August 2003
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The SSQQ August 2003 Newsletter
Written and edited monthly by Rick Archer

(to Review Any Stories Referred to in the current issue!)

Special Stories in this issue:  The Top

Regular Features in this issue:  

Highlights of the Upcoming Dance Schedule 
Triple Swing Night comes to Fridays!
Question and Answer Page on the website 
Best New Jokes for the Month 
Clean Side Jokes of the Month
Vocabulary Word of the Month
SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance

Joke Picture of the Month
Complaint of the Month
Results of Last Month's SSQQ Logic Puzzle  
This Month's SSQQ Logic Puzzle




In the extended issue of the Newsletter, you can read the conclusion to the amazing story of
Kathy Heller, an SSQQ student whose car was towed from the Door Warehouse. Kathy decided to fight back. You will be fascinated by her compelling story. 

Do not park in any yellow areas. You can park legally on the west side of First Street, but not up above the street. 

Do not park on the east side of First Street. It is designated 'no parking'. No one knows why. You won't be towed, but you could easily get a ticket.

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Classes begin the week of Sunday, August 3rd.


RUMBA will be offered on Sundays in August with Judy Archer. A popular part of Judy's recent "On the Town" class in July, Rumba is danced to music known as "soft jazz" such as "The Look of Love" by Diane Krall. A sensual, graceful dance, Rumba is known as the Latin Dance of Romance. Watch the sparks fly... 

ZOOT SUIT RIOT returns to Monday evenings. Taught by Judy Archer, this is our highest level Swing class. This course is where you learn the fanciest patterns and the footwork tricks that make you an excellent Swing dancer.

BEGINNING BALLROOM with Charlene Tees moves to Mondays in August. Each week covers a different dance: Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, and Slow Dancing.

SWING ACROBATICS II will be offered on Mondays in August. Taught by Paul Foltyn/ Lise Gagnon, you need a partner for this exciting class since trust, timing, & practice are a major part of success. You do not need Level I to take this class.

Tuesdays bring us a new course: SOME LIKE IT HOT!! Taught by Jill Banta, this class covers 4 famous Latin dances that are NOT Salsa. Jill will cover BOSSA NOVA, CHA CHA, RUMBA, AND CUMBIA. These popular dances are easy to learn and fun to use. 

August marks the Level 5, the final step of Sharon Crawford's amazing WESTERN WALTZ Class. As predicted, this amazing group of 70 people is dancing Waltz like professionals. You have to see it to believe it. Congratulations to all!!

Believe it or not, we are offering a FREE DANCE CLASS in August!! At the annual Beach Ball party on August 23rd, Rick Archer will teach a Crash Course in SALSA RUEDA, the famous Salsa dance where everyone switches partners in a Circle. As you might imagine, there is a CATCH - whoever participates must have a partner and both people must have taken at last Beg. Salsa. Yes, we will test each couple at the door on the basic patterns of Salsa before we allow students to enter. However once you join us, you are in for one of the fun evenings of all time. Salsa Rueda is a great dance!!

DEATH VALLEY 8 will be offered Fridays in August. Taught by Rick Archer & Cher Longoria, the members of this class have developed into quite an impressive group of dancers. They are all very talented and the pace swift. We have a LOT of fun!! 


Saturday, August 9th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover Charge $7

Swing dancing will be in Room 1 and the Salsa dancing will be in Room 4. 


CUMBIA - Linda
SWING ACROBATICS - Lise (cpls only)
SLOW DANCING - Charlene (cpls only)

Dress Mambo King or Jump Jive and Swing

Saturday, August 23rd, 9:15 pm - 12:30 am, Cover Charge $7


DIRTY DANCING - Wil/Rachel (cpls) 
SALSA RUEDA (FREE!!) - Rick (couples only)

Yes, Believe it or not, we are offering a FREE SALSA RUEDA Crash Course at this year's Beach Ball Party. To participate, you simply show up at the studio around 6:45 pm. 



SALSA RUEDA is the famous Salsa dance where everyone does the same pattern and frequently switches partners in a Circle. We use "Noah's Ark" Rules because the Circle must be balanced for men and women. Furthermore, the success of the dance hinges on the "Weakest Link" Theory - if someone doesn't know how to Salsa Dance, the entire group twiddles it thumbs trying to get the weakest dancer to catch. Therefore you need to know how to Salsa Dance before the night begins. Once you join us, you are in for one of the fun evenings of all time. Salsa Rueda is a great dance!!

To read more about Salsa Rueda, read the story from the recent SSQQ July 4th Cruise.
At the top of the page, Click "Salsa Rueda".

Another event at the SSQQ Beach Ball Party is the historic Balloon Race. The SSQQ Staff Team was undefeated after ten years of this event. However last year the infamous Margaux Mann finally to broke the mysterious curse of the Balloon Race. She and her husband Carl had been busily training on a daily basis with their son Nicholas and their daughter Emily to take on the SSQQ juggernaut at this party. Three years ago the SSQQ Staff kept its incredible streak alive by pulling out an amazing come-from-behind victory. Two years ago it was pretty close too. Margaux sat out 2001 to nurse her wounded pride, but in 2002 she finally took the Silver Cup. Until then, Team SSQQ had a longer run than Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. 

This year Team SSQQ intends to restore Order to the Universe. 

(If you are actually nuts enough to desire more details on this crazy event, click here: )

Dress Hawaiian or You'll Leave Cryin'!! 
(This means wear a shirt or dress so LOUD you can't hear the music…)

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Saturday, September 13th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover Charge $7


SLOW DANCING - Marty and Adele 
BACHATA - Linda 

Yes, this infamous party is no longer being held off-campus. Daryl, Joanne, and Rocky bring their special brand of debauchery straight to our door!! Music will include Whip, Western, and Swing. More information in the next newsletter. 

Wear a Tattoo or Meet Our Bamboo…

Saturday, September 27th, 9:15 - Midnight, Cover charge $7



Music: Western, Waltz in Room 1, Whip, WCS in Room 4, and East Coast Swing in Room 6.

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We ended up taking 144 passengers. It was quite a ride!! 

The web site for this trip is not quite complete as of Newsletter press time. We are still adding pictures from the trip. However the site is 80% complete. 

Story of Cruise:
Group Picture:
Individual Pictures:
Who Went:

Be sure to join us next year! We will shoot for 200!

In the meantime, send us your suggestions for the next trip. We don't think we can't wait an entire year before getting into more trouble. Mardi Gras??

Email to Marla Gorzynski at or call her at 713 862 4428. Or simply say hi any Friday Night at the studio.

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Contributed by Donna Ruth 

1. There's one "sport" in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends. What is it? 

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward? 

3. Name the only sport in which the ball is always in possession of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without touching the ball?

(The answers are somewhere in the Newsletter, but I am not going to say where!! You gotta find them.)


3 Swing Dances, 3 Dance Floors, 3 Dollars. 

Every Friday night SSQQ sponsors TRIPLE SWING NIGHT. 
East Coast Swing - Room 6
West Coast Swing - Room 4
Gulf Coast Swing (Western Swing was born in Houston! Did you know that??) - Room 1 

Each dance has its own floor for you to Swing Dance the Friday Night Away!!

Many of our Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Swing dancers may not be aware that Room 6 is now available for East Coast Swing dancing all night long. On Friday, May 16, we made a significant shift in Room 6: we started collecting money for the party in Room 5. In addition we asked our guests to depart through Room 5 as well. 

What this means is Room 6 is isolated. People do not walk through your room and stare at you on the way and out. Swing dancers have the room all to themselves. And there are tables to sit at while you are taking a rest. 

Nowhere in Houston will you find more room to dance the Western Swing than at SSQQ every Friday night with Mitch Istre available to take your music requests in Room 1. And no smoke. 

And Room 4 is perfect for a night of dancing to the current West Coast Swing dance music of the Backstreet Boys, In Sync, as well as classic Rhythm and Blues Whip music from the past. 

Tired of Western dancing? Try East Coast Swing. Tired of East Coast Swing? Try West Coast Swing? Want to Waltz? Back down to Room 1. Want to sit and relax? Watch some dance videos on the TV in Room 2 and eat some popcorn. 

Let's review:
Great dancers/lots of people to meet
Plenty of room to dance
Lots of air-conditioning
No smoke
And three floors to choose from. 

Ready to dance again? You have 3 floors and 3 Swing dances to choose from. 

3 Floors, 3 Dances, 3 Dollars.

Join us on Fridays. Let's have a huge party!!

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"There are moments in every person's life where the opportunity to dance gracefully to a beautiful slow song becomes the most important skill imaginable. This is your chance to learn how." - Description from the SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance Class

There was once a time when you could find a dinner club with a band that played live music you could dance to, but venues like these are tough to find nowadays.

How is anyone going to enjoy Ballroom Dancing is they can't find a place to Practice?

Thanks to the work of Neal Pellis, in Room 6 we added a sound system hooked up to computers. Then we discovered the dancing was interrupted or distracted by a constant stream students walking through. The problem is that the entire studio enters and leaves Practice Night through Room 6. This meant the dancers have zero privacy. So much for Romance. 

In June thanks to a suggestion from the lovely Patty O, we decided to ask people to enter and leave Practice Night on Mondays and Fridays through Room 5. This neat trick effectively isolates Room 6 completely. The dancers have complete privacy. Now our students can practice Slow Dancing in July to their hearts content.

In future months, we will be moving Beginning Ballroom over from Tuesdays to Mondays. Including "On the Town" and "Slow Dance and Romance", we will rotate these three classes on Mondays. If students will make a habit of staying, eventually we might even have a regular crowd goodness gracious!

The important thing is to create an environment where Romantic Dance has a place to thrive. This same night can be used for Western Waltzers and Night Club Twosteppers and Western Cha Cha students to practice as well. All these dances fit into the same format. And maybe we can play some It Takes Two to Tangos too! 

I made this move as our first tentative stroke to create social Ballroom Dancing at the studio. Our Beginning Ballroom classes have been pretty large, but then they die on the grapevine because the students have nowhere to dance that is fun.

With this in mind, I think the Monday Swing crowd will be more compatible with the Ballroom students. As I said, by changing the entrance and exit to the studio over to Room 5, the room will have more privacy. And to complete the metamorphosis, we will even put out a couple tables for seating!!

I would have to say July got off to a slow start, but such is to be expected for a new program. In August we will have a Rumba course on Sundays and a Beginning Ballroom course on Mondays. Hopefully many of our students will help us in our quest to revive the "Lost Art of Formal Dance" and participate in Ballroom Dancing in Room 6. 

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SSQQ has made several significant changes in how we handle Practice Night. 

1) Practice Night will begin the moment Room 1 is emptied - this may be 9:05, 9:10. The sooner we start, the better.
2) All Practice Nights will cost $5. 
3) All Practice Nights including Friday will cost $3 to a student taking a dance class during the current month. Current customers get discounts. 
4) If you are in the building when Practice Night begins, we do not need to see your receipt. The Hall Monitor already took care of that earlier in the evening.
5) All Practice Nights except for Friday will end at 10:30 pm (Friday at Midnight)
6) Anyone who comes in off the street after 9 pm will be asked to pay $5. If you have a current month receipt, please show it to us and we will only charge $3. Please bring your receipt or don't ask for the discount. 
7) There will be someone to collect your money until it is time to clean up. 
8) There is a good chance after 10 pm that once you leave, you can't come back in. The front door is locked once clean up begins. 
9) If there is no Music playing in Room 4, you are welcome to request the type of music you wish. 
10) Increasingly, Room 6 will be used as a third dance floor during weeknight Practice Nights. Out of respect to our dancers in this admittedly 'narrow room', many nights we will ask that visitors enter thru Room 5 and that our guests depart thru Room 5. In an emergency, of course you can leave any way you wish, but otherwise out of respect to the dancers in 6, please use the Room 5 Exit.

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This was an slightly easier Logic Puzzle than the previous month. We had 11 winners, up from 6 last month. Alas, the beauteous Marlies Whitmoyer was not among this month's winners. She had solved the puzzle every month this year. I fussed at her, but to no avail. So sad!!

1. Billye Kridner
2. Terry Carpenter-Simon (repeat from last month)
3. Manny Hernandez (repeat from last month)
4. Ann Faget
5. Today's the Day (I asked for a real name, but didn't get one)
6. Robby Thompson
7. Jeff Woodman
8. Jing Jie
9. Kara Hackwith (repeat from last month)
10. Pete Bunning
11. Mara Rivas

Did you notice Mara was back in the winner's circle this month? She emailed me at the last moment. She says she has forgiven me for blackmailing her and that she has regained use of her mind. Isn't this wonderful? 

Ordinarily I would be thrilled, but I am worried that Mara stole the brain of her best friend Marlies. Why would Marlies go blank at the same moment Mara awoke? Is there a psychic connection? Stay tuned. 

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult!!

The Galleria is a two-story shopping area containing 20 stores, including a men's clothing store. The mall is designed so that there are five stores on the north side of the first floor numbered 101, 103, 105, 107, and 109 consecutively from east to west. Then there are five stores directly opposite on the south side numbered 100, 102, 104, 106, and 108 from east to west. The second floor layout is the same with stores numbered 201-209 on the north side and 200-208 on the south side. 

From the clues that follow, can you deduce the name of each store and what it retails in each mall space?
This one is so hard the first person to answer gets a free 4-week class in August 2003.
First next three correct answers get a free crash course for two people. Next seven get a free practice night. 

Ready, Set, Go for it!! 

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Just for the record, amazingly all four chairs, all four bushes, and the table are still there. 

I even saw some people sitting there! On Wednesday, July 30, Gary Thorpe, Michael Tucker, and Susan Arevalo were seen actually sitting at the Bistro after Practice Night. I was stunned to see this neglected area actually getting some us. I am sooo grateful to these brave three. They were probably discussing the answers to Donna's Brane Teazers, the answers to which are boxing, Niagara Falls, and baseball.
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The SSQQ Web Site rotates jokes on a monthly basis. At this point we have a Hall of Fame collection of over 600 jokes, many of them real gems. Nevertheless we get some wonderful new jokes each month sent in by our students which we will eventually add to the immortal collection. But first you get to preview them!

Contributed by Pat Roberts

Did you hear about the Miss Simms, the first year teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots? Bobby asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, Miss Simms realized she had worked up a sweat.

But now her satisfaction almost turned to tears when little Bobby said, "Miss Simms, they're on the wrong feet."

She looked and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. Relying on her diminishing reserves of patience, Miss Simms managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet.

Bobby then announced, "These aren't my boots."

The teacher bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.

No sooner they got the boots off and he said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear 'em."

Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She counted to ten and to ten again. Finally Miss Simms mustered up whatever grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

Then she carefully helped him into his coat. Now she asked, "Bobby, where are your mittens?"

Bobby said, "I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots."

Miss Simms did not last the first year.

Contributed by Pat Roberts and Chris Holmes

A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dog along for company. One day the dog starts chasing butterflies and before long he discovers that he is lost. So, wandering about he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch. The dog thinks, "Oh Boy, I'm in big trouble now." Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dog exclaims loudly, "Man, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more cats around here?" 

Hearing this a look of terror comes over the leopard. He halts his attack in mid stride and slinks away into the trees. "Whew", says the leopard. "That was close. That dog nearly had me." 

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use. He decides to trade news of the deception for protection from the leopard. Off goes the monkey in hot pursuit. But the dog hears the commotion and notices the monkey heading after the leopard with great speed. He figures that something must be up and begins to analyze the possibilities. 

Meanwhile the monkey soon catches up with the leopard and reveals how the dog tricked the cat. Then he strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. 

The cat is furious at being made a fool of. He wants revenge!! The leopard says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and come with me to watch what's going to happen to that conniving canine!" 

Angry and impatient, the leopard doesn't even bother with stealth. He just comes roaring through the jungle with the finesse of an elephant. 

The dog hears the leopard coming with the monkey on his back. He has decided on his plan. Instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers and pretends he hasn't a clue as to their presence. 

Just when they get close enough to hear, the dog says, "Where is that damn monkey!?! I am so HUNGRY!! He takes too long. I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard and he's still not back yet!!"

Contributed by Andre Faust

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through. 

The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself "I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light". After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red again. Again, they went right through. 

The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous and decided to pay very close attention to the road and the next intersection. 

At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!" 

Mildred turned to her and said, "Oh crap, am I driving?"

Contributed by Judy Walsh

A policeman was interrogating 3 blondes who were training to become detectives. To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows them a picture, then hides it.

"This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The first blonde answers, "That's easy, we'll catch him fast because he only has one eye!"

The policeman says, "Well...uh...that's because the picture shows his profile."

Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for 5 seconds at the second blonde and asks her, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The second blonde giggles, flips her hair and says, "Ha! He'd be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!"

The policeman angrily responds, "What's the matter with you two?? Of course only one eye and one ear are showing because it's a picture of his profile! Is that the best answer you can come up with?"

Extremely frustrated at this point, he shows the picture to the third blonde and in a very testy voice asks, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" He quickly adds, "Think hard before giving me a stupid answer."

The blonde looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, "The suspect wears contact lenses!"

The policeman is surprised and speechless because he really doesn't know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not.

"Well, that's an interesting answer. Wait here for a few minutes while I check his file and I'll get back to you on that." 
He leaves the room and goes to his office, checks the suspect's file in his computer, and comes back with a beaming smile on his face.

"Wow! I can't believe it. It's TRUE! The suspect does in fact wear contact lenses. Good work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?"

"That's easy," the blonde replied. "He can't wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear."

Contributed by Chris Holmes









Contributed by Judy Walsh

The Smiths had no children and decided to use a proxy father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife and said, "I'm off. The man should be here soon." 

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good morning madam. You don't know me but I've come to...." 

"Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you," Mrs. Smith cut in. 

"Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good! I've made a specialty of babies." 

"That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat. Just where do we start?" asked Mrs. Smith, blushing. 

"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is fun too; you can really spread out." 

"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for Harry and me." 

"Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results." 

"I hope we can get this over with quickly," gasped Mrs. Smith. 

"Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure." 

"Don't I know!!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed. 

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus in downtown London."

"Oh my god!!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief. 

"And these twins turned out exceptionally well when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with." The photographer handed Mrs. Smith the picture. 

"She was difficult ?" asked Mrs. Smith. 

"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Hyde Park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look." 

"Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in amazement. 

"Yes", the photographer said. "And for more than three hours too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling. I could hardly concentrate. Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in."

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "You mean they actually chewed on your," 

"That's right. Well madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so that we can get to work." 

"Tripod??", Mrs. Smith looked extremely worried now. 

"Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold while I'm getting ready for action. Madam? Madam?..... Good Lord, she's fainted!!"

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From the Houston Chronicle, 09-05-02

Dear Miss Manners:

My husband and I recently signed up to take some dance lessons together (swing and twostep). When the class started, we were very surprised that the teacher expected us to take turns dancing with everyone in the room.

Her reason was that in social dancing situations, it is expected that you trade partners frequently. Obviously, if we had known this, we would not have signed up, but, fortunately, we were able to gracefully excuse ourselves at an appropriate moment and cancel the remaining lessons. After checking with several more studios, I found this practice to be the norm. 

I realize that traditionally it was expected for ladies to dance with whoever asked them, but I thought that went out along with hoop skirts (or at least poodle skirts!). I certainly never thought that ever applied to married couples. Perhaps we don't move in the highest of social circles, but anywhere I have every seen social dancing (weddings, formal office parties, charity balls, etc.), I have never seen this practice, outside of the occasional teenager who happens to have attended. In this day and age, I would never let a stranger touch and hold me while dancing, and even if it was a close friend, I wouldn't for the sake of appearances. 

Am I correct in feeling that this tradition no longer takes place, or are my friends and I simply gauche? We are taking private lessons from now on.

Gentle Reader: Gauche? Only if you embarrass respectable gentlemen by treating conventional social invitations to dance as if they were erotic overtures.

'Prudish' is the word that Miss Manners would use. She does not normally consider this the insult that everyone else does (priding herself an a bit of prudishness of her own), but you have far outdone her. Dancing at parties and celebrations (as opposed to public nightclubs) is a perfectly standard from of socializing that Miss Manners is astonished to hear your friends consider tantamount to marital infidelity. 

At those weddings you attend, do you never see the bride dancing with anyone but her husband? Her father, her father-in-law, her husband's best man, the groomsmen? And do you all stand around and twitter about that brazen hussy allowing other to hold her?

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ADJUVANT \Ad"ju*vant\ (L. adjuvans, p. pr. of adjuvare to aid: cf. F. adjuvant.) Adjective: Helping; helpful; assisting. 
Noun: 1. An assistant 2. An ingredient, in a prescription, which aids or modifies the action of the principal ingredient. 
Example: "Adding aspirin to my daily dose of antibiotics proved to be a remarkable adjuvant in reducing the pain."

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From: Mark Leemen 
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 3:40 AM
Subject: Lawnchair Larry

Rick - I stumbled across your page while doing a google search on Larry Walters, the famous lawn chair balloonist. A few of the basic facts in the version you have are true, but a lot of it is incorrect and paints an inaccurately insulting picture of the man, which is a pity, because the truth is a lot more interesting and inspiring than your version.
If you want to correct your story, you can find most of the relevant facts here: 
Mark Leeman

From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 7:54 AM
To: Mark Leemen
Subject: RE: Lawnchair Larry

Thanks, this version sounds more accurate than the goofy rescue at sea story I found elsewhere. I will update the story today and credit Mark Barry.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

So who do you ask is Larry Walters, aka Larry the Moron?? This man is guilty of pulling the most ridiculous stunt imaginable - in 1982 he tied 42 massive balloons to a lawn chair, filled the balloons with helium, sat down in the chair, untied the tether ropes, and exploded with a violent surge far up into the atmosphere. He rose higher and higher until finally his ascent stopped 16,000 feet - 5 MILES - above sea level. 

Yes, this really happened and I have pictures to prove it. If your curiosity is sufficiently aroused, do yourself a favor and visit the ssqq home of Larry the Moron at:

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Isn’t she cute!!



From: Linda 
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 1:02 PM
To: Rick Archer 
Subject: Re: Timm Chavez

Yes, Rick, it is okay to announce our engagement. We've told some people, but we just haven't decided on a date, or gotten a ring yet. This has been a expensive month for us, we both had to have lots of work done on our cars ($2500), then my house was broken into (will be awhile replacing things stolen), my car two days later so no money for anything like an engagement ring but we don't mind who knows...........

Linda Cook

(Editor's Note: Linda and Timm have cared about each other deeply for the last ten years, but for one reason or another always find a way to back off just when things are going good. I am very pleased these two people whom I like so very much have decided to commit to each other. I am definitely pulling for them. 
And yes, if you want to get married, the place to be is on the SSQQ Staff. Current Staff engagements include Timm and Linda, Rachel Seff, Ann Bush, Brian White, Carol Armand, Patricia Or, Vickie Bernard, Kathleen LaBounty, and myself... quite a few!! Plus I have a hunch there's a couple more teetering on the edge!!)


From: Ellen Chapman 
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 6:09 PM
Subject: Private Lessons

My fiancee, Bill Blum, and I are interested in private lessons. We have completed advanced swing and wish to move on to Lindy Hop. The ultimate goal is also to add more advanced swing moves and be able to mix it all up. Thanks a lot. 

BTW - we met at SSQQ!!

Ellen Chapman
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Written by Rick Archer

Here are ten Emails sent to during May and June 2003:

1. "I would like to sign up my fiancι and I for a private Beginning Western Waltz lesson. Our wedding is May 23, 2003 and we have procrastinated long enough. I can be contacted at either of the numbers below or via this e-mail address."

2. "I would like some more information on the private dance lessons offered by your company. My fiancι and I are getting married soon and want to take private dance lessons for our "first dance" etc."

3. "I need to schedule a time to come in for private lessons. We are getting married 5/24... yes less than 2 weeks and my fiancι needs help getting through the first dance."

4. "My fiancιe and I are getting married on Saturday, July 5th, and would actually like to "dance" at our wedding. Private dance lessons sound like a good way to go, and I know a couple that used your studios a few years ago before their wedding. What is the availability of private lessons during the week or on weekends? How many lessons are recommended? Is the rate ($44) quoted on the Internet correct? Is that rate per hour?" (YES, $44 IS THE RATE)

5. "I am inquiring about a private lesson for me and my fiancιe. We would like something similar to the slow dance and romance class. I understand the cost is $44. How long is the lesson and when would it be available?" (LESSONS ARE ONE HOUR LONG)

6. "My fiancι and I are interested in taking a couple of private dance lesson. Neither one of us is a very good dancer. Since our schedules change from week to week it's hard to make the group classes. My fiancι's sister is getting married at the end of this month so we'd like to try & schedule at least one possible 2 lessons before than."

7. "We are leaving town for our son's wedding on July 17th. We thought that we would be able to do a crash course in two step and ballroom dancing before the wedding. Any suggestions? Your schedule does not allow what we need."

8. "The reason I am contacting you is this: I am going to be married in August and my fiancιe and I would like to be able to dance together properly (instead of her dancing and me shuffling my feet around) for our first dance as husband and wife. Can you help?"

9. "I'm getting married July 19 and me and my fiancι (who are both procrastinators) were wondering if there was any chance to get a private lesson. Our main interest is practicing for the first dance but we could also use some general pointers. Also, is it too late to sign up for this Saturday's crash course? Thanks a ton."

10. "My fiancι, Bill Blum, and I are interested in private lessons. We have completed advanced swing and wish to move on to Lindy Hop. The ultimate goal is also to add more advanced swing moves and be able to mix it all up. Thanks a lot. BTW - we met at SSQQ!! Ellen Chapman"

The 10 emails above were all sent in during May and June 2003. There were more, believe it or not, but I figured 10 were enough to give our readers the picture. 

As I reviewed the letters, I discovered that almost no one knows how to spell "fiancι". My favorite version of the word was the lady who referred to her "finance" twice in the letter. Hmm. I went ahead and ran spell check on everyone's mangled variations of 'fiancι' to prepare for this article. Thank goodness Microsoft Word added that little accent for me automatically! 

Judy Archer teaches most of our private lessons for weddings. As you might gather, Judy Archer does a thriving business!! Judy estimates she teaches 5 private Wedding dance lessons a week. With this much experience, Judy has made a few discoveries of her own. 

For one thing, most couples are terrible procrastinators!! Half her clients are preparing for their weddings two weeks or less ahead of time. One couple emailed on Wednesday for a lesson - their wedding was on Saturday. Fortunately all the worried people are greatly relieved to find Judy can teach them enough to get through the wedding dance in one, two or three lessons. The average is two lessons per couple. ($88 if you don't have your calculator handy)

Judy has her Wedding Dance preparation down pat. She usually teaches a form of Foxtrot known as "Box Fox". She gives them a memorized set of 4 patterns and has them repeat the cycle three times in the song. Like any good sandwich, you need two slices of bread around the peanut butter. With that in mind, Judy often teaches an intro where the groom goes out on the floor first, then the bride makes a big entrance to thunderous applause. She gracefully walks around her new husband a couple times, presents herself into his arms, and hopefully begin to dance somewhere close to the start of the song. In the middle of the song, the couple executes a simple dip, then add a more dramatic dip to finish the dance. Ta da!! 

Most people suffer under a huge misconception they have to be awesome at the first dance. I have found this to be untrue. America is not a nation of dancers and therefore we set the bar pretty low for wedding dances. Couples get 5 points out of 10 right off the bat for getting out there on Pass/Fall basis. If they just manage to stand up for the entire song, Pass. Each couple will get 3 more points if they both can smile at each other through the entire song. This is no easy feat considering how nervous some of these people are! 

And if the couple can actually dance a lick, they can earn 2 more points for artistic merit. Given how little time most couples devote to preparing for their wedding dance - 2 one-hour private lessons a week ahead of time is the norm - I usually have them concentrate just as much on smiling as on their footwork. Happy Smile/Goofy Feet = 3 Bonus Points. Frowny Face/Happy Feet = 2 Bonus Points. A couple can earn more points if they can look happy and shuffle around for three entire minutes than if they can actually dance but look serious. Most people are so delighted for the wedding couple that any actual show of rhythm and style is icing on the cake. 

This doesn't mean you shouldn't try your best to dance. Deep down we still want a good Show. But most couples focus too much on the footwork and forget about that 'Look Happy' angle. I agree it is almost impossible for some people to look happy dancing, but a contorted grin should be attainable in all but the most miserable of situations. 

Many people are surprised to discover that Waltz, the dance long considered the most romantic dance, is almost never used for the First Dance. Judy estimates one in twenty couples actually end up dancing a Waltz. As an exception to this rule, SSQQ instructor Vicki Bernard and her fiancι Johnny Smith have been taking Sharon Crawford's amazing Western Waltz course for 5 months in preparation to Waltz at their November wedding. In addition Vicki assists Judy Archer in the Sunday night Western Waltz class. This couple is taking the First Dance seriously!!

So the girl is a ringer and the boy has game too. Considering how extensive their preparation has been, I expected an attitude verging on cocky. No Sweat, Dude. Instead I was taken aback at their response when I asked about their upcoming dance. Both hinted that they need more patterns, more polish, and more practice. Waltz footwork is fast and intricate. The possibility of a mistake is very real. For example, what if Vicki trips on her dress?? Only someone like Stephen King would write a horror story with a thought this disturbing! Now we know why so few people Waltz at their wedding - it may be beautiful, but it is also much too difficult for the average dancer. If the pros are worried, what hope is there for the rest of us?

I asked Judy if anyone ever danced to Anne Murray's romantic Waltz classic "Could I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life?" No. 

I remember teaching Waltz in private lessons to one couple back in the eighties. They never brought any music so I played whatever I had on hand. One song I played a lot was a personal favorite called "You Look So Good In Love" by George Strait. The title is very romantic, but when you listen you realize the song is actually about a couple who broke up and went their separate ways. Now the woman has found a new man. One night the former lover sees them dancing and cringes in despair as he realizes how happy the new couple appears. They smile and beam as they dance beautifully together across the floor while the singer of the song wallows in regret. It was definitely a bittersweet tale. 

The couple invited me to their wedding. Can you imagine the shock I felt when I realized they had chosen that song for their wedding dance!! Didn't either of them ever bother to listen to the words!?! What were they thinking!?! 

To my further surprise, at the reception I didn't hear one person say a word about the odd choice in song. Apparently no one else listened to the words either. Good grief. I didn't see any point in being a spoilsport so I kept it to myself. The bride walked past and asked, "How did we do?!!"

"Just great!!"
"Wasn't that a great song?"

Judy said most couples either dance a Foxtrot or a Slow Dance. Frank Sinatra is VERY popular, especially his song "The Way You Look Tonight". Good choice. Classy song, great lyrics. Another popular artist is Harry Connick, Jr. 

Slow Dance favorites include "At Last" by Etta James, "Unforgettable" by Nat and Natalie Cole, and Sam Cooke's "Only You".

Western Music and Dancing is occasionally used. We had a recent request for Tim McGraw's "You're My Best Friend" which I assume is a Twostep or a Slow Dance. A lady who once worked for us - Amelia Bedelia Cate - met her future husband Brian here at the studio. She and Brian danced a polka to "The Bluest Eyes in Texas". I remember my 4-year old daughter Samantha was mesmerized as they danced by. I had never seen her so transfixed. Maybe we have a budding dance teacher in the family!! I asked Sam afterwards if she loved the dancing. "No, Daddy, I liked Amelia's dress."

There is the occasional off-the-beaten path song choice. Judy recently prepared a couple to dance a Jitterbug to Van Morrison's sexy "Brown Eyed Girl". One couple learned to Tango to "Ecstasy". That brought a smile to my face. Romance can be found in all types of music. Once Judy spent several lessons teaching a couple from the studio how to dance salsa to Rosemary Clooney's song "Mambo Italiano". Somehow it seemed to be an odd choice for a wedding song, but it's what they wanted. And apparently they had fun because they came back for group lessons after the honeymoon with nothing but smiles!

I asked about "Inna Gadda Da Vida" and "Stairway to Heaven", my personal favorite Slow Dance standards, but Judy couldn't recall anyone using those two. Couples in love have no sense of humor, now do they!

As professions go, Wedding Dance teaching is pretty high on predictability and low on danger, but Judy has managed to have a few surprises of her own. One day she walked in for a one-on-one lesson with a prospective groom whose fiancιe lived out of town. As she opened the door, instead she was greeted by 10 people! The participants ranged from the grandparents to cousins to aunts and uncles and somewhere in the mix were the bride and groom. Everyone spent the entire hour swapping partners. Quite intimidated at first, Judy found the group enthusiastic and attentive. In particular Judy bonded with the grandfather - at the end of the lesson he tried to show her how to tap dance! As Granddad shuffle-ball-changed a step or two, he got a surprise of his own. He found out Tap is one of Judy's secret specialties. The next thing you knew, Judy and Granddad were tapping up a storm to the clapping hands of their audience! It could have been a scene from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"…

After the group left, Judy was curious how one person had grown to ten. Just then Linda Cook walked by. Apparently Judy and Linda had mixed up the lessons. Linda was already at the studio when the solitary man showed up before Judy did. He walked over to Linda and announced he was ready for his lesson. Lost in her thoughts, Linda closed her book and stood up. She never gave it a second thought. With such assurance on the man's part, Linda assumed he was there for her. And Judy was in for a surprise!

Judy is always amused to observe just how little the man knows about what is going on. Wedding Planning and Pregnancy are similar in that the woman does 99% of the work in both situations. When it comes the dance lessons, the women usually pick the music. Or if the guy actually helps pick the song, it turns out only the women know the words. The women contact Judy for the lesson. The women are constantly reminding the men they better practice ahead of time. Judy has a hunch most guys would gladly let the woman lead if they had any choice in the matter at all. 

For this reason, Judy has learned the KISS method is the safest strategy. She tries to put as little pressure on the men as possible because they always look so overwhelmed. Judy figures there is no particular advantage to five steps versus four or six steps versus five. After all, Artistic Merit only gets you two points. Judy firmly believes in keeping things simple simple simple. 

Unfortunately the brides-to-be don't always catch on. Some women expect to be twirled around like Cinderella only to find out she might be lucky if he can master a couple Step-Touch, Step-Touch, Walk Walk moves. Not often, but occasionally women can be impatient. They expect the men to catch on faster than they do. Women forget most men have never partner danced in their lives. Overlooking this fact, they will embarrass the man by insisting Judy dance with him and 'straighten him out'. Rarely does this pressure accomplish anything positive. Usually he simply grows more tense than he already is. Worried, confused, and helpless to catch on any faster, out the window flies the 3 points for smiling. 

It doesn't help that the more phobic the guy is, the longer the couple usually delays calling the Dance Doctor. At this point Judy functions more as a marriage counselor than a dance teacher. She goes into her "take a deep breath, calm down, let's start over" approach and things usually get back on track. 

Judy has a few suggestions for people who are getting ready for their Wedding Dance. Couples can save a lot of valuable time by picking their music before the private dance lesson and by bringing it with them. Judy can remember one couple who wasted over thirty minutes of private lesson time arguing about what dance/what song/what constituted a romantic song. Meanwhile Judy got paid to practice her tap dancing. Always pick your music ahead of time!!

One thing you should not worry about is the speed of the music. The tempo of the song is not important - there is always some form of Slow Dance or Foxtrot that will work for any speed. What is important though is the length of the song. Three minutes should be the maximum length. Two minutes plus a few seconds is probably the perfect length. A simple trick is to ask the band or the DJ to fade the song at two and a half minutes, but in this modern era of computer technology, music editing is a much better bet than gambling on the DJ staying alert. Judy mentioned a couple who started their dip at a key point in the song where the DJ was supposed to start to fade, but the volume never changed. Uh oh. The groom literally had to gesture to a friend to poke the DJ in the ribs. Why leave this to chance?? 

I remember one couple who brought me the beautiful western slow dance classic "From This Moment" by Shania Twain. Gee whiz, the song ran four and a half minutes long! And these guys knew four steps… and not very well. 

I knew this couple was going to get hammered with nerves standing out there for four minutes doing the same four steps over and over and over again. I made a suggestion. Shorten the song. Really? Sure. I took the CD, fed the song into the studio computer, put it into a music editing program, snipped two minutes off, added a "fade", burned the edited song onto a new $2 CD and boom - they were set. It took 10 minutes. Their gratitude was so overwhelming I wouldn't be surprised if one of their kids has "Richard" as a middle name. Hope it isn't a girl. 

When is the best time to start to prepare? As Judy said, the middle of the week will have to do in a pinch, but you are likely to be so nervous you will sacrifice your three points for smiling. Obviously the more lead time, the better because you will have a chance to practice and get your act down. I have heard more than one anecdote about slow dancing on the living room carpet the night before the wedding, but often social engagements make even this last-ditch effort impossible.

One or two months should be plenty of lead time. If the couple indicates they have started far enough ahead of time, I always recommend the SSQQ "Slow Dance and Romance" class or the Ballroom Foxtrot class. Both are offered on Mondays. Gradual learning plus a little one-on-one at Practice Night afterwards is the prefect way to prepare. A major drawback to private lessons is there is no place to practice after the lesson is over. 

Unfortunately, Group Classes are only effective if you can take the entire month of classes before the wedding. If the wedding date is tomorrow, who you gonna call? Dancebusters!! 

Pick your music ahead of time, figure out a way to get it under three minutes, email Judy to set up a lesson, and schedule some practice time for after the lesson. Depending on your dance experience, one to three Private Lessons and you should be ready for the Show. 

Most important - Remember to smile. Both of you. No matter how poorly you dance, if you can still your nerves enough to show your love for one another, no one will mind a bit. The heart will always be more important than the feet.

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Contributed by Maureen Brunetti

July 18, 2003

Do you want to learn to dance with a Smart Robot? 

Yes, this is now possible thanks to researchers at Tohoku University, reports Japan Today in a brief article.
A team at Tohoku University has developed a robot that can follow a human dancer's lead according to Kazuhiro Kosuge, the team's leader.

The robot can predict the dancer's next move through hand pressure applied to its arms and back, and also judging from dance steps it is making, and can then turn at the appropriate speed. Equipped with a computer, sensors and batteries, it can move in any direction on four wheels and has memory for five steps necessary to dance the waltz.
Professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, leader of the Tohoku University team that developed the robot, says future versions will be able to move in sync with humans.

The MS DanceR (Mobile Smart Dance Robot) predicts the dancer's next move through hand pressure applied to its arms and back.

So, are you ready to dance?

(Editor's Note: As if I didn't have enough problems with Salsa Eddy, now I have to worry about some damn robot moving in on my business. Wonder what she charges for Waltz lesson??  On the other hand, the way my staff is getting married, I might have a few openings to fill….)
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Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer

by Randy Cassingham

Shawn Perkins of Laurel, Ind., took his family to Paramount's Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio, on 12 June 2001. As they left the park to go to their car, a thunderstorm was approaching. As the family reached the car, lightning struck and "the car [Perkins] was touching was blown apart," claims the family's lawyer, Drake Ebner.

Um, a lawyer for a lightning strike? Yep. This was no "act of God", Ebner says. "That would be a lot of people's knee-jerk reaction in these types of situations, frankly," he says, clearly expecting criticism over the suit. He says the amusement park has "a duty of ordinary care" to warn visitors of any foreseeable danger, and the Perkins were not warned about the storm. The amusement park "could have told the people not to go to their cars," he says, "which are large metal objects that can attract lightning."

(He didn't happen to mention that cars are isolated from the ground by tires, which are medium-sized rubber objects that insulate things. But I digress.)

"A lot of voltage passed through his brain," Ebner says. His suit, filed in Hamilton County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court, says that as a result of the lightning strike Perkins is suffering from brain damage, which has resulted in a "cognitive deficit and severe memory loss". Perhaps not surprisingly, Ebner notes Perkins also has a fear of being outside.

"We believe that the weather system was predictable," Ebner continued.
"Therefore, the risk and injury to Mr. Perkins was predictable and therefore avoidable." If the park didn't know about the storm, he adds, it should have known, perhaps by subscribing to a weather prediction service. "If you are a multimillion-dollar business, wouldn't you?" Ebner asks. However, he quickly adds, "I'm just not mentioning [the park's multimillion-dollar gross income] for the concept of deep pockets for the suit." Oh no -- perish the thought! Such a thing never entered our minds.
(Really! We swear! May lightning--- well... strike that idea.)

"Think of the amount of money Kings Island spends to get people to the park," he says, lingering on the money issue. "Safety is not common sense." It's not?! No, he says: "You and I don't run amusement parks."
(Speak for yourself, chum.) "Because they are in the unique situation they are in -- that says they need to do things that you and I don't do."

Like, say, knowing to take cover in a thunderstorm?

1) "Family Sues Kings Island", Cincinnati Post, 17 June 2003

2) "Kings Island Sued by Family", Cincinnati Enquirer, 19 June 2003


In 2000, SSQQ was threatened with a lawsuit by none other than Texas A&M University for infringement on its trademark. Our crime? We were teaching a crash course entitled "Aggie Jitterbug". Well, some guy named Stephen Huzar took exception to our encroachment and got the A&M legal department on our tail. The entire story was too absurd to believe. 

Recently a friend of mine, Ray Conley, kidded me a little about the adventure and even went so far as to write a letter in my defense to the Houston Press: 

"I'm an Aggie, class of '50, and I'm also a sudent at SSQQ. Yes, at age 76 I'm still learning new steps. This time it's Salsa. I took my first class with Rick in 1985.

I think the University is picky, picky,picky. Rick is doing a great PR service for A&M by teaching the Aggie Jitterbug and we should be thanking him, instead of threatening lawsuits! It really tickles me that he is now calling it the Shaggie Jitterbug. Get a life, Huzar, Boenig, et al.......

Ray Conley '50

In case you are curious about the mess, it is well chronicled at

or you can read the Houston Press story at


From: Maureen Brunetti 
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 11:02 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: just a thought...

FYI: lots of people have complained about the price increase.

From: Scott Young 
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 3:56 PM 
Subject: SSQQ Newsletter 

Hi Rick, I recently began my first-ever dance class (Beginning 2-Step/Polka) and have a little commentary to relay. 

I have always thought that my center of gravity was not conducive to graceful movement (I come equipped with a lanky 6'4" frame). My girlfriend signed us up for a dance class through Leisure Learning, which happened to land us at SSQQ. While I have no frame of reference for comparison, I have to say that SSQQ is wonderful! I attend the Sunday (and sometimes Wednesday) class and Melissa and Randy are great! I respond well to their teaching style, which is very casual (Randy, who is a big guy too, serves as a great example for me to follow). While I still have MUCH to learn, I am excited to take further classes at your studio. Not only does it provide fun and informative instruction, it is a great ( and safe) social environment. 

As a side note: I enjoy your articles (even though I bristled at the Andy Rooney article). Your writing style is eloquent and a pleasure to read.

And... In response to the person who complained about practice night prices I have to ask, have they been out in the clubs anytime in the past, oh, five years? $5, or $3, is a steal! 

Anyway, I'll end my loquacious rambling.
Thanks for your time and hard work. It is appreciated.

Sincerely, Scott Young

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 10:40 AM
To: Scott Young
Subject: SSQQ Newsletter

Thank you for the nice words, Scott.

I agree the flap about the 3 bucks/5 bucks is a little sad, but then you don't know dancers - they will pay $60 for a private dance lesson and argue about $0.50 for a glass of water. 

Dancers just assume the cost of music, dance floors, air-conditioning, stereo equipment, electricity and rent are something owed to them. It is this attitude which explains why in Houston there are no whip clubs, no swing clubs, no ballroom clubs, no tango clubs and the fewest western clubs in years. 

Dancers historically do not grasp the importance of supporting dance venues. 


From: De Los Santos, Carolyn 
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 5:02 PM
Subject: Beginning Ballroom Class
Importance: High

Hello Mr. Rick Archer,

My partner and I registered for the beginning ballroom dance class on July 8, 2003. During the first class session, there were at least 60 people in the class and two instructors. They oriented us to the dance rules which include switching partners. I agree and understand the advantage to switching partners, however, please consider that most of the people who came with partners came for the enjoyment of dancing with their partners. We only got to dance with our partners for about 15-30 mins. out of the 2 hr. session. Also, there were so many people that it was so crowded and difficult to move. I voiced my concerns to Judy Archer. I even made suggestions such as...dividing the class in to two groups. Allowing partners to dance for the first hr., then start switching partners the second hr. of the class. Also, there should be a set limit to the number of people allowed to register per class.

There were other couples who felt the same. I heard a great deal of soft complaints between the couples, however, they were hesitant to speak out. If you are not willing to change your routine, then please refund my money or offer an alternative. Apparently, I have been asking around and the alternative is not any better. I have ask other people if they have experienced the same treatment from your beginning classes, majority of them said that the classes are very crowded. No limit to the number of people registered. They didn't get a chance to dance with their partners as they expected. Most of them said that if I ask them first, they would not recommend enrolling in your beginning classes at all.
I am willing to work out an agreeable compromise with you. Please call me on my cell phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxx-xxxx. I am scheduled to take the second lesson tomorrow, July 15th, from 7:00-9:00 pm.

Carolyn delos Santos

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 1:15 PM
To: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Subject: switching partners

Switching partners has always been a controversial issue.

We have attempted in the past to allow certain couples to avoid switching, but the experiments resulted in miserable failures.
You are welcome to read my story on the subject on ssqq the web site.

Although my web site article deals with the subject in more depth, I can summarize what it says:

Historically, making exceptions on the switching rule has proven to be a disastrous mistake for the class as a whole. As I said above, please be assured we have been down this path before.

When dealing with large groups of people, at some point policies are developed for a reason. In this case, switching partners has proven to be a very effective policy. Unfortunately the needs of some individuals such as yourself get compromised. I am well aware of this which is why we warn people ahead of time. For example, on each person's receipt it is printed that switching is mandatory. This allows students to withdraw from the class without losing their money if they find our policies more objectionable than they care to tolerate.

Group classes are about learning to lead and follow different people. Group classes are also about "Social Dancing" - in social dancing situations, it is expected that you trade partners frequently. Having people refuse to switch completely defeats that purpose.

I sympathize with your point, but to satisfy your wishes would defeat the stated purposes of a Group class in Social Dance. Our system of teaching is based on the principle of switching. Bending this particular rule is not an option.

I doubt there is anything I have said which will cheer you up or make you see it from our angle in a way that will give you satisfaction. If this proves to be the case, please forgive.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

From: De Los Santos, Carolyn 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 1:50 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: RE: switching partners
Importance: High

Mr. Archer...I don't disagree with switching partners. I would like to have the benefit of both. However, why can't we strike a balance between dancing with our partners and switching at the same time.

For example...the beg. ballroom is two hrs long. 

1) How about we dance with our partner for an hr. and switch partners the next hr. The class is so big that I only had a chance to dance with my partner for 15-30mins (out of the two hrs that we were there). If the class continues to be extremely crowded...what's the fun of it. 
2) We are so crowded that we are not getting the full benefit of the class. I suggest crowd control. I have to tell felt like a meat market, not to mention cattles being herded. We were shuffled from one guy to the next...I thought I'm going to a dance studio, not a night club.

If you are not willing to change or improve the way you conduct your classes then please... I am asking for a partial refund of my money and my partner's money. I attended only one class-July 8th. Unknown to me, since it was my partner who registered us, if we wanted a refund, we should have ask for it after the first class. Unfortunately, that was not the case, therefore, I am only asking for a partial refund of the class.

As for other dance classes… we have ask and research other dance classes, they are not conducted that way. As for my partner...he also said that the class seems disorganized. He should know, he is an experienced ballroom dancer and instructor. He came to the beginners class to enjoy the activity with me, which he was not able to do.

Also, have you ever thought of providing "program evaluation" surveys to your students to see how you could better improve your classes and meet their needs.

Thank you for your response, but I prefer a return email from you with a resolution to this situation, meaning a partial refund of our fees. I would appreciate a prompt response since we have a class tonight and would prefer not to attend.

Thank you,
Carolyn delos Santos

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 2:35 PM
To: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Subject: switching partners

Our business policies preclude refunds after the first class.

And I prefer not to strike a compromise on switching partners. As I said, we have been down that road before and it has always led to worse problems.

I am sorry that you are not satisfied with our program.

I hope that you will decide to attend your class and find a way to enjoy it despite your disappointment with my responses.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

From: De Los Santos, Carolyn 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 3:45 PM
Subject: switching partners
Importance: High

Rich Archer,

Tell me you always fill the class to the point of being over crowded?

Reason I'm asking…what good would that do us to sign for another class even if you give us another credit...if all the classes are extremely crowded. The quality is lost!!!

I'm beyond the issue of switching partners. Now I want to know about the lack of crowd control that you seem to avoid discussing!!!! It seems that is a very unethical way to practice your business!!!!

If I took the credit to sign up for another class...will you guarantee that there will be some type of crowd control.....

Carolyn delos Santos

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 5:34 PM
To: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Subject: RE: switching partners

"Will you guarantee that there will be some type of crowd control?"

What about the crowd is out of control? Did someone push you? Were people noisy? Did you get stepped on??

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

From: De Los Santos, Carolyn 
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 8:10 AM
To: Rick Archer
Cc: Isaacson, Allen
Subject: RE: switching partners
Importance: High

Mr. Archer,

Apparently, I will never get anywhere with you. You are not willing to consider other people's requests or suggestions on improving the way you conduct your classes. No one pushed me, no one kicked me, no one slammed into me. However, even your biggest dance floor was not able to adequately accommodate the number of people that signed up for the class. How many times do I have to tell you....there were >60 people there!!!!!! It was very, very crowded!!! We started in a small room, then they moved us to a bigger room...still, it was crowded!!!!

Never mind...I found two dance studios that conduct their classes in a more professional way. They do not over pack their classes, it is not a meat market or herding cattle. I will be enrolling in one of those schools. Unfortunately, a friend of mine who happens to be single enjoyed your class. She doesn't know any better and has not experienced other schools… so for her, your school is just fine. If a refund is not possible then a gift certificate will do, I'll pass it on to my friend. However, I will not recommend your school at all and will make a point to mention to people I know to try the other schools that I found (Adagio and The Dance Place).

I'm done with this conversation. When can I expect the gift certificates????

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 1:32 PM
To: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Subject: RE: switching partners

You have to be the studio's least happy customer of all time, Ms. De los Santos.

I find it fascinating that you were moved to a larger room and it was still not adequate to satisfy you.

60 people can fit into Room One just fine, but I suppose no amount of arguing is likely to change your opinion.

My guess is nothing we will do will ever please you.

If I agree to send the certificate, is it understood that last night's class will be your final visit to the studio?

If the answer is yes, I will then issue you a gift certificate for half of your remaining tuition. Please tell me where to send the certificate.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

From: De Los Santos, Carolyn 
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 1:50 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: RE: switching partners
Importance: High

The only thing that would please me is to reduce the number of people per class. The class that I was in had two instructors. The class could have been divided into two groups. But when I talked to Judy Archer, she said that all the rooms are occupied, so dividing the class was not an option. As I said before "At Least" 60 people. 

Have you had a chance to look at the roster to count the number of people registered or have you talked to Judy Archer as to how many people actually registered? We were all complaining that even in a big room, we were still crowded. Bottom line, Mr. Archer, it's time to reevaluate the way you conduct your classes.

I should be expecting two certificates, one for me and my partner. Please send the certificates to xxxxxx xxxxxx,

And I was not able to attend yesterday's class (July 15th) due to inclement weather.

NOTE: If you are willing to reduce the number of people per class, then I wouldn't mind finishing the last three sessions.

Thank you, Carolyn

From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 4:50 PM
To: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Subject: RE: switching partners

"How many times do I have to tell you....there were 60 people there!!!!!! It was very, very crowded!!! We started in a small room, then they moved us to a bigger room...still, it was crowded!!!!"

"The only thing that would please me is to reduce the number of people per class."

Ms De Los Santos,

I have absolutely no sympathy with your position. A floor space of 2000 square feet is more than adequate for a class of 60 people. The City of Bellaire fire code specifies 9 square feet per person. By their definition, the room your class is assigned can handle 200 people.

At our studio, we have targeted 100 students as the maximum number of people for Room 1. We have had several Waltz classes that size in that room this summer. I will grant you it is definitely crowded at 100, but there is no way 60 people constitutes a problem. However if it is your perception that 60 is too large for your comfort, that is your right.

"NOTE: If you are willing to reduce the number of people per class, then I wouldn't mind finishing the last three sessions."

Exactly which students do you suggest I eliminate in order to fulfill your latest demand?? What should I do, send each member of your class an email asking them to voluntarily drop out of the class so Ms. De Los Santos can have more room in her group dance class?

"You are not willing to consider other people's requests or suggestions on improving the way you conduct your classes."

Ms. De Los Santos, I have been running SSQQ for 25 years. One of the things I have learned along the way is that experience is the best teacher. One particular lesson my experience has taught me is that switching partners is the policy that works best for our studio. I told you I have been down this road many times, that this was our policy take it or leave it, I gave you my reasons, and you turned right around and criticized me for ignoring your brilliant ideas.

Just out of curiosity, how much experience do you have running a dance studio? Your attitude is eerily similar to a rookie on the team telling the coach what plays to run. Guess how far that attitude will get you in the real world? About as far it got you with me.

Nevertheless I confess that I admire the strength of your personality.

I am completely fascinated by your unwavering conviction that you believe you possess a special insight that allows you to impolitely dictate how I should run my business. You seem convinced that you know exactly what is best for my studio, a position I find humorous for lack of a more descriptive word. You have criticized our partner switching policies, our refund policy, our room size policy, our crowd control, and how well our classes are organized.

Furthermore you have basically demanded - yes, demanded - I change the way I run my studio to fit your individual needs.
Considering we don't do things the way you want us to, I imagine it must be a huge mystery to you to learn over 1200 people a week participate in classes at our studio.

Along the way, you have systematically belittled my program by comparing it to other studios who in your mind are quite superior to ssqq.

So I decided to do some checking.

First I found out you phoned our office on Monday to complain about the same issues you have covered in the emails. I found it interesting that you told the woman that you have taken 9 private dance lessons at another studio.

You seem to expect quite a bit for your $4.50 an hour group lesson fee as opposed to the $50/60 an hour you pay for expensive private lessons elsewhere. Do you think it fair to hold our group classes to the same standard as private lessons?

I also found it interesting that the woman you spoke to on the phone told you exactly the same thing about our policies as I have, yet you decided to come complain to me as the next target for your unhappiness. How many times do we have to explain our policies to you? You have behaved exactly as a kid would who doesn't get what they want from one parent, so they go to the other one and try again.

I also noticed you find it convenient to stretch the truth.

There are 48 people registered for your Ballroom class, not 60.

I am sorry after all our correspondence you were unable to attend last night's class. As for last night's 'inclement weather' which prevented your participation, there was barely a drizzle after 6 pm. I was out in my backyard playing basketball at 7 pm and the sky was clear. However if it was your perception that the weather was inclement, that is of course your right.

Expect your certificate in a couple days. I mailed it today.

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

From: De Los Santos, Carolyn 
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2003 8:35 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: complaint switching partners
Importance: High

That is why I prefer not to come back to your studio. Please send the certificates... I'm truly done with this conversation.

Just a note: I have called and research several dance studios, they even said that your class size is ridiculous and it sounds like your just in for the money, without regards to the people your teaching.

Send the gift certificates to the following address:
Carolyn delos Santos
xxxxx xxxxx

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2003 10:46 AM
To: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Subject: complaint switching partners

"Just a note: I have called and research several dance studios, they even said that your class size is ridiculous and it sounds like your just in for the money, without regards to the people your teaching." 

Aren't you naοve!! And what did you expect them to say?

Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio

From: De Los Santos, Carolyn
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2003 10:48 AM
To: Rick Archer'
Cc: Lisa_Upchurch (Work) (E-mail)
Subject: RE: complaint switching partners
Importance: High

Mr. Archer...I'm tired of your emails. I'm done with you!!!!

Just send my certificates.

(Editor's Note: A certificate in the amount of $40 was mailed on Wednesday, July 16, to Ms. De los Santos. By the way, I know all you readers would dearly love for me to go ballistic here. If ever there was a situation that begged for me to go Vesuvius, this would be it, but I think I have already said all that needs to be said.)

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We have 28 classic jokes ready for you to read on our August Joke Page. 
August Clean Side Jokes
August CS 01 : A Marriage Maid in Heaven - Hieronymous Anonymous
August CS 02 : The Mole Family - Judy Walsh
August CS 03 : The Magician and the Parrot - Judy Walsh
August CS 04 : Southern Magnolias - Pat Roberts
August CS 05 : Marital Bliss - Sam DeMora, Robin Wagner, Rick Archer
August CS 06 : Al Gore - Richard Bevis
August CS 07 : Blind Date - Donna Ruth
August CS 08 : The Son-In-Law - Debbie Awad
August CS 09 : Take Me Out to the Ballgame! - Gary Richardson 
August CS 10 : Pulling a Fast One - Kathleen Parker
August CS 11 : Desert Island - Crista Reuss
August CS 12 : The Lone Ranger and Tonto - Ralph Volz
August CS 13 : What's Heaven Got To Do With It ? - Kendra Heath
August CS 14 : Conscience - Debbie Awad
August CS 15 : Bill Clinton and Judgment Day - Jill Banta and Sam DeMora
August CS 16 : Inviting a Friend to Dinner - Robin Wagner
August CS 17 : Down by the Cemetery - Richard Bevis
August CS 18 : Case Dismissed - Sharon Russell
August CS 19 : The Terrible Food - Jackie Chang
August CS 20 : The Cuckoo Clock - Judy Walsh
August CS 21 : Gorilla up a Tree - Jill Banta
August CS 22 : The Magic Elevator - Donna Cook
August CS 23 : The Pope & the Hairdresser - Andre Faust & Mike Gerstenberger 
August CS 24 : A Lawyer Dies Young - Donna Cook
August CS 25 : Bill Gates in Hell - Jill Banta and Carole Nelson
August CS 26 : The Pope and the President - Dana Pattison and Judy Walsh
August CS 27 : Houston Evacuation Plan - Sam DeMora
August CS 28 : The True Identity of Jesus - Gary Richardson
Here is one of my favorites from the August collection:

August CS 01 : A Marriage Maid in Heaven
- Hieronymous Anonymous

A guy dials his home to speak to his wife and the maid answers. She says that the lady of the house is busy right now. 

The guy insists that she go get her anyway and reminds her he is the Boss.

The maid, embarrassed, says that the misses is very busy. 

The husband, sensing something in the maid's voice, presses on. Under strong questioning, the maid finally blurts out the misses is upstairs with her lover in the bedroom!!

At this revelation, the guy goes ballistic and tells the maid to listen very carefully. "Go to the basement, get my rifle and then go to the bedroom and shoot them both." 

The maid stutters that she can't do that, but finally agrees after the guy tells her she's fired and will be deported otherwise. 

Fearing the man will do exactly as he threatens, she puts the phone down. The guy listens and a few moments later he hears: BANG! BANG! The maid comes back on the phone and says that it's done.

Much calmer now, the guy says, "OK, now listen carefully once more. Drag the bodies downstairs and dump them in then pool." The maid stutters her disapproval. 

The guy says, "Listen, you're fired if you don't do what I say." 

The maid says, "But sir, we don't have a pool!!"

The guy says, "Is this 302-872-1286 ?"

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(Editor's Note: The Blue Side Jokes are one of the great secrets of the SSQQ web site. Anyone who is on the SSQQ Registration List is welcome to have access. This means if you get the Newsletter, you are invited to visit the dirty jokes page.
All you need to do to get the address is to email me from the email address you use to register for classes and request it. 
August Blue Side Jokes
August BS 01 : Potential versus Realistic - Judy Walsh
August BS 02 : The Little Old Lady and the Bet - Richard Bevis
August BS 03 : Lessons on the Beach - Judy Walsh
August BS 04 : The Sexy Camel - Mickey Hammond and Richard Bevis
August BS 05 : The Cold Nights on the Farm - Suzy Kish
August BS 06 : Artificial Insemination - Maureen Brunetti
August BS 07 : Little Billy - Judy Haley
August BS 08 : King Arthur's Court - Richard Bevis
August BS 09 : The Kinsey Report - Carole Nelson
August BS 10 : The Alligator Bet - Judy Walsh
August BS 11 : Pussywillows - Mickey Hammond
August BS 12 : Lessons from School - Richard Bevis
August BS 13 : Wedding Night Jitters - Chris Holmes
August BS 14 : The Bakery - Judy Walsh
August BS 15 : The Duck - Kendra Heath
August BS 16 : Hillary and Bill - Gillian Tilbury
August BS 17 : The Magic Sandals - Debbie Awad
August BS 18 : The Smart-Mouth Parrot - Patrick Steerman
August BS 19 : The Man from Iowa - Judy Walsh
August BS 20 : The Little Fireman - Mike Gerstenberger and Gary Richardson
August BS 21 : Ladder to Success - Bill Mayo
August BS 22 : The Winners! - Dana Pattison
August BS 23 : Turner Brown - Mike Guillory
August BS 24 : How God Takes People to Heaven - Judy Walsh
August BS 25 : The Lost Episode of Gilligan's Island - Kathleen Parker

Here is one from this month's Blue Side:

August BS 14 : The Bakery 
- Judy Walsh

A general store owner hires a young female clerk with a penchant for wearing very short skirts and thong panties. One day a young man enters the store, glances at the clerk, and glances at the loaves of bread behind the counter. Noticing the length of her skirt (or general lack thereof) and the location of the raisin bread he has a brilliant idea. "I'd like some raisin bread, please," the man says politely. 

The clerk nods and climbs up a ladder to reach the raisin bread, which is located on the very top shelf. The young man, standing almost directly beneath her, is provided with an excellent view, just as he had surmised he would be. Once she descends the ladder he muses that he really should get 2 loaves as he is having company for dinner. As the clerk retrieves the 2nd loaf of bread, one of the other male customers notices what is going on. Thinking quickly, he requests his own loaf of raisin bread so that he can also enjoy the view. With each trip up the ladder the young lady seems to catch the eye of another male customer. Pretty soon each person is asking for raisin bread, just to see the clerk climb up and down. After a few trips the clerk is tired and irritated and thinking that she is really going to have to try this raisin bread for herself. Finally, once again atop the ladder, she stops and fumes, glaring at the men standing below. She notices a elderly man standing amongst the throng staring up at her.

Thinking to save herself a trip she yells, "Is yours raisin too?" 

"No," croaks the feeble old man...."But it's startin' to twitch.

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Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer

Over in Great Britain, there are islands all over the place. Some are big and some are small. 

What is odd about this month's picture is our island in particular looks to be about the length of a football field. Except that it has a car. Not one tree, not much grass or greenery, one house, one lighthouse, nowhere to go, not much to look at, a little dirt road from the house to the dock, a boat

…and a car.

(Editor's Note: Last month I asked for explanations as to the presence of the lone car. I am so sorry to say that despite a half dozen responses, not one of them seemed even remotely plausible to explain why there is a car sitting on an island about 200 yards long. Nor do I have an inkling. I am so discouraged!!

The best explanation came from Glen Endress who thought the high tide was covering the road to somewhere. I told him that was a boat next to the road and that I thought the water was pretty darn high to be thinking of a road. Besides, that road would be pretty darn wet!!)


Contributed by Lynn Griffiths

Okay, you are a Bush pilot. You make your living flying an airplane in South Africa. You drop off medical supplies to a hospital in some far-flung corner of this desert-filled country. It is very hot, so you decide to have some lunch before heading back to an important meeting with your boss. 

You realize you have spent too much time at lunch and you barely have enough time left to fly back and make the meeting. Just as you near the plane, you realize you might have a problem. What kind of problem??

Well, let's just say a much different problem than the average Texan might face. In fact, a very unusual problem. See the picture to get the picture…

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From: Krista Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 2:09 PM
Subject: Business Request


Hi... It's Krista writing to you from work. I have just received a phone call from Don Munton, young singles director at Houston (blank blank) Church. He wanted to see if you would have any access to quality temporary dance flooring.
This would be a Big Band Swing Dance slated for New Years Eve. Singles only.. and they are expecting 850 - 1200 to attend. They are holding it at Reliant Stadium on the club level. So the flooring would have to be large enough to hold a large number of people for sure. Good quality but not too outrageously priced.

From: Rick Archer 
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 2:40 PM 
To: Krista Johnson 
Subject: Temporary Dance Floor

I know someone with this kind of flooring, Krista. Email me back the phone number of Don Munton and I will put him and George Grega in contact.

(Editor's Note: Dr. George Grega is a former University of Houston professor who has started an unusual new business. Up till now, Dr. Grega has specialized in providing the lighting for plays at Theater Under the Stars and other productions. He is now providing a service which will handle all aspects for events such as weddings, plays, musicals, dances, and so on. Below is a good description of his services. I am recommending this business for two reasons. First I know Dr. Grega is a very talented and extremely honest man. Anyone who hires him is getting a quality operation. Second, his business is so unusual many people don't even know where to find something like this. So now you know!! )

12977 Trail Hollow, Houston, Texas 77079
phone (713) 501-4547

GJG Productions is a full service company specializing in event (weddings-business- etc), theatrical productions, and church special events and musicals. We have worked in Houston at downtown theatres including the Hobby Center, Wortham Center, and the George R. Brown Convention Center and with churches such as Second Baptist and First Baptist. We offer the finest of equipment and professional services. There is no charge for a consultation. All people registered at SSQQ will receive a 15% discount on all company services.

Professional Dance Floors: Oak parquet for indoor or outdoor use, available in 3' x 3' sections, energy absorbing construction making it easy on the legs of professional dancers, edging provided for all flooring. Rental Price: $17.00 per 3' x' 3' panel per event day

Multi-Media Projector: 4000 lumens, input from computer, TV, VCR, DVD etc. Very powerful, bright beam suitable for slide, powerpoint,, video/DVD or TV projections in any size room, auditorium or theatre, floor to ceiling projections sizes possible and all sizes in between depending on room size. Rental Price: $250.00 per event day
1. Preparation of a slide presentation (DVD): $3.00 per photo- price includes credits & titles, transitions and music overlays and the free use of a DVD player if the client also rents our multi-media projector. Rental costs for the DVD player is $40.00 per event day should the client not rent our multimedia projector. The client is presented with three copies of the DVD slide presentation

Videography: All digital video recording and editing output to a DVD or VSH tape. Complete Package Price: $2,000.00 per event day, The price includes 3 DVD's or 3 VSH tapes of the event & a 15 min highlight tape of your event on DVD or VSH.(a total of 3 highlight tapes or DVD's highlights of your event). Samples of our work are available and will be shown to the client during the consultation visit. All events are videotaped with two digital cameras by experiences professional videographers. Additional digital cameras are available for $600.00 per camera per event day. Examples of work shown during consultations.

Photography: The finest of creative color/BW photography. Complete Package Price: $2,000.00 per event day, Examples of work shown during consultations. All negatives are given to the client.

Sound Systems and DJ services: Top of the line professional theatrical speakers, subs, mixers, microphones including wireless and audio engineers available. Prices start at $1,500 and up depending on the size of the venue. The price for DJ services is $750.00 per event day. The client may provide a list of the music they want played or we will select songs based on the clients music tastes. 

Lighting: Intelligent lighting featuring computer controlled fixture movement and full color mixing providing the most vivid coloring, lithopatterns, and gobo's available, custom designed gobo's and lithos available, Lighting designer and lighting console operators available. Trussing provided to hand light fixtures. Prices start at $1,500.00 and up depending on the size of the venue and the type of light show desired and include the lighting console and a professional lighting designer.

Professional Stage: 4' x 8' sections (black non-skid surface for indoor or outdoor), 12 sections(4' x 8') available in any arrangement, leg clamps for a seamless surface and maximium stability, stage height= 2 feet, 23.5 " black skirting available. Rental Price: $50.00 per 4' x 8' section per event day; skirting: $1.00 per linear foot per day event; Stair units- $35.00 per unit per event day.

Professional Entertainers Soloists (all styles of music: jazz, rhythm & blues, popular, country & western, and show music including opera), dancers (ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, country & western, and popular), symphonic musicians and band musicians. All of our entertainers are experienced theatrical performers who have performed in Houston with organizations such as the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Opera in the Heights, Houston Symphony, Theatre Under The Stars, and in major national and touring company productions as well. Prices: Variable

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Hi Rick:
I just finished the intermediate ballroom class in June and can't wait to tell you about the class environment at your studio: Paula and Bert are EXCELLENT teachers. I am very shy and timid (some what anti-social) and was very afraid when I came to your studio to learn how to dance to prepare for my cousin's wedding on June 21, '03. Paula is very professional and sensitive to my needs. I always came in late while everybody were in the midle of dancing, but Paula recognized me immediately before I had a chance to feel awkward. She sliced toward me, extended her hands and brought me into the group at ease. I am very gratefull for her kindness. She is GREAT!. The assistant teacher, Bert, is also another professional and gentlemen. He is so brotherly patient and very nice. (I am wondering whether he is sufferred for spending so many hours dancing with us, the "bad dancer", the "mood killer").
Thank you for offering such a safe, fun, and positive environment. Please keep this team together and continue offer the class to other people in the future. The ballroom classes have changed me somewhat. I think I will continue to take another classes at your studio even-though I am no longer having an immediate goal or reason to learn how to dance. I come, because it is fun, safe, friendly, and positive. 
Thank you, Gloria Tu

(Editor's Note: Paula and Bert were the teachers in the class Ms. De Los Santos complained about. As you can see, you can please some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. Ms. De Los Santos had two of our best teachers in our biggest room, but we still couldn't make her happy. 
On a somewhat sad note, Paula is going on sabbatical for a while. She will be greatly missed. Paula has long been one of our most complimented teachers. Fortunately Bert will stay with us as he intends to help Charlene with her new Ballroom class on Mondays.)

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Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer

July 23, 2003, 11:32AM 
Associated Press FORT WORTH
A bank robber wrote a holdup note on the back of his resume - the ultimate bad career move. 
Police used the job-search information to identify the man, who was arrested and charged with robbing a Wells Fargo bank branch on Fort Worth's east side. 
The man had tried to hide the personal information by taping black construction paper over it. But then he forgot to retrieve the note and take it with him after giving it to the teller. 
Police then just peeled the tape from the note. 
A tip led police to a Fort Worth motel, where Frederick McDowell, 32, was arrested Saturday. He remains in federal custody on a bank robbery charge in the July 15 holdup. 

Contributed by Ann Faget

Here is a strong contender for the 2004 Darwin awards. From this week's Houston Press:
Houston police reported that William Thayer of New Mexico tumbled to his death from the passenger side of a Dodge pickup -- as the truck did the speed limit down the 6000 block of the Southwest Freeway at 10:07 p.m. on June 13. 
The cause of the casualty: He'd opened his fly as well as the passenger door. Thayer was trying to pee out of the moving vehicle.

(Editor's Note: One of my favorite Aggie Jokes is how did the Aggie kill himself while smoking a cigarette on top of the cliff. The answer is he threw the wrong butt off the cliff. This guy's death sounds eerily similar. My guess is he let go of the door when he decided to shake his wee-wee with both hands to get the last drop out.)

Contributed by Chris Holmes

AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.

BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending church.

CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to lip-sync.

HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range.

INCENSE: Holy Smoke!

JESUITS: A religious order known for their ability to put together really good basketball teams.

JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.

MAGI: The most famous men to ever attend a baby shower.

MANGER: The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.

PEW: A medieval torture device still found in some churches.

RELICS: People who have been going to church for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.

TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.

USHERS: The only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew.

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The SSQQ Web Site 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. Husbands 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!! 

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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

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!

One more thing. In case you were wondering, this issue of the SSQQ Newsletter is equivalent in length to 25 pages.

Rick Archer SSQQ Dance Studio 
4803 Bissonnet 
Phone: 713-861-1906 

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The End


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.

SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar of Events Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ