"To prepare students to be the future leaders and innovators in performance, dance teaching, choreography and all facets of dance...

To strive for excellence, offer diverse learning opportunities and encourage creativity at all levels...

To Provide A Vibrant, Exhilarating and Welcoming Atmosphere..."

For 59 years Locker School of Dance has been welcoming performers, audiences and amateur participants alike from all walks of life. The young & the old all united by a common passion for dance. The Locker School of Dance cultivates compassionate social action through dance education and performance. Our core values are excellence, access and community building.


The Locker School of Dance has a long tradition in show business and dance education.  Dotty Locker, the founding Directress, began her professional show business career at the young age of fifteen.  Dotty met another young performer named Barney Panansky while on tour in Boston. After becoming husband and wife they combined their talents to form the team of Morgan and May.  With a growing family, Dotty and Barney decided to settle down in Dotty's home town of Passaic and continued their love of entertainment.  Hand in hand they opened the Dotty Locker School of Dance.

The Locker School of Dance was established in 1954 and is now celebrating its fiftieth-ninth anniversary.  Nineteen years ago Dotty retired and moved to California to live closer to her other three children, their spouses, and her grandchildren.  Dotty passed away in December 2008 ending a wonderful career as a wife, mother, grandmother, entertainer, and educator.  She is missed by all.

At the end of the 1988 season, Susan and her husband, Albert, built the studio in Garfield. To continue the tradition, the name of the Studio was changed from "Dotty Locker School of Dance" to "Locker School of Dance."  Susan now continues the Locker tradition, almost six decades of enriching the lives of students--preschoolers through grandmas--by teaching them to enjoy and learn the art of dance.

Susan, the oldest of Dotty's children, started her dance training at age five with Dotty. As a child and adolescent, Susan appeared in television commercials and worked as a professional model while still advancing her dance training. Susan continued her lessons with Dotty and also training with some of the finest New York coaches--Luigi, Charles Kelly, Don Fonsworth, Madam Gilmore, and others.  After graduating from high school, Susan became one of the world famous New York City Rockettes, toured with U.S.O. shows, and appeared with many popular singing groups.  She appeared on television in such shows as Kraft Music Hall, the Bob Hope Show, and the Smothers Brothers Show.  After meeting Albert, Susan decided to unpack her suitcase and join her mother at the studio to take up her first love, teaching dance.  Susan now enjoys being the Directress of her own studio and thrives on the challenges and rewards of running it.  She gains great personal satisfaction in teaching her students, tots through seniors, and her real reward comes as she watches her students shine as they perform on the stage each year.

Miss Susan is thrilled to complete twenty-five years, her Silver Jubilee, as Owner and Artistic Director of the Locker School of Dance. She is thankful to her students, their parents, and friends who have supported her and the Studio over these many years. How time flies.

Susan and Albert's daughter, Lara, began her show business career at the young age of two.  As a child and teen, Lara had numerous television commercials to her credit and has appeared in movies, live industrial and modeling shows, magazine advertisements, and was featured on the soap opera Another World as "Katie McCormick."   Lara graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned her BS in Business Administration, with a concentration in Hotel-Restaurant - Tourism Management, and her M.B.A. in global business management.  When Miss Lara became a mother, she took a hiatus from corporate to become a full-time mom and returned to the teaching staff at the Locker School of Dance.

Susan's brothers and sister are also continuing the show business tradition.  Gary, Susan’s oldest brother, and his wife Suzy live in Hollywood. Suzy is an accomplished artist showing in some of LA's prestigious galleries.  Gary is active as a film stunt coordinator in Hollywood with a long list of credits.  Their two daughters, Molly and Bonnie, have appeared in TV shows, commercials, and motion pictures.

Roger, Susan's youngest brother, also living in California, has appeared in movies, television, and on Broadway.

Robyn, Susan's younger sister and her husband, Mark L. Walberg, are both actively involved in show business.  They have two children, Mogan and Goldie.  Robyn has a long list of professional credits to her name, and Mark is host of many game shows, including The Antique Road Show on PBS.