Susan Mendoza Friedman grew up in Roslyn, New York, located on the North Shore of Long Island. She is married to Jerry, who is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Mashpee, Cape Cod. They have two adult sons, Jesse and Matt, who currently reside in Boston and Atlanta.
Susan earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College in 1975, and received dance training in both New York and Boston. Susan then moved to the Cape and has resided in Cotuit since 1978. She taught preschool through the second grade at Barnstable Public Schools for 10 years before devoting all of her time to her passion: dance.
For 30 years, Susan owned and operated Dance Designs, Inc. Cape Cod’s largest dance studio, until 2012. Susan continues to teach all styles of dance at various locations throughout the cape.
Dancing for a Cure (DFAC) was founded in 2006 for Susan’s best friend Karen Schek, who was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. DFAC has been a Special Fund of the Friends of Dana-Farber since 2009. Their annual event, the Dance Marathon, includes hundreds of dance enthusiasts throughout the Cape and beyond. All funds raised are allocated for ovarian and breast cancer researcher at the Institute. The partnership with Friends of Dana-Farber has helped to solidify the DFAC reputation on the Cape as one of the most important annual fundraisers. They also support those in cancer treatment on the Cape by hosting Hospitality Days at Hematology Oncology Specialists of Cape Cod.
Some of Susan's other interests include outdoor sports, gardening, vintage repurposing and design, and the New England Patriots.