J Michael Winward

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Dance Artist & Activist


I am an independent dance artist based in Boston. With influences in American-style ballroom, ballet, contemporary and somatic dance practices, my work places a strong focus on building connection: connection to one’s body, one’s self, one’s audience, connection between dance partners, connection within and across communities.


I began dancing at Lowell High School, where dance class was offered in lieu of gym class. I received a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in Dance and Drama from Bennington College, spending one term abroad at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Austria. I went on to spend seven years dancing with, and eventually managing, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Plymouth, Massachusetts. During my competitive career, I was awarded multiple national and North American titles, sanctioned by the North American Same-Sex Partner Dance Association. Throughout those years, I consistently advocated for the inclusion of same-sex partnership in mainstream Ballroom and Latin dance competition.


In addition to producing, performing, and touring my solo dance repertory, I am involved with several exciting projects. Dancing with Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM), I work to advance the PDM mission of cultivating dance/arts literacy, advocacy and engagement. Along with Maggie Cee, I co-produce Dancing Queerly: a month-long queer dance festival of workshops, mixers, panel discussions, and performances. Through my program Steps in Time, I bring social ballroom dancing to senior, elder, and memory care communities throughout Greater Boston.

My work has been supported by The Boston Foundation through grants from Live Arts Boston (in partnership with the Barr Foundation) and Next Steps for Boston Dance (in partnership with the Aliad Fund), The Boston Cultural Council, and by a Fidelity Charitable Grant from the James K. Spriggs Foundation.



Dancing Queerly Logo

This work has been made possible in part thanks to support from the following organizations:

The Boston Foundation Logo
Boston Cultural Council Logo
the Dance Complex Logo
Fidelity Charitable Logo
Boston Dance Alliance Logo