Jodette, 2017 [1/2]
In Sacramento, I found a small, trendy-looking thrift store, which turned out to be a dance studio as well. Pictures of the same woman were all over the store. Literally everywhere. She looked a little different in each one, wearing the latest fashion trend or because of age. But I could tell it was the same woman. She was on her own DVD covers, framed paintings, newspaper articles, a signed photograph of her and Muhammad Ali. Yes, Muhammad Ali.
The woman all over walls is Jodette, and Jodette is the friendly woman who owns the store. From a piece she wrote and displays in the shop, I learned that she had been a very famous belly-dancer. She danced for sultans and Saudi kings and met celebrities like the Beatles. She had been in a car accident, which left her body broken, but she prayed to God to let her dance again, and when she made a full recovery, she devoted her life to teaching dance and feeding the homeless. A letter from Bill Clinton commending her for her work sits on a shelf.