Wildfires in Santa Rosa Displace Residents, Folk Dancers

In Santa Rosa, Marilyn Smith is a well respected, long-time folk dance teacher who leads the Razzmatazz Folk Dance Club. Teaching folk dance classes in Santa Rosa since 1970, Marilyn always welcomes and encourages newcomers to join her class and holds special events and parties throughout the year with the club. However, the latest club “special event” has not been one anyone could celebrate.

The hall Marilyn uses for her beginner class, the Finley Community Center, is currently being used as a fire evacuation center and is at capacity.

Marilyn’s beginner class will meet instead at Monroe Hall from 7pm – 9pm starting Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Many of her dancers were evacuated. A few have lost their homes in the fires. If you’re interested in details about Razzmatazz folk dancers with any updates as they come in or would like to offer support of some kind, visit the
Razzmatazz Folk Dance Club home page.

Watch a video featuring the Razzmatazz Folk Dance Club and Marilyn Smith: Expressions 2007: Balkan Dance.

Over the next few days, weather conditions are expected to improve significantly. Northern California fires have scorched more than 220,000 acres since they began Oct. 8. As many as 10,000 firefighters from throughout California and surrounding states have battled the fires around the clock.

The death toll from California wildfires has hit 41, and officials believe that number will rise as searchers make their way through the neighborhoods in Santa Rosa that burned down as well as mountain communities across wine country.