Story in pictures — Dancers swung until midnight to say goodbye to Melange in downtown Mission

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The windows are now dark at Melange Dance and Events on Johnson Drive in downtown Mission.

The dance hall permanently closed Tuesday at midnight. Owner Julie Murray said the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — which created particular challenges for the “inherently social” activity of dancing — finally became too much to overcome.

But dancers from across the Kansas City metro flocked to the studio for a farewell dance, celebrating the past seven years at Melange.

On this last night, a final set of classes were given, and then the curtains parted for a social dance at 8:30 p.m. Spirits in the hall ran high as dancers bounced, bobbed and swung until midnight.

The dancers who have come to Melange will now have to find space at other local studios — Walters Dance Center, Viva Social Dance Studio and The Culture House, to name a few. But saying goodbye to Melange is bittersweet.

As dance instructor Elizabeth Watkins of The Ballroom KC put it: “It’s not only about the space; it’s about the people. So we will keep dancing.”

Here’s what the last night at Melange looked like:





About the author

Leah Wankum
Leah Wankum

Hi there! I’m Leah Wankum, and I’m the Post’s Deputy Editor. I’m thrilled to call Johnson County home, and I’m deeply committed to the Post’s philosophy that an informed community is a strong community.

I’m a native of mid-Missouri, and attended high school in Jefferson City before going on to the University of Central Missouri, where I earned a master’s degree in mass communication.

Prior to joining the Post as a reporter in 2018, I was the editor of the Richmond News in Ray County, Missouri. I’ve also written for several publications, including the Sedalia Democrat and KC Magazine.