My Photo




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    Argentine tango party in San Francisco. All photos by Marcy Mendelson.

Salsa Night

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    Salsa Night at Little Baobab. All photos by Marcy Mendelson

The Rehearsal

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    Diamano Coura West African Dance Company rehearses in Oakland, California for the 2006 performance. All photos by Marcy Mendelson

The Rehearsal II

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    Dress rehearsal for the Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in Oakland, California. All photos by Marcy Mendelson

Carnaval Costumes

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    Costume Designer Jair Oliveira at work in his studio. Photos by Marcy Mendelson

La Feria Andalucia

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    Barcelona, Spain... Couples dance Sevillanas at La Feria. Photographs by Marcy Mendelson.

Romani Dance

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    Romani women dance Flamenco Puro in the streets of Italy. Photographs/ Copyright, Rana Halprin


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    Maisa Duke and her Energia do Samba dance troupe kick it up at a San Francisco nightclub. Photographs by Marcy Mendelson

Sambistas Part II

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    Maisa, Vanessa, Ingrid and Serena of Energia do Samba dance in San Francisco at Mangarosa Restaurant. Photographs by Marcy Mendelson

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Gibson Pearl

I posted this to my blog earlier...


To everyone who had dance memories of this is, as I write this, burning down. Apparently they cannot get into the building in order to save it, and it may collapse soon.

Wow. It was such a beautiful space, and held so many memories for me. That's where I took my first ever bellydance class in October 2000. I remember well the night I went there, very nervous. There happened to be a power outage, so everyone was just sitting in the hallway, hanging out. I recognized Jill Parker from the previous weekend when I had gone to see Ultra Gypsy for the first time at El Rio. She caught my eye and smiled.

Then as I got more obsessed with classes, the place became a regular stop during my week. I remember first meeting Rose (Harden) when Jill moved me up to the intermediate side of the classroom. Rose often led the lead-and-follow routines and was known for chewing gum in class, hee hee. It was here I built my tribal fusion base training. I learned the cues, moves, and style of ATS but Jill had already outgrown the turban/choli/skirts look, which was fine by me. I knew NOTHING about bellydance and just stumbled along as I could.

I remember feeling a peculiar freedom and comfort as I would look around the class at 30 or so other students, all showing their bellies, all different body types, all immersed in moving their bodies in whole new ways. Just a big bunch of women (with the occasional man) dancing and moving.

I remember first meeting Teri Sage and asking her if she was in the company. She laughed and said "no!". We later joined UG at around the same time. Some of my best friends to this day are ones I danced with in UG.

God that was so long ago, in so many different ways.



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I don't have any dance memories on that place but i can feel the significant value of that place to the people who experience that place. Very amazing. . .

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