David and Nancy Mendoza have been teaching, performing, and choreographing Salsa and authentic Argentine Tango as a husband and wife dance team since 1994.
The Mendoza's authentic Argentine Tango style is called "Milonguero" or salon style, which stresses the social aspects of Tango -- spontaneity, smooth floor navigation, and leading and following techniques -- over choreography. The Mendozas' have won high praise for their teaching method, which simplifies this most sophisticated and difficult of all social dances for beginners. The Mendozas are experts at breaking down complicated Tango patterns into easy-to-learn movements, so their students can focus on feeling the music and connecting with their partners, instead of memorizing steps and counting.
David and Nancy call their particular style of Salsa dancing Salsa Romantica. The label is borrowed from the type of Salsa music they prefer -- modern arrangements, suave melodies, and spicy rhythms. It also comes from the fact that they met dancing Salsa. The Mendozas' Salsa style is best characterized as "club" style -- one that emphasizes their strong points -- flashing feet, dizzying spins, and warm smiles. In their classes, Nancy and David teach everything from the basic step to complicated patterns and partnership techniques. Primarily, they concentrate on what they consider to be the two most important elements of dance -- individual style and fun. According to David and Nancy, if you're not having fun -- you're not dancing Salsa!
The Mendozas perform on a regular basis at a wide variety of venues ranging from private parties and weddings to corporate events and benefits. Some of their most memorable public appearances include: Hispanic Film Festival, San Jose Civic Center; An Evening of Dance and Tango, in conjunction with the California Composer Consortium, San Joaquin Delta College; Tango #9 CD release party, El Valenciano; Folk Dance Festival, Stockton; Festival de la Familia, Sacramento; Summer in the Park, Concord; Totally Tango, Falkirk Mansion, San Rafael, The History of Tango, Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and Tribute to Tito Puente, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco. They have performed at countless private parties, for such clients as Catena Wines of Argentina; Scharffenberger Cellars; Paloma Picasso Perfume; Nordstroms; Macys and the Mill Valley Film Festival. (Complete performance list follows.)
Nancy and David Mendoza teach group Salsa and Argentine Tango classes at the Beresford Recreation Center in San Mateo; group Salsa classes at the Foster City Recreation Center, and conduct private lessons and choreograph "first dances" for weddings at their dance studio in San Francisco. To contact them for lessons or appearances, access http://www.dndance.com or call 415-467-7892.
David MendozaDavid Mendoza can't remember a time when he wasn't dancing. He started with the Rancheros and other social and folk dances of his native Texas. Upon moving to California, he became infatuated with Salsa in the early 90s and was a fixture at the hottest Salsa clubs. He has been dancing Argentine Tango since 1994 and has performed with Pampa Cortes' Los Tangueros de San Francisco.
Nancy Stevens MendozaNancy Stevens Mendoza gave her first dance performance before she turned three years old. She studied tap and acrobatics as a youngster. She studied ballet with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, modern dance with Shawl Anderson Dance Center, Isadora Duncan dancing, Martha Graham technique, and dance teacher training at the Metronome Ballroom. She won first place in the Silver American Tango meet at the Grand Ball, a national ballroom competition. She was a principal dancer with Nora Dinzelbacher's Argentine Tango Folk Ballet from 1989 to 1994 and performed with Pampa Cortes' Los Tangueros de San Francisco.
Influences:David and Nancy have studied with many of the great Argentine Tango dancers and teachers of our time, including cast members of the stage shows Tango Argentino and Forever Tango. The Mendozas' greatest influence is their first and long-time teacher, Nora Dinzelbacher. The Mendozas have also studied extensively with Nito & Elba Garcia, Luis Castro and Claudia Mendoza, and Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo.
Other teachers and influences include:Eduardo Arquimbaud & Gloria Barraud, Pedro "El Indio" Benavente, Olga Besio, Juan Bruno, Carlos Copello and Alicia Monti, Juan Carlos Copes, Pampa Cortes, Diego DiFalco & Carolina Zokalski, Los Dinzel, Carlos Gavito & Marcela Duran, Graciela Gonzales, Hector & Elsa Maria Majoral, Oscar Mandagaran, Fabio Narvaez & Lorena Yacono, Gustavo Naveira, Omar & Vivana, Orlando Paiva, Milena Plebs, Facundo & Kely Posadas, Mingo, Pablo & Ester Pugliese, Guillermina & Roberto Reis, Nestor Rey, Carlos & Maria Rivarola, Fabian Salas, Michael Walker & Luren Berluci, Miguel Angel Zotto, and Osvaldo Zotto.
Dance Instruction Credits:Alllegro Ballroom, Emeryville, CA; Border Cantina, San Fancisco, Chic to Cheek Ballroom Dances; Beresford Recreation Center, San Mateo, CA; City College of San Francisco; Dance Through Time; William Walker Recreation Center, Foster City, CA; Jewish Community Centers of San Francisco and San Rafael; Kaiser Hospital, Richmond, CA; International House, Berkeley, CA; Mariposa Tango Club; Metronome Ballroom; Milonga de Mis Amores; Mission Cultural Center; Noe Valley Ministry; Oyster Point Bar & Grille; Portrero Hill Neighborhood House; Renaissance Ballroom; San Joaquin Delta College; Coyote Point Yacht Club, San Mateo, CA; St. Thomas More Church; Stanford Tango Club; Strawberry Recreation Center, Mill Valley, CA; Tamalpais Community Education, Mill Valley, CA; and Third Wave Dance Studio, San Francisco.
Choreography Credits:An Evening of Dance and Tango -- a 2-hour concert showcasing new Tango compositions by members of the California Composers Consortium. Two new choreographies were set to live music performed by Tango #9, a San Francisco-based quartet specializing in the music of Astor Piazzolla.
Mi Tierra -- Original choreography created for Gloria Estefan for a showcase of Latin music and dance that opened the Hispanic Film Festival in front of a crowd of over 3,000 at the San Jose Civic Center.
Carnation Coffee Mate -- a 15-minute video for the Carnation Company's sales force, aimed at inspiring them to sell a new line of products. The video required choreographing a "spoof" on Tango for non-dance professional actors. The video was produced by Crowley & Associates, San Francisco.
Hot Peppers! -- a Salsa musical, produced and co-directed by Antonio Madrigal and performed at local theaters in San Francisco and San Jose in 1992.
Club Granada -- a 2-hour program of original dance and music, including Argentine Tango, Salsa, modern dance and ballet, produced for Stanford University by Professor Charles Ferguson.
Tango Through Time -- a 90-minute lecture/demonstration of the history of Tango music and dance styles for the Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. The program was researched and written by Nancy Mendoza.
Salsa Lunch Breaks -- a half-hour lunchtime workout for office and hospital workers at the Kaiser Permanente in Richmond, CA that utilized music and basic dance steps from Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Rhumba and other Latin dances to create an exercise program that was fun, unusual and aerobic.
Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Alberto's Night Club, Mountain View, CA; Argentine Tango Folk Ballet; Benefit for Victims of Columbian Earthquake, Barcelona (night club); Berkeley Ballroom Dancers; California Aids Run; Catena Wines of Argentina; Benefit for Greater Mission Rotary Club's Children's Charities, Cathedral Hill Hotel; Cesar's Latin Palace; City Club of San Francisco, Pacific Stock Exchange; Circulo de Argentina, San Jose, CA; Festival de la Familia, Sacramento, CA; 9 de Julio Celebration, for the Consul General of Argentina, Sheraton Palace Hotel; Folk Dance Festival, Stockton, CA; Benefit for Mission Language and Vocational School, Grand Hyatt Hotel; Hispanic Film Festival, San Jose Civic Center; Hispanic History Month, sponsored by the IRS of Oakland, CA; Juke Box Saturday Nite; Kookla Salon; La Pena, Berkeley, CA; Los Tangueros de San Francisco; Marin Solos; Macy's; Mariposa Tango Club; Metronome Ballroom; Mill Valley Film Festival; Mill Valley Street Fair; National Hispanic University; Nordstrom's; Paloma Picasso Perfume; San Francisco Lawyers Guild, U. S. Reserve Bank; Scharffenberger Cellars; Benefit for SF Opera Society, Sheraton Palace Hotel; Sierra Club Singles; Summer in the Park, Concord, CA; Tango #9 CD release party, El Valenciano; Totally Tango, Falkirk Mansion, San Rafael; Tribute to Tito Puente, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium; Union Espanola; Women's Sports Festival, Golden Gate Park; and WorldFest, City of San Jose, CA.