|SPECIAL HEADLINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. THE SSQQ CRUISE TO THE NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS HAS 39 PEOPLE AND WE STILL
HAVE SPACE FOR MORE!! (713 862 4428)
2. FEBRUARY DANCE CLASSES BEGIN THE WEEK OF SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST.
3. THE SSQQ SWEETHEARTS OF THE RODEO DANCE IS THIS SATURDAY, JANUARY 24TH
plus DANCE PARTIES IN FEBRUARY.
4. HOW DID THE SSQQ NEW YEAR'S PARTY TURN OUT??
5. RICK ARCHER ADMITS HIS FIRST MISTAKE IN 25 YEARS.
6. SSQQ WILL HAVE ITS FIRST-EVER DOUBLE BALLROOM CLASS IN FEBRUARY.
7. GUILTEE PLEASURE. WANT TO BE
8. SSQQ IS ONE IN THREE MILLION ON THE GOOGLE LIST OF DANCE STUDIOS
9. HALL MONITORS NEEDED
10. HOUSTON CHRONICLE ARTICLE ABOUT SSQQ DANCE STUDIO
11. SSQQ STAFF UPDATES FOR FEBRUARY 2004
12. SSQQ CHRISTMAS PUZZLE MAKES IT TO THE VATICAN.
13. SSQQ SPONSORS NEW YEAR'S BIG BAND DANCE AT RELIANT STADIUM.
14. SSQQ SAYS THANKYOU FOR HELPING WITH OUR TOY DRIVE.
15. VICTOR MARQUEZ WINS A WORLD DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP WITH HELP OF SSQQ
INSTRUCTOR ANITA WILLIAMS.
· COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH:
WHOOPEE! THREE COMPLAINTS IN ONE MONTH!
1) SSQQ MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO RECRUIT A STUDENT TO TAKE LESSONS AT ANOTHER
2) SSQQ WON'T OFFER A GROUP DANCE CLASS STRICTLY FOR MARRIED PEOPLE
3) SSQQ ACCOUNT IDS ARE STUPID.
· BEST NEW JOKES OF THE MONTH: 2 NEW JOKES THIS MONTH!!
Contributed by Patty Jones and Chris Holmes.
· BEST NEW PUN OF THE MONTH Contributed by Ann Faget
· SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE: TWO NEW COUPLES ANNOUNCE ENGAGEMENTS!!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ANNE MARCHETTI AND DENNIS PECHAL AS WELL AS TO CHERYL
CORMIER AND GARY DAVIS
· SSQQ EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH IN JANUARY: MAUREEN BRUNETTI
· THE SSQQ LOGIC CLUB: WHO WERE THE WINNERS OF THE JANUARY LOGIC PUZZLE?
FOUR PEOPLE TIED FOR FIRST PLACE!!
· THE NEW FEBRUARY SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE: SSQQ SUMMER CRUISES!
Contributed by Susan Arevalo.
· VOCABULARY WORD OF THE MONTH Contributed by Lesa Myers.
· THE VENUS MARS OBSERVATION FOR FEBRUARY Contributed by Patty Jones
· THE JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH. PARIS TEXAS OR PARIS FRANCE?
Contributed by Leroy Ginzel.
SPECIAL ARTICLES THIS MONTH:
· THE INCREDIBLE SUPERBOWL GATE CRASHER STORY
· HALL OF FAME COMPLAINT - STUDENT BITTER BECAUSE HE WAS BARRED FROM
ENTERING A CLASS HE CLAIMED HE HAD PAID FOR (THE INCIDENT THAT LED TO THE
SSQQ ON-LINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM)
TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: THE SSQQ CRUISE TO MARDI GRAS AND COZUMEL!!
SSQQ has scheduled a 7-Day Cruise to visit the 2004 New Orleans' Mardi Gras.
We will sail aboard Royal Caribbean's beautiful Rhapsody of the Seas. We
leave Sunday, February 22nd, and return on Sunday, February 29th.
As of January 20, 2004 we have 39 people going. Believe it or not, there is
still space available on the ship for more people.
Count on reaching New Orleans Monday evening in time for a wild night of
dancing on Bourbon Street. Then after a little rest, on Tuesday we hit the
peak of Mardi Gras during the legendary Fat Tuesday, the day of Parades,
revelry, and legalized insanity.
We will remain in New Orleans Wednesday till 6 pm, then it is off to the
sparkling warm waters in beautiful Cozumel. While others shiver stateside in
the middle of winter, our group will work on getting great suntans at the
famous Chankanaab Beach.
This exciting trip promises to be the experience of a lifetime!
SSQQ no longer has any reservations. However there is still space available.
The problem you face is that prices can no longer be guaranteed and should
rise soon - SO DON'T WAIT TO CALL US TILL THE LAST MINUTE!!
(Check out who is already going to Mardi Gras:
email@example.com (Marla Gorzynski email)
713 862 4428 (Marla Gorzynski phone)
Check out the ssqq web site for the price, to see who is going, and further
promotional information -
SSQQ ON-LINE REGISTRATION FOR THIS MONTH'S DANCE CLASSES
THE FEBRUARY SCHEDULE OF SSQQ DANCE CLASSES.
The February Dance Semester begins the week of Sunday, February 1st.
The SSQQ Management is well aware that the above date conflicts with Super
Bowl Sunday, but obviously this game will be a rout with Carolina upsetting
the over-confident Patriots.
Nevertheless some people are interested in seeing the game anyway. Imagine
that. The game won't start until about 6 pm so you should be able to come to
a 4:30 pm class on Sunday and simply leave a little early. But obviously the
7 pm classes will be in direct conflict with the game. Just remember if you
decide to watch the game, you can always skip Sunday and switch to a
parallel class later in the week, then return to Sunday in the following
If as we predict the game becomes hopelessly one-sided, you can always come
for the second hour on Sunday or if all else fails simply start the
following Sunday in Week 2. You can join at the same time as all the other
Super Bowl truants. Carolina 45, Patriots 7. Yawn. Take my suggestion to
Vegas and make yourself rich!!
HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FEBRUARY 2004 SCHEDULE
INTERMEDIATE LINDY HOP will be offered on Sundays in February with Gloria
Sanchez. The Lindy Hop was America's first Swing dance in 20s. After
disappearing in the 50s, it surged back to life during the huge 90s Swing
era. Today it is perfect for slow Swing tunes!
For the first-time in the history of SSQQ, we will offer a Ballroom class on
2 different nights. In February, DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT will be offered on
Sundays (Judy) as well as on Mondays (Rick). This class covers 3 famous
Ballroom dances that share almost identical footwork - Foxtrot, Waltz, and
Rumba. After you master the subtle differences in the styling & timing, you
will learn 3 dances at once!! Learn to dance to Sinatra Foxtrots ("The Way
You Look Tonight"), smooth Jazz Rumba music (Diana Krall's "The Look of
Love"), and beautiful Irish Waltzes ("Greensleeves")!
ZOOT SUIT RIOT moves to BACK to Monday evenings in February. Rick admits it
was a stupid move to move it to Sundays and asks everyone to forgive him for
his mistake. Lise Gagnon will take charge of this famous class as her mentor
Judy Archer moves over to the Ballroom side on Mondays.
The LUNAR WHIP/WCS SUPERCLASS moves to Thursdays & Fridays in February. This
sudden move was made for two reasons. First, it was the only way we could
return Zoot Suit Riot to Mondays. Second, Fridays has a strong Whip/WCS
Practice Night that will now be enhanced by adding the energy of a second
Friday Whip class.
SOME LIKE IT HOT returns to Tuesday for the first time in four months. This
class covers famous Latin dances such as Cha Cha, Rumba, Cumbia, and Bossa
INTERMEDIATE NIGHT CLUB will be offered by Anita Williams on Wednesdays.
Anita's plan is to offer a special Advanced level in March as well.
Afterwards, Room 4 will be reserved for an evening of dancing to Night Club
By request of the students, INTERMEDIATE TRIPLE TWO, also known as the
Dallas Twostep will be offered on Fridays with Brian White for the first
time in 3 years. This unusual dance is quite popular in the Dallas area, but
is so rare in Houston most dancers have never even heard of it. This class
may not come around again for a while, so go for it!
MARTIAN WHIP 02 EXTRA is a special feature of the Martian Whip class.
Martian Whip is taught by Rick Archer & Anita Williams on Thursdays while
Jack Benard will teach the Martian Xtra class on Fridays. There is no
overlap between the two nights, which means you pay one price and get the
second class for free.
Karen Scheider's SOFT SHOE TAP class on Tuesdays at 6 pm was quite
successful in its debut in January. She had 25 people sign up for it. Tap
Dancing is one of the truly fun ways to limber up, get great exercise and
learn clever dance combinations all at the same time.
NO STANDING IN LINE - SIGN UP ON-LINE (SSQQ ONLINE REGISTRATION)
SWEETHEARTS OF THE RODEO
SATURDAY, JANUARY 24TH,
9:15 pm - Midnight, $7 Person
7-9 PM CRASH COURSES AT A GLANCE
BEG TEXAS TWOSTEP - Leo
TWOSTEP/POLKA CIRCLE TURNS - Linda
BEG WESTERN WALTZ - Vicki
LATIN HUSTLE - Jack
BEGINNING NIGHT CLUB - Paul
ADVANCED NIGHT CLUB - Anita
SWEETHEARTS OF THE RODEO - Rick
No dress code, Western Music in Room 1, Whip Music in Room 4, Requests in
VALENTINES SWING DANCE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH
9:15 pm - Midnight, $7 Person
7-9 PM CRASH COURSES AT A GLANCE
SLOW DANCING - Jill (couples only)
CINDERELLA'S WALTZ - Judy
SWEETHEART SWING PTNS - Lise
DARIUS FAV ADVANCED SALSA PTNS - Darius & Maureen
CAROLINA SHAG - Gloria
SWING/JITTERBUG ACROBATICS - Paul (couples only)
Darius Johnson has kindly offered to teach a crash course featuring his
favorite Salsa patterns. This is an entirely new course and quite likely to
present a welcome challenge to advanced Salsa dancers.
Wear Red and White and Dance all Night
Swing Music in Room 1, Ballroom Music in Room 4, and Salsa Music in Room 6
BACK IN THE SADDLE WESTERN PARTY
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH
9:15 pm - Midnight, $7 Person
7-9 PM CRASH COURSES AT A GLANCE
BEG TEXAS TWOSTEP - Susan
BEG WESTERN SWING - Ann
BEG WESTERN CHA CHA - Brian
ANITA'S FAVORITE FOOTWORK PTNS - Anita
LINDA'S FAV GHOST TOWN PTNS - Linda
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Jorge
No dress code, Western Music in Room 1, Whip Music in Room 4, Requests in
STORY FOUR: THE SSQQ NEW YEARS EVE PARTY
The SSQQ New Years Eve Party on Wednesday, December 31, was probably our
best New Years Eve Party of all time. We had nearly two hundred people
dancing the night away on three dance floors.
This year the Western crowd got control of the main dance floor and were
kind enough to allow a generous amount of Whip music to be played as well.
Swing and Ballroom music were played to a crowded dance floor in Room Four.
Adding to the fun were the newly-finished dance floors done over the
holidays by Judy Archer and Bryan Spivey. They were just gorgeous!
Further adding to the fun was the beautiful mood lighting supplied by George
Grega and his GJG Productions (http://ssqq.com/information/gregagtgevents.htm)
in the main room. Tim and Kevin, George's assistants, used their experience
from the Halloween and Christmas Party to figure out just exactly what kind
of lighting went with which kind of song. Using their experience, they made
the room sparkle accordingly.
Marla Gorzynski laid out a generous amount of food and there was plenty of
champagne, stupid hats and noisemakers for the Big Event at Midnight. And
boy did everyone make a lot of noise! Deafening.
It is difficult to use words to capture the concept of "spirit" and
"energy", but everyone was having such a good time that the dance studio was
wall-to-wall smiles all evening long.
Here is an email exchange between Gary Richardson and the lovely Mickey
Hammond. Is it my imagination or did she seem sorry she missed the party?
From: Gary Thomas Richardson
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2004 9:33 AM
To: mickey hammond
Subject: Happy New Year!
The party really was beautiful and festive. Maybe not enough whip for some
people, but there was plenty for me. Rick really did play a lot of whip
mixed with western. For me, I don't want to do all whip anyway...though some
Friday nights I do. But, what really made it fun for me was the fact it was
in the main ballroom and off to the side in the "whip room". There is just
something about being able to whip in "Room 1". The food (though I wasn't
hungry, darn it!) was fabulous, too. Rick had out everything from cakes,
cookies to sandwiches and fixings for sandwiches, dips, etc. The newly
refinished floors could have used a light dusting of dance wax, but they
were gorgeous. Maybe next year all of you can make it SSQQ.
Oh, by the way, how was Melody Club...maybe you all had a fabulous time,
too? What was it like?
Date: Friday, January 02, 2004 09:03:30
To: Gary Thomas Richardson
Subject: Happy New Year!
Gary, Sounds like SSQQ was THE place to be.
We got a glass of champagne at midnight.
STORY FIVE: RICK ARCHER ADMITS HIS FIRST MISTAKE IN 25 YEARS
On Monday night, January 12, SSQQ had its smallest Swing Practice night in
five years. At most there were a dozen people. Over in Room 4 only two
people stayed to practice their Ballroom dancing.
The only room with any energy was Room 6 with about 15 people dancing to
Whip music. I went back to Room 1and frowned as I realized what the likely
reason was for the small crowd - it was due to poor judgment on my part.
Back in December I had to make a scheduling decision regarding Monday. In
order to bring Ballroom Dancing to the studio, we needed to offer at least
three different classes on Monday night
a beginner class and one or two
intermediate level classes. The problem was that we already had four
established Swing classes plus my Whip class. Add three Ballroom classes.
That adds up to Eight classes.
When we pull the curtain in Room One, we have seven rooms. Something had to
go. Would it be one of my favorite class of the week, the Monday Night Whip
class? Or would it be Zoot Suit Riot?
I selfishly sent Zoot Suit packing over to Sunday afternoons. No one
complained. No one protested. And no one from Zoot Suit came for Swing
Practice night on Monday, January 12. The point was made loud and clear -
the most Advanced Swing dancers deserve to have their class on Monday night.
There is an old saying, "the Tail Should Not Wag the Dog". As much as I love
Whip, realistically the Monday Night Whip class was the odd man out and I
had been avoiding admitting it. Whip has two nights of its own - Thursday
and Friday. It wasn't fair to let Whip interfere with Swing on Monday
There was only one solution that made any sense - the Monday Night Whip
class would have to move to Fridays to make way for Zoot Suit to come back
on Mondays in February. I made the announcement Monday night, January 19.
Some people were sad, but others screamed for joy, "You mean Zoot Suit is
coming back to Monday!! Way Cool!!"
There was another odd consequence to this decision. I will now be teaching
Ballroom dance on Mondays. Should be interesting. Please read the next
STORY SIX: SSQQ WILL HAVE ITS FIRST-EVER DOUBLE BALLROOM CLASS IN FEBRUARY.
In February, SSQQ will offer DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT on both Sunday
afternoons at 4:30 pm and again on Monday night at 7 pm.
This class will be taught on Sunday by Judy Archer and on Monday by Rick
Archer. Students will be able to come either night for make-ups or to come
both nights for extra practice, a feature never before offered for a
Ballroom class. Even better, the same offer will be made for an Intermediate
level of DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT scheduled for March.
DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT covers 3 famous Ballroom dances that share almost
identical footwork and patterns - Foxtrot, Waltz, and Rumba. The neat trick
is that after you master the subtle differences in the styling and timing,
you will be learning 3 dances at once!! In a relatively short time, you can
learn three of the most important Ballroom dances.
You will be able to dance to Sinatra Foxtrots ("The Way You Look Tonight"),
smooth Jazz Rumba music (Diana Krall's "The Look of Love"), as well as
beautiful Irish Waltzes ("Greensleeves").
You may not realize this, but DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT is considered to be
the perfect class to prepare for a cruise. I have first-hand experience to
back up this claim. In 2002, SSQQ took a cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean
Rhapsody. In an area known as the Centrum, there was a very lovely dance
floor surrounded by beautiful foliage, statues, and running water. It was
clearly the most beautiful area of a very beautiful ship. There was a
three-piece dance band that played Ballroom music every evening. Marla
Gorzynski and I danced every evening to music perfect for Foxtrot, Rumba,
and Waltz, plus a few Chachas and Sambas. We also used our Swing dancing
quite a bit as well. Marla and I agreed this was one of our favorite
locations on the ship.
Except for other SSQQ passengers such as Jess and Pat Crain, Marla and I
pretty much had the floor to ourselves for the simple reason that most
people don't have a clue how to dance to Ballroom music. If they had taken
"DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT", then it would have been a much different story.
Please be a pioneer and join us for SSQQ's first-ever Ballroom Superclass in
February! Not only will you cover a lot of material, but hopefully you will
stay after class on Monday nights to practice your moves as well. It doesn't
take a lot of effort to become an accomplished Ballroom dancer if you are
willing to practice. This is your perfect opportunity.
STORY SEVEN: GUILTY PLEASURE
Are you a person capable of "Booing" out loud in public when a performer
stinks up the place? Well, maybe, but what if the performer is a Kid? That's
Have you ever been to a wedding and someone gets his or her kid up on the
platform to sing? The kid sounds like Bullwinkle the Moose in heat, but
somehow you manage to smile thinly and applaud anyway?
Or you go see your own kid in a play at school only to see someone else's
kid hogging the show who is a bigger ham than Wilbur the pig? But somehow
you dig deep and find a way to say a compliment to the parent on the way
Or you end up at a dance recital and some kid falls over backward after
tripping on his or her own feet doing a combination, but by some miracle you
manage to keep a straight face and avoid laughing. The dancing is so bad
that secretly don't you wish you could let yourself explode??
Or a kid is a brat of unimaginable proportions who thinks pinching your own
kid is way cool, but amazingly with others around you at the PTA meeting you
manage to tell his mother what a nice child she has raised?
As an adult we wish to be regarded as a good person. And as adults we are
taught to nurture our young and avoid devouring them with criticism and
ridicule. Be supportive. Encourage the children. Don't hurt their precious
feelings. Yes, we have all learned how to be good citizens.
But then some idiot auditions on "American Idol" and disgraces himself. As
we watch in horror we think to ourselves, 'Why hasn't anyone ever told this
fool how bad he is?'
Well, it's the fault of all the people just like you. No one has the guts to
tell it like it is anymore.
Just once in a while, don't you just want to scream out loud to the whole
world that was the worst singing you have ever heard? But somehow you always
find a way to keep it in. Guess what, so does everybody else.
The desire to tell the truth is overpowering, yet our guilt forces us to say
the nice thing. And then we walk away with the nausea that comes from the
knowledge that you have lied through your teeth to say "the right thing".
You feel sick as your own phoniness grows unbearable.
If you can even remotely begin to relate to the thought of a world where
people tell the truth instead of "saving face", then you might enjoy reading
what one person REALLY thinks about some kid pictures that were posted on a
bulletin board at his office.
For the record I personally don't agree with any single part of the entire
awful article. I can't imagine what came over me to even post it.
A former ssqq instructor sent this article to me. She would be mortified if
I ever revealed her identity. It has taken me three years to get around to
posting it because the sarcasm is so savage. I think I will use this article
for blackmail purposes instead. It's that bad.
Warning - if you are a softhearted, genuinely nice person who sincerely
loves all children, you will probably find this piece highly offensive and
you should definitely avoid it. But if deep down you hate yourself because
you know you are a hypocrite who goes through life gagging at much of what
you see and hear, but never have the guts to say what you really think, you
will revel with Guilty Pleasure at the wickedness of this story.
STORY EIGHT: SSQQ WEBSITE IS ONE IN THREE MILLION!!
Did you know the SSQQ Web Site is one of the most visited dance studio web
sites on the Internet?
I did a recent web search on the Google Internet Search Engine and entered
the words "dance studio" (http://www.google.com/). Out of 3,730,000 entries
on January 17, 2004, SSQQ Dance Studio was in the SIXTH spot. Not bad. Do
you think it is my poetry?
STORY NINE: SSQQ HALL MONITORS NEEDED
Sometime in February or more likely at the start of March, the SSQQ Hall
Monitors will assume the responsibility for collecting money at Practice
Night. Therefore anyone interested in this position will need to "make a
night of it" from 6:30 pm till 10:30 pm (later on Fridays and more money).
The job will pay $40 a night and will allow the Monitor to take any dance
class for free.
Please contact Susan Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
STORY TEN: HOUSTON CHRONICLE ARTICLE ABOUT SSQQ DANCE STUDIO
Back in early December, a reporter named Arlene Lassin from the Houston
Chronicle asked to do an article about SSQQ. Flattered, I asked Ms. Lassin
how she heard about the studio. I was very surprised at her answer!
Ms. Lassin said at the start of 2003 she had been over at the infamous Door
Warehouse trying to purchase a door. As she and the salesman talked, Ms.
Lassin noticed the SSQQ Parking Lot starting to fill up. Curious, she asked
the salesman what was going on. She was surprised to see how angry he got at
her request to explain why all these cars were showing up. He said something
about a stupid dance studio and how they had to tow our cars away to punish
them for parking at the Door Warehouse. Ms. Lassin was taken aback at the
strength of his venom.
Despite all his bad-mouthing, she remembered commenting SSQQ must be doing
something right to be that busy. She then made a mental note to consider
doing a story sometime in the future, which is what led her to our studio
this past December.
After the story was written, a photographer named Dave showed up on a Monday
a couple weeks ago to take pictures. Wouldn't you know it, but we had about
three more men in class than women. Several times I started to dance the
woman's part, but would hesitate for fear Dave would take my picture and I
would be seen throughout Houston dancing with a man! Many of you do not know
this, but there has been a long-standing rumor in Bellaire that SSQQ is a
gay bar. With that in the back of my mind I didn't think having my picture
in the paper dancing with a man would help put that rumor to rest.
Unfortunately the men caught on why I was reluctant to dance with them and
started a running joke that they would pay the photographer to stay just so
they wouldn't have to dance with me. Ha Ha.
Ms. Lassin's article turned out to be very complimentary which is surprising
considering she interviewed several known trouble-makers at the studio such
as Robert Goins and John Jones.
I was amused to see Robert compare SSQQ to the TV series "Cheers". To be
frank, I have thought the same thing many times. Maybe I will pitch the idea
to an agent after the departure of "Friends" and "Frazier" leaves a big
programming hole next year.
Ms. Lassi also interviewed Sharon Crawford, which scared me to death because
I never know what Sharon is going to say. But somehow it worked out just
fine. Now you can read the story for yourself.
STILL DANCING AFTER 23 YEARS: BELLAIRE'S SSQQ HOT SPOT FOR FUN, SOCIALIZING
By ARLENE NISSON LASSIN
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
"Slow, slow, quick, quick," chant the instructors in six dance halls during
simultaneous lessons at SSQQ Dance Studio, 4803 Bissonnet in Bellaire.
Each class has about 40 eager students rotating around the dance floor, all
stepping "slow and quick" to their instructors' urging for dances that
include swing, polka, the basic two-step, waltz, whip, salsa and other Latin
dances, plus ballroom.
The name SSQQ stands for "Slow Slow Quick Quick," which is a slang term for
the types of partner dancing taught at the studio.
Owned and operated by Rick Archer since 1980, SSQQ is the largest social
dance studio in Houston, Archer said.
John Travolta has nothing on Archer, who began disco dancing and teaching
around the time Saturday Night Fever came out in 1977, setting off a
national dancing craze.
"I was working by day at Children's Protective Services, and I was learning
how to dance so I could meet women," Archer said.
"Soon I got good enough at dancing to become an instructor, and I made a
leap to dance instructor as my full-time career in 1979. I opened up this
place in 1980, partnering with Leisure Learning that advertised the
With so many people coming through each day of the week for group lessons,
and 50 classes of four sessions each offered seven nights a week including
twice on Sundays, Archer's place averages about 1,200 students each month.
Many are repeat customers.
"This is not a place for serious dancers who want to make a career of
dancing," he said. "Individual lessons, not group lessons, are better for
that. But our customers come for the fun of it and the social aspect. They
can improve their dancing and meet lots of new people. We have so many
choices, and most customers take many different classes. Dancing becomes a
Instruction is provided in ballroom, swing, polka, Texas-style partner
dancing, the basic two step, slow dancing, whip dancing (made popular in the
movie Dirty Dancing) Salsa and other Latin dances.
Generally men participate in proportion to women. Occasionally the classes
are short a woman or two, so men have to rotate more so everyone gets a
chance to dance with a partner.
Most of the instructors come through the ranks of the dance classes.
John Jones is a contractor by day and a dance teacher by night.
"I live in Rosenberg and come all the way here because this is a special
place," he said. "I started as a student back in 1989, and I took everything
twice, I just enjoyed it so much. I love meeting lots of nice people here."
Instructor Sharon Crawford has also been coming to SSQQ since 1989. A
resident of Sugar Land, she devotes one night a week to teaching dance.
"I love to teach dance and I love to watch people who want to learn to
dance. They are always so dedicated," Crawford said. "People come from as
far away as Beaumont and all points near and far."
Just as Archer first learned to dance because he wanted to meet women, one
of the supplemental aspects of his business is the matchmaking element of
introducing women and men to each other through dance.
In fact, this is something Archer is quite proud of, and he keeps careful
statistics on the number of couples the studio has introduced.
"This is also a very popular singles activity. People already have something
in common, wanting to dance and learn to dance," Archer said. "Between 20
and 30 couples who meet here get married each year."
Socializing at SSQQ extends to trips and parties as well. Archer organizes
cruises and other group trips, and holiday theme parties bring in about 400
or so people.
Longtime customer Robert Goins, who loves to dance for the exercise and
socialization, said SSQQ is an extra special place.
"It's like the Cheers bar," Goins said. "It is a family-like atmosphere
where everyone knows your name. It is a safe and peaceful place here."
STORY ELEVEN: SSQQ STAFF UPDATES FOR FEBRUARY 2004
Abbie Barbley has just completed her first month as a Western instructor. In
January she assisted Leo Skiba in teaching Beginning Western Swing on
Tracy King returned from her four-month maternity leave absence. It was
great to have her back on Sundays although we miss Jeff who has been staying
home to baby-sit Kay Lynn!
Paul Eustace, Paul Overstreet, and Gina Garza have joined the staff as
Paul Eustace will be teaching a Night Club Crash Course on Saturday, January
Paul Overstreet has been a long-time assistant to Rachel Koenig on Sundays.
And Gina Garza will start on Fridays in March as soon as her Intermediate
Triple Two class ends.
Lise Gagnon intends to return on Mondays in February as the new teacher of
Zoot Suit Riot. She has been absent for about two months while training and
traveling for a new job.
And there are rumors that Susie Merrill, the famous coach of the Western
Dance Team Heartbeat, will be returning to the Staff this summer after her
year's exile in Longview is over. I heard plans are in the making to bring
back Heartbeat. However until I hear from Susie herself, these plans are
just "rumors". I do know Susie is greatly missed around here and would be
welcomed back by many people. I will keep you posted as developments arise.
STORY TWELVE: THE SSQQ CHRISTMAS PICTURE PUZZLE MAKES IT TO THE VATICAN.
Last month I wrote a lengthy story about how over 100 people from around the
planet had emailed me to ask for the answers to the SSQQ Christmas Picture
Puzzle contained on the SSQQ website.
It is a cute puzzle. I claim credit for about 75% of it. I got the idea
elsewhere, but expanded on the idea in a big way.
As I mentioned last month, most of the inquiries come either from teachers
looking for something for their kids to do in the final week of school
before Christmas or from people organizing Christmas Parties who are looking
for activities to make the evening fun. I even got one request from a prison
guard looking for something for the inmates to do on Christmas Eve!!
But without a doubt the most surprising inquiry came from a lady in Italy.
Here is the email:
From: Sr. Grace Gabrielle O'Brien
Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2003 9:45 AM
Subject: christmas puzzle Attn Rich Archer from rome italy
I enjoyed your carol quiz and am attaching my answers. I think I got 44 of
them. I look forward to getting your answer sheet. Thanks for the fun and I
wish you God's blessings in the new year.
Sr. Grace Gabrielle
Sr. Grace Gabrielle O'Brien, CSAC
Pallottine Sisters - Casa Generalizia
Viale Kennedy #62
(Editor's Note: Grottaferrata, Rome. Okay, maybe it isn't the Vatican, but
it might be! Even if that isn't the Vatican, then it's got to be right down
the street!! I hope you are impressed!)
STORY THIRTEEN: SSQQ SPONSORS BIG BAND DANCE AT RELIANT STADIUM
SSQQ played a big part in the success of the New Years Big Band Dance at
Several singles ministries from Baptist churches across Houston worked
together to provide a terrific dance party to bring in the New Year. The
organizers rented Reliant Stadium, brought in a great Big Band Orchestra
from Denver, then watched with pride as a thousand guests danced the night
away on New Year's Eve!
Quite a few people attended ssqq swing classes in December to prepare for
the big event. Once the organizers heard about this, they emailed to ask if
SSQQ would help promote and sponsor the event. This is how SSQQ became a
In return I asked if we could put some ssqq schedules out at the front door.
Then SSQQ found a way to send two of our favorite instructors, Brian Spivey
and Krista Johnson, to participate in the evening. Here is what Krista had
This party was a hit. Bryan and I had a blast and stole the show a few times
The ssqq schedules were placed strategically throughout the party. At the
information table as well as in the seating areas...etc. When Bryan was out
dancing with some SSQQ students I had a chance to field some questions as
well and was able to let them know "where you go to dance like that."
Those that had been at SSQQ for regular lessons were dominating the floor
and were having the best time. Early on, when the floor was not too crowded,
there were even some acrobatics being thrown in there. The best thing they
were doing was smiling... they were all having so much fun. Which certainly
means that they will share will all where THEY learned to dance like that.
YAY!!! Thanks again for all your support in this even and for paying our way
to go in there.
Thought you might like to see a picture of us that evening.
STORY FOURTEEN: SSQQ SAYS THANKYOU FOR HELPING WITH THE SSQQ TOY DRIVE
Every year Judy Archer sponsors an SSQQ Toy Drive. This recent December I
watched with pride as one SSQQ person after another walked through the door
with a toy under their arm and stopped at the couch in Room 6 to drop it off
on their way to class.
None of these people get a direct "thank you", no one know who gave what,
and no one gets their names in the Newsletter. They contribute simply
because they want to help.
This year Judy took all the toys and put them into her car, filling it to
capacity. She drove over to the Star of Hope mission, getting a rock in her
windshield in the process (I won't repeat what she said about that), and
delivered the toys. As always the people receiving their presents expressed
a great deal of gratitude.
Now I would to thank all the people out there who helped. That was very kind
of you. And Judy asked me to thank you as well on her behalf.
STORY FIFTEEN: VICTOR MARQUEZ WINS WORLD DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP WITH HELP OF
SSQQ INSTRUCTOR ANITA WILLIAMS.
Story written by Victor's Coach, Anita Williams
(Editor's Note: One year ago, a group of 24 dancers from SSQQ won the UCWDC
World Championship for 'Best Team'. Known as "Heartbeat", they were coached
by SSQQ Instructor Susie Merrill for nearly six years. Over this period
Heartbeat improved steadily to eventually become the best team of western
dancers in the world in January 2003.
Anita Williams, one of the 24 members of Heartbeat, took the individual
honor of winning "Best West Coast Swing" dancer at the same world
championship. Anita used that accomplishment to motivate her to help Victor
Marquez accomplish a similar goal a year later in the same competition. This
is her story.)
Last year when Heartbeat took on new members, I was partnered up with
Victor. It did not take long for me to realize his potential. Victor is a
Heartbeat had competed at World's the previous year and won as a team so
Victor was aware of what a World's competition was all about. I had myself
been competing in the UCWDC (United Country and Western Dance Association)
in what's called a pro/pro division. I am considered a pro because I teach
and accept payment for teaching. I theorized that since they labeled me a
"pro", which was a huge understatement given that most of the pros in the
circuit are teaching as a profession or have competed and won at Master's
level dancing, that I may as well give it a try.
The requirements for dancing as an overall competitor in his circuit are as
follows: you are required to dance two-step and waltz, you must dance either
an East Coast or West Coast swing and you must dance two other rhythm
dances, those choices being Triple-Twp. Polka, Cha-Cha and Night Club.
Victor competed in the Newcomer Crystal Newcomer Male Division, Crystal
being between 30 & 40 years old. I would mention that the word "newcomer" is
hugely deceiving. We think of newcomer as Beginning Two-step, but in this
environment a newcomer has been dancing at least a year and has their hands
around three or four dances!
I approached Victor with my proposition: I wanted to try my hand at being a
pro and competing him as an amateur. I made it clear to him that this was
going to be a learning process for me, that I could only use my experience
as a competitor to help him dance at a competitive level. He said yes and so
To make a long story short, we starting putting routines together somewhere
in late February in preparation for our first event in May. From there we
went to New Orleans, then another event in Houston and our last event in
Dallas. You must compete in at least three UCWDC sanctioned events to
qualify to compete at World's. We worked hard and spent a lot of time
practicing and structuring the routines
We decided to go to World's and not only did we dance our five required
dances, we put two other dances on the floor! We danced New Year's Day and
Victor was awesome! I was so proud of him. We had to wait three days for the
awards ceremony. I felt certain that Victor was going to win but waiting was
agonizing. Finally the awards day came and then the ceremony was delayed, it
started about an hour before our taxi arrived to take us back to the
airport. Thankfully, Victor's division was one of the first announced. I was
so nervous they read each placement. When they got to the #3, I could hardly
breathe. Then they announced the #2 winner
I heard myself screaming. Victor had won!! Not only did he win, in addition
his scores were superior! I would have not been happier if I had won myself.
We collected his trophy and stood on the podium with the second and third
place competitors to have our picture taken.
So there you have it, a World's Champion right in your midst. It was a lot
of work, but it was so worth it!! You rock Victor!!
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH: SSQQ SHOULD WORK HARDER TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR OTHER
STUDIOS TO SOLICIT ITS STUDENTS
From: Van N
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 6:06 PM
Is there a public forum or members contact list for SSQQ?
I took a belly dancing workshop and the dance at SSQQ last Saturday and met
a girl named Shuna. We exchanged emails so that we could get together for
dancing sometime. She emailed me to ask about lindy at Melody but I couldn't
reply to her email address because it was repeatedly returned as failed
I think she has taken lessons at SSQQ. I was wondering if there is anyone at
SSQQ who might have other contact info for her, or if there is an SSQQ
discussion forum where I could try to find someone else who knows her?
Sorry this is somewhat of a random question but it is somewhat pertinent, as
it brings to light the fact that it is really difficult for anyone not
already part of SSQQ to find out about the dancing community and to get in
touch with each other.
From: Rick Archer
To: Van N
Subject: ssqq members
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 11:27:14 -0600
I have long known that members of the HSDS Swing group regularly come to
SSQQ to solicit our students to take lessons at HSDS, but I have never had
someone actually write to ask for my student's email address to make it
easier for them to do so.
The day may come when ssqq gets involved with discussion forums so it will
be easier to contact all of our students to recruit them for HSDS class as
you wish, but I apologize that we have not made it more convenient just yet.
(Editor's Note: It sure seems like a lot of people must think I am a moron.
Just shoot me.)
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH NUMBER
From: M P-B
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 9:18 AM
Subject:Lessons for for Newlyweds
Bill and I took lessons for a session, had fun learning, and want to learn
more. We had one very big problem with the lessons. I had to dance with
every sweaty-handed body grabber who panted in my ear, reached for my rear,
and tried to push my body to his, or vice versa. They are not all like that,
but our class had multiple versions of this kind of guy. Very unpleasant.
How about a class for those who want to dance primarily with their
sweethearts, or at least a policy that allows married or attached people to
dance together if they choose?
We would sign up in a minute. Until then, we just can't bring ourselves to
Not alone in Houston,
Rick Archer's Reply:
"The obvious solution is to take private lessons. Private lessons would
solve the problem for anyone who does not wish to switch partners.
We have a long-standing policy of switching partners in our group classes.
Holding a class strictly for people who prefer not switch partners would
literally go directly against the spirit of our program which can be summed
up as "Everyone dances with Everyone".
Even if your idea did not directly contradict our philosophy, we simply do
not have enough rooms to honor such requests. Over the years various people
have asked for Lesbian dance classes, Teen dance classes, Over 60 dance
classes, Asian-only dance classes, No Switching Partners Classes,
Parent-Children classes, Singles Only classes, and classes where women can
sign up as a Boy (Lead) if they wish. I might add the chances that any of
these Specialty group classes would become economically valuable to the
studio are somewhere between slim and none.
Nevertheless I deeply sympathize with any woman who has been forced to dance
with a man who is obnoxious. This can include bad breath, body odor, rough
leads, poor footwork to the point of hurting a woman, poor manners, arrogant
attitude, or worst of all a tendency to take advantage of the situation by
inappropriately groping a woman's body. I do not respect any man guilty of
any of these problems. He ought to be ashamed of himself.
That said, in my heart I do not believe these problems are anywhere near as
rampant as you have suggested. If they were, I have little doubt I would
hear more such complaints.
However now that the cat is out of the bag, perhaps other students would
care to comment. I promise I will print your email with your initials only.
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH NUMBER THREE: SSQQ'S ACCOUNT ID SYSTEM IS STUPID
Subject: Address Update
When registering for the latest salsa mambo class on Saturday, I neglected
to inform you that my address has changed to:
Houston, TX 77000
Susan Schroeder, SSQQ Registrar wrote back:
Thank you for the address correction.
Your file has been updated.
However you have TWO account IDs.
Is the month and day of your birthday 0529 or 0530?
Both are in your records and the correct one is needed for your Account ID.
----- Subject: Address Update
Thank you for updating my address.
As far as the birthday, SSQQ needs it for neither the billing of my credit
card, nor for effective instruction in the classroom. That is, neither side
of our transaction requires this information. Therefore, the most
appropriate course is to delete my birthday(s) from the database entirely.
If the intent was to send me a birthday card to show me how the business
values me as a customer, realize that the quality instruction combined with
excellent follow up on service requests (as you have done), shows me that
Thanks a bunch!!
Editor's Note: We introduced the Account ID program 14 months ago in
November 2002. As you can gather by DJ's dripping sarcasm, DJ doesn't have
much respect for SSQQ's need to keep accurate records.
Someday SSQQ will start issuing a free dance class in return for taking ten
dance classes, a sort of "Frequent Dancer" program. We have mentioned this
idea before, but have postponed doing it until we were sure our system of
keeping our students records straight improved.
We chose people's birthdays for the simple reason that it was simple to
remember. Unfortunately DJ has so much trouble remembering his birthday that
he has given us several.
When we start handing out those free classes, it wouldn't surprise me in the
least if DJ is one of the first people to complain that we didn't keep his
records accurate and that he is entitled to all kinds of classes we have no
Fortunately, DJ is pretty much in the minority. Other people actually like
our On-Line Registration System and being able to check their Account
History. Please read the following letter:
From: B. S.
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 5:23 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Account history
I just wanted to tell you that I REALLY REALLY like having my class history
online. That is such a cool feature!
I could never keep up with those slips of paper or remember to bring them to
class. But, I just now registered for a Whip class and checked my history.
And what do you know, I had taken this class exactly one year ago, so I got
it for ½ price. Woohoo!
(I know this doesn't qualify for "Complaint of the Month" but thought you
might like to hear it anyway) ;-) "
(Editor's Note: Maybe soon we can start handing out those Frequent Dancer
Classes. I will need to check with David and Susan Schroeder to see how
accurate our system is before promising someone I can't deliver. In the
meantime just for the record, here is what we said back in November 2002 at
the time that we created the Account ID program)
NOVEMBER 2002: WHAT IS AN ACCOUNT ID?
It is an ID made up of your first initial, full last name, and the month and
date of your birthday. So if your name is Richard Brenner and you were born
on September 4th, 1960, then your Account ID is RBrenner0904. We don't need
We will create an ID for you. All we need is your birthday. Once we create
your Account ID you can use it for all of your future online and walk-in
registrations. For now just enter your E-mail address to continue with
Next time you register, enter your Account ID and E-mail address to access
If you forgot your Account ID just remember to enter your first initial,
last name and month and day of your birthday. You can always use your E-mail
address to access your account.
NOVEMBER 2002: WHY SSQQ NEEDS ACCOUNT IDS
We must find a better way keep our records organized.
After two recent identity-confusion snafus, we did a data-base audit. We
discovered we had multiple accounts for nearly 33% of our repeat-business
students due to misspellings, changed email addresses, and the use of formal
names one month and nicknames the next (e.g. 'William' and 'Bill').
Not surprisingly, we have begun to have problems. One problem is identifying
which account to use. For example, by accessing an incorrect account we had
one 'Smith' whose credit card paid for another 'Smith'. We caught the
mistake and corrected it, but with better Account IDs we would have avoided
the mistake entirely. Then there was a certain Ms. Brown with more
personalities than Sybil. One day her credit card was rejected because we
used an older account. This was when we found out all 4 Browns were the same
person - Cathy, Kathy, Katherine, and Katy. She had two different credit
card numbers and three different email addresses. I'm sure it was only a
matter of time before 'Catherine' joined the group.
The time has definitely come to bring more order to the records. Account IDs
should solve the problem.
NOVEMBER 2002: WHY SSQQ STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM ACCOUNT IDS - COURSE HISTORY
It is common practice for organizations to reward their customers for repeat
business. Here at SSQQ, the original thought was to build everyone's history
for a year, then play games like 'Take 5 Ghost Towns, get one free' and
similar promotions for Zoot Suit Riot, Martian Whip, and Advanced Salsa.
Since our business is very healthy, we thought it might be a nice gesture.
If we kept these kind of records by hand, it would be an administrative
nightmare. We generated 8,000 accounts in 2002 alone. However the use of a
computerized Registration system means one simple look at the computer
screen will allow the Registrar to issue a much-deserved free class.
Furthermore we hoped to resume our use of the 'Repeat' feature for On-Line
Registration in January, 2003. Using a student's class History, the computer
would be able to determine whether he or she had previously taken the
course. If there was a match, the student would be allowed to register
On-Line for the same class at half-price.
Unfortunately as it stands many of our students currently have their
'Histories' spread out over 2, 3, and even 4 different accounts. And finding
these different accounts is not easy. Putting Humpty-Dumpty back together
for 1,000 multiple different accounts is for all practical purposes
Once we begin to establish unique Account IDs, we grow closer to the moment
when we can utilize the Registration system in many sophisticated different
ways to benefit our customers and reduce our headaches at the same time.
NOVEMBER 2002: UNIQUE RECORDS
We originally hoped to have one unique record for every student with a
simple means of identifying that record. If we did we could:
1. Have a central place for a student to maintain his or hers information;
like e-mail address, partner information, credit card information, etc.
2. Build a history of classes for student to allow us to:
3. Offer the aforementioned Ghost Town/etc repeat-business specials.
4. Offer the half-price discount to students repeating classes who wish to
Easier said than done.
We ran into all sorts of problems trying to create these unique student
We tried using a student's e-mail address to create a unique record for each
student, but quickly found out this did not work. To our surprise, many SSQQ
students do not have an e-mail address.
And email addresses change constantly.
And some students with multiple e-mail addresses have managed to create
multiple student records with one from work and one from home and one from
their new job and so on.
Next we tried using a student's name, but quickly found out how unreliable
that was. For example, Arthur Smith can register as Art Smith, A Smith,
Arthur Smith, and Arthur Smith Jr which creates a new student record each
time (this example actually occurred).
So we began to brainstorm. Phone numbers are like e-mail addresses, they
change too. Assigning a student an ID number that is hard to remember would
end in disaster. Using even a part of a student's SSN would invade his
Finally we decided that every student has a first name, last name, and a
birth date he or she can remember, so why not make an Account ID out of
So the Account ID of Arthur Smith born on December 9th becomes ASmith1209.
Then when Arthur Smith comes in and says he is Artie Smith, we simply ask
for his Account ID and quickly find his student record. Plus now he or she
gets a Free Practice Night any night on the week of their birthday as long
as he is willing to hear the SSQQ Happy Birthday Cha Cha song. Nothing is
Once the man with multiple names, multiple credit cards, and multiple e-mail
addresses has a unique student account, then we can maintain his information
and build an accurate class history.
SSQQ EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY: MAUREEN BRUNETTI
This award goes to an SSQQ Staff member who does something beyond the call
of duty. In any given month, there are always at least 100 quiet acts of
simple kindness performed by someone who works at SSQQ for which the person
gets no credit, but our organization benefits from the gratitude. The
problem for me is that these many moments usually occur way under my radar.
On the other hand, sometimes the move is dramatic enough to really catch my
eye so I can say something about it.
Maureen Brunetti wins this month because despite the fact that I have
flip-flopped her name on the schedule a half-dozen times in the past six
months, she was willing to forgive my insensitivity and hang in there when
lesser people might have just gone ahead and quit. For her patience, I am
The entire problem began last summer 2003 when I decided it was time to
expand the ssqq Ballroom program. When Charlene Tees recently joined the
SSQQ Staff back in January 2003 she expressed interest in teaching Ballroom
if the opportunity came along. She said she had been taking private Ballroom
lessons for some time, so not surprisingly she was the first person I
thought of when it came time to look for a new teacher.
What I had forgotten was a year earlier in summer of 2002, Maureen had also
said she would like to teach Ballroom sometime in the future and had the
email to prove it. It had completely slipped my mind. Maureen said she
understood why I had forgotten, but hoped I would keep her in mind for the
Soon after Charlene discovered that she did not enjoy teaching Slow Dancing.
Waltz yes, Cha Cha yes, Foxtrot yes, Slow Dancing no. Charlene asked
politely if I would find a different Slow Dance instructor. Marty and Adele
Raber agreed to step in on an interim basis, but asked that I develop
another instructor for the future.
So I turned to Maureen who agreed to stop teaching Swing for two months last
fall in order to audit the Slow Dance course with the understanding that she
would teach it further down the road.
In January, I added a third Ballroom course to Mondays. Maureen would have
been the logical third Ballroom teacher, but the third course turned out to
be Tango. Maureen has little to no experience with Tango, so I penciled in
an experienced teacher instead. But in the process I forgot to add Maureen's
name to a Swing class. Now Maureen was completely off the schedule on
Mondays through no fault of her own.
Once I realized my mistake, I reminded her that the course she had been
training for - Slow Dance and Romance - was scheduled for Mondays in March.
As soon as the two-month Tango class ended, Maureen was scheduled to be
teaching again on a regular basis as the third Ballroom instructor.
Then something went wrong. On Monday, January 12, we had the smallest crowd
in five years stay for Swing Practice Night. There were only about six
people who stayed. Then I went over to the Ballroom Practice Night room. One
The only room with any energy was Room 6 dancing to Whip music with about 15
people. Although I was glad at least one room was doing well, Whip has its
own night on Thursday and to some extent on Friday. Monday is Swing Night
and Ballroom Night!!
I sat down to analyze what reasons could have caused a popular event like
Monday Night Swing Practice to dwindle so quickly. This is when I realized
the problem had been caused by my own selfishness.
When we decided to add the third Ballroom class in January, one regular
Monday class had to GO to make room for the new Tango class. I decided to
move Zoot Suit Riot to Sunday afternoon.
One consequence was that the best Swing dancers were no longer taking class
on Mondays nights. In other words, the people most likely to stay for Monday
Night Swing Practice weren't at the studio any more on Monday. The class
that provided the leadership was gone.
No matter how much I had tried to hang on to my Monday Night Whip class, it
became obvious to me that Whip should have been the class to go, not Zoot
Although it broke my heart, this is when I decided to move up my Whip class
to Fridays in February to create a room for Zoot Suit on Mondays in
February. But now I had another problem. What was I going to teach?
Yes, you guessed it. Ballroom. I would become the third Ballroom instructor.
This decision meant that Maureen was the odd man out AGAIN. I sent Maureen
an email explaining the same details I listed above. I wondered how she
would react to my newest change of direction.
Maureen took it like a pro. Here is what she said:
Thank you for such a complete and totally understandable explanation. I am
not at all angry with you or anyone else. Tons of people came up and asked
my why I was not working on Mondays and I as I was not sure myself, I just
told them "I go by the schedule..."
I have missed my Mondays but can do the math and figure out that there are
so many rooms for so many classes and figured you would make the changes
that you feel you need. There is absolutely no problem. Will it still be box
fox, box waltz and slow dance?
We've been friends a long time and I want that to continue for a long time
to come. Thanks again.
BEST NEW JOKES OF THE MONTH
Joke One: The HMO Manager
Contributed by Patty Jones
Two doctors and an HMO manager died and lined up at the pearly gates for
admission to heaven. St. Peter asked them to identify themselves.
One doctor stepped forward and said, "I was a pediatric orthopedic
and helped correct deformities in children."
St. Peter said, "You may enter."
The second doctor said, "I was a psychiatrist. I helped people to
St. Peter also invited him in.
The third applicant stepped forward and said, "I was an HMO manager. I
helped people to get cost-effective health care."
St. Peter said, "You can come in, too."
As the HMO manager walked by, St. Peter added, "You can only stay three
days. After that, you can go to hell."
Joke Two: Taking Time Off From Work
Contributed by Chris Holmes
"I think I'll take some time off from work." said the man.
"How do you think you'll do that?" said the blonde.
He proceeded to show her...by climbing up to the rafters, and hanging upside
The boss walked in and saw the worker hanging from the ceiling. Astonished,
he asked him what on earth he was doing.
"I'm a light bulb," answered the guy.
"I think you need some time off," said the boss.
So, the man jumped down and walked out of the factory.
The blonde began walking out too.
The boss asked her where did she think she was going?
The blonde answered, "Home. I can't work in the dark".
THE WINNERS OF THE JANUARY SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE: SSQQ GOSSIP
The January puzzle listed above was extremely difficult. We had 11 winners
for the December logic puzzle, but only 5 winners this month.
The logic puzzle dealt with 15 SSQQ Dance instructors who were all married
to each other, taught different courses, and had one thing in common - a big
mouth! None of the instructors could keep a secret.
With that many variables, as you might guess, this was a mean, nasty, tricky
puzzle. One of our current champions, Mara Rivas, the Puzzle Queen, told me
she put in over 12 hours. And she added that her friend Marliesy-poo, a
frequent winner last winner, simply gave up. You've got to hand it to Mara -
she will fight till she gets it. She made one wrong conclusion and simply
could not break out of her incorrect mindset. I know exactly her dilemma
because I have done the same thing. Finally one night she complained about
her struggle, but after talking with me decided to try ONE more time. This
time she got it.
1. Jeff and Connie Woodman (Seven months in a row!)
2. Darius Johnson (First time winner!)
3. Susan Arevalo (Sixth month in a row!)
4. Mara Rivas (Seven months in a row!)
5. Ann Faget (Seven months in a row!)
Co-Champions Jeff and Connie Woodman were the first winners. No complaints,
no whining, no expressions of difficulty, they simply submitted their
answers and wished me a Happy New Year and went on their way with no fuss
and fanfare. I have to assume they are just naturally good at Logic Puzzles,
but we might need to separate them out. It's tough going up against tag team
SSQQ Salsa Instructor Darius Johnson aced the logic puzzle on his first try.
Darius is a Rice graduate student in computer engineering. Like the Woodmans,
his reply gave no hint of stress or difficulty. My guess is a Rice grad
student is likely to have enough mental foot candles to handle anything I am
smart enough to throw at them.
Susan Arevalo won for the sixth month in a row. She is awesome.
In a surprising development, we now have a third leader in our Logic Puzzle
race. Ann Faget first solved the puzzle in July just like Mara and the
Woodmans, then apparently took the next month of August off while Mara and
the Woodmans continued. Ann then won in September, October, November,
December, and now January.
Recently Ann emailed me to protest that she had solved the August puzzle
too. Since I rarely throw any emails away, I did a search and sure enough, I
discovered why Ann had not been given credit. It turns out she had sent in
the answer a couple days AFTER I had written the Newsletter announcing who
the August winners were. I had never bothered to add her to list after the
fact. Now I realize that technically we could say Ann missed the deadline,
but on the other hand she did the work, she got the answer right, and had a
good excuse for missing the deadline. Plus she is cute. Therefore I have
decided to count her as an August winner and put her up in a three-way tie
with Mara and the Woodmans.
But from now on, once the winners are announced, no more retroactive
winners! Not even if you are cute.
This month's logic puzzle is tricky, but nowhere near as hard as January. I
hope many ssqq newsletter readers will join the SSQQ Logic Club and try this
THE FEBRUARY SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE: THE SSQQ SUMMER CRUISE TRIPS!
As you probably know, SSQQ takes a lot of cruises.
Last summer six different SSQQ dance instructors went on a cruise to six
different places including Alaska, Hawaii, Jamaica, New Orleans, Cozumel,
and Cancun. Each person took a different relative with him or her.
Rachel, Sharon, Rick, Linda, Ben, and Daryl were the lucky instructors to
visit these exotic locations. Now can you figure out which instructor went
where, what their new last names are, and which relative they took??
On your mark, get set, GO!
NO STANDING IN LINE - SIGN UP ON-LINE (SSQQ ONLINE REGISTRATION)
SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE: ANNE MARCHETTI AND DENNIS PECHAL ANNOUNCE THEIR
Dennis Pechal and I want to send another note of thanks to you for
organizing a fun and romantic cruise on Carnival's Jubilee July 2003. As you
recall there were eleven people onboard from Chapelwood Methodist Church
including the two of us.
We've known each other for two years but we connected on the cruise and
we've been inseparable ever since. In early December, Dennis proposed and we
are looking forward to our wedding in the late Spring. Thank you again for
providing the catalyst for our connection. Attached are our favorite
photographs. We look forward to taking additional classes from SSQQ.
(Editor's Note: Anne Marchetti has gone out of her way several different
times to organize enormous groups of people from the Chapelwood Singles
Ministry to take classes at the studio. She also went out of her way to
recruit people for last year's SSQQ Summer Cruise that she mentioned above.
What she didn't mention is that Dennis was one of the last people on board
and that he was there largely because of her gentle persuasion. Finally, a
good deed that gets rewarded!
These are two very neat people. I am happy for both! RA)
SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE: CHERYL CORMIER AND GARY DAVIS ANNOUNCE THEIR
(Editor's Note: Cheryl Cormier was on the same cruise as Anne Marchetti and
Dennis Pechal last summer, but Gary Davis alas wasn't with us. Instead he
showed up at the studio for the first time last fall. I have known for some
time that Cheryl and Gary had something cooking, but it still came as a
wonderful surprise when Cheryl announced they had gotten engaged over the
Christmas Holidays. Best wishes to both! RA)
ABOUT THE SSQQ EMAIL NEWSLETTER
The email you have received is a condensed version of the monthly SSQQ
Newsletter. You have received the 'tip of the iceberg'. The majority of the
SSQQ Newsletter is on the SSQQ Web Site (or will be soon). To email the
entire Newsletter would mean getting the equivalent of a 20 page newspaper
in your In-Box.
At your leisure we hope you will read the extended version of the Newsletter
THE FEBRUARY JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH -
WHERE WOULD YOU RATHER VISIT - PARIS, TEXAS OR PARIS, FRANCE??
Contributed by Leroy Ginzel
Leroy sent in two revealing pictures that illustrate quite clearly the
differences between the two cities of Paris. Decide for yourself which Paris
you wish to visit!
THE SSQQ JANUARY CLEAN SIDE JOKE PAGE IS READY!
Over the years, SSQQ has been fortunate to receive many jokes sent to us by
our Newsletter readers. We have compiled them into our Monthly Joke Page. At
the end of the year, I will add the jokes that appear in our "Best New
Jokes" column into this monthly "Hall of Fame" section. This way your jokes
will become immortal!!
This year only Leroy Ginzel had a joke added to the February list. He sent
in "Paying Better Attention" at this time a year ago.
February Clean Side Selections
February CS 01: Deaf and Definitely Dumb - Joseph Stuteville
February CS 02: The Speed Trap - Gary Richardson
February CS 03: Twins - Richard Weisberg
February CS 04: The Island - Doug Bates
February CS 05: Preparing to Re-enter Society - Gary Richardson
February CS 06: The Sausage - Donna Ruth
February CS 07: You Know You are in Arkansas When
- Pat Roberts
February CS 08: The Clone Drone - Sylvia Key
February CS 09: Story of the Burning Roof - M. Moore, D. Awad
February CS 10: The Pick-Up - Chris Holmes
February CS 11: The Phone Company Interview - Pat Roberts
February CS 12: Three Aggies in the Bar - Susan Schroeder
February CS 13: Airport Runway Snafu - S. Tucker, R. Wagner
February CS 14: Pearly Gates - Andre Faust
February CS 15: Dinner Out - Sylvia Tucker
February CS 16: The Construction Workers - Sylvia Tucker
February CS 17: Paying Better Attention - Leroy Ginzel
February CS 18: A Man's Secret To A Good Marriage - Patty Jones
February CS 19: A&M Math Class for Blondes - Kathleen Parker
February CS 20: Fred and the Preacher - Mike Guillory
February CS 21: The Devil and the New Englander - Jill Banta
Since Houston is hosting the Super Bowl this year, I thought it would be fun
to publish one of my favorite Super Bowl jokes.
February CS 21: The Devil and the New Englander - Jill Banta
As the story goes, a New Englander dies and is sent to hell. He had been a
horrible man throughout life and even the devil wanted to punish him, so he
puts him to work breaking up rocks with a sledgehammer. To make it worse he
cranks up the temperature and the humidity. "Love my kingdom!" laughs the
After a couple of days the devil checks in on his victim to see if he is
suffering adequately. The devil is aghast as he looks at the New Englander
happily swinging his hammer and whistling a happy tune. The devil walks up
to him and says, "I don't understand this. I've turned the heat way up, it's
humid, you're crushing rocks; why are you so happy?"
The New Englander, smiling big, looks at the devil and replies, "This is
great! It reminds me of August in New England. Hot, humid, a good place to
work. It reminds me of home. This is fantastic!"
The devil, extremely perplexed, walks away to ponder the New Englander's
remarks. So he decides to drop the temperature, send down driving rain and
torrential wind. Soon, hell is a wet, muddy mess. Walking in mud up to his
knees with dust blowing into his eyes, the New Englander is happily slogging
through the mud pushing a wheelbarrow full of crushed rocks.
Again, the devil asks how he can be happy in such conditions. The New
Englander replies, "This is great! Just like April in New England. It
reminds me of working out in the fields with spring planting!" The devil is
now completely baffled.
Angry, and desperate to make hell really hell, he tries one last ditch
effort. He makes the temperature plummet. Suddenly hell is blanketed in snow
and ice. Confident that this will surely make the New Englander unhappy. The
devil checks in on the New Englander.
He is aghast at what he sees. There before him this insane New Englander is
shivering and turning blue while simultaneously dancing, singing, and
twirling his sledgehammer as he cavorts in glee.
"How can you be so happy? Don't you know it's 40 below zero!?" screams the
Jumping up and down the New Englander throws a snowball at the devil and
yells, "Hell's frozen over!! This means the Patriots have won the Super
(For non-sports fans, in 2002, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl
for the very first time in 40 years. Considering how lucky they were to even
make the playoffs, at the time this was considered a miracle result. Now two
years later we realize it probably wasn't a fluke after since they are back
again for this year's 2004 Superbowl.)
THE SSQQ VOCABULARY WORD OF THE MONTH: CRUCIVERBALIST
Submitted by Lesa Myers
CRUCIVERBALIST (noun) - A crossword designer or enthusiast.
"In a suburban town in Connecticut, Cora Felton has some small measure of
notoriety as the Puzzle Lady, reputed constructor of syndicated crosswords.
The much married and generally alcoholic Cora, though, is a front for her
niece Sherry, the real cruciverbalist."
(Editor's Note: I am a big Crossword Puzzle fan, so you know I really
appreciated this one! Thank you, Lesa. By the way, if you have a good
vocabulary word, send it in!! Be sure to add a sentence! email@example.com )
THE VENUS MARS OBSERVATION FOR FEBRUARY
Contributed by Patty Jones
Finally.... the "Explanation."
1. The nice men are ugly.
2. The handsome men are not nice.
3. The handsome and nice men are gay.
4. The handsome, nice and heterosexual men are married.
5. The men who are not so handsome, but are nice men, have no money.
6. The men who are not so handsome, but are nice men with money think women
are only after their money.
7. The handsome men without money are after a woman's money.
8. The handsome men, who are not so nice and but at least heterosexual,
don't think we are beautiful enough.
9. The men who think a woman is beautiful, that are heterosexual, somewhat
nice and have some money, are often shy.
10. But women never find out they are shy because the men who are somewhat
handsome, somewhat nice and have some money and thank God are heterosexual,
are too damned afraid to MAKE THE FIRST MOVE!!!!
11.The men who never make the first move automatically lose interest in
women when they take the initiative.
NOW ....WHO IN THE HELL UNDERSTANDS MEN?
THE SSQQ PUN OF THE MONTH: Insanity in Action
Contributed by Ann Faget
It was visitor's day at the Asylum For The Mentally Special. All the inmates
were standing in the courtyard and singing "Ave Maria." They were singing it
beautifully. Oddly, each of them was holding a red apple in one hand and
tapping it rhythmically with a pencil.
A visitor listened in wonder to the performance, and then approached the
conductor. "I'm a retired Choir Director," he said. "This is one of the best
choirs I have ever heard."
"Yes, I am very proud of them," said the conductor.
"You should take them on tour," said the visitor. "What are they called?"
"Surely that's obvious," replied the conductor ...
"They're the Moron Tapanapple Choir."
THE SSQQ FEBRUARY BLUE SIDE JOKES ARE READY!
(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. firstname.lastname@example.org
February BS 01: Aggie Sex Change - Richard Weisberg
February BS 02: Bullets - Kathleen Parker
February BS 03: Blue Yoga - Lynn Bevis
February BS 04: Monica Revisited - Richard Weisberg
February BS 05: Statues in the Park - Mike Guillory
February BS 06: Oxymoron - The Sensitive Man - Gary Richardson
February BS 07: The Ranch Hand - Lynn Bevis
February BS 08: The Bus - Richard Weisberg
February BS 09: The Beverly Clintons - Judy Walsh
February BS 10: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Pat Roberts
February BS 11: The Golf Injury - Lynn Bevis and Pat Roberts
February BS 12: The Gas Grill - Leo Skiba
February BS 13: A Texas Wedding - Richard Weisberg
February BS 14: The Fishing Trip - Gary Richardson
February BS 15: Bondage and Discipline - Gary Richardson
February BS 16: Viagra - Tom Easley
February BS 17: Little Red Riding Hood - Pat Roberts
Although the Blue Side is off-limits to the outer world and only SSQQ
Students are invited into the inner sanctum of "Dirty Jokes", each month we
manage to find one that is printable. This next joke is one of my very
February BS 14: The Fishing Trip
Submitted by Gary Richardson
One man's hobby was fishing; he spent all his weekends near the river or
lake, usually paying no attention to weather. One Sunday, very early in the
morning, he went to the river as usual. However he didn't feel very good. It
was bitterly cold and raining. After he got out of his car, he stood there
shivering for several minutes. He shook his head and muttered something to
himself about getting old, but to even his own surprise, he decided to pack
it in and return back to his house.
He came in, went to his bedroom, undressed, and lay near his wife. The sun
was just now coming up. "What terrible weather today it is today, honey," he
said to her.
She yawned and stretched without bothering to open her eyes. "Yes, but can
you believe my idiot husband still went fishing!"
SPEAKING OF THE SUPER BOWL - THE ULTIMATE GATE CRASHER
Rick Reilly is an award-winning columnist for Sports Illustrated. I find his
stories absolutely fascinating. I hope you enjoy this story from 2002 as
much as I did.
THE ULTIMATE GATE CRASHER
By Rick Reilly
Coming the Big Easy, 72 year old Dion Rich had sneaked, weaseled, conned,
bluffed, tricked and bamboozled his way into 32 straight Super Bowls, the
record for a man refusing to touch his wallet.
Wait. Not just into the games, but often onto the fields and into the locker
rooms. That's Rich on the winner's podium with Vince Lombardi and Pete
Rozelle after the first Super Bowl. That's him helping to carry Cowboys
coach Tom Landry off the field after XII. That's him whispering sweet
nothings into coach Joe Gibbs' ear as the Redskins run off after winning
Wait, wait. It's not only Super Bowls. Rich has gone ticketless into World
Series games, title fights, America's Cup races, Kentucky Derbies, and 14
Olympics. Basically, he's Red Smith without the deadlines. He's also crashed
eight Academy Awards, as proved by pictures like the one of him with his arm
around Gwyneth Paltrow after she won her Oscar. He even has a snap of
himself at the Playboy Mansion, in Hugh Hefner's bathrobe.
It's not that Rich is poor. He's made boatloads in real estate and other
things. "But why pay when you don't have to?" he asks.
Then came our recent Super Bowl XXXVI, hard on the heels of 9/11. The NFL
spend $7 million on a mammoth security effort manned by the Secret Service,
the FBI, FEMA, the National Guard, US Marshals and dozens of state and local
law-enforcement agencies. The week looked bleak for the Sneak Streak.
It got worse. Everywhere Rich looked, there were Jeeps, Humvees and even
tanks. There were more wands around him than at a fairy godmother
convention. Security was triple anything he had seen before. A 10-foot-high
chain-link barbed-wire fence was put up around the perimeter of the
Mission Impossible? Definitely.
Dion cased the Superdome and declared it tighter than Joan River's eyelids.
How cold any of his tricks work? The wheelchair? Claiming to be a ref?
Pretending to be with the team, the band, the stadium crew? The Coke-bottle
bifocals? The bag of press credentials? "IF every Super Bowl was like this,"
he sighed in a media center he wasn't supposed to be in last Thursday, "I'd
Not only that, but he was sure he was being followed. The NFL admits it has
tailed him. "Oh, yeah, I've heard of him," Milt Ahlerich, the league's vice
president of security, grumbled when asked. The NFL once told Rich if it
ever caught him on the field again, he'd be finding out if he could sneak
out of jail. He agreed to stay off the fields - but he never said anything
A streak is a streak, wartime or peace, and the Gate Crasher knew what lay
before him: he must scale the insurmountable citadel. The day of the big
game arrived. Wearing a blue blazer and a tie, an Albert Einstein haircut
and glasses on the end of his pointy nose, Dion Rich set off to penetrate
the most impenetrable sports fortress in US history.
So who won and who lost? The fortress lost. Rich was inside in six minutes.
I know this for a fact because I followed him the whole way. It was pure
He doddered, darted, acted addled and hurried, slunk through tiny spaces and
sped through unguarded ones. He never stopped walking and never started
hearing. He nudged his way through the masses at the first security
checkpoint and ticket check, waited until a young guard (he always looks for
the youngest) had her head buried in a bag, sidestepped past her and through
the one-foot gap between the metal detector and a fence. Then he
buttonhooked a distracted wand man, did a pirouette around a bored National
Guardsman that would've made Fred Astaire weep and then beat it up a ramp.
He was never security-screened. Thank God he's on our side.
Now he had to get by the ticket rippers. He found a bank of unmanned doors
locked from the inside, waited until a supervisor came barreling out of one,
lithely slid his loafer into the gap before it closed and stepped through it
as casually as if he were entering his own kitchen. "When am I going to
learn never to bet against myself?" he said, grinning.
Make it 33 in a row.
Memo to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue: $7 million wasn't enough. Memo to
Salt Lake Olympic Committee: He'll be there this week watching on the house.
I didn't hear from Dion again until midnight. He called from inside the
Rams' postgame party, gobbling free gumbo and sipping the delicious merlot
wine courtesy of the National Football League.
(Editor's Note: I am certain that Dion would never get past an SSQQ Hall
A SPECIAL NOTE FROM RICK ARCHER ABOUT EMAIL, THE SSQQ NEWSLETTER, AND SPAM.
I now receive an average of 150 spam emails a day. Because I run a business
where people email me at random from all over the world on a variety of
subjects, I am reluctant to install filters.
The problem with this kind of volume is the potential I can accidentally
delete valuable emails from ssqq students, especially when I don't recognize
the name. To minimize this possibility, please be sure to put a title with
some thought behind it in the "Subject" box when you are trying to contact
As for the SSQQ Email Newsletter, more and more people report that it is
being blocked at their jobs as "Spam". This leaves me no choice but to make
the Email I send out as innocuous as possible.
For that matter you may stop receiving the SSQQ Email Newsletter at any time
for reasons that are out of my hands. A month ago, I had over 600 Newsletter
Emails sent to students with Yahoo accounts bounced back to me. I contacted
Yahoo and was given no explanation why the emails bounced. It is tough to
correct a problem when you don't even know what is causing it.
In the future, I suggest you automatically go to the Newsletter on the SSQQ
Web Site a couple days before classes start and read the latest news whether
you get an email reminder or not.
THE HALL OF FAME SSQQ COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2001:
HALL MONITOR REFUSES TO ADMIT STUDENT TO CLASS
This month I am reprinting the most famous complaint of all time. Since the
story is now two years old, I will identify the parties. The complainant was
a gentleman named Dula. The Hall Monitor was Bryan Spivey. The reason this
complaint is so famous is that it was the deciding factor that led to my
decision to implement the SSQQ On-Line Registration system.
There are three letters to read: the complaint, a letter from a witness to
the event, and my own response.
Thu 12/06/2001 1:02 AM
I would like to share with you the humiliation I went through at SSQQ. It
was about 8:30 PM in class when I was rudely disturbed while attending a
class by a person claiming to be an employee of SSQQ.
Most of all, I have no idea what provoked him to pick on me from all the
people in the classroom. During the second half, while I was making a name
tag, we struck a conversation and he started asking me if I am registered
for this class or not, apparently he did not see me before or whatever his
rationale was. I thought he was joking asking such a question. Anyway, I
told him I signed up for this class and two step and then left to join the
About ten minutes later, while I was in the middle of dance and in front of
everybody this gentleman marches towards me and told me that my name is not
on the roster and I had to leave. Although was holding the registration in
one hand and he did not bother to look over. He stood next to me and said,
"you are not on the roster and you need to leave." He implied that I am like
a thief in the grocery store for coming without paying for it.
I don't know if you ever had been accused of cheating or kicked out of an
institution or called a cheat or a thief in front of an audience in a
restaurant, studio, grocery store or anywhere. It is humiliating to go
through such a process in front of many of your colleagues. As a banker and
a very conscientious person, I hold myself in a very high ethical standard.
It was a nightmare and none of your clients should go through this. I had a
problem sleeping wondering if I would ever run into the people again and
wondering what would they think of me if they see my face again.
I am baffled, disturbed and hurt by this episode. You are the boss and so
you should know what happened.
(Email Letter to Rick Archer from a student who witnessed the event.)
Wednesday, December 05, 2001 10:37 AM
I dropped in early last night for dance practice, and I was the unfortunate
witness to a confrontation outside the studio with a disgruntled person.
Since I was early, I could not enter the studio and was within earshot of
the event. There was an individual arguing vehemently with the Hall Monitor
(I assumed the discussion was regarding his removal from the class). He was
obnoxious and abrasive, and the Hall Monitor tried patiently to explain to
him the policies regarding proof that he had signed up for the class. He
kept demanding that the Hall Monitor accompany him to his car to show him
the receipt. The Hall Monitor wisely told him he could not leave the studio,
but he would await his return. This individual later returned, went in to
the intermediate class and started a ruckus that the Hall Monitor had
unfairly removed him. I considered this to be totally inappropriate
Personally I thought the Hall Monitor handled the situation with great
composure and respect.
Email Letter from Rick Archer to the Complainant
Mon 12/10/2001 3:12 PM
I have now reviewed carefully four documents: Your report, the Hall
Monitor's report, an instructor's report, and that of a student who
witnessed the incident.
I am sorry you were embarrassed.
However you need to see things from my studio's point of view. Our Hall
Monitor program was established 18 months ago to reduce a huge number of
people from wandering around the studio who were showing up and claiming
they were a volunteer. The situation had become a real headache. Since this
policy was established, things have become much more organized.
Now the Hall Monitor is paid to do a job - ask people for their receipt. You
didn't have one.
Then he or she is supposed to look your name up on a roster. Your name did
not appear on one of the rosters.
Furthermore, the Hall Monitor said you made the comment that you are being
given free classes. Whether you were jesting or not, this made you seem even
Finally, you naively think someone who has never met you in his life should
take your word for it that you paid when it is his job to do the exact thing
he did - prevent you from participating without simple documentation.
I do not enjoy the report of this confrontation at all, but please help me
understand why I should criticize the Hall Monitor when on the surface it
appears he was simply trying to do his job.
Look, I am not happy that you were embarrassed. Our studio is about having
fun, not pushing people around.
However we have to have rules. You did not produce a receipt as requested
and your name wasn't on the roster. Whether his style was to your liking or
not isn't the question - I am sorry the Hall Monitor rubbed you the wrong
way, but the fact remains that this person did what he was hired to do.
Please forgive the incident and forget about it. You are a nice guy. You are
always welcome here.
(Editor's Note: As I review this story from a two-year perspective, I
realize I did the right thing to implement the On-Line Registration system.
This incident was incredibly aggravating to me.
It is likely that Dula was as angry as he was for the simple reason that he
was telling the truth. I fully believe he paid for a class and naturally he
felt entitled to go to it.
But Dula could not prove he had paid for the class. He didn't have a receipt
and his name was not on a roster. Unfortunately our class records at that
time were rife with omissions. Dula probably hadn't bothered to sign in
since it was a voluntary activity in those days which he probably ignored.
I knew at the time that if we had better records, this would not have
happened. So I authorized David Schroeder to begin work on implementing the
The initial cost was $10,000 for the Registration system. Including upgrades
and eliminating bugs, I am sure I paid yet another $20,000 along the way.
Nor was it always smooth - there was a transition period where the
registration process became very slow, the lines were long, and the
complaints were plentiful. But once we added "On-Line Registration" where
people could register ahead of time, the lines were cut in half and most of
the waiting problems cleared up.
One important byproduct was we now had computerized Rosters for each class.
As I said at the time, "This will hopefully prevent incidents such as the
one above from happening again."
Two years later I am pleased to say this prediction was accurate. As a
result of David's system, we have never had another incident like the one we
had with Dula.
AND THAT'S A WRAP FOR THIS ISSUE (AND DON'T FORGET TO GO TO THE WEB SITE FOR
THE COMPLETE NEWSLETTER!!)
As you can see, the SSQQ Newsletter is written to a large extent by its
readers. Many people contribute jokes, pictures, and interesting items each
month. Anyone is welcome to join the fun!
If you have any comments, suggestions, requests, complaints, jokes, pictures
or poetry to share, please send it to me, Rick Archer, at email@example.com
And thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!
. I might add I do have
reason to believe some of you simply scroll to the bottom to look for any
little surprises I hide down here. ;-) Anyhow, thanks to all for making it
SSQQ Dance Studio