This is the June 2005 issue of the SSQQ Newsletter written by Rick Archer.
STORY ONE: MARY FROMETA TO APPEAR AT SATURDAY'S SALSA PARTY!
This Saturday, June 11, we will have Mary Frometa and her band, Mary's
performing live on stage at our Me Das Fiebre Salsa Party!
Mary Frometa and her band come very highly recommended. We are indeed
fortunate to have a singer of this caliber perform for us!
The party starts at 9 pm and goes till 1 am. The Salsa Dance should be
Crash Courses 7-9 (register at the door):
BEG SALSA - Kelly
INT SALSA - Martin
BACHATA - Jill
INT SALSA MERENGUE PTNS - Linda
LATIN CHA CHA - Rick
ADVANCED FEVER SALSA PATTERNS - Jim
STORY TWO: NEED A PHOTOGRAPHER!
By the way, my usual photographer is out of town for this party. If there
is anyone out there with a good digital camera and some photographic
skill, the job pays well. Email Rick Archer
(firstname.lastname@example.org) to bid for the job.
STORY THREE: NEED A WESTERN BAND!
One more thing - Later in the year, we would like to hire a Western Band
to play for us. Send your recommendations to Rick Archer
STORY FOUR: WHAT'S SPECIAL FOR THE JUNE DANCE SEMESTER?
The June 2005 Dance Semester has already begun. It started on Friday, June
3. We used this unusual start date to avoid having classes later in the
month over the July 4th Weekend.
Special classes include:
1. Night Club on Fridays at 7 (it was a big class!)
2. Beg Hustle on Sundays 430 (it was a big class!)
3. Martian Whip Technique II Sundays at 7 pm.
4. Ballroom Dancing for Cruises had a big turnout but we need more men!
Mondays at 7 pm
5. Intermediate Tango Mondays at 7 pm
6. Intermediate Ballroom Mondays at 7 pm.
7. Steve and Danielle bring you a brand new Adv Salsa Level 12 class on
8. Sharon Crawford and John Jones will teach Adv Western Waltz on
9. State Whip champion Bryan Spivey teaches his West Coast Technique class
For more details and lengthy descriptions of the classes above, go to:
Please note if you missed the first week, don't worry about it. You can
sign up in the second week without any problem since we spend the first
hour reviewing what was covered in Week One.
STORY FIVE: THE SSQQ ALASKA CRUISE
Please note our Alaska Pre-Trip Cruise Meeting where you meet your
roommates and the other passengers plus pick up your cruise documents has
been switched to Sunday, June 19, at 2:30 at the studio. Don't get mad at
Marla; Royal Caribbean could not get the tickets to her in time. What
choice did she have?
If you have a powerful desire to go to Alaska with us at the last minute,
it never hurts to ask. We sometimes have people drop off and their
roommates need last minute replacements. If you are a couple, Marla might
be able to snag one more cabin.
STORY SIX: THE SSQQ SEPTEMBER RHAPSODY CRUISE
Our Same Time Next Year Rhapsody Cruise scheduled for late September is
about to explode. We currently have 83 people signed up!!
Last year we took 120 people. Believe it or not, people are asking us why
this year we don't seem to have as many people.
Well, surprise! We are actually AHEAD of last year's pace. Doesn't anyone
know by now that no one can make up their mind this far in advance?
Our Rhapsody Cruise is picking up enormous momentum. The Word is starting
to spread that Four Major Troublemakers from last year have finished
re-negotiating their contract and have signed aboard.
First in line is Leslie (Goldmine) Goldsmith who wrote me in great
indignation at being left off the list of Usual Suspects in last month's
From: Leslie Goldsmith
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 9:41 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Forgotten so soon?!?!?!?!
Goldmine is heartbroken that she has been forgotten so soon!!!!! I was
under the distinct impression that I had earned a place on the list of
"Usual Suspects" during the 2004 Cozumel Cruise.
Yet the May newsletter says, and I quote,
"All we need is the Great Gabino and we know the Rhapsody is in for
We have 32 people signed including almost all the Troublemaking Usual
Suspects back from last year's trip. Only the Great Gabino and
Lollabridgida are hold-outs. Let's put some pressure on both of them!"
I am of the personal opinion that the Rhapsody 2005 would be in for even
more "serious trouble" with the return of a Soon-To-Be-Single-Again
After all, I have the most legendary toes at the studio. I also earned the
distinction of being named an "Equal Opportunity Flirt" during last year's
cruise. And I consider these to be significant achievements, considering
my Not-Yet-Single-Again status last year.
Sending in my deposit today!!!! Be sure to let the men know I'm coming.
Holy Smokes! Sounds to me like Ms. Goldmine has personally announced she
intends to be the Alpha Hussy on this year's trip. The rest of you gals
better roll out the red lipstick and let those fingernails grow or the
Goldmine will personally collect every guy on the trip for herself. Better
sharpen those claws now or you'll be looking for your men in the Nerd
Meanwhile, another infamous Scarlet Woman, the fabulously gorgeous Gina
Lollabridgida, has also signed up again. Obviously the Goldmine will now
be forced to work for her men because she has SERIOUS COMPETITION in the
beautiful Ms. Lollabridgida.
I can see the fireworks and the catfights developing already! ME-OW!!
And now I have a serious announcement to make! The Great Gabino returns!
Yes, this may be the trip that Mr. Handsome has to surrender his title as
Top Troublemaker. It is my understanding that GG has been practicing his
troublemaking skills for an entire year while Handsome has been frittering
away his energies learning the girl's part to Whip.
Will Handsome show up to defend his crown against the Gabino? Or will
Dorothy show up looking for another bra to wear at Scavenger Night? Who
knows? Even better, will Rick think of a way to surprise the Rhapsody Crew
and sabotage the Scavenger Hunt with an evil plan of his own??
This means All the Usual Suspects are BACK! This trip has so many
sub-plots my head spins just thinking about it all. I will tell you one
thing - it will be a lot more fun being there to watch these talented
troublemakers set glorious new hot-tub stuffing records and wearing
women's clothes than it will be reading about it….
Which leads me to my next announcement.
Due to a very pleasant development, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has
changed its reservation policy. Now they reward their High End Group
Travel customers with a new "sell one, keep one space open" policy. This
means that since we have sold 40 cabins, they have extended us 45 more
days to keep a reservation for 40 more cabins at the original price! In
other words, we have over a month to double in size! We can have a MONSTER
This means the new cut-off date is July 15th. It will not do you a bit of
good to wait one day past this because SSQQ is off to Alaska the very next
day and SSQQ Travel will be closed for a week.
So make your move now. You can reserve a spot on the Rhapsody Trip for
$250 and the final payments are due on Friday, July 15th.
One more point - we have the flexibility right now to find roommates.
However if you are a single and you wait till the last minute, you are
completely at the mercy of who signs up that day. Someone is always left
out of every trip.
If you change your mind, you have till July 15th to get a full refund on
the trip. Therefore there is no advantage to waiting to join! Furthermore
it is true that when it comes to Cruises, the more the merrier. The moment
you put your name in the hat, the sooner someone on the fence falls into
the Cruise. And the more people on the trip, the more fun we have. Sign up
Email Marla Archer at email@example.com
or call her at 713 862 4428.
STORY SEVEN: APRIL'S SLEAZY BAR WHIP PARTY WITH LUTHER AND THE HEALERS!
Everyone wants to know about Luther and the Healers and the Sleazy Bar
Party! It was a great party with awesome Blues music! I would estimate the
crowd at 150 with many terrific dancers!
Everybody has been waiting patiently to see the pictures. Here they are!
We had two wonderful dance performances by Michelle and Trent Haynes and
by Lisa Palmer and Bryan Spivey. I had no idea Michelle's dancing could
make my blood boil! She's a sizzler to be sure. And Lisa is Poetry in
Motion. Between the two beautiful women, we had a terrific Fire and Ice
contrast. Oh yeah, there were men out there too. I was so mesmerized by
the dance divas I forgot that Trent and Bryan were working hard to show
off their partners! Let's hear it for the boys too!
Speaking of Bryan Spivey and Lisa Palmer, they have been really busy!
Here's a note to me from Bryan:
From: bryan spivey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 12:24 PM
To: rick archer
Subject: this past weekend
short version - talk about work!
we went to texas classic and they were running late with the comps. they
did finally get going and we danced. the women I danced with did very
Susan Arevalo got a silver in newcomer
Veronique Frizzel got a silver in newcomer
Cher Longoria got a gold w honors and 3rd place in novice (higher than
newcomer)...which should be changed to 2nd because they goofed up one of
the girl's division
Becky Maccorkle got 2nd novice, right in front of cher, BUT this is where
the problem lies. we registered as an INT couple and even stated it it
when we went out on the floor. so becky is waiting for her name to get off
of the novice score sheet, whch would place cher at 2nd, only falling
behind a lady damon danced with for like 10 yrs. if you really want to get
down to it, cher should have placed 1st because that lady that damon
danced with shouldnt be in the NOV division.
my mom (Yvonne Spivey) WON BOTH categories. diamond newcomer and open
newcomer...she beat out all the younger ladies!!! she rocked the house and
got 2 1st place trophies, gold graduate (higher than gold w honors) and
travel bags to go with it.
Lisa Palmer got 2nd place INT and gold with honors
i got 1st place and gold grad in my strictly swing with the lady who sold
me some orthodics!!
then we went to dallas and lisa and i won the male pro-am!
this is the first time she had won or even placed in a pro-am which made
her very happy.
note: we did not hear about the above placement until after we knew about
the comp results in dallas. we got 1st over all and beat out 24 ladies!!
i ended up getting top teacher again!
and thats what dave megaffin said on the floor..."top teacher award AGAIN
goes to ....Bryan Spivey"
now that i am a certified judge, i also got to judge a lot too.
Lisa also got 4th place in the INT strictly swing with some guy she just
met at the comp.
i got 4th place in the ADV strictly with becky burgess
phew - if this keeps up pretty soon im going to be as old as you (just
i got my mom and my girlfriend wins in the pro-am...the hardest comp to
win because of so many competitiors! thats what i am most happy about!"
Bryan Spivey is not only a gifted dancer, it turns out he is a pretty fair
instructor as well. He pointed out he has won "top instructor" at his past
two west coast competitions.
If you want to join the competition game or simply want to improve your
dancing, email him at
STORY EIGHT: THE SSQQ LOGIC PUZZLE WINNERS FOR MAY
(The College Kids Puzzle!)
1. Mara Rivas (Second Month in a Row for the Former Logic Champ!)
2. Gloria Funderberg (First Time Winner!)
3. Patty Harrison (Second Month in a Row!)
4. Steve Upchurch (Seventh Month in a Row!)
5. Stephanie Barrow (Fourth Month in a Row for Rocky Top!)
6. Ritesh Laud (13 Months in a Row!)
7. Anita Leung (Third Month in a Row!)
8. Ann Faget (Our current champion at 20 months in a row!)
9. Holly Soehnge (Holly took a couple months off. This is her fourth
10. Susan Arevalo (Right behind Ann at 19 months in a row!)
STORY NINE: THE JUNE LOGIC PUZZLE - THE BASEBALL NINE
The June Logic Puzzle is a very tricky puzzle. It deals with the nine
players on a baseball team. From the clues given, you have to figure out
which player plays which position and what the number on his uniform is.
Believe me, the puzzle is fair, the clues are easy to understand and the
solution makes sense, but you will go crazy trying to figure it out.
The puzzle is a BEEEG challenge. I can honestly say it kicked my butt, but
it wasn't over my head. I should have solved it, but I didn't succeed.
Maybe you will have better luck!
JUNE LOGIC PUZZLE:
STORY TEN: JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH
Leroy Ginzel has reached the point in his life where he is confronted with
a difficult choice: Which Hole to Shoot At. Leroy obviously loves golf a
lot if he saw this as a tough choice.
It was certainly a no-brainer for me, but then I don't play golf. Maybe
that has something to do with it.
STORY ELEVEN: BEST NEW JOKES!
We have 6 brand new jokes this month contributed by Judy Walsh (2), Anita
Williams, Chris Holmes (2), and Maureen Brunetti. My favorite was Chris
Holmes joke about the lazy son who was waiting for his Dad to die so he
could inherit all the money!!
June CS 35: Father Explains to His Son - Judy Walsh
June CS 36: Boys Night Out - Anita Williams
June CS 37: Girls Night Out - Chris Holmes
June CS 38: Time to Call CSI - Maureen Brunetti
June CS 39: Shortest Joke of the Year - Judy Walsh
June CS 40: Not the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer - Chris Holmes
STORY TWELVE: SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE
SSQQ struck gold this month again this month in the Romance department. We
had three weddings!
Congratulations are in order for SSQQ Instructors Randy Winfrey and
Melissa (Gauthier) Winfrey. They join a long list of SSQQ Instructors who
met their spouses here at the dance studio. It is significant that the
easiest way on earth to get married is to become an SSQQ dance instructor!
(Quick note: Dance Instructor Extraordinaire Linda Cook has asked me to
find her a husband too! Here's my pitch: I happen to admire Linda greatly,
so take it from me that Linda would be a great catch!)
Former SSQQ Instructor Luci Howard married Darren Burns on Valentines Day
this year, but I just now got the announcement!
This wedding brought a big smile to my face as I remembered how special
the two of them were.
Darren and Luci connected on the SSQQ 2002 Rhapsody Cruise. (By
coincidence, our other wedding couple Randy and Melissa were on the same
One night about 2 am Marla and I took a leisurely stroll around the ship
before heading to bed. I specifically remember noticing a couple holding
each other in a romantic embrace in one of the darkest parts of the ship.
The couple looked very suspiciously like Darren and Luci. I teasingly
asked Luci about if it was indeed her the next day, but she firmly denied
it was her. I wonder??
Luci and Darren spent the rest of the trip trying hard to fly under the
radar for fear of getting written up in the Newsletter, but amazingly I
decided to let them off the hook and not say anything. Now they went out
and got married, so I decided to "bust 'em" after all three years later!
I will do anything to tease Luci. It is so much fun! Congratulations to
both her and Darren!
A third couple to tell me about their marriage are Ray Coney and Darya
Jarram. I have known Ray Conley since the very early 1980s. I taught dance
lessons over at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church for a huge singles
organization known as TGIS. Ray was one of the leaders in that
organization and originally helped organize their popular once a week
dances over at the beautiful Racquet Club on Memorial Drive. Usually in
life no good deed goes unpunished, but in a nice twist of fate, Ray met
his future wife Darya at one of the Racquet Club dances back in 2003. I
was fortunate to see both of them at the studio as they were dating and
let me tell you, Ray had the biggest smile when he introduced me to Darya.
I could tell he was very happy!
Congratulations to both!
STORY THIRTEEN: A DEAL IS A DEAL
THE SSQQ REFUND POLICY AND WHY WE DON'T ALLOW GROUP TUITION TO BE
CONVERTED TO PRIVATE LESSONS
Do you have any sensitive topics in your family or in your business? Here
at SSQQ, there is no other subject that causes more headaches and
heartaches than people who are unhappy with our Refund Policy.
There are several schools of thought on Refunds. Unfortunately the common
wisdom often contradicts. For example, "The Customer is Always Right" gets
canceled out by "Caveat Emptor" (Let the Buyer Beware).
The problem is that there is a fine line between what is fair to the
customer and what is fair to the business. In my opinion, some businesses
like Sam's Club have extraordinarily customer-friendly policies while
others like my Nissan dealership don't get very high marks.
Sam's has a huge advantage over SSQQ. They sell something for every
occasion. We sell only one item, Social Dancing. It is an intangible
service item that most people can live without if something more
What we sell is important to most people for just a brief time. We have
learned the hard way that the moment someone decides they don't need our
"Service" anymore, many customers believe they are entitled to get their
This puts us in the uncomfortable position of saying that just because you
changed your mind doesn't mean we are now obligated to give your money
back. What sense does it make to allow our business to lose money every
time someone changes his or her mind?
As you might gather, this is a deeply divisive issue. I have written my
side of the story and now I would like to know what other people think. I
invite everyone to share their opinions whether you agree with me or not.
It should make for interesting reading to read the different people's
opinions on this very controversial issue. Please read "A Deal is a Deal"
Are you an over-40 washed-up basketball player? If so you might want to
join our over-the-hill pickup basketball game on Saturdays. We added two
SSQQ men last month - John Moniz and Milt Vasquez. Both men have been
great additions to our group. John is clearly one of the three best
players in our group while Milt has rediscovered his game and acquired a
terrific nickname in the process "The Nemesis".
Recently one of our players moved to Fort Worth so now we have room for
one more guy. Interested in playing this Saturday? Email Rick Archer at
We have six brand new jokes this month contributed by Judy Walsh (2),
Chris Holmes (2), Maureen Brunetti, and Anita Williams. My favorite is
Chris Holmes' joke about the profligate son who couldn't wait for his
father to die so he could inherit the money. Enjoy!
STORY FIFTEEN: THE INFAMOUS 1998 HARVEST MOON BALL
There is one story at SSQQ that never dies. Very few people realize that
people who got their training here at SSQQ originally created the "Houston
Swing Dance Society". Unfortunately it was handled very poorly. A serious
animosity developed that lasted for over five years. However there has
been not one negative energy incident for the past four years, which led
me to assume that the "Feud" is dead. And hopefully it is.
One of the nastiest incidents involved the Harvest Moon Ball over at Rice
University in 1998. A key player in that incident wrote me a couple weeks
ago to insist that I did not have my facts straight.
As a result, I compared my notes to hers and realized she had a point. I
decided the story was not complete without adding Ms. Pan's version of the
From: Ann Pan
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 8:32 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: hsds swing controversy
Out of pure coincidence, I found my name on a page that you authored:
"Late in the following year, Carnell cleverly prevented Judy's second
Swing team from participating in the prestigious Rice University Harvest
Moon Ball. In October 1998 Judy wrote a lengthy letter to Ann Pan who was
on the Rice University/Harvest Moon Ball Organizing Committee. In this
letter Judy attempted to explain why SSQQ had asked Carnell not to come to
our party. Unfortunately, Judy's words fell on deaf ears. Judy's team was
prevented from performing."
I moved from Houston in December 1998 but I do have a record of what
happened that autumn, including all of the emails that went around. So I
would like to rectify a few fallacies in the above statement. FYI, I have
not had any association with the HSDS since I moved from Houston.
1. Judy's team was not prevented from performing. The SSQQ Swingin' Skirts
and Mugz chose not to perform. The only reason I was given was because
some of their members could not make the performance time.
2. Judy never wrote a lengthy letter to Ann. Ann called Judy on the phone
and had a lengthy telephone conversation with Judy (and Rick) on
Wednesday, October 21, 1998. (See above.) If such a letter existed, then
please send me a copy as I have never received it nor seen it.
3. Judy's words did NOT fall on deaf ears. Making such a statement
blatantly ignores the extensive amount of time that I especially spent on
4. Blaming Carnell, Rowena, the HSDS, or me for the SSQQ group not
performing at the 1998 Harvest Moon Ball is placing blame on the wrong
people. I invited the SSQQ group to perform at the Harvest Moon Ball and
the HSDS supported this decision. In the end, it was the SSQQ group who
chose not to perform 5(!) days before the Harvest Moon Ball.
I'm sorry for everyone in Houston that this problem seems to still be in
existence several years later. Isn't it time to start collaborating? In
either case, please correct your statements as they currently contain
If you like ancient history and would like to take a look at the "revised
version" of the story, go to "Controversy 1998".
STORY SIXTEEN: LINDA COOK NEEDS A NEW HOUSE AND A
From: Linda [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:29 PM
To: 'Rick Archer'
Subject: needs house
The floors turned out very nice and studio is now available for everyone
to work in it.
I have found out that they are selling my house so I am looking for a
place to live. I have a realtor looking for me who happens to be a friend
but it never hurts to ask if someone who knows someone who might have a
I've been extremely lucky to be here in the Montrose these past 11 years.
Would you mind if I put up a notice on the bulletin board looking for a
place? I might get lucky; it's the way I found the home I'm in now.
I spent today looking at houses over past beechnut, much to my son's
dismay. Now that he is going to Lamar, he doesn't want to change schools,
you know how that is. All I can do is my best.
Don't forget to tell the world I'm looking for a place to live, which is
not easy as you might think, ok, if I got rid of the kids and dog….a piece
of cake! J
p.s. if your going to help me find a house, go ahead and throw in a