April 2002
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The SSQQ April 2002 Newsletter
Written and edited monthly by Rick Archer

























Please feel free to contribute anything you think is interesting to Rick Archer at dance@ssqq.com   Thanks! 
Classes begin the week of Sunday, March 31. 

Yes, we are well aware that classes start on Easter Sunday, but we have discovered from experience that most people's Easter activities are over with by the afternoon. Hence we have always had good attendance even on this important day. If you have to miss as always you can either try to find a parallel class on another day during the week or simply start in Week 2.


ADVANCED LINDY HOP is a last-minute addition to the April schedule. Gloria Sanchez has a class which enjoys learning Lindy so much they made a concerted effort to see if they could get another level offered. A petition signed by 17 people definitely got our attention. Join Gloria & her mighty horde for this special course Sundays at 4:30!

On Sunday evenings at 7 pm Judy Archer teaches INTERMEDIATE WESTERN CHA CHA, a very popular course which shows you how to dance Cha Cha to romantic Western Polka music. Cha Cha is easy to learn and super fun to dance and flirt with!

A man once told me the 3 best classes he ever took at SSQQ were Twostep, Swing, and SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE. This course returns in April on Mondays. Not only does Slow Dance prepare you to dance at weddings, but this Lost Art of Formal Dance can be used in dark piano bars to jazz music, Spring nights at outdoor music concerts, on a cruise to Sinatra music, or even at the Longhorn during their slow set. You never know when the ability to slow dance well will come in mighty handy!

DEATH VALLEY LEVEL 4 moves to Wednesdays for one month only. Sharon Crawford, the cosmic dance teacher who actually invented most of the patterns and has the scars to prove it, will teach the meanest, toughest, rock'em sock'em hot dg Western Swing moves you will ever want to see. Don't miss this class!

Thursdays brings you Judy Archer's CHA-CHA FOR LATIN DANCERS ONLY class. Although you don't need to know any Cha Cha in advance, be forewarned the pace of this class is quick. You need to have finished Beg Salsa as a Pre-requisite. Some Salsa music may be not work to Mambo or Merengue, but is perfect for Cha-Cha. This is your chance to learn it!

NIGHT CLUB TWOSTEP returns to Fridays with the woman who got the entire studio dancing Night Club in the first place, Susie Merrill. Every C&W album has two or three romantic slow songs on it. Night Club Twostep is the dance that fits these ballads perfectly. The reaction here at SSQQ has been very favorable to this new dance. After class on Fridays, stay for our Western Practice night afterwards where we will have a room dedicated to this music exclusively!

On Saturdays in April, Judy Archer will TEACH ADVANCED SALSA MAMBO LEVEL 2 at 4:30 pm. This is the first time Advanced Salsa has been offered on Saturdays in several years. This is a late addition to the schedule, so be sure to take advantage of this special class!


Wear a Rag and Dance the Shag!

Saturday, April 13, 9:15 pm



Broke and Penniless Music: 
Swing/Ballroom Music Room 1, Latin/Tango in Room 4

Wear Red and Black and Watch Your Back.
Check your Guns and Knives at the Door; Leave your Morals at Home...

Saturday, April 27, 9:15 pm 



Sleazy Bar Whip Music in Room 1
Western Music in Room 4 plus requests

Tales of the Sleazy Bar Party!!
Have you ever heard the story about the origin of the Sleazy Bar Whip Party? You would be fascinated to discover in the second year of our party we were nearly busted by the Bellaire Police who entered the building under the impression gunshots had been fired at our party. 

Suddenly they thought they had stumbled on the biggest Biker Gang in Bellaire history. One policeman even had his hand on his holster as he grimly surveyed the scene. Do you think I am kidding? I am not kidding. It is a bizarre and very interesting true story!! 

Read the History of the SSQQ Sleazy Bar Whip Party. 


Crista Reuss has decided to offer an Adult Jazz Class at SSQQ. 

Crista has taught my daughter Samantha jazz, tap, and ballet for 6 years, so I have a pretty good idea about the quality of her teaching - she is excellent. Besides teaching children's dance classes, Crista also coordinates her own adult dance company titled Park Street Dance. 

Crista's class will be held on Wednesdays .....6:00-6:45 PM......tuition $60.00 for the 6 week session to being April 10 thru May 15th.....they will break to get through May and the holiday weekend and pick back up June 5th for another session of 6 weeks.
Besides learning jazz for exercise and for joy, you West Coast Swing dancers might be pleased to learn Crista will format her class with an eye on movements and footwork frequently used in this dance. She walked through my studio one day and saw a videotape of advanced WCS dancers performing on the studio TV. Mesmerized, she stopped to watch and then commented to me that all the best dancers appeared to have a Jazz background. I said that was true and that it was a shame there wasn't any place to take Adult Jazz. Now you know where the idea came from.
Crista's class will feature body rolls, body waves, body isolations, fancy triple step footwork and syncopations, walking 'sexy', flicks with the feet, and how to use arms gracefully. Plus she will cover classic jazz turn technique on chenez turns, pirouettes, and pivots.
Unlike our social classes, a partner is not necessary. If you guys want to learn, your popularity is absolutely guaranteed, I assure you.
Background information about Crista Reuss: 
You can email her with questions at Pointe9958@aol.com

August 25 - September 1

Travel Agent: Anne Adams, Vacations to Go
713 957 1705

SSQQ has scheduled a 7-night Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean's 'Rhapsody of the Sea'. This year's trip will set sail the last week in August 2002. We will depart from Galveston for adventures to Key West, Belize, and Cozumel. 

We currently have 20 people who have committed to go on the trip, plus about 100 on the fence who say they want to go, but haven't made up their mind. They say they are all waiting to see who else goes. And what is wrong with this picture? Oh well. 

Since I announced this year's Cruise a month ago, I have had a wide variety of feedback.

The initial response was overwhelming pleasure at discovering we switched from Carnival to Royal Caribbean. The Rhapsody is a floating palace. It is exquisitely modern, plush, and beautiful. 
(Pictures of the Rhapsody: http://www.ssqq.com/information/travel05.htm )

Then the second response was dismay as people realized this trip is several hundred dollars more expensive than last year's trip. Part of the reason is simple - last year's trip was 5 days and this is 7 days. But the real reason behind the cost is that Royal Caribbean targets a wealthier clientele. They provide a far more elaborate ship than Carnival does and they charge top dollar for it. 

The third response was price shopping. People found they could get the trip for $20 less from Travel Agent Sue or $40 less from Travel Agent Bob. I investigated one of these complaints carefully. By going to the web site of the travel agency Bob represented, I found the prices listed on their web site were identical to what our Travel Agency (Vacations to Go) quoted us. The difference in price reflected an individual agent's willingness to accept a lower commission. 

I have some mixed feelings about this phenomenon. On the one hand $20 or $40 is nothing to sneeze at, but when matched against the overall price it amounts to 2% or so. The downside is our group gets special amenities (private parties for example) from Royal Caribbean based on our numbers and booking with another agent hurts our chances of reaching their quotas.

The fourth response is that we took 100 people last year while this year only 20 people have signed up so far. So I am asked what is wrong with this trip? I have several responses to this question.

First, the truth of the matter is I knew this year's numbers would be down simply because we booked a longer, more expensive cruise. The money knocks some people out and the extra time knocks others out. I booked Royal Caribbean because so many people complained about Carnival. I do not apologize for making this move. I am only sorry that to get a better ship we have to pay more money. That's just the way it is. 

Second, 20 actually is a pretty good number for this stage of the game. The first cruise we took in 1998 had 30 people and we were proud of that total. We will blow 30 out of the water. 

Third, Leisure Learning has not yet begun to promote this cruise. Next week 171,000 (yes, that is correct: one hundred and seventy one thousand) schedules will hit the streets announcing our cruise. I imagine our numbers will begin to rise steadily from this point on.

Besides the luxury of this ship, the dancing will be so much better. The dancing was fun last year, but we lacked a good place to dance as a group at night. The Rhapsody is designed to promote dancing. For example in February 2002 the Rhapsody of the Seas was chosen to host a Ballroom Dancing cruise specifically because of its large, beautiful dance floors. That Ballroom cruise trip drew several hundred people. 

In particular the Rhapsody features the "Shall We Dance" Lounge. As its name suggests, this venue is dedicated strictly to Swing dancing, Ballroom dancing, and partner dancing to Top 40 music. Each night after dinner the Shall We Dance Lounge becomes a dance club complete with live ballroom dance and party music from 7:30 pm till 11 pm. (Note: there is also a Disco in another part of the boat.) This lounge is highly praised as a place that caters to 'sophisticated dancers'. 

Other dance opportunities include rumors of a Sock Hop night as well as the fancy, upscale Captain's Welcome Aboard Party. My point is Royal Caribbean has the best reputation in the cruise industry for catering to people who like to dance the way we like to dance. 

This trip will fill up whether we do it or not. For example, there are only a couple balcony cabins left. Apparently everyone wants to sun bathe in the nude. 

Royal Caribbean's refund policy allows anyone to reserve a cabin by credit card for $250. This money is completely refundable as late as June 25th. I have worked with Vacations to Go now on two different trips and I have not heard one complaint about monkey business. If VTG says your deposit is completely refundable if requested before June 25th, then this is a fact. 

If everyone waits for someone else to make the first move, you have missed the point. If you want to go, there is no risk to sign up now and relax while you see how the trip fills up. If you are disappointed on June 25th, get your money back.

In other words you can put down a deposit to hold your cabin for THREE MONTHS at no charge. There is no risk of losing your money, but there is a risk that we can lose our reservations if everyone waits till the last minute to make their move. Let me say this one more time: If you sign up now and something unexpected comes up, you have till June 25th to get your entire deposit back. 

If you have a general question about the trip, contact me at dance@ssqq.com Roommates should not be a problem. We paired off very nicely last year and this year is no exception.

For money questions, room descriptions, rates, and detailed stuff like that, you would be better off contacting Anne Adams.
Email: Aadams@vacationstogo.com 
Phone: 713 957 1705 

I hope you will join us! 

For more information about this year's cruise:
Story of Last Year's Cruise: 
Pictures from Last Year's Cruise: 

Contributed by Mike Guillory

The 10 year old boy moved to a new school in the middle of the academic year. His new teacher took a shine to the kid and decided to make him feel more comfortable by asking him a couple simple questions. 

"What is your father's occupation?" asked the teacher. 

"He's a magician, Ma'am," said the new boy.

"How interesting! What's his favorite trick?"

"He saws people in half."

"Gosh! Do you have any brothers or sisters?"

"One half brother and one half sister."


Monday, March 11, 2002 10:37 PM
Rick, your articles are nice. They make sense and are correct except for one thing.
Men outnumber the women in the dance classes. Many of the attractive women come with their boyfriends. I would certainly dance more if there were more women to go around. Since the genders are not balanced it does not make sense to invest to heavily in dancing. BSK

Tue 03/12/2002 4:43 PM

I cannot disagree with you more. You are right in some ways... there are occasionally more men than women in class and the best looking ones often have men at their sides, but you are looking at the trees and not the forest.
Women do not need the lessons as much as men because the man has the responsibility of leading. Once a woman masters the fundamentals, she finds she can cut corners. Men cannot do this - they need to take all the lessons. Thus occasionally you have classes with more men than women. Second, wherever you go, you will find a man next to a good-looking woman. Some of these women who you think are paired up in class are actually there by themselves, but a guy will latch on to her and give the appearance of being her partner.
In the scheme of things, attractive women often have several 'suitors' from whom to choose. The man who wins is the one with the most on the ball. Half the struggle is just finding a way to get her to notice you. Dancing is a marvelous way to do just that - get a woman's attention in a very graceful, positive way. It will put you on her radar quickly if you have a little charm to go with rhythm and a good lead.
I have suggestion - come on the SSQQ cruise. Last year there were ten more women than men and they all complained they wished they had more men to dance with.

Rick Archer

Mon 03/18/2002 7:17 PM

I will try your advice and perhaps the cruise. I really appreciate your response. The school is top quality and you are one of the best teachers I have ever been taught by.
Thankyou, BSK 

(Editor's Note: Most of you seem to assume I was hatched from an egg with gray hair and already teaching dance. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was a very slow learner and I made every mistake in the book from poor leading, lack of rhythm, to awkward balance. My only saving grace was my ridiculous persistence. I just kept at it till I got it. Then once I became a good dancer, I turned around and made every social mistake in the book as well. When it comes to dance, I can honestly say I learned everything the hard way. 

That said, I decided to actually write about my experiences with the idea of providing a little coaching to people new to the world of dance. If you are interested, you can read what I had to say on the web site under Write-ups: Advice to Men. 
http://ssqq.com/information/advicehm.htm )


Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:59 AM
I am interested in signing up for you classes. I missed the March registration but want to start in April. How can I call you all?

Ellena Carr

Wednesday, March 20, 2002 5:12 PM
Calling isn't that hard - we answer the phone from 10 till 3 pm every weekday. You can also go to the website and register online for any course you think is interesting. 

Rick Archer

Thursday, March 21, 2002 8:50 AM
Obviously, there was some degree of difficulty otherwise I would not have contacted you all via email. I had to surf through several pages before I finally located a phone number. You all might consider looking into that matter.

Anyway, thanks for responding to my email but I am no longer interested!

Ellena Carr

Thu 03/21/2002 11:25 AM

Ms. Carr, 
I read your reply with bemusement. You had some degree of difficulty about what??

I responded to your email within 5 hours after you sent it.

You asked HOW you could call us. You didn't bother to ask WHAT our phone number was. A more specific request would get a more direct answer. For example, "what is your studio phone number?"

Our phone number is at the bottom of the first web page. Our phone number is in the yellow pages. We are also in the business pages. Directory assistance is another option. 


Here is a thought-provoking list of interesting quotes. 

1. "Only the Mediocre are always at their best." - Jean Giraudoux

2. "A Narcissist is someone better looking than you are." - Gore Vidal

3. "The only reason I would ever take up Country-Western dancing is to hear heavy breathing again." - Erma Bombeck

4. "Never eat more than you can lift." - Miss Piggy

5. "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby

6. "The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office." - Robert Frost

7. "When ideas fail, words come in very handy." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

8. "I only like two kinds of men - domestic and foreign." - Mae West

9. "Virtue is its own revenge." - E.Y. Harburg 

10. "From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55 she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs cash." - Sophie Tucker.


As you probably know, we have a strict rule against watching classes. We had an odd incident last Saturday that re-emphasized the reasons behind this policy. 

On Saturday, March 23, 2002, we had our first-ever Pajama Party. In Room 2, Anita Williams was teaching a West Coast Swing 'Flirting With Your Feet' workshop. There were 10 women in the class all dressed in pajamas. One woman was in curlers while another woman had her hair spiked in little tuffs using rubber bands. I was taking the workshop too. We were all acting silly - that was the whole point of the party. 

Anita made a reference that a certain movement resembled carrying a baby in the womb. All the women seemed to get it, but I clearly didn't and I was teased. In retaliation I decided to make a fool of myself. I put a big pillow inside my bathrobe to resemble being pregnant. As I hoped, I got some laughs so I left the pillow in there as I continued to dance. 

About 20 minutes into the class some man walked in with his girlfriend. He saw the ridiculous sight of 10 women and a man prancing around in pajamas trying to dance sexy. He laughed. He guffawed. He pointed. And he decided to stay and watch a while. He talked to his girlfriend while the class continued. The women were obviously uncomfortable at his presence. 

Finally I realized he wasn't going to leave gracefully of his own accord so I intervened and made him leave. He even mentioned he didn't remember me being quite so heavy. What a charmer. 

Obviously the odd situation combined with this man's rudeness is the extreme, but the point is that he made everyone feel extremely self-conscious. 

Dance class is not like the zoo. While some people don't mind being watched, there are many who do. The animals don't get much of a choice in the matter, but we do. Watching is not appreciated. 

We have a section on the SSQQ Website dedicated to 'questions' and general information. To read the extended article on the subject of watching, click here: 


Thursday, August 10, 2000 9:16 AM

Rick, in his Ghost Town class the other night, Darryl gave the following wise advice to the men:

"Don't ask a beginner to dance, expect her to do Ghost Town level, and then teach her if she can't handle the moves. She'll think you are a jerk." I say Amen to that.

In that vein, I thought it might be useful to have an anonymous advice column written by women to men and by men to women. I don't know if you have offered such a thing before. It could also include commentary you and the other teachers have heard. I am sure that men would love to have the opportunity to lambaste back-leaders, for example, and probably have other observations that would be useful to hear. Women probably have a few choice words, too. It could be a fun and informative column. 

I would like to suggest some of the following: 

1) If you are an advanced dancer, don't chant "slow, slow, quick, quick" throughout the dance. It suggests that either you or your partner can't sense the beat or your lead and undermines enjoyment of the dance.

2) Practice dances at the studio are one thing, but social dances are usually attended FOR FUN. Resist the temptation to teach someone you don't know at a social event. She may be a better or worse dancer than you are, but you can bet she didn't ask to be taught by a stranger on a public dance floor. 

3) Some men at SSQQ lessons are able to "get away" with weak leads because all the women are learning the same patterns. But elsewhere, women won't anticipate the next move unless you indicate it. Maybe practicing with mixed patterns would be helpful. 

4) If your hands tend to sweat, trying holding the woman's hand and back more loosely. It may help.

5) If you are dancing swing at a dark club, don't assume that a lead stated as, "Find my hand" will work very well. 

Cordially, Laura Agrons



I make no secret of the fact that Gary Richardson of TFW Computers has made an enormous contribution to the success of my business. 
I bought my first computer from his store in 1997. Since then I have bought 12 more computers. Yes, that total is correct. I have bought so many computers from Gary I had to look at my web site to confirm the total. In all different members of the SSQQ community have bought 48 computers from Gary, a pretty staggering total. From the SSQQ Staff, Jack Benard, David Schroeder, Daryl Armstrong, Maureen Brunetti, Linda Cook, Cher Longoria, Jill Banta, Mitch Istre, and Brian White have also bought computers from Gary. Go look for yourself: http://ssqq.com/information/floppy.htm
Gary in conjunction with David Schroeder designed the computers and programs for our new Walk-In Registration system which we will unveil next week. 
Gary is having an SSQQ sale in April. Anyone from SSQQ will get 10% OFF Computers, Notebooks and Accessories. You will need to present your Online Registration receipt to get this offer which expires at the end of April. 
David Schroeder recently updated TFW website. You can see prices and all the things that Gary sells on the first screen. www.computerstfw.com

If you have questions about computers, you can email Gary at Grichardson@houston.rr.com or simply say hi to him at the Longhorn on Tuesdays (he will be the one constantly wiping sweat from his brow) or at the studio on Fridays (look for the same characteristic; you can make him instantly).


A year ago, I wrote a sensitive love story and I don't think a soul even read it. Too bad, because it was a great story!! Now that a year has passed, it is time to alert everyone to the existence of the best love story I ever wrote. 

Here is an excerpt: 

"It was a dark and stormy night. They were alone in the house. The storm had come up quickly and a chill had entered the room. As the wind-driven rain battered the house, it seemed the wrath of an Irish Banshee was nigh!! Each time the thunder roared he watched as she trembled in fear. He wanted to help her, but he knew it was wrong…

As the wind howled like a ghost separated from its soul, she stole a glance at him from across the room. He seemed so brave and powerful!! She admired his strong presence. She wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her from the terrible storm that raged outside… 

Then she hated herself. Her secret thoughts were taboo; she knew that. She could never act on them!! It was a violation of every ethical code she had ever believed in. It was a Union totally forbidden in her culture. Yet she ached for his comfort so badly.... Suddenly a huge burst of lightning seemed to strike the very house itself!! The sky lit up, then the room plunged into total darkness as the power failed. She screamed in terror!!….."

(Editor's Note: To read the powerful climax visit 
Be sure to let me know if you enjoyed the rest of the story!)


In March, our Dear Abby section dealt with a man bemoaning the fact that Beginning Lady dancers could dance with men in the higher levels while he felt very uncomfortable asking more experienced women dancers to Twostep with him. 

We received several comments. Here is one from Deborah Solomon (nee Debbie Awad):

Hi Rick,

This is my 'Investment in the future concept". 

Just a comment from someone who danced with a lot of beginners during my SSQQ days. If there are any women out there who are hesitant to dance with beginners, remember that they will get better with time. When those beginners have shaped up into great dancers, they gratefully remember the experienced women that danced with them and will seek you out. Think of it as an investment in your dance future. Also, don't hesitate to ask them to dance if they're standing on the side.
Debbie Solomon


In the last Newsletter, I wrote a note about the dangers to women in parking lots. Several people wrote back to thank me for the reminder. Here is an especially good letter from Ellen Neacy:

"Hello Rick,

I haven't been able to attend classes at SSQQ recently, but I always enjoy your newsletter. I noted in your March issue the information concerning women being conned into being victims of crime. I think you have provided a tremendous service to all the women who read your newsletter and to those to whom the information is passed along. When you have space in an upcoming newsletter, perhaps you could remind women of something that my Mother ingrained in me and my sisters. She always told us to check around our cars as we approached the car for flat tires, glass bottles placed under the tires, and especially anyone near the car. We were always to have a keys in hand and get in the car quickly, lock the door, start the engine, put on the seatbelt and then drive. The important thing being to lock the car doors first. Fortunately, we listened to our Mother in this instance anyway.

Many years ago in Massachusetts near where we grew up, my sister Colleen was on her way home from her local college one night and was pulled over by an unmarked police car. She thought it strange, as she wasn't speeding, but she pulled over and as the "cop" quickly got out of his car and approached her car, my sister thought to check that her door was locked. The killer pretending to be a cop ran up and tried to yank her door open. Colleen had the presence of mind to speed away and drive to the nearest police station, where all heck broke loose when she told the police what happened. The police had apparently been looking for his guy for quite a while. With the information she supplied, along with other evidence obtained, he was later arrested and convicted for killing eight women in Mass. and New Hampshire. My sister was the only one of his victims to have survived and not be harmed. Subsequent to these events, the laws in many states have changed so as to make it more difficult for civilians to obtain blue flashing dashboard lights similar to those that the police use. 
Anyway, you don't need to put all this in the newsletter, but just remind women to always lock their car doors and that not every man who claims to be a police officer, actually is one. (And yes, unfortunately this is absolutely a true story.)
Take care and I hope to see you soon. 
Kind regards, Ellen Neacy"

(Editor's Note: In the past month, I was saddened to note the abduction of the young 11 year old girl in SE Houston, a crime that has not been solved. This girl is the same age as my daughter so it was especially hard to deal with. There is danger everywhere and we should never let down our guard.)

FINISHED FILES - Contributed by Judith Williams

Count the number of F's in the following sentence:


Read the answer after the next article.


Last month I reported that a half-dozen cars belonging to SSQQ students had been towed from the front of the Door Warehouse. 

The good news is that I know of no further incidents of our cars being towed. 

Since I published their phone number, several people took the time to phone the Door Warehouse to complain of their treatment. This may have helped since we have not had one car towed since. However I am not sure this is because the Door Warehouse has discontinued their policy or that SSQQ Hall Monitors have been careful to check the Door Warehouse parking lot for any unsuspecting SSQQ cars. Thank you Bronnie and Sandy and everyone else who called!

Three other incidents occurred. SSQQ student Lisa May took the time to check out the Better Business Bureau status of Door Warehouse one day. Guess what? They flunked. There were at least 4 unresolved complaints against this business. And what about SSQQ? Clean bill of health. Hah!! 

Here is what Lisa said: 
"Hi, Rick:
I was taking my lunch hour and surfing through the newsletter. I read the story on the Door Warehouse - given my curious nature and "inquiring minds want to know" spirit, I did an inquiry with the Better Business Bureau. Attached is what the Door Warehouse's report shows - notice the UNSATISFACTORY rating with the BBB: (seems like that explains a lot that is going on with SSQQ - if they don't address the needs of their customers, why would they be concerned with SSQQ's students?)"

Thanks, Lisa (read for yourself what the report said on the web site, http://www.ssqq.com/ssqq/newsmar.htm )

The second incident occurred Monday, March 4. As I arrived for dance class at 6 pm, I was astonished to see the Door Warehouse truck parked in our parking lot. What a bunch of hypocrites!! SSQQ Staffer MG Anseman also saw the truck parked there. I went back to my car and took a picture. Go see it yourself: http://www.ssqq.com/ssqq/newsmar.htm

Finally, I saw cars of either employees or customers of the Door Warehouse in our parking lot on three different occasions last week. I didn't have my camera or I would add the pictures to our collection. Last Saturday, March 23, they even had a truck parked in our parking lot with a ladder allowing workmen to get up on their roof. Mind you, this store has four sides, but it was the most fun I guess to use the side facing our parking lot. It turns out they were adding some exciting red lights on top of their building. My guess is business is down and this is a new way to generate attention. Maybe they paid for the lights with the towing fee kickbacks I suspect they receive.

Or maybe we should try Newsletter reader Lynne Tadlock's idea: 

"If you own a camera you can take pictures of the cars related to business with Door Warehouse parked on your lot. Write up a total for towing fees due for each the vehicle on the individual pictures. Then send Joel a bill with a copy of the pictures and the total that you saved his people/customer etc. and express how you know he's such a good concerned business owner and that he would take care of it promptly because he wouldn't want his customers to be inconvenienced or fall victim to towing expenses from parking in the wrong lot when visiting the Door Warehouse."

Maybe we should tow their business truck and hold it for ransom!

Beside Lynne, Lisa, Bronnie, and Sandy, I received very nice letters of concern from Ernesto Migoya, and Sarah Rose Miller (who says be careful of towing at the Tropicana!!). 

I received a fascinating letter from frequent Newsletter contributor Bett Sundermeyer. Here is what she had to say:

"Hey Rick,
I read about your towing problems. I had a similar problem a couple weeks ago. I parked in a Jack in the Box parking lot and made the mistake of walking next door first before walking into the Jack in the Box. I was gone all of FIVE MINUTES and when I came out, a wrecker had already pulled my car out of the parking space and had it dangling in the air. He pointed out an obscure sign that I didn't see that said the lot was for Jack in the Box customers only. I called the police because I couldn't believe someone could just take your car within 5 minutes without actually seeing if you were going to go in the Jack in the Box. The police were no help AT ALL. He said it was my word against the owner's, who wasn't there. I was on my lunch break and needed to get back to work, so I had to pay $75 C! ASH to get the driver to drop my car. Then, to make matters worse, when I drove off I realized there was something terribly wrong with my car. It was so bad, I turned around and drove it right to the repair shop. I found out the wrecker driver, in his hurry to make his $75, had improperly hooked chains to the rods of my car to pull it out, and bent them. It cost me $200 to repair it and so far, they have refused to pay for it. 

I think it is RIDICULOUS that a private citizen can hire someone to just take someone else's car. No ticket. No police involvement at all. Then, the car owner is FORCED to pay for towing and storages fees if, heaven forbid, they can't figure out who took their car for a couple days. It's EXTORTION! Apparently, wreckers were deregulated a year or two ago, and now pretty much have free reign along with the individuals who hire them."

From what the readers have told me, the Wrecker Industry is pretty out of control. 


And the winners of the Einstein Contest were: 

1. Sara Fielder
2. Viqar Anwar
3. Nicholas Mann

Congratulations and thank you for playing!


SSQQ has a champion in its midst. Susie Merrill coaches a Western dance team known as Heartbeat. Its members are 95% drawn from SSQQ students who get bitten by the performing bug. They are really quite good. Heartbeat will be performing at the Dance Across Texas competition on May 25th and intend to use our upcoming May 18th party as an opportunity to strut their stuff and get some much needed experience a week ahead of time. Be sure to come and see these guys and gals do their number at the studio!


So did you count 3 F's? Uh oh. Go back and look again. There were 6. The brain is trained to read for speed and automatically overlooks words like "OF". Incredible or what?
Anyone who counts all six F's on the first go is a genius. Three is normal. 

I was in the 6th grade when I first saw this test. I saw 3 then and everyone I have given the test to comes up with the same answer. Amazing.


Every now and then a bunch of SSQQ dancers and affiliated jocks meet at my house in the Heights for a mid Saturday morning (11 am - 2 pm) game of volleyball. 

Our group is pretty talented. We aren't good enough to win any tournaments against some volleyball studs, but on the other hand we bump, spike, set, block, and dig pretty darn well for a bunch of middle aged athletes. 

We are looking for some new blood to join us. If you are an athlete or a volleyball player or even better both, join us on Saturday, April 6 for a morning of great social volleyball!

Email for directions to: Rick Archer at dance@ssqq.com

We have 23 classic jokes ready for you to read on our April Joke Page. 
Here is my personal favorite from the April Jokes: 
April CS 09: The Aggie, the Longhorn, and the Pig
Submitted by Mike Gerstenberger
A student from Texas A&M University, a student from The University of Texas, and a pig were in the hospital waiting room, each awaiting the birth of his firstborn child. Suddenly, the lights went out. 
Fortunately, power was restored shortly thereafter and the head nurse made her way to the waiting room.
"I've got good news and bad news for both you gentlemen and Mr. Pig," she announced. "Despite the electrical outage, two healthy young boys and one healthy piglet have been delivered. 
"However, since the lights went out at the most inopportune time, we aren't sure which firstborn belongs to whom. The only way we know to resolve the problem is to draw straws and have the winner choose first."
The three proud papas agreed this was the fairest way. The UT grad won the drawing.
He was escorted into the delivery room and looked at the three newborns for a painstakingly long time.
Finally, with head bowed and a look of shame, he scooped up the piglet and headed for the door.
"Sir, are you quite certain that you've made the right choice?" the nurse asked with a frown. 
"No, I'm not," replied the Longhorn. "But I just couldn't run the risk of choosing the Aggie."


Once a month I show my ignorance by spouting off at some political situation about which I know little or nothing about. This is always a popular moment among our readers.

This month I want to talk about rail along the Katy Freeway corridor. I am qualified to write about the Katy Freeway because I not only live on I-10, I drive it twice a day on both sides of the Loop as I take my daughter to school. 

The Katy Freeway is the Freeway from Hell. It is the worst stretch of road in a city dominated by all kinds of highway problems. 

I see some well-meaning person from Metro had the nerve to suggest maybe while everyone was busy widening the Katy Freeway, perhaps leaving a little room for a possible rail down the road might not be such a bad idea. At this ludicrous suggestion several champions of the Katy road widening project blew their stack. They protested that studying this radical and obviously stupid suggestion would slow the project down horribly. 

Problem. Houston has the worst smog problem in the country. 
Solution. Build wider freeways to accommodate more cars to make more smog. 
Well, duh, what genius thought of that? 

Has anyone ever pointed out that fewer cars might create less smog? Or do they really think driving them slower will make the difference. What kind of science do these people study?

At what point will our civic leaders realize that you just can't keep widening the freeways. It takes forever to finish this construction. Then by the time they are finished, there will be more cars, so you will never win. All the time the smog just keeps getting worse as the freeways get wider. I suppose the next suggestion will be to build upper and lower decks. 

So someone actually had the nerve to say the dirty word ( rail ) and our civic leaders screamed foul. Remember what a stink a couple politicians put up over the rail project connecting downtown to the Astrodome, oops Reliant Stadium? Why is it everyone freaks out when someone tries a different approach to our transportation problems? 

You know what I think? I think some of our elected politicians must be financed by the guys who build the roads. That is the only explanation that makes a bit of sense to me. 

Okay, I said it. Now let's hear what someone else thinks.

Contributed by Ann Bush

1) He said... I don't know why you wear a bra; you've got nothing to
put in it. She said...You wear briefs, don't you?

2) She said...What do you mean by coming home half drunk?
He said... It's not my fault...I ran out of money.

3) He said... Since I first laid eyes on you, I've wanted to make love
to you in the worst way. She said...Well, you succeeded.

4) He said... 'Two inches more, and I would be king' She said...'Two
inches less, and you'd be queen'

5) On wall in ladies room: "My husband follows me everywhere."
Written just below it: "I do not."

6) Priest... 'I don't think you will ever find another man like your
late husband.' She said...'Who's gonna look?'

7) He said... What have you been doing with all the grocery money I
gave you? She said...Turn sideways and look in the mirror.

8) He said... Let's go out and have some fun tonight. She said...Okay,
but if you get home before I do, leave the hallway light on.

9) He said... Why don't you tell me when you have an orgasm?
She said...I would, but you're never there.


This month's picture is about a little dog with a big problem to worry about. It looks like his whole world is about to come crashing down on him.


In February I wrote about an incident where a man felt victimized because he was denied entry to his class. He didn't have his receipt and we couldn't find his name on the class roster. I believe he actually paid, but at the same time showed little to no respect for our need to have the proper documentation. As a result he acted like a guy who lost his movie ticket and wanted to still get in anyway. 
This incident was so aggravating to me that I invested $10,000 in a new computer system designed to upgrade the SSQQ Registration process. David Schroeder, the man who brought us the SSQQ Web Site, the SSQQ Newsletter, and our On-Line Registration System has designed the software. We experimented with the system in March and now in April will use it as much as we can while we iron out the confusion.
Combined with our already successful On-Line Registration system, this will allow us to have a computerized recording of all class rosters. Had our gatecrasher registered On-Line, it would have been no trouble to simply look up his roster on the computer. This new system will hopefully prevent incidents such as the one above from happening again.
In time it will also mean we have the power to limit the size of classes. With an accurate count of the people registered, we can prevent overcrowding. We aren't there yet, but that's where we are heading. 

The SSQQ Web Site now has a question and answer section. 

This area of our web site targets the following questions -
01. Private Lessons
02. Refunds
03. Referring new students
04. Group Discounts 
05. Switching Partners 
06. Guests 
07. Credit for Unfinished classes
08. Same Sex Dancing
09. Making up a Class
10. Volunteering 
11. Clothes/Shoes 
12. Need a Partner? 
13. Watching Classes 
14. Starting classes a week late
15. Repeating a Class 
16. Children 
17. Husband Who Won't Dance
18. Map
19. What level of class to take
20. General Questions (like why SSQQ doesn't have bottled water and why we don't have other locations).
If you have a question you want to have answered, let us know!! dance@ssqq.com

Contributed by Shayna Rubin

This is a toughie!! It is fair, but requires some very creative thinking. 

Two men are talking when one reveals his age to the other during the conversation. The second man thinks for a moment, then says to the first, "I have three children whose ages I want you to guess. Here are two clues:

1. "The sum of their ages is 13."

2. "The product of their ages is the same as your age."

At this the first man does a quick calculation, smiles, and then hesitates. "Hmm," says the first man. "I've almost got it, but I need just one more clue!"

The second man replies, "OK, here's another clue:
3. "My oldest child is a lefty."

"Aha! Of course. I now know their ages!" says the first man.

How old is the first man and how old are the three children?
(All ages are whole numbers.)

Okay, if you can solve this you get a free Practice Night at the studio. I solved it myself, but first I had to have a hint. If you have the answer or need a hint, email me at dance@ssqq.com

The solution is very clever.


Willie Bushnell and Ronnie Alexander teach Zydeco for SSQQ. Recently I received a very nice compliment on their class from a lady I know well, Yvonne Estrada. 

"Hey Rick, 

Good to see you at the studio tonight. 
Kudos to Ronnie and Willie who did the Zydeco class tonight. As you may know, Arturo has been going to SSQQ for 3 years and he took the class previously offered under another teacher. We love going to Jax and listening to Zydeco but the way they dance there and the way he was taught just didn't match. Zydeco music is so invigorating, we just couldn't stay seated so we would wait until the dance floor was really crowded and you couldn't move and we would just fake it - poorly I might add! :-\ 
When I read the write up on Willie on the web page, it sounded great and from the minute they showed us the basic step tonight, I knew that was the dance I'd seen at Jax and the one I wanted to learn.
The class was a blast and my I found a few butt muscles I didn't know I had. 
These guys are terrific.
Also the new design on the web site is great. It's nice to see such an 'old' favorite like SSQQ doing well. I realized today, I have been going there now for 2 years. We take a couple of months break but always come back.
(Editor's Note: big smooch and hug, Yvonne. Yes, these two guys are excellent. I took their class a year ago and was dancing at Jax on a Saturday night with some of the best-looking women I have ever danced with. Zydeco is a lot of fun!
By the way, I just figured out why I call you 'Shirley' all the time. Lavonne and Shirley. Yvonne and Shirley. My mind had a breakdown and slipped over from Yvonne to Shirley!!)


The infamous SSQQ Blue Side Joke Page has 21 marvelous raunchy jokes waiting to be read. Here is one of my all-time favorites:

April BS 14: The Gorilla
Submitted by Pat Roberts
It's a beautiful, warm spring morning and a man and his wife are spending the day at the zoo. She's wearing a cute, loose-fitting, pink spring dress, sleeveless with straps. Since they get there early, they are practically the only people at the zoo.
As they walk through the ape exhibit, they pass in front of a pit containing a very large hairy gorilla. Looking up, the Gorilla notices the woman and goes wild. He jumps up and down on the logs in the pit, he grunts, and pounds his chest.
The wife blushes and waves back. She even does a little dance. The Gorilla is very happy.
The husband, noticing the excitement, thinks this is amusing.
He suggests that the wife tease the poor fellow some more. He suggests she pucker her lips, wiggle her bottom at him, and play along. She does, and Mr. Gorilla gets even more excited, jumping around and beating his chest.
Then the husband suggests that she let one of her straps fall to show a little more skin. She does, and the gorilla is about to kill himself trying to climb the walls to get to her. He is developing one heck of a simian erection and the wife is a little flush herself. Being the object of all this fuss is turning her on a little.
"Now try lifting your dress up your thighs and sort of fan it at him," he says.
This drives the gorilla absolutely crazy and now he's doing flips and is making every kind of ape sound imaginable. He is going nuts with the frustration!
In a moment of absolute abandon without any prodding, the woman suddenly exposes a breast. The poor gorilla is about to explode!! He is futilely climbing at the wall and screaming with passion!! 
Suddenly the husband grabs his wife by the hair and her belt and tosses her over the railing into the moat below. The Gorilla's eyes bulge with astonishment!!
"Now, tell that Big Ape you have a headache!!"


We pre-registered to take beginning ballroom on Tues. Mar. 5 - Mar. 26; however, due to unexpected work schedules, we are unable to attend during March or April. 
Would you please refund our registration fee of $80.00/couple (Mike Black and Sharon Black)? Thank you for your kind assistance. We hope to see you again in May!
Regards, Sharon Black

Sorry, the on-line registration is a one-way street. The only way to get a refund is to do it in person during walk-in registration. Any night at 7 pm for the next couple weeks would be a good time.
Rick Archer

Sorry to be such a bother, but as we are currently out of the country, we cannot come by personally to cancel our lessons. Could you please help us out on this?
Sincerely, Mike/Sharon Black 

I can't help. The 0nline system is a tar baby. The only way we can undo something is in person. I am not kidding.
(Editor's Note: We aren't trying to be difficult. We understand that anyone who registers On-Line is entitled to a refund if they don't attend their class. 
The problem is that we don't have a check or cash laying around to hand to back to you. The money is being held by some credit card computer in another state. To refund the money, we have to cancel the transaction. To cancel the transaction we need to swipe the credit card using a special machine at the studio. We can't swipe a credit card over the telephone or by using email. It needs to be done physically, i.e. in person. 
The On-Line system is unbelievably complex. As an experiment, Jill Banta and I tried to find Mrs. Black's registration ticket in our email box. We had 600 emails to sort through. The Search function was useless. We had to open each email individually. After both of us looked for 20 minutes, we found the ticket only to realize that the credit card number wasn't even on the receipt. To protect the privacy of Mrs. Black's transaction her credit card number was not allowed to appear. Jill looked at me and I looked at Jill. There was no way we had the energy to solve this problem using the computer. 
On the other hand, if Mrs. Black came by the studio with her credit card, one swipe thru the credit card machine would solve the problem in less than a minute. 
Unless we discover a simpler way to do this, please realize if you register using the On-Line system, the smart thing is to avoid changing your mind. Transfers to another class we can do using email, we can carry the money to the next month, but refunds will have to be cleared up in person. Sorry.)


Recently I have been sent several articles dealing with the forbidden topic known as Menstruation. I am honestly quite terrified to discuss this explosive issue, but if my understanding is correct, women apparently feel they have the perfect right to be meaner than hell to anyone who comes near them for about 3 days each month. For example, read the findings in this important study:

Contributed by Red Draper

"A study in Scotland showed that the kind of male face a woman finds attractive can differ depending upon where a woman is in her menstrual cycle.

For instance, if she is ovulating she is attracted to men with rugged, masculine features, and if she is menstruating, she is more prone to be attracted to a man with scissors shoved in his temple."

Soon after I received the research study cited above, Sandy Baggett sent me further information on the Forbidden Topic. 

"Hey Rick, the Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his own hands!"

When Red sent me the medical study, I laughed it off thinking it was a joke. But something about the Sandy's warning sent chills of dread surging through me. This was the second reminder in a row that basically pointed out that women are borderline homicidal maniacs once a month!! 

My point is, if women are this dangerous once a month, shouldn't society do something to protect its citizens from women under the influence of their own bodies? 

And why do women feel men are the most appropriate targets for their Menstruation-driven rage? I mean, why don't they wish to drive scissors through the heads of other women as well? Why are men somehow held to blame for a little cramp or two? Don't women understand that men get cramps too from listening to women endlessly bellyache about PMS this and Period that? For crying out loud, don't men take enough grief off of women during the regular 27 days of the month? Why is okay for women to assume they have carte blanche during the Red Zone to murder any poor jerk who has the misfortune to cross their path?

Whether we like it or not, women are making it clear that once a month they will not be responsible for what they do. If this is the case, it seems only fair that women identify their hormonal status for the good of society. For example, what about planting a big red 'MM' (Menstrual Madness) on the forehead of any woman crazed out of her mind during the worst days of the Cycle? Or what about 'BBB' (Betrayed By Body)? Or HH (Hormonal Hysteria)? Or a simple FF (Femme Fatale)? Or an old standard like PMS? 

Or simply paint a picture!! If body art is preferred, what about a tasteful skull and crossbones tattoo in any obvious, easy to see place on her body? Or accessorize - just wear a cute little tampon necklace. Other possibilities include a picture of Carrie on a brooch or a clever designer lapel pin in the shape of a bloody knife.
I think men have a right to feel safe. Isn't it high time that women stop threatening to go ballistic for no other reason than she feels a little moody during her Period and take some medication? Or at the very least shouldn't a woman be expected to warn society in some way before she makes (as the English would say) a bloody mess of things?


A year ago I wrote an angry letter about how no one wants to take Responsibility for anything. 

The article was inspired by this brief treatise:
Let's see if I understand how America works lately . . . 
If a woman burns her thighs on the hot coffee she was holding in her lap while driving, she blames the restaurant.
If your teen-age son kills himself, you blame the rock 'n' roll music or musician he liked.
If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer, your family blames the tobacco company.
If your daughter gets pregnant by the football captain you blame the school for poor sex education. 
If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, you blame the bartender.
If your cousin gets AIDS because the needle he used to shoot up with heroin was dirty, you blame the government for not providing clean ones. 
If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.
If your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer. 
If a crazed person climbs into the cockpit of an airliner and tries to kill the pilots at 35,000 feet and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the deceased blames the airline.
I must have lived too long to understand the world as it is anymore."

My article dealt with the legal absurdities of three different cases. One had a local kid hit by lightning while played golf during a thunderstorm. His parents sued the golf course for not warning him properly of the dangers. Another case dealt with a man who got drunk and crawled into Sea World in Orlando only to be mauled to death by a killer whale. His family sued the company saying they had portrayed the whale as lovable which was false advertising. The third case dealt with a woman who was killed as she resisted arrest after being caught shoplifting. She apparently was high on coke and died of cardiac arrest. Naturally her family sued the store for wrongful death. 
Now a year later a gentleman named Todd Tennis from Lansing, Michigan, sent me a letter casting new light on the wrongful death suit. It turns out 3 other people died shoplifting the same chain of stores in the Detroit area. And he also pointed out the famous MacDonald's coffee burning case had another side to the story. 
The result had me backpedaling a bit. I was a bit embarrassed to be reminded there are two sides to every story. 
If you are interested in Mr. Tennis' revelations about shoplifter genocide in Detroit, please visit the Responsibility Page, http://ssqq.com/archive/vinlin17.htm

THE NEW GUY AT WORK - contributed by Mike Guillory
(Note - this joke is a little 'different'. Let me know what you think about it).

There's a new guy at work transferred from another state. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be fitting in too well. The boss asks Paul to invite him to do something and see if the guy will ease up a little. Paul has misgivings but he owes the boss a favor. He discovers the new guy's passion is hunting, so he invites him along with two of Paul's buddies for a weekend hunt. 

The trip up isn't much fun as the new guy turns out to be a hardass of the first degree. They have an incident along the way at a rural gas station and after that all the guy can do is rant incessantly about the stupidity of uneducated dirt busters. In the mirror Paul can see his two friends in back rolling their eyes in disgust at this redneck. Paul regrets inviting him.

To make things worse, when they get to Paul's favorite childhood hunting spot, they find several "No Trespassing" signs. This is an unexpected development. Paul tells his friends to wait in the car and walks up to the nearby farmhouse. 

The farmer answers the door, and Paul says, "Sir, I grew up around here. You may remember me. I'm Paul Davis. I've hunted on this property all my life, but now I notice you have a bunch of signs up. I wanted to see if it was still OK for me to hunt here." 

The farmer scratches his chin for a bit and says, "Yeah, I remember you and your Dad. I had to put those signs up because it seems like everyone is so damn trigger happy these days. But you know what you are doing so it's okay. Just do me a favor. I've got this cow out back that we have to kill for food, but I've grown too attached to do the work. If you go out back and shoot my cow, I'll let you hunt on my property." Paul thanks him and agrees to help.

Walking back to the car, Paul decides to play a stupid joke on the new guy since he says he hates farmers so much. 

"That old bastard won't let us hunt on his property," Paul tells the guys. "He said we're a bunch of chickenshit asshole city slickers who probably don't know a rifle from a BB gun. He said to get the hell outta here. I'm going to teach him a lesson and shoot his cow!" 

Before anyone can say a word, Paul shoulders his rifle, walks up to the fence, takes aim, - BLAM! - he drops the old cow with one shot. His buddies are absolutely appalled at what he has done…

Suddenly two more shots ring out behind him. Paul wheels around in horror. The new guy yells, "Goddamn mud pusher! You were right to teach him a lesson. I shot the dog and a pig too! Let's get the hell out of here before he gets your license number!"


As you can see, the SSQQ Newsletter is mostly written by people just like you who send stuff in. If you have any comments, suggestions, requests, complaints, jokes, pictures or poetry to share, please send it to me, Rick Archer, at ssqq@houston.rr.com

And thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! …. I might add I do have reason to believe some of you simply scroll to the bottom to look for any little surprises I hide down here. ;-) Anyhow, thanks to all for making it this far!
And one last thing - don't park in front of the Door Warehouse.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio
4803 Bissonnet
Email: ssqq@houston.rr.com
Web: www.ssqq.com
Phone: 713-861-1906


The SSQQ Newsletter started in January 2000 as a way to update our students on upcoming classes and parties.  Once it became obvious that most SSQQ students had email addresses, the idea was to replace written material and save on wasted paper. The idea quickly caught on in ways we didn't anticipate.

We soon discovered how easy it was to publish all sorts of information.  This allowed the SSQQ Newsletter to evolve into a "Do-It-Yourself" Newspaper. Members of the SSQQ Community began to contribute all sorts of articles, jokes, pictures, puzzles, vocabulary words,  and letters to the editor. 

As a result over half of each Newsletter is written by the readers themselves. Our readers are the reporters.  We just edit what you send us and give it back.

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