Melanie and Jim, her husband of 20 years, reside in Leawood, KS with their two children. Their daughter Emily,
16 years old, and son Maddox, 13 years old and of course the English Bulldog "Bubba". Melanie loves running,
playing tennis and golf, traveling, reading and Saturday morning dance parties with her kids.
Her love of music and dance started as a young child with piano lessons, singing in the school & church
choir and participating in dance and gymnastics. This led to Melanie becoming a music teacher for ten years
with the North Kansas City School District, where she was known for incorporating dance into the curriculum with "hip"
dances like the Macarena, The Boot Scootin' Boogie and other classics. Even today Melanie can't resist
the temptation to show off her LINE DANCING skills at a wedding or social event.
Melanie enjoys volunteering at her kid's schools, leading a faith based group - Club 121 at Leawood Middle School
to 80 students, and participating in a YPO Forum. She also has served at KCJTL as Treasurer, a Sunday School teacher
at COR, CO-Chair of the 2017 CCSAKC Dive Champs and is currently the Co-Chair with her husband of the 2018 Heart Ball.
Melanie & Jim have been friends with the Horn family (Charlie's House) since college and she is honored to dance
at this year's BMA Dine & Dance with the Stars on behalf of Charlie's House. Of course she would like to thank
the Godfather for this wonderful opportunity!
Melanie will be dancing with Rafael Labrado.
As a small child in Juarez, Mexico Rafael started Mexican folk dancing. He performed throughout Mexico and Texas. Later his passion turned to gymnastics, where he excelled. At 19 his family moved to Kansas City in order for Rafael to train at Great American Gymnastics Express. Several Olympic athletes have trained here. At 22 Rafael's gymnastic career was abruptly ended by an injury. Then, one day while flipping through the channels on TV; Rafael came across a program called "Championship Ballroom Dancing" on PBS. The amazing dancers on the program sparked a new interest. Soon he found a local dance studio and dance has been his passion ever since. Rafael has been teaching social and competitive Ballroom Dance for the last 18 years. In that time he has successfully competed with different partners. Highlights include being a Rising Star and Open Professional finalist and Top teacher awards at the Heart of America DanceSport Championships for the past 10 years. Rafael has also been ranked in the top ten teachers in the US for the past 12 years.