Mustang’s Alley Shares Two Decades Of Dancing
Ron and Peggy Ruckman have shared two decades of two-stepping with the county. The couple owns and operates Mustang’s Alley — a family-friendly dance hall east of Jane.
When Ron retired from Walmart in the early ’90s, he and Peggy dreamed of a place to dance and play music with their family. The couple designed the dance hall and, over the years, saw it to fruition.
The doors of Mustang’s Alley opened in February 1998 and, since then, hundreds of shoes have shuffled through the threshold, by walls lined with music memorabilia and across the black-and-white checkered dance floor.
The Ruckmans run Mustang’s Alley as a labor of love and a shared passion.
“We don’t try to make any money, we just try to keep the lights on and pay the insurance.”
Admission is $5 and guarantees guests access to dance lessons, a 3,500-square-foot dance floor and a selection of live music in a smoke- and alcohol-free environment. The dance floor is open and hopping from 7 until 11 p.m. every Saturday, except for the first of each month.
Dance lessons are offered from 7 until 8 p.m. — when the live band starts. Line-dancing is taught from 7 to 7:30 p.m., and couples dancing is taught from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Lessons range from country two-step to waltz and swing dance.
Don Owen has been teaching and two-stepping at Mustang’s Alley for more than a decade. He said dancing can look intimidating, “but it’s basically just a fancy way of walking.”
“To be a good dancer, you have to dance with different partners,” Owen said. “That’s one of the best things about this place. It’s a place with no smoke and no alcohol where people can take their kids and teach them to dance.”
Dancers of all ages share the floor, ranging from preteen to post-retirement.
Fourteen-year-old Isabele Rose has been taking lessons for three months. She and her sister, 10-year-old Breanna, take special enjoyment from line-dancing.
“There are so many variations, there are always new ones to learn,” Isabele said.
A blend of country and rock ‘n roll classics are performed live by The Mustang Band. Ron plays guitar and piano in the band, while Peggy and their daughters, Karen and Sandy, provide vocals. According to MustangsAlley-DanceHall. com, a few talented cousins have also been known to jam with the house band. Tracks range from 1960s hits like “Runaround Sue” by Dion to newer country songs like “I Just Want To Dance With You” by George Strait.
Mustang’s Alley is located at 15 Mustang Alley Lane, east of Jane. Follow I-49 to Highway 90 East, follow Highway 90 for six miles and there will be a flashing sign to the right, ushering guests down a driveway to Mustang’s Alley.
In addition to a dance floor, the dance hall offers arcade games, pool tables and a concession stand with a variety of refreshments. Mustang’s Alley is also a great place to celebrate special occasions and can be reserved via phone at 417-435-2582 or via email at email@example.com.
Couples dances are mesmerizing to watch as dancers seamlessly twirl and step around the dance floor in-sync. Couples lessons are taught from 7:30 to 8 p.m.
A quarter and an audience makes for a bonding experience in the Mustang’s Alley arcade.