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 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.