for the last five years. Ms. Pomper studied ballet herself at The Princeton Ballet and performed with the Company as a student dancer. She continued her dance studies at Connecticut College. Ms Pomper is a founding board member of Lydia Johnson Dance and has a deep, life-long love of dance and music, which informs her exuberant teaching of our youngest dancers.

Tammi Shamblin majored in ballet while at the University of Utah. Returning to her hometown of Sacramento, she danced with Sacramento Ballet and Capitol City Ballet. While there she choreographed and presented work, and taught children through adults. She currently is a member of the faculty at Ballet Tech, Eliot Feld's Public School for Ballet, located in Manhattan. She has taught for Brooklyn Ballet, Dance New Amsterdam, Young Dancer's in Repertory and she has recently enjoyed teaching abroad in Panama. In NYC, she has performed with LJD and ad hoc Ballet. She looks forward to another amazing season with the students of LJD.

Contemporary/Modern

Katie Martin, originally from Chicago, IL, began her early training at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts and the Lou Conte Dance Studio. She continued her training on scholarship at Point Park University and studied abroad in Paris, France. After moving to NYC Ms. Martin completed her BFA in dance graduating Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College. While at Marymount she had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Benoit-Swan Pouffer, May O'Donnel, John Butler, and Erick Hawkins. Further training included the Hubbard Street Summer Intensive, American Dance Festival, and the Merce Cunningham School where she was awarded a scholarship.

Ms. Martin's professional career includes performances with the Long Island Dance Project, The Synthesis Aesthetics Project, and Lydia Johnson Dance. She is also a member of the Fly By Night Dance Theater.

In addition to performing Ms. Martin has always had a passion for teaching. While in Chicago she taught at the Trilogy Performing Arts Center where she also choreographed for the school. In NYC Katie has been on faculty at the Long Island Dance Project, Astoria School of Fine Arts, and most recently Ballet Academy East. Ms. Martin has been certified in the Barre Pro Method and will also be teaching soon at the Pilates Pro Studio. She is very excited to join the staff at Lydia Johnson Dance.

Hip Hop

Sherrell Bush has worked with LJD for the past four years and currently majors in both public relations and dance at Hofstra University. In 2010 she was appointed as one of the teaching artists for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Sherrell is a CHS graduate and prior member of CHS's dance troupe. She began working with LJD as an intern in 2007. After graduating from County College of Morris, where she majored in dance, she began teaching LJD classes at the Burgdorff Center, SOPAC and The Far Brook School. Sherrell is currently the assistant director of the LJD Dance Camp. She instructs in modern, jazz, and hip hop, and is deeply influenced by a wide selection of other dance forms. Sherrell has taught at a number of dance institutions across New Jersey

In 2006, Sherrell received a performing arts award for choreography and performance from CCM for a choreographic work that premiered at the University of Buffalo. She received a 2005 performing arts award for her debut musical theater role, as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical. Other productions include Hofstra's University's, A Soldier's Tale, Annie Get Your Gun, NJ Dance Center's The Nutcracker, and various works for both CCM Dance Theater, Montclair State University Dance Repertory, Hofstra University Dance Repertory. Her music video and television credits include "So You Think You Can Dance" and the music video "Touch" for recording artist Kena Sage.

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