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.
MÓNICA M. MUÑOZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mónica M. Muñoz is the Executive Director of Kids Dance Outreach. She joined Michael J. Johnson in the early days of Kids Dance Outreach and was named Associate Director in 2014.
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. She moved from Puerto Rico in 2005 to dance professionally with Milwaukee Ballet and Louisville Ballet, where she performed a vast 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.
DANA VANDERBURGH, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & PROGRAMMING
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.
Mary Lyn Moore
Allan Adifils Dit Etienne
Jenny Danek, Photography
Carly Herring, Graphic Design
Kathleen Eagan, Costumes