MICHAEL J. JOHNSON, FOUNDING 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 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, ballroom, and performed Jazz and Jive in Los Angeles.

Michael furthered City Dance’s success, 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 his extensive outreach experience gained during his years with The Boston Ballet has given him vast essential expertise. Having witnessed how outreach programs can change the lives of underrepresented children, their families, schools, and the community, Michael had the vision to create Kids Dance Outreach.  With Indianapolis moving forward in many wonderful ways, now is the perfect time to bring Kids Dance Outreach to our children. “The KDO program uses the Art of Dance to transcend socio-economic, geographic, and racial boundaries, uniting our city and communities. The best part is we can do this in such a joyful and inspiring way”. Michael continues his guest performances, teaching, and choreography with various dance organizations locally and throughout the country and consulting for various dance programs.

E-mail: mjohnson@kdoutreach.org

MÓNICA M. MUÑOZ, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mónica trained with the Conservatory of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and began her professional career.  She went on to dance professionally with Milwaukee Ballet and Louisville Ballet where she performed a vast repertoire including works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Paul Taylor, and worked alongside national and international choreographers including Val Caniparoli, Adam Houghland, Helen Pickett, Graham Lustig, Domy Reiter-Soffer, André Prokovsky, Lila York, and Mark Godden.

In 2013 Mónica earned her B.A. in Dance Pedagogy from Butler University. She has taught and choreographed numerous schools, including Louisville Ballet School, Butler Summer Intensive, Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, and Carmel’s Ballet Theatre. She served as adjunct faculty at Anderson University and is currently adjunct faculty at Butler University.

Mónica’s privilege is to serve the community through her passion for dance and the work of Kids Dance Outreach. As KDO’s associate director and teacher, Mónica hopes to inspire future generations through education, culture, and appreciation for the arts.

E-mail: mmunoz@kdoutreach.org

DANA VANDERBURGH, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR

Dana Vanderburgh was born and raised in Massachusetts and fell in love with dance when she was 3 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 to attend 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, through her involvement with Movement Exchange at IU, a chapter of an international dance service nonprofit, and her pursuit of a joint BA/MA degree in international studies where she researched the role of dance in generating social change, 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 comes to KDO after serving as the Executive Director of Movement Exchange and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social-Cultural Anthropology at Indiana University where she is continuing her academic research on themes related to dance, reconciliation, and environmental justice.

E-mail: dvanderburgh@kdoutreach.org

TEACHING ARTISTS

Keegan Loye
Ashley Donaldson
Megan Quiring

MUSICIANS

Jeffrey DeHerdt
Michael Kessler
Troye Kinnett
Joseph O’Connell

VOLUNTEERS

Jenny Danek, Photography
Carly Herring, Graphic Design
Kathleen Eagan, Costumes