This is the August 2006 issue of the
SSQQ Newsletter written by Rick Archer.
NO STANDING IN LINE - SIGN UP ON-LINE (SSQQ
WHAT IS NEW
AT SSQQ -
BIG CHANGES IN STORE FOR THE
SSQQ BALLROOM PROGRAM
Starting in January 2007, Dakota
Wilhelm will begin teaching an Advanced Ballroom
class known as "ACCELERATED BALLROOM". This class
will be open to anyone who demonstrates proficiency
in the six major Ballroom dances (Swing, Foxtrot,
Waltz, Rumba, Tango, Cha Cha).
In preparation for the start of this program, in
September and throughout the Fall, we will begin
teaching Intermediate and Advanced Ballroom classes.
Slowly but surely, the old system of offering
Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced sections of
one dance at a time will be phased out.
The new program is complicated and it is also very
interesting. Here is a brief excerpt from the open
letter I wrote:
YOU FOLLOW: THOUGHTS ON THE SSQQ BALLROOM PROGRAM
For the first 30 years of this studio, my students
asked me for courses and as soon as I could find a
teacher, I offered them. In other words, I reacted
like any intelligent businessman to the requests of
Now for the first time in studio history, I have put
together a dance program before my students are
completely ready and I am asking you to try it.
In other words, now I am "Leading" and asking you to
I am suggesting the time is right
for many of our students to check out "Ballroom
Dancing". I suspect you will be very pleased.
Am I looking for increased profits? No. Not even
hardly. Money has absolutely nothing to do with it.
2006 is one of the most successful years in studio
history. Thank you all very much by the way.
I am pushing Ballroom Dance because as the studio
'matures', I need to show leadership and organize
something that will be fun for all of us.
Six years ago, I decided to give Dance Cruises a
try. Since then, many of you have discovered what a
great idea studio cruises are.
These cruises led to another big discovery - Thanks
to the Captain's Reception, the Crown and Anchor
Reception, and Ballroom Dancing in the Centrum, many
of us learned for the first time just how much fun
Ballroom Dancing can be! Many of you had an absolute
blast showing off your dance skills!
Please read the story:
The Love Boat:
But why should we have to wait to
go on a cruise to enjoy Ballroom Dancing?
Why not dance it on land at our own studio? I am
telling you we need to get a different kind of dance
party started. Just like I organized the studio,
just like I organized the cruises, now I am
convinced it is time to persuade all of you to help
me get Ballroom Dancing established here at SSQQ.
Are you on board yet?
Many SSQQ students are reaching the same stage of
life as me - a time when words like "Romance",
"Sophistication", "Style", and "Beauty" begin to
acquire an increased appreciation. I have already
discovered that Ballroom Dancing embraces each of
these words and allows people to express them
It starts with Ballroom Practice Night. I need all
of you to participate!"
I would be deeply grateful if all of you would read
my article on Ballroom Dancing here at SSQQ. I think
it is time to take Ballroom Dancing to the next
level here at SSQQ. By the way, this article
includes an unusual story about my first-ever
Ballroom Dance class. You may be curious to read how
the future owner of the largest dance studio in the
country was totally humiliated in his very night of
Real World Ballroom Dancing. Good story.
Other stories in this issue
of the August Newsletter include:
The RHAPSODY RELOADED CRUISE is just around the corner. It
is scheduled to leave Galveston on Sunday, August 26rd. You
can feel the excitement growing! Now that we have added a
Club Med style competition between the Sharks and the Jets,
oops, change that to the Alphas and Femme Fatales, I am sure
we will be totally out of control.
HIGHLIGHTS of the upcoming August Dance Semester features
such goodies as Scott and Cher's Sunday Death Valley class
at 4:30, Dakota's Cha Cha class (Sunday 7), Intermediate
Tango class (Sunday 7), Scott's Super-Advanced Hustle class
(Monday 7), Bryan and Lisa's Martian Whip class moves to
Monday (Monday 7), Steve and Danielle's famous Advanced
Salsa class (Tuesday 7), Sharon's Western Waltz V class
(Wednesday 7), Intermediate Western Waltz on Friday at 7,
plus the new highly-acclaimed Salsa Explosion class moves to
2 pm on Saturday afternoons.
The August Dance Parties include the August 19th SALSA
TROPICAL plus Whip and Western Dancing at the August 29th
BEACH BALL PARTY.
I found a story in Texas Monthly by Sarah Bird called "STEP
LIVELY". It is a marvelous treat to read for dancers and
non-dancers alike. I wish I could I write like Sarah Bird!
This month we are offering two more LOGIC PUZZLES. One is
very difficult and one is fairly easy. We need to get more
people to play!
Did you know that DUBAI NOW HAS A SKI RESORT? Yes, you read
a Ski Resort complete with Snow, ski lifts, and
ski runs. I am not kidding. You have to see it to believe
Does the name "Richard Jewell" ring a bell? If so, you may
be interested to read the follow-up to his amazing story. I
for one was flabbergasted.
The ever-popular Complaint of the Month section deals with
the same hot topic as last month - SAME SEX DANCING AT SSQQ.
I am sure you will curious enough to check this one out.
The JOKE PICTURE of the month features a huge problem faced
by the Jamaican Government dealing with a rash of serious
motorcycle problems. It is a problem that frankly is proving
tough to solve. Maybe you can think of an answer. As usual,
this picture is sure to offend someone.
Did you take the time to read last month's funny story about
how the evils of aging and brain loss? Have you reached the
age where you think you are losing your mind? Gay Anseman
sent in a story about a woman who really seems to have
reached the end of her rope. If you want to laugh and cry at
the same time, read the story JUST SHOOT ME. You won't
All these stories and more are covered in
this August issue of the SSQQ
RHAPSODY RELOADED CRUISE UPDATE
- Stands at 128!
August 27 - September 3 (Returns the Sunday
before Labor Day)
This trip is now only three weeks
away. It is officially our second largest cruise in
history. And believe it or not, there is still ROOM
on the ship if you want to go. Marla says there are
Inside and Oceanview cabins available. Due to two
cancellations, we have two low rate Oceanview spaces
available at $638. One spot goes to a lady, the
other spot goes to a man. If you were to purchase
that same spot today through Royal Caribbean, both
spaces would cost you $100 more, so this is a good
Marla asked me to remind everyone the pre-cruise
meeting is on Sunday, 2:30 pm, August 13, at the
studio to pick up your documents and ask questions
about stuff like carpooling, etc. Just as important,
we will be announcing the official lineups of the
The captains of the Beta Team approached me to
object to their team name. Hence this team will be
referred to from now on as the "Femme Fatales". I am
not quite sure how the male members of their team
will respond to this news, but my guess is they will
greet it with a giant yawn.
Last month I announced that this year's trip would
have a new feature. I have scheduled five different
competitions pitting the Alpha Team against the
Femme Fatale Team. By an odd coincidence, you can
take all the people who have cruised with us before
and all the people who are first-time cruisers with
us and the numbers come out practically equal (some
newcomers may be put on the Alpha team if they are
romantically linked to their cabin mate. We wouldn't
want trouble in Paradise, yes?) The Rhapsody
Competition will pit the Veteran Alpha Team against
the inexperienced but very intensely committed Beta
I also said that the Alpha Team would be led by the
Alpha Hussy herself, Leslie (Alph) Goldsmith, and
her attention-seeking counterpart Phyllis Porter. On
two previous trips, these two women have displayed
an uncanny ability to lead men on a path to
destruction, so they obviously have some sort of
leadership ability. The question I asked is if they
can they lead their team to victory?
Early indications are that Alph may be far too
deeply preoccupied with a) chasing men or b) having
men chase her to be of much use in a tough
competition unless of course it involves a) chasing
men or b) having men chase her. In a recent letter
to her co-captain, Alph wrote the following:
Center of Attention,
Can you BELIEVE the events Rick has suggested
for the Cruise Competition between the ALPHA
(HUSSY) Team (of which we are Co-Captains) and
the anonymous beta team who have dared to
Jig Saw Puzzles ?!?!?! <Snore>
The Scavenger Hunt might be good, but only if it
includes locating men for the Sexiest Legs
Rick must have forgotten that this cruise will
be my debut appearance as "Newly Single"
PS I've got a magnum of Champagne ready for
Oh, and tell Rick the Alpha Hussy is TERRIBLY
disappointed in his selection of events for the
Alpha Hussy vs Femme Fatale competition. I'd
suggest the following substitutions:
1) Replace Jig Saw Puzzles with "Stud Finding".
With the assistance of my esteemed Co-Captain
the Alpha Team will win this event with no
effort at all.
2) Replace Cozumel Volleyball with "Most Conga
Lines Led", or at least "Most Carlos N Charlie's
Hurricanes Consumed Before Passing Out".
3) Add a category for Most Photos Taken (in
compromising positions) with Divinely Handsome
4) Maybe another category for "Best Sleazy Dance
Moves". With my 2 favorite Garys on the cruise,
the Alpha Hussy can take this category herself,
with no help from the team!!!!!!
5) And how about contests that involve
Toe-Sucking, Hot-Tubs, and Tan-Toos!?!?!?!?!
Given the tone of this email, I may let the four
captains get together and decide on their own which
competitions to sponsor and which competitions to
forgo. I have a hunch one competition is bound to
involve hot tub stuffing. I am sure all of you are
on the edge of your seats so I will keep you posted.
or phone Marla during the day at 713-862-4428
if you dare.
THE SSQQ NEW ENGLAND CRUISE
September 23 - September 30
We currently have 36 people signed for
this trip and continue to get nibbles from others who are
interested. Marla says there is space available for our New
England Trip. This "Autumn Leaves are Falling" trip leaves
out of Boston on September 23. This is your opportunity to
take a marvelous trip with the SSQQ Group to an area steeped
in history and painted with beauty.
The ship's route hugs the rugged New England coastline and
moves into Canada as well. This will give everyone a
spectacular daily look at some of the prettiest scenery in
Obviously this trip is expensive, but it is well worth it
for you Texans who have never visited this beautiful part of
This is an especially active trip with six ports in six
days. According to Cher Longoria who has scouted the trip
extensively, there are many excursions to choose from,
plenty of places to visit and lots of things to see.
Kayaking, climbing, hiking, biking
you name it
be an extraordinary trip.
The ship is almost sold out, but there is still space
available if you want to go. Email
or phone Marla during the day at 713-862-4428.
THE UPCOMING AUGUST DANCE SEMESTER - CLASSES BEGIN
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6.
Remember - if you miss the first week of class, you can
always start in the second week. The Second Week Review will
catch you up.
Special classes for August include:
1. Competition Western dancers Scott
Ladell and Cher Longoria bring DEATH VALLEY 8 to our 4:30
Sunday Western program. Sunday afternoon Western classes
have become a big hit since everyone leaves the studio right
after class to hit Wild West for an evening of great Western
dancing. What better way to start the evening than to learn
the fanciest Western patterns of all time, then take them to
Center Stage over at Wild West?
2. MG finally talked us into letting him teach something
besides Ghost Town on Sunday. Definitely catch his Beginning
Twostep class at 4:30!!
For those of you who can overcome your grief to take a
Sunday Ghost Town from someone besides MG, Linda will cover
a very easy Ghost Town 3 featuring Whirleybird, Tombstone,
Field Goal and Bushwhackers.
3. At 7 pm, Dakota teaches INTERMEDIATE CHA CHA. This is a
one-shot class with the master. In September Dakota starts a
four month Tango class.
4. BEGINNING BALLROOM on Sundays at 7 will cover TANGO, CHA
CHA, and SWING this month. Jack Benard will be the teacher.
5. Marla will teach INTERMEDIATE TANGO on Sundays at 7. Of
all the Ballroom Dances, Tango seems to be the most popular.
The Intermediate Tango syllabus includes the Fallaway, the
Boomerang, Double Circle Turns, Double Corte, Double Fans,
the Ladder Step, Emergency Steps, and Moving Pivots.
6. Holy Smokes, Rick teaches BEGINNING SWING on Sundays at 7
pm. There is a rumor he doesn't even know how to dance
Swing, much less teach it.
7. Steve Gabino will be teaching a one-shot ZOOT SUIT RIOT
SWING class on Sundays at 7 pm. We haven't seen a Zoot Suit
class since last fall. If there is enough interest, we can
bring it back on Mondays.
8. Scott Ladell will finish his four-month Hustle cycle with
Super-Advanced Hustle in August.
9. MARTIAN WHIP is moving to Mondays starting in August.
Since this is our featured class of the month, be sure to
scroll down a little and check out the story.
10. Tuesday Salsa is phenomenal. Each Tuesday, there is a
Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Salsa class that
average 80 to 100 people in each class. In particular, Steve
& Danielle conduct their elite Advanced Salsa class each
Tuesday. The Tuesday Salsa Practice Night hosted by Linda
Cook is smokin'.
11. Sharon Crawford-Shaw begins her final series of Western
Waltz with WESTERN WALTZ V on Wednesdays at 7 pm.
12. No special Whip classes on Thursdays this month. We will
let Salsa have a little more room for a change. However look
for Rick to bring back the Technique Program with his own
Rock and Go/Alternating Triple class in September!
13. Rick and Cher will teach INTERMEDIATE WESTERN WALTZ on
Friday. Western Waltz is considered the "Romantic" Western
dance. The stakes being what they are, no sensible man
should ignore this important dance! The moves are quite
graceful and the music is very pretty.
14. Willie Bushnell has Rhythm and Blues Twostep, also known
as Swing Out, starting on Saturday at 430. A partner dance
that is popular in African-American nightclubs, R&B
Twosteppin' is a partner dance similar to Zydeco. The man
and woman first dance in closed position, then the man
"swings her out".
15. At the request of many Salsa students, Bjorn and Rebeca
Bangstein will move their Saturday Salsa Explosion on
Saturdays to 2:00 pm in August. This will allow students to
take both the Explosion class and the 4:30 Advanced Salsa
class back to back.
The Explosion class debuted last month to huge applause.
This is an Advanced Salsa class that concentrates on Salsa
Styling. In addition to the styling, there are advanced
Salsa patterns as well. In the words of several July
students, this class moves VERY FAST.
Bjorn and Rebecca are both highly polished Salsa performers.
They have been in competitions and exhibitions for several
years now and plan to bring the secrets of performing to
In Rebecca's own words, "I will teach women (and men)
movement of the arms, shoulders and hips. Women find it
challenging to style while dancing with a partner and
intimidated when left alone to shine."
One note: This class is only open to people who have
completed an Advanced Salsa class previously. It is not fair
to have Beginning and Intermediate Salsa dancers come in and
slow this class down. This class is aimed at students who
intend to compete and perform in Salsa Dance.
PS - PLEASE READ OUR
STORY ABOUT THE UPCOMING CHANGES TO THE SSQQ BALLROOM
FEATURED DANCE CLASS IN AUGUST: SSQQ MARTIAN WHIP MOVES
TO MONDAY IN AUGUST
Bryan Spivey has decided it is time to go back to school and
work on his advanced degree in physical therapy.
Unfortunately the program he has entered has classes at
night. So to avoid a long-term conflict, Bryan and Lisa
decided it would be easier simply to move their successful
program over to Mondays.
Martian Whip has grown by leaps and bounds lately. The July
class had close to forty people enrolled. Fortunately they
were all sleek and slender like Lisa since they had to fit
into Room 3!!! Do you believe that? Of course the Whip and
West Coast Swing was originally developed to be danced in
tight spaces, but no one will complain if the move to Monday
allows this class to find a bigger room.
In the meantime, the Technique Class, which was being
offered on Mondays, will take a month off, and then return
on Thursdays in September.
By the way, there was a big Houston Whip competition this
past weekend. I don't know all the details yet, but I do
know Bryan Spivey and Valerie Menard won first place in a
tough "Professional" level competition. The Grapevine says
that Bryan's routine was Fabulous.
Each week during Practice Night Bryan and Lisa dance for the
fun of it
practically everyone stops to watch
their jaws hit the floor. The two dancers are just
phenomenal. We are so fortunate to have them teach for us.
PARTIES IN AUGUST - SALSA
Saturday, August 19th
9:15 pm - Midnight pm
Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7 - 9 PM
$14 Person, $22 Couple
BEG MERENGUE - Linda
LATIN CHA CHA - Martin
BACHATA - Luis
INTERMEDIATE SALSA PTNS - Dakota
SALSA DIPS AND LUNGES I - Steve/Danielle
SLOW DANCING - Jill (cpls only)
TO REGISTER FOR A CRASH COURSE, PLEASE COME AT 6:45
AND SIGN UP AT THE DOOR
Party at a Glance:
Music: Salsa in Room 1
Dress Island or You won't leave Smilin'....
PARTIES IN AUGUST - THE SSQQ
BEACH BALL WESTERN AND WHIP PARTY
Saturday, August 26th
9:15 pm - Midnight
Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7 - 9 PM
$14 Person, $22 Couple
BEG C&W : TEXAS TWOSTEP - Marla
INT 2STEP/POLKA: CIRCLE TURNS - Rick and Linda
BEG WESTERN SWING - Robert and Cher
NIGHT CLUB - Scott
SHAGGIE JITTERBUG - Paul
ROLE REVERSAL WESTERN SWING - Ben
JACK'S FAVORITE MARTIAN WHIP PTNS - Jack
TO REGISTER FOR A CRASH COURSE, PLEASE COME AT 6:45
AND SIGN UP AT THE DOOR
Party at a Glance:
Dress: Wear Hawaiian Shirts, Sun Dresses, Shorts, or
Bathing Suit Pullovers. In fact, anything tropical &
colorful is fine. All we care about is that you wear
something so loud you can barely hear the music.
Or wear something so skimpy (grass skirts/ bikinis)
we won't even notice if music is playing!!
Music: We will have a Western Dance Party in Room 1
including Swing, Waltz, and Cha Cha music.
In addition there will be West Coast Swing and
Hustle music in Room 4.
This will be a "two parties in one" Dance Party!
Editor's Note: This promises to be a very wild
As a perk, we are permitting everyone signed up for
the Rhapsody Cruise to come for free. That
guarantees 100 people right there. Mind you, these
people will not be operating under normal rules.
They are officially starting their Cruise tonight.
They don't have to worry about getting up on Sunday
because there is a good chance they won't even go to
Why risk oversleeping and missing the boat?
They may just stay up all night and head down to
Galveston in the morning. Second, they don't have to
go work on Monday. In a nutshell, they don't care
any more about behaving. All they care about is
getting a head start on misbehaving. There is likely
to be all sorts of insanity.
Some of these people might get drunk.
Somewhere around 11 pm, there will be a spirited
competition between the Alpha Team and the Femme
Fatale Team that will be the first of several
vicious contests to be conducted between these two
teams throughout the week. Yes, it is the return of
the amazing Balloon Race. You won't to miss it.
Plus many of the women will be scantily clad. What
more do I need to say??
STEP LIVELY - Sarah Bird
Reprinted from the June
2006 issue of Texas Monthly
It's long past time that I thank Texas - that I
thank all the Czechs and Germans and Mexicans and
cowboys, both real and urban, who made this the
dancingest state in the union. Without them I might
never have gotten married. While I'm at it, I should
probably thank the heat as well. The hellish,
August. Austin. 1979. AC goes out in bachelorette
pad. Roommate suggests vacating premises for Aqua
Fest: giant drunk on banks of Colorado River where
strangers - many of them members of fraternities -
throw up on one another's feet. Could not pay me
enough to attend. Then varnish on furniture bubbles
and linoleum on floors melts. Aqua Fest becomes
tempting alternative. More uncharacteristic behavior
follows. Ask cutest boy in all of Aquafestlandia to
dance polka. Boy maintains it's a waltz.
Twenty-seven-year argument ensues.
An astute reader recently pointed out that my new
novel, The Flamenco Academy, and my last one, The
Yokota Officers Club, both featured introverted
heroines transformed and released by dance. Well,
duh. As a seriously shy - okay, border-line
catatonic - high schooler, dance transformed and
Why wouldn't I let it do the same
for my heroines? Why not let them discover that
simply through the relatively rhythmic flailing of
one's limbs, one could make contact with the
opposite sex? But for dance I would have been Emily
Dickinson. (Except for the parts where she does
Jell-O shorts with Walt Whitman. What? You didn't
cover Whitman: The Party Years in your American
As with Isadora Duncan, the height of my
terpsichorean triumphs was a two-week stint as a
go-go dancer in Tokyo. (Now you're telling me that
Isadora didn't work the cage?) I was the
intermission act for a comedian who fantasized that
he was Bob Hope entertaining the troops and I was
Joey Heatherton. He was, maybe, a third-rate
comedian. I was, maybe, a fourth-rate go-go dancer.
Together we added up to a thoroughly seventh-rate
Sometime after my "tour", I returned to America to
discover that the sun had set on the Golden Days of
Dance. Long gone were the brand-name dances of my
youth: the cool jerk, the funky chicken, the
ecstatic tuna. All had devolved into a free-form
hippie-esque grooving that consisted of slopping
around the floor like amoebas, though not quite that
structured. Barefoot girls swayed and waved their
arms like seaweed in a slow ocean current. Boys
executed maneuvers reminiscent of a tai chi master
being electrocuted. Feigning copulation with a
speaker was a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Fred and Ginger wept.
Imagine my delight, then, at ending up in Texas,
which had not only a state flower and a state bird
but also state dances: the two-step, the
schottische, the cotton-eyed Joe.
Why the runaway success of TV's Dancing With the
Has-beens surprised anyone is a mystery to me. Women
love to dance. The other mystery is why men waste
their lives on girl-getting gambits like
accumulating vast wealth, fast cars, and
astronomical scores on Quake when dancing is right
there in plain sight. Guys, do you dream of women
falling into your arms? Want to tell them which way
to go and how fast or slow to get there? Simple:
Learn to dance. Is it an accident that so many wives
run off with personal trainers of both sexes? No.
And why? Because personal trainers have what dancing
gives anyone: permission to touch. (Same deal with
husbands and dental hygienists.)
Women almost always love to dance more than men, who
endure the activity only long enough to get someone
to sleep with them. Far sadder are the guys who
never dance at all. Perhaps they fear that dancing
will cause them to appear as something less than a
towering stud. Not here in the great-state-of. In
Texas not only do men dance but the absolute
manliest of men are the best dancers of all! Back
(again) in bachelorette days, I ended up in Stamford
for the Texas Cowboy Reunion. I stood on the
sidelines at the dance that evening, astonished at
how hydraulically smooth the couples gliding past
were, when a real, true, calf-castrating,
fence-mending, jeans-tucked-into-his-boots cowboy
asked me to two-step. Fresh from years of amoebic
slopping and sensing that cool jerking to "San
Antonio Rose" was not going to work, I admitted that
I couldn't "touch dance".
He sluiced his chaw a little deeper over to the side
of his mouth and asked, "Can you walk? Cuz if you
can walk, you can two-step." Then he taught me just
the way is Czech mother had taught him back on the
ranch after she'd cleared the furniture out of the
house to make room for her and her many children to
quick-quick, slow-slow, quick-quick, slow-slow. I
hooked my thumb on his belt loop, and just that
easily, I joined the circle of couples waltzing
counterclockwise across Texas.
But this doesn't mean that dancing is only for
bachelors. Husbands, the words your wives most yearn
to hear (aside from "Is anyone else chilly? Can we
turn down the AC?" or "Here, baby doll, you control
the remote." Or even "Give me that. Women as fine,
fine, fine looking as you shouldn't be pushing
around a vacuum cleaner!") are "Gosh I've always
dreamed of taking tango lessons." Salsa is also
Here's how desperate women are to dance: They pack
into classes offering all the partner-less mutations
of the real thing - Strippercise, Sweatin' to the
Oldies, Cardio Hip-Hop, Yo! Yo! Yoga, belly dancing,
and the saddest of all the substitutes, tap. But the
most extreme manifestation of a woman's unstoppable
desire to get her groove on has to be the explosive
popularity of flamenco. While researching The
Flamenco Academy, I sat in - the operational word
here being "sat" - on dozens of classes and watched
housewives, attorneys, Department of Motor Vehicle
clerks, and one nun from Gallup, New Mexico,
stamping, stomping, and pounding their way to solo
dance ecstasy. All of them no doubt dreaming about
fiery Latin-lover partners. Except, of course, for
the nun, and she was already spoken for.
All I'm saying is, mamas, don't let your babies grow
up to be nondancers. Help them fulfill their Lone
Star destiny. Clear out the furniture and teach them
to dance. Get them ready for the moment when fate
steps in and knocks out the AC in you future
daughter-in-law's bachelorette pad.
Oops, gotta go. They're playing our song. El Hubbo,
the Hub of My Universe, maintains it's a waltz. I'm
pretty sure it's a polka.
SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE
June was a huge month for SSQQ Romance,
but July was absolutely quiet. I can't imagine why there
were no announcements. Hmm. Surely some of you know of
someone on the verge of marriage that you can turn in to me.
If you have a rumor about an SSQQ Wedding or Engagement,
turn them into our Secret Romance Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org
No news is too salacious for us to report!
THE WINNERS OF THE JULY 2006 LOGIC PUZZLE - THE PRIVATE
2006 July: Private Lessons
1. Anita Leung (13 months in a row!)
2. Randy Piniola (5 months in a row!)
3. Mara Rivas (Our original champion is back!!)
4. Ritesh Laud (23 months in a row!)
5. Susan Arevalo (30 months in a row!)
6. Mystery lady Ms. B (First Time Winner)
7. Ann Faget (31 months in a row!)
2006 July Less Hard: Art Festival (Repeat 2003 March Logic
1. Anita Leung (one of our Logic Superstars couldn't resist)
2. Al Bahler (First Time Winner)
3. Randy Piniola (an up and coming Superstar said he was
bored and needed something to do)
This month's puzzle - The Private Lessons - had some
controversy attached to it. Two of the winners complained
that the clues were vague and ambiguous. As a result a
difficult puzzle became impossible in one case. I have
already offered my apologies.
We had one new member join our Logic Club and one old friend
drop in for a visit. Mystery Lady Ms. B not only solved the
infamous Einstein Puzzle, but when I challenged her to try
this month's logic puzzle, she aced it as well. After I
congratulated her, she asked that I not print her name.
There is a lot of intrigue in this Logic Puzzle Club,
Mara Rivas, SSQQ first-ever Logic Puzzle Princess, sent in
some answers just to show she hasn't lost her touch. By
coincidence, Mara is the star of this month's new Logic
Puzzle! In case you didn't know, Mara was the reason the
entire Logic Puzzle Club came into being in the first place!
You can read the story about her adventure at
I would also like to thank Al Bahler for
solving the "Less Diffiicult" Logic Puzzle I offered. How
about some other people joining the club??
THE AUGUST 2006 HARD LOGIC PUZZLE - THE PIZZA EATERS
On the SSQQ Cruise Trip, one afternoon six
girl friends got together for a light lunch at Pizza Bar
next to the Solarium Spa. That's when they discovered they
all had different tastes in Pizza.
After a little flirting, the six ladies had no trouble
talking the cute pizza guy into creating a special six-slice
pizza with individual toppings. Since no two ladies wanted
precisely the same topping on their pizza slices, they
agreed to order six different toppings.
They looked for a place to eat. Mara suggested looking in
the Solarium. They gasped as they looked around. The
Solarium was so luxurious! Decorated in an Egyptian motif,
the beautiful pool with steam rising, the lush foliage, the
waterfall, and the gorgeous Egyptian sculptures made this
area the perfect place to relax and have a good chat.
The six friends found a circular table and sat down. As the
ladies sipped on their special coffee and waited for their
pizza to be prepared, they exchanged anecdotes about their
lives. To their surprise, they soon realized that each of
them was born and raised in Texas. Such a coincidence!
Can you assign each lady the proper pizza topping, and
determine the order in which the six sat at the spa's
THE AUGUST 2006 LESS DIFFICULT LOGIC PUZZLE -
THE TELEPHONE CALLS
Jeff has six children, four of whom are
away at college.
On Jeff's last phone bill there were four long-distance
calls listed. It was obvious his four college-age children -
Fred, Diane, Peter, and Jane - had each called him once
because the area codes for each call were different.
His children were very bright and each had won a
scholarship. Three went to an Ivy League school - Princeton,
Yale, and Harvard - while the fourth went to Stanford across
the country. Jeff could not remember which phone number
belonged to which child, but he did recollect certain facts
about each call.
Jeff decided to use some logic to figure out their phone
numbers. Do you think you can solve the puzzle too??
(Editor's Note: You know, not everyone starts out in life as
a Superstar. Logic Puzzles are no different. After all, we
have beginner level dance classes and we have advanced level
dance classes, so why not have Beginner-level Logic Puzzles
as well? Give it a try!)
DUBAI OPENS THE FIRST-EVER SKI
RESORT IN THE DESERT!!
As you know, I will print anything I think is
interesting in the SSQQ Newsletter. I don't see any
reason why I should stick to dancing. After all, it
isn't like You the Reader has to shell out any big
bucks to see what nonsense I print from month to
This month's amazing absurdity deals with Dubai, the
Las Vegas of the Persian Gulf. The problem with
sandy deserts is what do you do with them when the
oil runs out? Dubai decided to copy the Las Vegas
model, only on a grand scale almost too incredible
for the mind to conceive.
Recently Dubai opened the first-ever Ski Resort in
the desert. Mind you, temperatures average over 100
degrees in Dubai every day of the year. How did they
Well, you will just have to go look for yourself.
STORIES IN THE NEWS - REMEMBER
Think quick, who is Richard Jewell? Is he a good guy
or a bad guy?
Chances are if you remember him at all, you remember
he was suspected of being a terrorist at the 1996
Olympics in Atlanta.
One of the strangest news stories I have ever
followed came at the expense of Richard Jewell. In
case you vaguely recall the incident, ten years ago
Richard Jewell was first hailed as a hero for
finding a suspicious backpack in a park during a
concert at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He was busy
moving people out of harm's way just moments before
the bomb exploded. Although one poor soul was killed
and another 100 wounded, Mr. Jewell's action of
clearing the area prevented a far more serious
At the time Mr. Jewell was lauded
as a hero for spotting the bomb, but soon after his
world turned upside down when an "unnamed" FBI agent
identified him as the prime suspect in the case!! He
was now suspected of planting the bomb himself so he
could find it and become a hero!
In other words, in a flash he went from a major hero
to Public Enemy Number One. Now his life became a
living hell. I can personally testify that as I
watched CNN for days after the event, I hated this
man for what the media hinted that he had done. I am
quite sure I was not alone in my sentiments.
Imagine my surprise when I found out he was
completely innocent. That is when I began to
distrust the media intensely. And the FBI should be
totally ashamed of itself as well.
HERE IS A QUOTE FROM WIKIPEDIA,
THE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA:
"In early news reports, Jewell was lauded as a hero
for helping to evacuate the area after he spotted
the suspicious package. Three days later, the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that the FBI
was treating him as a possible suspect, based
largely on a "lone bomber" criminal profile. For the
next several weeks, the news media focused
aggressively on him as the presumed culprit, sifting
through his life to match a leaked "lone bomber"
profile that the FBI had used. Two of the bombing
victims filed lawsuits against Jewell on the basis
of this reporting. Jay Leno called him the "Una-doofus".
Though he was never officially charged, the FBI
aggressively investigated him in spite of a
continuing lack of evidence. They publicly searched
his home, questioned his associates, investigated
his background, and maintained twenty-four hour
surveillance of Jewell. The pressure only began to
ease after Jewell's attorneys hired an ex-FBI agent
to administer a polygraph, which Jewell reportedly
passed. Despite this, in the searches of Jewell's
residence, which he shared with his mother, the FBI
confiscated his mother's tupperware collection and
family photographs, and when returned the tupperware
had many broken pieces, and the photographs were
Today ten years later, any mention of Mr. Jewell's
name in the media still evokes memories of guilt.
Most people don't even realize he was completely
cleared. The FBI was strongly criticized for leaking
his name in the first place. A year later, the FBI
Director, Janet Reno publicly apologized to Mr.
Jewell, but the damage had been done. Mr. Jewell has
since said the experience has made him distrustful
of people and he rarely gives interviews.
"I can tell you for sure I'm a different person,"
Jewell said. "I'm paranoid. I'm cynical."
HERE ARE TWO STORIES ABOUT
STORY ONE: PERDUE TO HONOR JEWELL AS HERO OF '96
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Gov. Sonny Perdue is scheduled today to honor former
Olympic security guard Richard Jewell with an award
commending his service during the 1996 Atlanta
After being hailed a hero following the July 27,
1996, bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown
Atlanta, Jewell was named by media outlets as the
lead suspect in the blast, which killed Alice
Hawthorne of Albany and injured more than 100
people. He was eventually exonerated and never
charged in the case.
Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph is serving
life in prison for that and other bombings.
Jewell, 43, now works as a sheriff's deputy in rural
Meriwether County, about 53 miles from Atlanta.
Perdue plans to present the award at 1 p.m. in his
office at the state Capitol.
STORY TWO: A DECADE LATER, JEWELL'S MEMORY OF
BEING CALLED BOMBING SUSPECT STILL FRESH
By HARRY R. WEBER
July 23, 2006
Richard Jewell's fortunes changed in a split second.
The security guard was initially hailed as a hero
for spotting a suspicious backpack in a park and
moving people out of harm's way just before a bomb
exploded during a concert at the 1996 Summer
Then the media called him a suspect and he became a
As the 10th anniversary nears of the July 27 blast
that killed one and injured 111 others, the episode
is still fresh in Jewell's mind.
"The heroes are soon forgotten. The villains last a
lifetime," Jewell told The Associated Press in an
exclusive interview. "I dare say more people know I
was called a suspect than know I was the one who
found the package and know I was cleared."
Jewell, 43, who now works as a sheriff's deputy in a
rural county, says he never considered himself a
hero for warning people.
"All I did was my job," said Jewell, who is trimmer
than the burly man caught in the media's glare a
decade ago. "I did what I was trained to do."
The frenzy that changed Jewell's life started three
days after the bombing with an unattributed report
in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that described
him as "the focus" of the investigation.
Other media, to varying degrees, also linked Jewell
to the investigation. At this point in his life, for
several days, Mr. Jewell's face and name could be
seen around the clock on the screen of every TV in
"There were thousands of reporters from all over the
world here," Jewell said.
He was never arrested or charged, although he was
questioned and was a subject of search warrants.
Eighty-eight days after the initial news report,
then-U.S. Attorney Kent Alexander issued a statement
saying Jewell "is not a target" of the bombing
investigation and that the "unusual and intense
publicity" surrounding him was "neither designed nor
desired by the FBI, and in fact interfered with the
Eventually, it turned out the bomber was
anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph, who also
planted three other bombs in the Atlanta area and in
Birmingham, Ala., that killed a police officer,
maimed a nurse and injured several others. Rudolph
was captured after spending five years hiding out in
the mountains of western North Carolina, pleaded
guilty to all four bombings last year and is serving
life in prison.
Jewell said Rudolph's conviction helped, but he
believes some people still remember him as a suspect
rather than for the two days in which he was praised
as a hero.
"For that two days, my mother had a great deal of
pride in me - that I had done something good and
that she was my mother, and that was taken away from
her," Jewell said. "She'll never get that back, and
there's no way I can give that back to her."
He said the experience has made him distrustful of
people and he rarely gives interviews.
"I can tell you for sure I'm a different person,"
Jewell said. "I'm paranoid. I'm cynical."
Since the Olympics, Jewell has worked in various law
enforcement jobs, including as a police officer in
Pendergrass, Ga., where his partner was killed in
2004 while pursuing a suspect. Jewell's lawyer, Lin
Wood, confirmed that his client was honored by the
city for bravery during the chase.
He gives speeches to college journalism classes
about his experience with the media.
"I hate knowing what's happened and then reading
about it and seeing it on the news and it being
wrong, because of what happened to me," Jewell said.
He sued several media companies and settled for
undisclosed amounts, but his lawsuit against The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution is still pending.
Peter Canfield, a lawyer for The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, said the paper to this day
stands by its coverage of Jewell and it has not
offered him a settlement.
"The investigation did target him and the
Journal-Constitution accurately reported that,"
Canfield said. "There's no question but that he was
the focus of the investigation and its principal
Jewell insists the lawsuits were not about making
money - he bought his mother a place to live and 73
percent of the settlement money went to his
attorneys and taxes - but about making sure the
truth was told.
"I'm not rich by any means monetarily," he said.
"I'm rich because of my family. If I never get
there, I don't care. I'm gonna get my say in court."
These days, Jewell is married and is a sheriff's
deputy in Meriwether County, about 53 miles from
Atlanta, which has just 22,000 people, dusty roads
and sprawling cattle pastures.
"He brings a lot of experience. You could label him
a hero," said Col. Chuck Smith, one of Jewell's
Then, remembering he was talking to a reporter,
Smith added with a smile: "I guess you could label
him however you want."
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH - YET ANOTHER COMPLAINT ABOUT SAME
SEX DANCING AT SSQQ
(Editor's Note: At SSQQ, Same Sex Dancing is not permitted
unless an SSQQ Instructor is involved or permission to do so
is granted by SSQQ Administration. I posted this policy on
the SSQQ Web Site on March 27, 2002. RA)
On July 29, 2006, a woman approached Marla at the
Registration Desk with a problem regarding a Two Step Crash
Course she and her partner had registered for.
The woman told Marla, "I would like a refund."
Marla asked her why.
"Because I want to learn Twostep with my partner."
Marla explained to her that at SSQQ we rotate partners in
"I understand that you do not allow same sex dancing here at
Marla replied, "That is correct. Our policy dictates that
men dance with women. I will gladly issue you a refund."
That is when the lady explained that she was with Leisure
Marla replied, "I'm sorry, but in that case you will need to
get your refund from Leisure Learning because they have your
"Okay, I will tell my partner."
At that point, the two women quietly left the building. That
was the end of it.
This is the entire story. As Marla remembers it, there were
no harsh words, no raised voices, no negative energy, and no
argument. Marla said it was all very quiet and very polite.
Editor's Note: A couple days after the incident, one of the
women called Leisure Learning to complain. Leisure Learning
asked them to put their concerns in writing. Leisure
Learning then forwarded their letter to me. Here is what
To Whom It May
This email is regarding the conversation I had with you
earlier about our complaint.
On July 29, 2006 a female friend and I attempted to
participate in the Country Western Two-Stepping Class at
SSQ in which we registered for through Leisure Learning.
Upon beginning the class, the instructor looked at my
female friend and I, and told us that we can either get
a refund or wait until a male partner was available in
class. We asked the instructor if we could just be each
other's partner and switch throughout class, but the
instructor said no because their policy is "No same sex
couples at any time!"
The instructor said that has always been their policy
and they are a private vendor so they make their own
rules. We asked the instructor why and he actually told
us that at SSQ, they teach girls to dance the 'girl'
steps and boys to dance the 'boy' steps. My friend and I
were very embarrassed and very insulted by this
We were unaware of the policy because we registered
through Leisure Learning, not SSQ. We are aware that we
are getting a refund, however, would like to stress to
Leisure Learning that we feel that it is very unfair and
do not appreciate being discriminated against because of
what they thought was "not right" according to them.
In today's day in age, I find it unbelievable that there
are still businesses out there functioning the way SSQ
is! Situations like these are reasons why businesses
usually make sure to not make policies like SSQ's
because of discrimination and prejudices. I am surprised
they haven't been sued yet for this. I hope Leisure
Learning takes this seriously. It would be a shame to
lose a lot of business because Leisure Learning chooses
to contract with a prejudice and homophobic agency.
Please let us know if Leisure Learning has a contract
through any other dance agencies that do not treat their
guests with cruel, discrimatory actions. Thank you
RICK ARCHER'S RESPONSE
SSQQ does not discriminate against anyone regardless of
race, religion, or sexual preference. People who are gay and
lesbian are welcome at SSQQ. We simply ask them to respect
our rule that everyone rotate partners during Group Classes
and that men dance with women/women dance with men.
The reason these women were told to go see Marla for a
refund was that they did not wish to switch partners - they
wanted to dance with each other. As all of you know, it is a
firm rule at SSQQ that everyone - be they heterosexual or
homosexual - is expected to switch partners in Group Dance
Classes. "Discrimination" is defined as singling out people
to treat them differently. In case there is any doubt, our
web site is full of situations where heterosexual students
were asked to switch as well.
In addition, the complainant said she was unaware of this
policy. The current catalogue of Leisure Learning, the one
with the SSQQ Salsa picture on the front, states on Page 16
that partners are expected to switch.
I would like to say I resent the accusation that SSQQ is a
"prejudiced and homophobic" agency. How many times do I have
to say that gays are welcome at SSQQ? I do not care what a
person's sexual preference is. But I do make a simple
request: boys are expected to dance with girls and vice
In this situation, the rights of the group transcend the
rights of the individual. Did it occur to the complainant
that several women in her class might feel uncomfortable
being forced to dance with another woman?
If these two women would like to take a private lesson, a
situation in which their personal preference would not come
into conflict with others, I would be more than happy to
teach them myself. All they have to do is ask.
(Editor's Note: You can read more about the SSQQ Policy on
Same Sex Dancing at
2006 JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH - MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS IN
My wonderful Aunt Lynn from McLean, Virginia submitted the
August Joke Picture. You remember Aunt Lynn
she and my
mother fell asleep on the Rhapsody while taking a "short
nap" right before my wedding. The wedding was an hour late
while I searched the ship for the two ladies.
This month's picture deals with the troubles of the Jamaican
Government as it wrestles with a rash of serious motorcycle
accidents. This deeply troubling problem is so challenging
that no one seemed to be able to discover the root cause.
Maybe you the reader will have better luck. I have no doubt
the picture will offend someone and lead to further internet
censorship (it usually does).
SORRY FOLKS, NO NEW JOKES THIS MONTH
I am taking the month off in the Jokes Department. Please
And that's a wrap for August.
Thanks for reading this month's issue of the SSQQ