“Mr. Mike” Johnston began teaching at the Inspiration Dance Company in 2013, quickly becoming one of the IDC’s most sought-after instructors, specializing in all things Hip Hop. From the tricks and stunts of break dance to funky hip hop choreography to creative projects, Mr. Mike engages his students in the excitement of learning in every class. In addition to his experience as a Hip Hop and Pre-Hip Hop instructor, Mr. Mike has also taught Partnering, Jazz, Modern and Creative Dance at the IDC.
Compared with many dancers, Mike started dancing late in life, working on his handstands and breaking in his front yard around the age of 19. From there he went on to attend Western Oregon University, where he first majored in Nursing, only to later commit full time to majoring in Dance and the Arts.
While he started dancing later in life, he made up for it by investing numerous hours taking classes, practicing multiple different styles, and becoming an apprentice with professional dance company Rainbow Dance Theatre. Mike studied and learned multiple styles and techniques while an apprentice with RDT, later moving up to senior company member during his 5 years with the Company. Throughout that time Mike toured numerous states and parts of Canada, performing for audiences of all ages in RDT shows such as Roots of Hip Hop, The Owl and The Serpent, Melt, Higgs Boson: the God Particle, iLumiDance, SELFIE and many more.
Mike has performed and collaborated with two Emmy award winners, Darryl Thomas and Mark Santillano of Pilobolus Dance Theatre. Since late 2017, Mike has toured with the internationally renowned Pilobolus, performing in their popular show Shadowlands in Hawaii, China, Saudi Arabia and the continental US.
For the past six years Michael has worked with Valerie Bergman at the Inspiration Dance Company and studied teaching under former IDC instructors Carl Massey and Latoya Lovely. While he enjoys performing and touring, teaching is what Mike is most passionate about. He is constantly working on new ideas for engaging his students while developing his own teaching workshops, including teaching at the Pilobolus Kids Camp this past summer on the east coast.
When not practicing handstands on hover boards, performing on tour or teaching dance, Mike is striving to further his knowledge in personal training for athletes and teenage dancers, in order to develop their overall strength and functional core movement.