Your children deserve the best training available, in a safe, clean and inspiring environment. The Dance Academy of North Jersey provides the unique opportunity for its students to work with professional dancers and choreographers having credentials not available anywhere under one roof outside NYC and LA. Nine, large, modern dance studios and spacious lounges provide state-of-the-market facilities for dancers and parents. Our programs are tailored for a broad spectrum of interests, from children taking one class per week, to those taking a full curriculum as members of our competition team, to those preparing for university/conservatory programs or professional positions in dance companies and/or theater. Before you make your choice, review the programs and curriculum; meet the faculty and directors; tour the facilities; and make sure you are getting the following:
Before you make your choice, review the programs and curriculum; meet the faculty and directors; tour the facilities; and make sure you are getting the following:
DANJ provides children of all ages the unique opportunity to train with top instructors, choreographers, and dancers. Jason Luks, our Artistic Director, leads an incredible team of dance educators including on and off-Broadway performers, members of leading dance companies, and professional choreographers. Our faculty have graduated from, and currently serve as faculty members and guest choreographers for many of the most prestigious university-based and conservatory dance programs including NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, The Juilliard School, Ailey, Marymount Manhattan, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and others such as Broadway Dance Center and Steps. Many of them are also members of highly esteemed dance companies such as Keigwin + Co, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Phoenix Project Dance, Pilobolus, The Difference Between, Mark Morris, and others. Three of the last four annual Capezio A.C.E. Awards winners are members of our choreography staff. In addition to teaching at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway, our faculty are frequently called on to teach for convention workshops including JUMP, NYCDA, The Pulse, Adrenaline, ADA, Legacy, VIP, SHOCK and more. “What makes DANJ different is that your dancers have the unique opportunity to work in-studio, every week with these gifted professionals.” [Randy Skinner, Director and Choreographer of Dames At Sea]
DANJ’s comprehensive curriculum includes a solid foundation in ballet for all its students. The youngest dancers learn the basics of ballet movement and rhythm in preschool and combo (e.g., ballet/tap) classes. At the age of six, many children begin to take classes focused on specific styles of dance such as ballet, tap, jazz, acro, hip hop and lyrical. As they move from the beginner level to more advanced levels, the children are introduced to musical theater, modern, and contemporary styles. Once they have a solid foundation, the dancers can take pre-pointe classes to help prepare them to progress to pointe. In addition, DANJ provides the opportunity to discuss nutrition, dance history, etiquette, and injury prevention - all as appropriate based on the dancer’s age and maturity. “The focus on technique at DANJ is evident on day one for visiting professional faculty. I taught the same curriculum at DANJ Ballet Bootcamp that I teach at The Juilliard School. I look forward to seeing many of your dancers on stage in the future.” [Mathew Powell, The Juilliard School 2015 Faculty]
The Dance Academy of North Jersey studio includes nine, large, ultra-modern studios in over 20,000 square feet of newly renovated space. All of the dance floors are professional sprung for safety and finished with wood and the highest quality dance industry synthetic surfaces. All of the rooms are heated and air-conditioned with home/office quality systems. Spacious lounges for parents and children provide comfort while waiting for your children and a supportive environment for children to do homework, store their personal belongings, and snack when they have time between classes. The parent lounge features large screen TVs for every dance room, and WIFI is available throughout the facility. All of the rooms are cleaned daily. “DANJ embraces the standards and utilizes the same infrastructure professionals as the leading universities and training centers including BDC, Steps, Boston Conservatory and SAB.” [Christopher Grant, CMG]
DANJ holds its annual recitals in early June. The recital is for all students who wish to participate - enabling them show their friends and family what they have learned throughout the year. The recital is also an opportunity for parents to observe our students from beginners to advanced level dancers - providing a preview of what to expect in the future. Our faculty choose music and costumes, and develop original choreography, appropriate for each group. Each year a different theme is selected, complimented by a beautiful backdrop and decorations. The recital facility is local, modern, spacious, and air conditioned and includes: dedicated rooms for the students to be safe while the are preparing for or waiting to go on stage; a large, modern theater with comfortable seating; a large stage that we cover with professional “marley” flooring - providing a safer surface for all styles of dance; and a professional sound system. DANJ also takes every opportunity to perform at benefit concerts. Over the past several years, we have brought pieces to Broadway Cares/DRA at the Joyce in NYC, and IMPRESSIONS I-V at Symphony Space in NYC. “After performing with DANJ at Symphony Space for the past five years, it is clear that their dancers are well prepared for the professional dance world. Their technique is beyond their years and they appreciate the artistry of their amazing choreographers.” [Chaz Buzan, Madonna principal dancer, The Difference Between, Radix]
Many of DANJ’s graduates have gone on to dance after high school — some as dance majors in universities, others in conservatories and many as dance minors or members of dance teams. If, when the time comes, your child chooses to pursue dance as a career, our programs include mentoring from alumni and current students from the nations top university and conservatory dance programs, members of leading dance companies and professionals in the musical theater industry. “The professionalism and personal care in nurturing and training its students sets DANJ among the best university dance preparation programs in the nation.” [Myra Daleng, Director of Dance Emeritus, The University of Richmond]
DANJ continues to provide dance training thru the summer. We believe that the summer is a great time for children to try new things, push themselves to the next level, or simply maintain their skills so that they can start the next year ready to progress. Summer is also a great time to make new friends and meet many guest faculty. Throughout the course of a year, we offer master classes taught by guest professionals from across the country. They each bring different styles of dance and teaching. Like all classes at DANJ, these classes are open to everyone — guests as well as DANJ students. “The Summer Tech program at DANJ was a great way for me to stay consistent with my training during the summers while I was in high school. What's wonderful about DANJ's Summer program is it offers a wide variety of styles taught by influential artists from New York as well as around the country. DANJ is always a comfortable space to train with friends and offers a safe yet challenging environment that keeps you focused on your dancing during the summer months.”
[Conner Borman, Juilliard ’16]
The Dance Academy of North Jersey competition team is a group of young women and men with similar interests who come together to learn, rehearse and perform -- in a supportive, fun environment. The DANJ team have achieved national recognition for their exceptional technique, diverse, professional choreography, performance qualities, and unique costuming, in all styles of dance. While having consistently been recognized as one of the leaders in the competitive dance world, the DANJ team understands that dance is an art form and that dance competitions are a place for dancers to gain exposure to, and develop relationships with, their peers, educators and choreographers from other dance organizations. Our company dancers train with professional dancers, educators, performers and choreographers every week during the school year -- at "home" in the DANJ studio. These professionals teach technique in class. At DANJ, dance classes are exclusively dedicated to dance education — technique, combinations, improv technique, etc. Choreography and rehearsals are always held as separate sessions (generally on weekends) outside the classroom. Our portfolio of competition dances is very diverse — including work by over twenty professional choreographers featuring jazz (with pop, funk, musical theater influences), tap (with broadway/classic, rhythm/contemporary influences), lyrical, modern (with Limón, Horton and Release technique influences), contemporary, pointe, hip hop, musical theater and ballet/pointe (classical and contemporary). “Prior to becoming a principal dancer at Keigwin + Company, I earned my BFA at The Juilliard School — after growing up in a competitive dance studio. Having led Master Classes at DANJ, I had many opportunities to observe their competition dance portfolio. One of the things that sets DANJ apart is that it focuses on teaching dancers to dance, not teaching dancers specific dances. The results — their dancers perform naturally and understand choreography — they are true artists!” [Brandon Cournay, Principal Dancer Keigwin and Company]
We acquired DANJ in 2010 with our primary goal being to provide children the opportunity to experience dance in an environment that is generally available only in NYC and LA. Our focus has been to recruit the best faculty, develop comprehensive curriculum for dancers age two to eighteen, provide state-of-the-market facilities, and ensure that all of our students have a safe and fun place to pursue their passion for dance. We encourage you to visit our studio and speak to the parents and dancers you meet. They will help you understand why they are amongst the many dancers who joined DANJ over the last five years. In the last three years alone, over one hundred twenty-five children with between three and twelve years of formal dance training have transferred to DANJ from other studios. The result has been a highly inspired group of children, many bringing different strengths and interests to the studio, each inspiring us to continue innovating and improving every year.
We are proud to have celebrated our fifth anniversary sponsoring the Performing Hearts Dance Program in Jefferson and Sparta Township. The Performing Hearts Program provides creative rhythm and movement workshops and ballet classes for girls and boys living with special needs - at no charge to their families. Many of our teen and senior dancers volunteer as mentors and made a huge difference in our community!
Our happiest times are in the classroom watching the children’s excitement as they learn new skills and new routines. We also take great joy watching all the young dancers grow into wonderful young adults. Many of our graduates have continued dancing in University and Conservatory programs, On and Off Broadway productions, Dance Companies, Film, Commercials, Cruise Lines and Dance Teams. Some have become Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses,Teachers, Physical Therapists and other professional occupations. Our dancers have become a part of our lives -- part of our studio and part of our dance family. We hope we have touched their lives as much as they have touched ours.
Elaine and Howard Luks (Studio Directors)
Lake Hoptacong Studio