I was born in New Orleans
La. in 1949 and was raised in and around Baton Rouge, La. I wasn't
the nicest kid growing up, but did well in school. After high school
I went to LSU for a few semesters and since I wasn't the good kid
that I could have been the legal system suggested that I spend my
time elsewhere. The best option was the military.
I chose the Marine Core. I
only thought that I was bad growing up. The Marine Core showed me
that I wasn't nearly as bad as I thought I was and trained me to be
much worse. It changed my life and gave me the direction I had been
looking for. That was in January 1969 and I only served a normal
tour of duty, but I have lived my life since then based on the
principles I learned there.
I got married to my high
school sweetheart in August 1969 and we are still married today. I
have 4 children (the last two I delivered at home) and we adopted a
14 yr old in 1987. Among the 5 kids we have 9 grand children.
Parenting hasn't always been easy as many of you know from the
stories I have told in class, but it has been some of the most
rewarding work of my life.
After the military I
returned to a junior college in Dallas where I got my Associates
Degree. I then transferred to University of Texas and was close to
my B.A (one semester away) when the company I was working for
transferred me to Reno Nv. to collect for the casinos. I never
returned to college.
I have been in Houston
since 1977. after being transferred here from Dallas. I have owned
my own business Network Collection Services Inc. since 1985.
I started dancing as a new
years resolution in January 1998. I was dragged kicking and
screaming to SSQQ and took the class for Two Left Feet. I wasn't any
good so I kept trying and finally found County and Western. It
worked as did West Coast Swing. Rick made the mistake of asking me
to assist Rachel in early 1999 and later in January of 2000 he asked
me to teach my own class. I have had him
fooled ever since. I have taught West Coast Swing and
in the Western Program at SSQQ.
Presently I am teaching in the Western
I love to dance, hunt and
work and in that order.
I was born in Houston and have always lived
in the Houston area. I am a school teacher in Humble. My first
visit to SSQQ was for a swing party one Saturday night in '98. I
had come to the studio with a group of friends from church. I
started taking lessons the following month. I have taken swing and
country western classes ever since. I started assisting in Sharon
Shaw's Waltz class sometime in '99. I now am an assistant in Waltz
and ChaCha. I met my husband, Dennis, at SSQQ in 2000. We were
married in Sept. 2001.
instructor and choreographer, Willie "Zydeco King" Bushnell began
his reign at the age of three in the historic Ville Platte region of
Louisiana, winning Zydeco dance contests in night clubs, trail
rides, festivals, and dance contests throughout the Gulf Coast Area.
A native Creole and fluent speaker of Acadian French, Willie has
spent his professional dance career sharing the gift of Zydeco dance
and music with hundreds of other zydeco dancers and dance
instructors, thus preserving a vital part of American music and
In demand as a performer and instructor internationally since the
1990's. Bushnell has taught Zydeco dance from coast to coast in the
U.S. as well as throughout the Caribbean.
Past winner of the highly
recognized Original Southwestern Louisiana Plaisance Zydeco Festival
Dance Championship, and two time Winner of Texas Zydeco Dance
Championship, Bushnell has also served as choreographer and dance
instructor at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and for the
Victor Nunez film, Coastlines.
As an instructor he is patient, positive, and highly skilled at
tailoring his lessons to the various learning styles of his
students. His teaching details a broad range of movements enabling
each dancer to create his or her own individual style and have fun
while getting exercise.
Students learn basic hip movements, undulations, shimmies,
isolations, traveling steps, advanced combinations, techniques, and
choreographies. Willie's classes provide a supportive learning
environment so that you can explore your creative potential and feel
beautiful no matter your age or dance ability. His attentive and
nurturing teaching style makes even the most difficult dance skills
accessible for students of all levels, and makes having fun an equal
priority to developing strong dance technique.
Willie also teaches students that are at professional level that
have been, plan on, or are performers. The subjects vary and may
include staging, projecting, message, layering, varying mood/s along
with crowd control, structure, floor, critical work and more.
Yokohama, Japan on a US Marine Corp base and raised all over the USA
by his Japanese Mother and American Father, Jim has lived in the
Houston area for more than 20 years. Looking for a place to meet
people and socialize Jim began taking classes at SSQQ back in 1997.
Within a years time he became an Assistant Instructor and 2 years
later was promoted to Instructor. Since 1998 Jim has taught Merengue,
Beginning Salsa and Intermediate Salsa. It was at SSQQ in 2001 that
Jim met his beautiful wife Ulrike. She is from Dresden, Germany and
had been taking dancing lessons at SSQQ. In 2003 they welcomed their
first child, a beautiful daughter named Alina and in 2006 they added
a handsome boy named Talon. Jim continues to teach both Beginning
and Intermediate Salsa classes because it gives him a deep
satisfaction when sharing his experience and knowledge with others.
After more than 20 years
experience traveling all over the world directing shooting and
editing travel shows Jim decided to start his own video production
company- Moving image Productions. His company offers
professional high definition and standard definition video at very
affordable prices. He produces television ads, corporate video,
sales and training films, travel shows, infomercials, documentaries,
music videos and feature films.
Alexander is the assistant Zydeco instructor at SSQQ. During the
day, he is a manager in the Advisory Services practice of Grant
Thornton LLP Accountants and Business Consultants..
Born in Dallas, Texas, he graduated from Dallas Lincoln High School
in 1977. After graduation, he came to Houston to attend Texas
Southern University and be a member of the world famous TSU "Ocean
of Soul" Marching Band where he played the drums. He graduated from
TSU in 1982 with a BBA in Accounting. He obtained a MBA in General
Business for Amberton University in 2004. He is a CPA and Certified
In addition to teaching at
the studio, Ronnie is a member of Gulf Coast Sound Drum & Bugle
Corps drumline. Gulf Coast Sound is Houston's only all-age drum and
bugles corps that travels throughout the country during the summer
to complete in marching competitions.
Ronnie is married and has
I was born in
Libertyville, Illinois. When I was 5 years old my family moved to
Houston because my Dad had been offered a job at a brand new
government agency called NASA.
I went to Mount Carmel grade school and High School, then got my BSN
at the University of Texas. I currently work as a Cancer Registry
Coordinator at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital. I am a
single mom with two teenagers.
I started taking lessons at SSQQ in December 1999 when a friend
from my Mount Carmel days remembered that back in the day I used to
go country western dancing - remember Gilley's and Cowboy? - and
asked me to join him in his country western class so he would have a
practice partner. I loved the classes and the friends I made! In
May 2000 my new friends signed me up for West Coast Swing. I
didn't have a clue what it was but that's what the friends had
decided we were all going to take. I loved it and have stayed with
West Coast ever since, assisting Rick for a number of years and then
assisting Jack, which is where I am now on Sundays and Mondays.
I also met Joe
at SSQQ in May 2000, and he has been an important part of my life
Hi There, just a few words
about myself. I am really not used to this kind of thing since I am
way to old to have any experience with My Space or Face Book or what
ever those sites are called. I was born in a small steel town in
southern Illinois called Granite City, anyone from the St. Louis
area has probably heard of it. My family moved to Houston when I was
4 years old and we have been here ever since.
I have had a number of
interesting jobs in the past including Deputy Constable, Adult
Probation Officer, and IRS Agent. I also joined the United States
Marine Corp in 1972 and volunteered for a tour in Viet Nam. The
Marine Corp has been the guiding principle for my life since
joining. Honor, Loyalty, Integrity, Discipline, like the commercial
says The Few, The Proud... (I get $10 for each new recruit that
mentions this source)
I went to college on the
GI bill and graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BBA
in Accounting. I am currently an International Examiner for the
Internal Revenue Service. And just for the record I only examine the
100 largest companies operating in the US. (I hear that SSQQ may be
breaking into that category any year now, so I my have to give up
one of my jobs if a conflict of interest arises).
I started at SSQQ in 1995
taking two step and western swing, and quickly moved into what was
then called 'Whip'. I learned from Rick, Susie and MG and still
like some of the old 'Whip' styling and moves. Remember the parquet
floors with masking tape lines to mark the 'slot'? ('Slot Police'
live, ask George Sargent) West Coast Swing has dominated the dance
scene in swing and Whip has become a sub dance of West Coast. West
Coast is very very cool and I really like teaching the new students.
I met Patty at SSQQ and we have been together for many years and she
is a great teaching partner.