History of Melange Dance Company

The mission of Melange Dance Company of Jackson County is to provide focused training and education in the art of dance, which is reflected in our motto, Desire, Dedication and Discipline. We also strive to enrich the cultural landscape of our community through outreach programs and presentation of quality performances.

 

Mélange Dance Company was created to provide professional dance opportunities and enrichment for young dancers in this community.  It was founded in 1977 by Paul and JoAnn Christopher.  Mrs. Christopher wanted her students at the Studio of Dance in Pascagoula to have more opportunities to perform than just the yearly dance recital.  Her vision was to bring professional theater to Pascagoula, MS and thirty-five years later her dream has become a reality - and so much more.  Hundreds of dance students have performed as members of Mélange Dance Company all over the country at venues such as Walt Disney World, the Macy’s Day Parade in New York, and countless events and seminars from Los Angeles to New York. Well-known dancers and choreographers in the field also travel to Pascagoula to lead classes. Company members are offered opportunities to develop and explore the world of dance not usually experienced in a small town.

One production in particular has now become a Jackson County tradition for more than three decades.  One year after forming her company, Mrs. Christopher decided to stage The Nutcracker holiday ballet.  Now in its 35th season, this ballet has grown from a small production with little scenery and a few handmade costumes, to a full professional production with over 125 participants each year from ages 3 to 65, exquisite costumes and dramatic scenery to rival any production of its size.  Only with the generous support of the community could this experience continue to grow for so many young dancers in Jackson County.


As one of the only fine arts opportunities for young people in our community, the productions of Mélange Dance Company greatly enhance the quality of life in our county and offer unique outlets for talented young dancers in our area.  Thousands of children are affected by the presence of Melange Dance Company.

Director

Dylan Demouey is a Pascagoula, MS native and resident. She grew up dancing at the Studio of Dance and Gymnastics in Pascagoula, MS. She was a member of MelangeDance Company, under the direction of JoAnn Christopher (Director) and Felicia Busby (Assistant Director) for six years. During her time in Melange, she had the opportunity to perform in the nationally televised America's Junior Miss, study dance at Gus Giordano's Dance Center in Chicago and travel to Los Angeles for "Dance Excellence." 

 

After high school, Dylan attended the University of Southern Mississippi and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education. While at USM, Dylan danced and choreographed for USM's Repertory Dance Company. During her time at USM, she focused on the ballet, modern and jazz dance techniques. She also studied dance history, dance teaching methods, dance composition, Bartinieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis and stage production. She was awarded the "John and Charles Smith Theater and Dance Endowment Scholarship," attended the American College Dance Festival at Florida State University and took master classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.

 

After college, Dylan accepted a job as the Dance and Musical Theater teacher at John L. LeFlore Magnet High School in Mobile, Alabama. She also served as Leflore's company director for Moving Images Dance Company. She choreographed for and directed numerous productions during her time at Leflore, including the annual Black History Production and the annual Dance Concert.  During her time at Leflore, she participated in many professional development opportunities. A few of these are The National High School Dance Festival at New World School of Arts in Miami, Florida and The University of Alabama's Dance Department workshop. Her students had the opportunity to perform at Disney World, Universal Studios and USM's Young People's Matinee.

 

Dylan returned to the Studio of Dance and Gymnastics in 2009 as a teacher. As part of the faculty at The Studio of Dance, Dylan has had the opportunity to continue studying dance at Gus Giordano's Dance Center in Chicago, "The Pulse" Teacher Workshop in New York City, the Mississippi Dance Festival and Pensacola State's Summer Dance Workshop. Dylan served as Melange Dance Company's Production Assistant in 2017 and as the Assistant Artistic Director in 2018. 

 

Dylan is thrilled for this incredible opportunity. She is a passionate advocate for the arts and is excited to share her love of dance with students for years to come!