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 has 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, DANJ team members understand that dance is an art form and that dance competitions are a place for them to gain exposure to, and develop friendly relationships with, dancers and choreographers from other studios and dance organizations.
“Prior to becoming a principal dancers 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 to specific dances. The results - their dancers perform naturally and understand choreography and style - they are true artists!” — Brandon Cournay, Principal Dancer KEIGWIN + CO.
2017 Team Photos
2016 Team Photos
The DANJ team participates in four regional competitions during the school year (usually late February thru mid-May) and one national competition (usually early July). Regionals are generally within driving distance; however, depending on the distance and competition schedule, some families may decide to stay overnight close to the venue (for example, if the venue is 60+ minutes away and a dancer is performing late in the evening and early the next morning, it may be more convenient for the family to stay close to the competition venue). National competitions are frequently outside the immediate NY Metropolitan area, although they are occasionally in New York City. Please visit our Team Achievements page.
DANJ competition team dancers range in age from 6 to 18. Dancers are invited to join the team based on an observation process that is accomplished in school-year and/or summer classes, and/or group or private auditions. As a member of the team, dancers attends choreography sessions, rehearsals, and regional and national competitions; take two or more ballet classes per week; and attend between 20 and 30 DANJ Summer Tech classes, and two weeks of DANJ's summer Ballet Bootcamp.
DANJ's team trains with professional dancers, educators, performers and choreographers every week during the school year -- at "home" in the studio. Class time is exclusively dedicated to dance education — technique, combinations, improv, etc. Choreography and rehearsals are conducted as separate sessions, generally on weekends.
Our performance portfolio is diverse — presenting works by between ten and twenty professional choreographers every season. DANJ’s professional choreography staff, together with choreographers from leading dance companies, university/conservatory programs and theater companies, choreograph original works 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). DANJ choreographers have received the top choreography awards in national competitions, including Onstage New York (2018 and 2017), American Dance Awards (2016 and 2015), and Hall of Fame (2014 and 2013) - events attended by some of North America’s top studios.
The Mini Team is for young dancers, generally ages 6 to 9, who are demonstrating a real interest in dance and the potential to benefit from additional training and performance opportunities.
Technical Training -- After taking preschool and/or combo classes, the next logical step in dance education is to begin focusing on individual styles of dance: ballet, tap, jazz and acro. Ballet provides the foundation and a vocabulary for all styles of dance; acro enhances flexibility and strength; and jazz and tap provide two rhythmic movement styles appropriate for young children. To facilitate this focus, we offer special technique classes for the minis in ballet, acro, jazz and tap. These classes are by invitation only – to help ensure that the children progress together and at a relatively accelerated rate - as follows:
Classes Required for Mini Team Members in Lake Hopatcong:
- Mondays: 4:30 - 5:30: Tap; and 5:30 - 6:30: Acro; and
- Wednesdays: 4:15 - 5:15: Ballet; and 5:30 - 6:30: Jazz; and
- Weekends: Days/Times TBA.
Classes Required for Mini Team Members in Sparta:
- Mondays: 6:00 - 7:00: Ballet; and 7:15 - 8:00: Acro;
- Thursdays: 5:15 - 6:00: Tap; and 6:00 - 6:45: Jazz; and
- Saturdays: 1:00 - 3:00: Choreography and Rehearsal.
In addition to the classes listed above, Mini Team dancers may enroll in other classes. Families interested in joining the mini team who have unresolvable conflicts with these class times should consult with the DANJ directors for possible work-arounds.
Performance and Competition -- In addition to developing technique, the children invited to the Mini Team are ready to begin learning more complex choreography as well as performance technique. These activities will improve their spatial awareness, appreciation for working as a team and self-confidence. The “Mini Team” is a "lite" competition environment. The children will learn two dance pieces (i.e., tap and jazz/musical theater in Lake Hopatcong; and lyrical and either jazz or tap in Sparta). The choreography and rehearsals for these two pieces will be (i) in Lake Hopatcong - on Weekend days and in portions of the Monday & Wednesday classes; and (ii) in Sparta - on Saturdays. Some additional rehearsals may be scheduled before the competitions. The competitions will be local, possibly exclusive to the Sussex/Morris county area, but in no case greater than one hour driving time.
Tuition & Fees - the following are the estimated Mini Team-specific costs for the 2015-16 school year:
Lake Hopatcong Studio