The Art of Dance To Tap In 50 Years

The Art of Dance in Chester, has been influential in making others happy since 1969 and this year marks its 50th birthday.

With their award-winning Performing Company being invited to close the renowned “Chita Rivera” Award show on Broadway this year and students as young as 14 months (Mommy & Me) to the aspiring professional or adult dancer, there is no wonder why the Art of Dance is Northern New Jersey’s #1 voted studio!

The Art of Dance knows dancing is about much more than just the steps. Director Valerie Harman passionately cultivates lifelong friendships through dance and inspires creativity and confidence within students with the help of her dedicated, experienced staff and faculty.

Each member of the AOD faculty is trained extensively in the style of dance that they teach, from hip-hop to ballet and pointe, tap, jazz, Irish step, lyrical, gymnastics and boys only classes. It is a wonderful experience to start children in dance classes when they are young and enthusiastic.

The Art of Dance studio had a full summer of performances; including the Local 4-H Fair, 50+ Club at the Chester Fire House and award-winning performances from their acclaimed Performing Company in both New York City and at Nationals in Florida.

The summer included an amazing lineup of classes, camps and intensives for students. Their two-week intensives included faculty from So You Think You Can Dance, Broadway shows such as “Wicked” and “An American in Paris,” The American Ballet Theater and the commercial and hip-hop world.

There was a great turnout of young dancers for Princess, Frozen, Trolls & Irish Camp.

This year The Art of Dance is excited to welcome back Tap Dancer extraordinaire, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards onto their faculty. She has had a non-stop performing career on Broadway and in the tap community. The AOD is excited to welcome rising tap star Chris Broughton, (​International tour of Riverdance) ​and Roland Culler ​(The Pennsylvania Ballet). T​hey will be teaching the ever-popular boy’s classes. Samantha Glenester (​Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, VMAS) will bring a fresh face and style to their Jazz classes. She will be joining Katrina Endozo in teaching their Hip Hop classes.

The Art of Dance will introduce pre-schoolers to the new and exciting Twirl class! Specifically designed for 3- to 5-year-olds, adding sparkle and a new spin on the ever-popular Ballet, Tap & Tumbling Combo class!

It will also bring back Performance Team, open to dancers ages eight and up; Little Stars, ages 4 to 6 years; and the ever-popular Hip Hop Crew, 12 and up, including the Jr. Crew, 8 and up. These are all exciting opportunities for dancers that love to dance and are looking for performing opportunities. These dancers will perform at local events, local competitions, holiday shows in the community and will have the opportunity to earn community service credit for school.


The Art of Dance is a beautiful space, with sprung floors in all five dance rooms to help prevent injury, and large one-way viewing windows for parents and guardians to watch their dancer advance and learn.

The Essential Dance Shop, adjacent to the dance studio, is a phenomenal dance boutique
fully stocked with favorite dancewear, activewear, shoes, gift items and accessories for the fall season. Be sure to schedule a pointe shoe fitting with its expert sales personnel. Gift certificates are available.

For more information and easy online registration visit the Art of Dance at or call (908)-879-4919.

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