My wonderful Flamenco dance teacher here in Sevilla, Spain, Angelita Vargas, major Flamenco artist (dancer) and teacher of the pure Flamenco style, suffered a stroke at the end of June 2011.

We have set up a  facebook page for her. You can visit the page to find recent news of Angelita's condition, photos, and videos links of Angelita Vargas dancing.


 Flamenco Dance classes  2017


Live music. Lots of fun. 



Hope to see you there!

Flamenco Romantico Poolside Studio     Soquel (Santa Cruz) California  831-216-6072
Saturdays: 11AM-12:30PM - Beginning Flamenco Dance, focusing on technique, compas (rhythm and accents), the "Palo" of Bulerias (Fiesta dance). 
Thursdays 6:30-8 PM - Beginning/Intermediate Flamenco Dance focusing on Footwork technique. Class includes compas (rhythm and accents) and learning the "Palo" of Bulerias (Fiesta dance). 
Wednesdays 6:30 -8:00 PM   - Intermediate/Advanced.
  • Solea Class -  Soleá (Concha Vargas choreography)  + technique
 (Open to beginners if they are curently signed up for and attending Thursday and Saturday classes and are pre-approved). 
All group classes are $20 for drop-in or $60 for 4 classes taken within a 4-week period). 
Session days + more options
Drop-in - 1 class = $20
Live Musical accompaniment in all group classes!  
The Flamenco Romantico Dance Studio

September 27, 2008

Mario Maya, the renowned Flamenco dancer, died of cancer today at dawn.

     Juan told us and then we read it in the paper. He was only seventy-two. Another great has passed on.

    I  remember when I was in Sevilla in 1980. I went to Mario Maya’s show "Ay Jondo" with Ansonini and Evalina. I might have an ancient tape recording of it somewhere, with Ansonini shouting his jaleo (like Bravo) from the audience. It was fabulous and I still refer to images from that show. It was about the persecution and survival of the Gypsies. At one point Mario Maya is dragged and thrown on the ground. Then, after a short silence, he begins to tap the compás with his fingers, on the floor. The rhythm builds and finally he rises, dancing. The rhythm and music have given him strength, hope, joy and freedom. I will never forget that.
     Concha Vargas danced with Mario in the show he did before that one, "Camelamos Naquerar" (1976). A clip of that show is in the video anthology Rito y Geografía del Baile.



 If you go to the first page of our website, click on the left side under Photo Gallery and you will see more photos I have just uploaded of Freddie in the hospital. New photos were added November 15, 2007

  Freddie update 11/21/07

    Freddie will be coming home around 11 AM on Thanksgiving. What a Thanksgiving we will have.
    Home health comes Saturday and he will have home physical therapy here too. Yesterday I saw him walk with the walker and he is already doing very well.
    Thank you all for your caring and your nice e-mails. Please pass this news on to our non-e-mail friends.

Freddie update 11/17/07

Hi Everyone,
    Freddie is now back in Santa Cruz, at the Dominican hospital RCU rehab unit. He is in room 142 A. The phone number: 831-457-7160 room 142A. If you visit, it is in the back of the Rehab center (Frederick St.) and you can, park in back.
    He is doing well and starts physical therapy tomorrow (Sunday).


Freddie update for November 15, 2007 Thursday   PM

    In the afternoon when I talked with Freddie today I noticed that his voice was slurry and he sounded drugged. I thought maybe it was because he was sleepy. When I called again around 5 PM, Lainey and Ken were there. Freddie was trying to tell me things and he couldn’t remember words that he knows. He could not pronounce Thanksgiving or Lainey’s name, which normally he can do now. I figured it might be the Vicodin.

     I talked with two cardiologists today, and other than their not communicating with each other, they were both intelligent and caring. And they took my input seriously and called me back to tell me of Freddie’s progress! After discussing the case with Freddie’s Santa Cruz cardiologist, Dr. Singh, they decided that they needed to restore Freddie’s heart to a regular rhythm before they could release him. First they were going to double his dose of Flecainide. If that didn’t work, at 7 PM tonight they would anesthetize him for a few minutes and shock his heart, as in re-setting it (just like it works with computers, etc.). Fortunately, although they said it was very safe, the double dose of Flecainide controlled his Atrial Fibrillation (so they didn’t have to shock his heart) and now his heart is normal again.
    I also told the cardiologist that I thought the Vicodin was slurring Freddie’s voice so the Dr. changed him to oral Delodid and now Freddie is lucid again and they plan to transfer him to rehab tomorrow!!! When I spoke with him this evening I asked him to say Thanksgiving and he said it easily and without hesitation. He is very ready to move to rehab and his spirits are good again.
    It is so important to have an advocate when in the hospital!

Freddie update for November 15, 2007 Thursday AM

    I spoke with Freddie about 8:30 this morning and he was awful.  He had just been given his Subutex, which they have been giving to him normally at 6 AM in the hospital. After talking with his nurse I learned that he only was given the Vicodin once last night instead of twice (every four hours) and that he can gone into a-fib (atrial fibrillation). This seems to happen to him when his body is stressed, which it was from such a sudden withdrawal. It sure seems obvious to me.
    His case had been transferred to cardiology because of that and he won’t be released today. I called Freddie’s Stanford hospital caseworker for help and voiced my theory about his a-fib/drug withdrawal and my concern that Dominican rehab might run out of bed space if we wait too long. Thanks to her help I finally talked to his new cardiologist at Stanford and explained my theory to him. He listened and thanked me. They had been trying to reach Freddie’s cardiologist here in Santa Cruz so I called their office and explained to them the urgency of returning the doctor’s phone call ASAP. Then I called the case manager again and found that she had already called Dominican rehab and they can move Freddie there tomorrow. When I called Freddie back he was feeling better, but very sleepy because he hadn’t slept last night! Duh….. 
    It is almost 2 PM and my rest and relaxation has been cooking breakfast, unpacking, washing clothes, and organizing Freddie’s medical care from home!
    I hung his new portrait up in our bedroom. Tomorrow Martin will help me rearrange our bedroom so that when Freddie returns he will have more space to maneuver. Freddie drew me a layout of what he wanted when we were in the hospital together. That sounds funny, but that’s how it felt.
    Already the warm sun has a chill to it, as I sit outside on our porch and type. The bay is covered by a layer of fog, with Monterey’s hills peeking out behind it, and the trees of our canyon on this side of it, like a mystical painting. I do like being home. I just want Freddie in Santa Cruz.
    The saga continues.
    I just talked to Freddie and he feels much better. His nurse told me that they are working on his release, hopefully for tomorrow. This nurse sounded intelligent.


Freddie update for November 14, 2007 Wednesday Night
Dear Family and Friends,
    The case manager called me today, as I was driving home, to say that Freddie has been accepted into the Frederick Street Dominican Rehab Skilled Nursing unit in Santa Cruz and will leave Stanford at 11:30 AM on Thursday. However, when Lainey and Ken visited Freddie this evening they called me and said that Freddie’s heart rate was unstable and had been speeding up and that the doctors are checking his electrolytes. Could it also be that he became addicted to the delauded (stronger than morphine) and when they stopped his intravenous pain delivery he started withdrawals? He wasn’t using it all the time when he was hooked up to it, but still I suspect that the drugs may be involved with his speeded heart rate.
I have called Freddie and he says to call back later. I will call his nurse. The pain team suggested that he be switched to oral delauded but his surgeon visited today and I was there. The surgeon, Dr. Bellino, felt that Freddie would have trouble getting the oral delauded outside of the hospital and so recommended Vicodin or Percocet. Hopefully they will still transfer him tomorrow.
Or perhaps Vicodin and Percocet react differently with the Subutex? Freddie was fine this morning when I visited him. He had no pain. He was a little snappy sounding just now when he said to call back later –I think possible drug withdrawal or reaction.
When I arrived home, after being gone a week, I went to the garden and picked a zucchini, some lettuce, some hot peppers and then grazed on strawberries. The sun was still warm and it felt so good. I have missed the outdoors. The garden was able to ground me, just standing on the earth and breathing in and stretched up. It was a slowing down, this connection with the earth, being sustained by the earth. From the garden and the porch, the ocean looked like a lake in the distance with the hills of Monterey in the background.
Dancing felt good too when I taught tonight. And walking around the land in the late afternoon sunshine was also grounding. And so was connecting with everyone here again, Heather (who just moved here, from Oregon to the Sunset room), Tami and Brent (and Brent’s visiting parents), Martin, and James. Yes it is good to be home although I thoroughly enjoyed staying at Lainey and Ken’s beautiful, comfortable and relaxing home.
I just hope that Freddie’s heart straightens out and he can continue with the plan for him to be moved to the skilled nursing facility.
When I called Freddie back after the 20 minutes he requested, the patient phone lines had just closed. I then called the nursing station and they said that they would tell Freddie I called and that he could make a call out. But he hasn’t called yet so he may be having trouble.
I guess I will talk to him in the morning.
Well, good night for now. More to follow, of course.



Short Update for November 14, 2007 AM 

Hi everyone,
    I  just talked to Freddie’s nurse this morning by phone. His hematocrit is now up to 30, the best it has been since he has been in the hospital and that is a very good sign! (no more transfusions if it stays up). They are decreasing the PCA, the pain medication he gives himself by button, and in about 2 hours they will discontinue it and see how he does. This means they are preparing him for release.
    When I spoke with Freddie he seemed bright and cheerful and was enjoying his new view.
    I have to eat now and return to the hospital and then to Santa Cruz.

Freddie update for November 13, 2007 Tuesday

Dear Family and Friends,
    Today was a long day, but good. I couldn’t sleep late for some reason, so I got an early start and arrived at the hospital about 10:30 AM, shortly before Mano and Alta. Freddie was in a great mood, full of energy and minimal pain. Mano and Alta arrived to say goodbye. They continue on to Bea’s (Freddie’s mother, Mano’s grandmother) in Monterey. After that they will visit Mano’s daughters and grandchildren in LA and then return to Las Vegas so that Alta can rest before going to work.
    While they were still there the hospital case manager finally came and I was able to request that the rehab center be in Santa Cruz at Pacific Manor. I had to call Pacific Manor after the case manager had called them and hopefully Freddie will be able to stay there, although I still don’t know when they will release him.
    The pain management doctor also came by, an intelligent man who knew a lot about Subutex, the esoteric drug that Freddie takes to avoid taking Oxycontin. The doctor said that Subutex is becoming more common now so they have had to learn about it. When Freddie fractured his pelvis at the end of 2004, hardly anyone at Stanford knew about it. I am glad they do now. It made life a lot easier. We still had to bring our own because the pharmacy doesn’t stock it. The nurses dispense it to Freddie and it is all legal. The pain team will give Freddie oral delauded when they take him off the intravenous pain mediction (also delauded).
    I felt like I had gotten a lot done this morning.
    After they all left Freddie was eating lunch and getting another blood transfusion. They had scheduled two more today because his hematocrit was still very low, something which they say is not uncommon after five hours of surgery. Suddenly Freddie’s eyes closed and he seemed to drop off to sleep. I asked him what was happening and he said that he felt funny but couldn’t pinpoint it. He did not feel anything unusual in his chest or heart, but his forehead was sweaty. I called the nurse. He was having a reaction to the blood. They ended up stopping the transfusion and testing the blood, which tested OK, but it took hours. Freddie slowly woke up.
    Shortly after that Marie Gordon called me. She and her husband Will are friends of our family. Will’s mother Claire was my mother’s best friend in the US for many years. I went to nursery school with Will. Will and Marie now live in Los Altos. Marie told me that she had a picture of Freddie that would lift our spirits. I figured it was a photograph she had taken. She arrived at our room guided by one of Freddie’s pain doctors, the one who knew about Subutex, whom she had met in the parking lot and asked directions. It turns out that he loves Flamenco! When Marie arrived at the room she took out a huge framed painting she had done of Freddie from one of our favorite Renaissance faire photos. It was magnificent.   The hospital staff brought us an easel to display it on and all day the staff came in and marveled at it. It really captures an essence of Freddie. We kept looking at it all day! Marie is a fabulous artist. I wanted to take her photo next to the painting but she didn’t let me. So I took Freddie now next to Freddie then! I will take the painting with me tomorrow when I return to Santa Cruz. The painting certainly did lift our spirits.
After that the physical therapist came. Freddie had not done much exercise yesterday because of the pain, but today he walked more. The therapist didn’t want to push him too much because his hematocrit was so low, which means that his energy was low too. But after he walked, she put him in a wheel chair and he wheeled himself around the floor, using his right foot to push, under her direction. That was good for his arms and his right leg. Then he sat in the wheel chair for a while before getting back in bed. She was impressed. Much later, in the evening, they started the blood transfusions again with washed blood and he did well.
After the walking, Debra, our wonderful and incredible massage therapist came and worked her magic on Freddie. I went to eat some early dinner before the cafeteria closed.
When visitors weren’t there, I lay in bed with Freddie, snuggling. No one minds. Freddie seemed free of pain today and often forgot to push his pain button.
    The Armenian/Russian man gets to return to Fresno. His wife and daughter and (I think) her husband visited this morning. The hospital moved him to another room late this afternoon and Freddie got to move to his side of the room, which is bigger and has large windows with a nice view to the outside. Freddie knew just where he wanted the bed and I helped the staff move his bed and organize his room. The balloon that Madeline brought him that says Superman (in honor of Freddie) is now in the corner, but high up, floating near the ceiling. The portrait of Freddie is in that corner where Freddie can easily see it from his bed. There is a ledge for his breathing machine by the windows and his bed is near that. There is a chest of drawers under the ledge. His tray and two chairs are on the other side of the bed, (along with his medication dispenser) so everyone gets the view.
    We still don’t know when he will go home or be moved, but he is happy with his new room, D 3 37 B. His direct room phone number has changed by one digit: 650-498-3777.
    Tomorrow I go to Santa Cruz after I visit Freddie in the morning. I have appointments and things to do. I teach my Flamenco class on Wednesday night.
If any of you out there have time to visit Freddie on Wednesday and maybe Thursday and to check on him, please do. I am not sure if I can come back on Thursday, but maybe I can. I have a client at 6 PM & 7 PM. I have to cancel Freddie’s coumadin appointment for Thursday morning because I don’t even know where he will be! Be sure to call first to make sure he is till there.

    So now I am back at Lainey and Ken’s and I need to shower and pack up so I can get a good start in the morning. But I wanted to write this first.

    My friend Mushroom just e-mailed me questioning why Freddie needs so many transfusions. I have already included the hospital explanation above. But if any of you have any more medical knowledge about this, please let me know.

    But still, it seems odd to me too, but apparently not to the hospital staff. I fed him beets from the cafeteria to start to build his blood. The food they feed him is not that nutritious.

    Hopefully he will stabilize and start making his own blood soon. They are also feeding him iron pills and they don’t seem too concerned about giving him all that blood. But it is a lot!

Freddie update for November 12, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,
    I am again sitting here in the hospital with Freddie, Manolo and Alta. Timmie and Joanie left this morning after they visited Freddie and had brunch with Mano and Alta. Freddie got (mistaken) doses of some extra blood pressure medicine, which I straightened out with the doctor this morning. Freddie’s blood pressure was way down and he was dizzy when he sat in the chair. It is a little better now. But his hematocrit was down again so they will give him yet another blood transfusion this afternoon and another x-ray. He was in intense pain last night, even with extra pain medication and a sleeping pill. He is still sleepy now but seems to be out of pain and in a good mood. We still don’t know when he will be moved. The doctor is talking to his team and will get back to us today. And the case manager hasn’t showed up either. Oh well, all in its time.
    It’s now night and I am home (at Lainey and Ken’s). Freddie got two more transfusions today and feels much better. His pain seems minimal again and he is forgetting to push the medication button. The case manager never came and the doctor never returned so I still don’t know if they are going to move him or what. I need to return to Santa Cruz on Wednesday. I had thought he would be transferred or home by then. We’ll see tomorrow. He is still in the same room. He kept the Armenian/Russian man up apparently, last night, as he groaned in pain. Today the man seemed to sleep most of the day, but his breathing sounded better. And Freddie is definitely much better. He was watching TV when I left, but he took a long nap this afternoon.
Mano and Alta leave tomorrow. We went out to dinner tonight. Their visit has certainly brought a smile to Freddie. And he was telling them tonight how proud he was of Maggie (his daughter) and her wonderful and involved parenting.   I will take care of myself and go to sleep.
More updates to come.


Freddie update for November 11, 2007


Dear Family and Friends,

    I am here with my laptop at the hospital, but I am not allowed to plug in so I will have limited time writing. Timmie and Joanie left the hospital and went out to Frys just now because Freddie was sleepy. Freddie was able to get out of bed to use the commode much more easily today. It surprised him. I have been reading him your e-mails.
    They are talking about sending him to re-hab tomorrow, so things may change. I don’t know if rehab is just here in the hospital in a different ward or if they want to send him to a skilled nursing facility now.
He had an x-ray today but I don’t know the results.
And, Freddie is now allowed to eat regular food! Yea. They brought him salad dressing but no salad, just Insure.
    The physical therapist is here so I will take a break.
Back at Lainey(Elaine my sister) and Ken’s where I am staying (in Palo Alto).
    Freddie actually walked out into the hall today with the physical therapist. He felt great. He had just had another blood transfusion and I think it gave him energy. He did very well. I videoed it.
    However later in the day he felt a lot a pain, the most pain I have seen him in since his operation!  Mano and Alta arrived from Las Vegas in the late afternoon and Freddie was already in pain.
    The Armenian/Russian man’s daughter-in-law, who was there last night, came again today. She lives in Fresno and was visiting her son in SF. Her father-in-law had cancer of the liver and they removed 70% of it two months ago. Recently he had pneumonia, which is why he is being constantly watched and why his breathing is difficult. He can’t talk because he had a tube in him for a long time. He will be able to talk again. The family visits as much as possible, but he has been here for 2 months and very much wants to go home. They are discussing it. The daughter-in-law was thinking of spending the night so she could visit again in the morning. She didn’t know of any motels in the area (and neither did I), and it wasn’t until Timmie, Joanie and I went out to eat Indian food that I used the new navigator on my new cell phone and realized that it could also give me the names of motels in the area. By the time we returned to the hospital, she was gone.
    I love my new navigator. It talks to you and tells you when to turn and when you have arrived. How I love good technology.
    Freddie may be moved tomorrow, it will depend on his hematocrit. He had a 4th transfusion after physical therapy.
    Timmie and Joanie leave tomorrow for home, Point Arena, California. Mano and Alta will be visiting until Tuesday.
    Some of you have asked about calling Freddie. They don’t allow cell phones in Freddie’s room so he doesn’t have his cell phone. I also forgot to bring its charger. His room phone number is 650-498-3776. Please don’t call late because he sleeps early. And, they might change his room tomorrow (Monday)!!!!!
Enough for tonight. You can always call Stanford and ask for the telephone number to his room.
    There are now 4 Freddie hospital photos on our website with the hip writings, with more to be added soon.
Take a look. And good night.

Freddie update for November 10, 2007

Good morning everyone,
    I was too tired to write last night. Freddie is still in the same room, 37 on D 3. His hermatacrit was low so he had two more transfusions yesterday (and one just after the operation). His breathing has evened out and in the afternoon he took the breathing tube off his nose and his oxygen level stayed up. His color looks good and his spirits are great.
    We had lots of visitors yesterday and Freddie did get tired. Madeline came first and brought Postum, which Freddie had requested. She always makes us laugh! Then Debra came to do body work which was like heaven for Freddie. (That doesn’t count all the nurses’ visits). Then Timmy and Joanie arrived and Holly visited. It was a full day with a lot of love.
    I ended up climbing in bed with Freddie, which was very comfortable. His spirits are up. The physical therapist made him walk two steps yesterday and it was very difficult for Freddie, but he did it.
    This morning Freddie needed another transfusion which they say is not uncommon for this type of surgery. When I spoke with Freddie a few minutes ago he sounded great. His speech is coming back (in general) and he is easy for me to understand by phone.
    The nurses at the hospital are nice. I will go there again later this morning with Timmy and Joanie. I usually arrive in the morning and stay all day, with sometimes a break, like when I ate with Marc and Ragni. Yesterday I arrived a little late (around 12:30 or 1) and stayed until 8:30 or 9 PM.
    There always seems to be so much to do so I never read the book I lug around with me. I have also been bringing a laptop for Freddie to watch DVDs on, but he can’t plug it in in this unit, so I never take it out. At least I have put in in a rolling carry-on suitcase. Wheels are where it’s at!
    I am leaving the i-pod with Freddie and he can listen to Flamenco and to healing tapes. He is finally getting into the i-pod.
    I am trying to get some photos up to the website on the page about Freddie, but so far no luck. But I will have them up soon, thanks to my webmaster.  This afternoon Freddie’s son Manolo (Mano) and his wife Alta will arrive.
More later,


Short update on Freddie  Friday night November 9, 2007

Freddie is continuing to do well in semi ICU. I don’t know when they will move him to orthopedics. But he looks and sounds good. He still has to pass gas in order to be given solid foods. He’s hungry already (since last night after surgery).
    I had a delicious dinner with Marc and Ragni tonight (good good friends of my sister Elaine and her husband Ken). Ragni picked me up at the hospital and when we arrived at their beautiful home they put me into a comfortable reclining chair and let me rest until dinner was ready. I didn’t think I needed it, but I did. It felt great to STOP.
    After a wonderful dinner with their sweet company Ragni drove me back to the hospital. I helped Freddie set up his breathing machine and I set up the ipod with a hypnotic sleep track (Belleruth Naparstek) for Freddie. I made sure that he had all his medication, etc. I have added homeopathics to the regimen.
    The man next to Freddie can’t talk. He speaks Russian and Armenian. His grandson and his grandson’s stunning wife or girlfriend arrived from LA and translated for the poor frustrated man. He has pneumonia, among other things. He tried to write for the nurse but she thought it was gibberish; it was probably Russian. His grandson understood it. He had been trying to communicate with the nurse  unsuccessfully before they came.
    Today the physical therapist helped Freddie sit up and take 2 steps with a walker to a chair. Freddie sat in the chair for 45 minutes (which exhausted him) and then walked back, with the help of the therapist and the walker.
    Tomorrow Debra comes to give him healing bodywork. Brother Timmie and sister-in-law Joanie will arrive tomorrow afternoon. Chris Hansen dropped in today, as she was at Stanford donating blood. Madeline plans to visit tomorrow.
    I don’t think I mentioned that I am staying at Elaine and Ken’s beautiful and restful house in Palo Alto. (Very convenient). They left for Texas this morning to visit and help daughter Diana and her 3 children while her husband is away. I miss them. But Timmie and Joanie will stay here tomorrow when they arrive.
    Thank you all for your wonderful e-mails. It’s so nice to hear from you. We both feel so supported!
    I will try to keep these updates coming.

Freddie Pre-surgery 

Freddie Post-Surgery


Thursday night, November 8, 2008

Freddie is out of 5 hours of surgery. He has a new hip. They also removed all the hardware they had put in several years ago to help his shattered pelvis heal. So he has two incisions, one for the hip and the other over the old scar of the incision from where his broken pelvis was fixed.
    I’ll send more updates later. I need to sleep now.


Freddie's total Hip Replacement Surgery will take place on November 8, 2007 at Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, California around noon.

Freddie welcomes your prayers, journeys and good thoughts.  I will be posting website updates.

May he soon walk easily and without pain! 

Marianna Mejia

Don Pohren has passed away!

Flamenco Romántico salutes Don Pohren, noted Flamenco author and friend, who during his life contributed greatly to Flamenco. His books on Flamenco are “must reads”. He was a friend of Freddie’s for over 50 years. We will both greatly miss his presence.
Marianna and Federico “Freddie” Mejia

We received this e-mail today, November 6, 2007
 “It is with great sadness that I let you know Don passed away last night at home after two nightmarish visits to the hospitals in the last month and half.
As we all know Don was a rebel, and will be very hard to imagine a world without him.
Love Cookie and Tina"

Guitars by Carlos Heredia for sale now Sevilla, Spain

Guitars by Carlos Heredia for sale now

Carlos Heredia, renowned Flamenco guitarist from Sevilla, started making guitars a few years ago and had made five as of August 7, 2008. By August 2009 he had perfected his technique. His guitars are easy to play and have good sound. He is selling these guitars for around 2,000 euros, a good price for a good guitar that is not too expensive. These early ones might even become collectors’ items. He is a talented man. For more information and sales, please call Carlos in Spain, in Spanish: 011-34-622-454-004


When you call, please remember and take into account  that Spain is 9 hours ahead of California and 6 hours ahead of New York. Spanish only.

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