Nancy Stevens Mendoza
Nancy Stevens Mendoza gave her first dance performance before she turned three years old. She learned tap and acrobatics as a youngster; 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".
Nancy was one of the first Tangueras in the San Francisco Bay Area. After becoming enthralled by the original Broadway production of Tango Argentino, which Nancy saw while working for MTV in New York City in 1986, she began a long search for locals who could teach her authentic ARGENTINE Tango.
After suffering through countless American Ballroom Tango classes pretending to teach Argentine Tango, Nancy met the late Jose "Pepe" Fernandez, who along with his partner Madelyn Deys, presented the first authentic Tango reviews in the Bay Area. Being a radio announcer, TV performer and video producer, Nancy helped Pepe organize his shows and narrated the live performances. Through Pepe, Nancy met the fledgling San Francisco Tango community, which consisted of fewer than 20 dancers - most of them absolute beginners. The more advanced included Jorge & Rosa LeDesma (San Francisco's first Argentine teachers of Tango), Al & Barbara Garvey (Bay Area Argentine Tango Association originators), Jean and Charlie Stewart, Victor Nemeses (Mariposa Argentine Tango Club organizer), and Hector Villaba (Mansion Dandi Royal owner) and Nora & Raul Dinzelbacher, who had just arrived in San Francisco.
After Raul died in 1990, Nora decided to carry on alone. She needed an extra dancer for her first full-length performance by her troupe, the Argentine Tango Folk Ballet and was introduced to Nancy by two of the troupe's dancers. Besides performing in Nora's troupe until it disbanded circa 1995, Nancy also helped Nora with fund raising, organizing, assisting in class and doing whatever else was needed to help grow the Tango Community. For example, Nancy tended bar and otherwise helped Nora organize the Bay Area's first real Milonga at the Renaissance Ballroom in San Francisco. She has taught many local teachers their first Tango steps and was one of the original 30 dancers who founded the Bay Area Argentine Tango Association. Nancy continued her support for the Tango community by co-hosting with her husband the Belmont Milonga, the Peninsula Practica, La Milonguita del Camino Real, La Milonga de los Mendoza. They currently host the Friday Night Milonga at Boogie Woogie Ballroom in Foster City, Ca. In addition to milongas she sponsors visiting maestros and donate her time and talent to various local fund raisers. Most of all, she is dedicated to dancing with her husband and devoted to teaching her students how to enjoy themselves on the dance floor.