dedicated

arts

educators

our team

Our Team of unique and extraordinary individuals embodies KDO’s purpose, mission, and values. They are passionate about children’s well-being and committed to giving every KDO Dancer the highest quality experience with joy, purpose, and empathy. Our Team believes in the power of dance, arts, and education to positively impact individuals and communities and advance social justice.

Michael j. johnson

Founding Artistic Director

Michael grew up in Virginia, where he began his study of dance at The Richmond Ballet. With a strong foundation, Michael furthered his training at Butler University’s Department of Dance. After earning a degree in Arts Administration with a Concentration in Dance, Michael was invited to join The Boston Ballet, performing corps, soloist, and principal roles from 1996 to 2005.  Michael has danced the classics here and abroad with world-renowned dancers, including Carlos Acosta and Sarah Lamb of the Royal Ballet, and performed contemporary works by acclaimed choreographers, including Rudi Van Dantzig, Bruce Marks, Nacho Duato, Mark Morris, George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, John Cranko and Christopher Wheeldon. He has also studied musical theatre, salsa, and ballroom and performed Jazz and Jive in Los Angeles.

Michael furthered City Dance’s success and Boston Ballet’s outreach program, spreading opportunity and motivating students throughout Boston’s public, private, and charter school systems. He returned to Butler University, where he taught as a Visiting Professor of Dance from 2011 to 2013. His professional career as a dancer and teacher and extensive outreach experience gained during his years with The Boston Ballet have given him vast essential expertise. Having witnessed how outreach programs can change the lives of underrepresented children, their families, schools, and the community, Michael envisioned creating Kids Dance Outreach.
For his work with Kids Dance Outreach and beyond, Michael has been awarded the Indy Arts Council Creative Renewal Fellowship (2017-2018) and the Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good.

Michael J. Johnson featured as one of the 2017-2018 Indy Arts Council Creative Renewal Arts Fellows. Courtesy Indy Arts Council.

Mónica M. Muñoz

Executive Director

Mónica M. Muñoz joined Founding Artistic Director Michael J. Johnson in the early days of Kids Dance Outreach, first as a volunteer, then as a Teaching Assistant, and later became the Associate Director; in 2022, she was named the organization’s first Executive Director.

She was born and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Mónica trained from a very young age with the Conservatory of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, where she then went on to begin her professional career as a dancer. Upon graduating high school, she moved from Puerto Rico to dance professionally with Milwaukee Ballet and later on the Louisville Ballet, where she performed a vast classical and contemporary repertoire and worked alongside national and international choreographers.

In 2013, Mónica earned her B.A. in Dance Pedagogy from Butler University. Beyond KDO, Mónica has served as adjunct faculty at Anderson University and is currently adjunct faculty at Butler University.

courtney schmidt

Development Director

From the very first rehearsal as part of her interview process, Courtney Schmidt fell head over heels for KDO. Her memory is clouded by excitement, but she might have broken into a jig when the position was offered that very day! Without a moment’s hesitation, she eagerly embraced the opportunity to fuse her love for dance with her expertise in fundraising.

Growing up in Jasper, Ind., Courtney was surrounded by a family engaged in the performing arts. Her dance training began at the age of three, and alongside her mother, she ventured into community theater, making her debut at six in “Oklahoma.” The enchantment of the stage took a permanent hold during her first visit to New York City in the late ’70s to witness Sandy Duncan’s captivating performance in the revival of “Peter Pan.”

Throughout her high school years, Courtney continued her dance training and performances, recognizing the profound role that the arts play in expressing the human experience and fostering a global understanding of cultures. A proud graduate of Indiana University, she immersed herself in the world-class performances held on campus each year and continues to take advantage of the abundant offerings in Central Indiana.

Courtney brings a wealth of experience to KDO, having enjoyed a noteworthy career in development at Purdue University in West Lafayette. Her previous roles include serving as the Development Director for Wonderlab Museum in Bloomington and for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lafayette. Recognized for her ability to cultivate deep and meaningful connections, Courtney has formed partnerships with individuals, corporations, and foundations that transcend the boundaries of transactional fundraising. Her skill lies in aligning organizational missions with donor interests, ensuring a positive impact on Indiana’s children. Courtney remains committed to creating lasting social change with strategic vision, passion, and purpose.

Dana vanderburgh

Associate Director, Community Engagement & Programming

Dana Vanderburgh was born and raised in Massachusetts and fell in love with dance when she was three years old. She went on to further her classical ballet training at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, first in their after-school Community Dance Academy and then in their high school conservatory dance program under the direction of Michael Owen. After graduating from Walnut Hill in 2013, Dana moved to Bloomington, IN, for the ballet program at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. A series of chronic injuries led Dana to stop her professional ballet training a year later. However, she soon became involved with Movement Exchange at IU, a chapter of an international dance service nonprofit, and was inspired to pursue a joint BA/MA degree in international studies, where she researched the role of dance in generating social change. Through this intersection of community engagement and intellectual inquiry, Dana discovered how to translate her passion for dance into a passion for exploring and advocating for the power of dance to empower individuals and communities. She began her journey with KDO in 2021 as Community Engagement Coordinator after serving as the Executive Director of Movement Exchange and stepped into her current role with KDO in 2023. In her work with KDO, she loves supporting a Team of amazing individuals who make the magic happen and is continuously striving to find innovative ways for KDO’s community and programming to grow in sustainable ways that further our transformative impact throughout Indianapolis and beyond. Dana is also a Ph.D. Candidate in Social-Cultural Anthropology at Indiana University where she is continuing her academic research on themes related to dance, community building, and environmental justice.

Audrey surina

Program Specialist

Megan Quiring

Operations Coordinator

TEACHING ARTISTS

DANCE TEACHERS

Kelvin Burzon
Austin Day
Ashley Donaldson
Sadie Gelb
Michael J. Johnson
Mary Lyn Moore
Mónica M. Muñoz
Harlie Painter
Megan Quiring

MUSICIANS

Allan Adifils Dit Etienne
Jeffrey DeHerdt
Mina Keohane
Michael Kessler
Troye Kinnett
Vernon Marsh
Dustin Phillips
Michael Read
Kathy Ryan
Matt Soverns

THROUGH THE LENS OF A KDO TEACHING ARTIST

In 2023, we invited the Artists of the KDO Teaching Team to share their reflections, stories, and perspectives on what it means to be a KDO Teaching Artist and what they experience through the mission. We captured their stories in this short but impactful video series.

JOIN OUR TEAM

Kids Dance Outreach is actively seeking part-time Dance Teaching Artists to join the Team for the 2024-2025 school year. Interested candidates must complete the application and submit all required materials by 5 p.m. on June 3rd, 2024.

About the Dance Teaching Artist Position

Limited positions available

  • Uphold KDO’s mission and values, furthering access, equity, and themes of diversity and inclusion through KDO’s innovative arts education model.
  • Learn, train, and immerse themselves in KDO’s pedagogy, a unique opportunity to master teaching techniques, movement vocabulary, co-teaching in Teams, teaching with live music, and incorporating the Musician’s role in the classroom.
  • Connect their background and expertise with KDO’s teaching techniques to engage and inspire diverse groups of children.
  • Work collaboratively as part of a Team of Teaching Artists and Musicians to deliver high-quality dance and arts education across KDO programs, including In-School, Advanced Scholarship, Dancers with Disabilities, and other community programs.
  • Utilize strong classroom management skills (encouraging, inspiring, and inclusive) to uplift and motivate children to excellence.
  • Foster a safe environment where each child can reach their full potential.
  • Respond to and adapt programming and instruction in diverse and dynamic environments.
  • Utilize the technology and systems KDO provides, such as Google Drive and ConnectTeams, to maintain effective communication with other Team members, Program Coordinators, and Administrators to coordinate and define their schedules and programming assignments.
  • Participate in ongoing professional development and training opportunities KDO and other partners provide.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, educators, families, and community partners to ensure that KDO programs meet the wider community’s needs.
  • Advocate for and advance equitable arts education in Indianapolis and Marion County, where KDO is based.

Read full job description

Kids Dance Outreach is an equal-opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all. KDO serves children of all races, backgrounds, religions, and abilities. We firmly believe in and have witnessed the power of the Arts as a catalyst for change. Together, we continue to seek innovative ways to effect change in our community and the world through our mission and strive to be part of that change. We invite and strongly encourage teaching artists from diverse backgrounds to apply.

 

Board of directors

Andrea Brown, Chair

Kathy Anderson
Thaddeus Davis
Paisley Gibson
Michael J. Johnson
Jeff Kinney
Nathan Kinney
Mary Parsigian
David Powers
Laura Pullen McMichael
Shannon Morris
Brenda Johnston
Sarah Wroth