August 2006
Home Up September 2006

January February March April May June

2006 Newsletters

July August September October November December
Home 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
The SSQQ Newsletter
Written and Edited by Rick Archer
Online Registration
Bottom of Page

This is the August 2006 issue of the SSQQ Newsletter written by Rick Archer.



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:


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 my customers.

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 "Follow".

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:
Bon Voyage:  

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 through dance.

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 correctly… a Ski Resort complete with Snow, ski lifts, and ski runs. I am not kidding. You have to see it to believe it.

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 regret it!

All these stories and more are covered in this August issue of the SSQQ Newsletter.


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 deal.

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 two teams.

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 Team.

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:

 Ms 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 challenge us?!?!?!?!

Jig Saw Puzzles ?!?!?! <Snore>

Volleyball?!?!?! <Yawn>

The Scavenger Hunt might be good, but only if it includes locating men for the Sexiest Legs Contest!

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 those Mimosas!

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 Guys".
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.

Email or phone Marla during the day at 713-862-4428 if you dare.




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 America.

Obviously this trip is expensive, but it is well worth it for you Texans who have never visited this beautiful part of the country.

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… this will 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.



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 their class.

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.



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… and then their jaws hit the floor. The two dancers are just phenomenal. We are so fortunate to have them teach for us.


Saturday, August 19th
9:15 pm - Midnight pm
Cover charge $7

$14 Person, $22 Couple

SLOW DANCING - Jill (cpls only)


Party at a Glance:
Music: Salsa in Room 1
Dress Island or You won't leave Smilin'....


Saturday, August 26th
9:15 pm - Midnight
Cover charge $7

$14 Person, $22 Couple

BEG WESTERN SWING - Robert and Cher


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 party.

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 bed… 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, hellish heat.

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 released me.

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 Poetry class?)

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 act.

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 good.

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.


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 No news is too salacious for us to report!


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 Puzzle)

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, believe me!

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??


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 circular table??


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!)



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 month.

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 do it?

Well, you will just have to go look for yourself.



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 tragedy.

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.


"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 ripped apart."

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."


Associated Press
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 Games.

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.


Associated Press
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 Olympics.

Then the media called him a suspect and he became a public spectacle.

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 America.

"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 investigation."

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 suspect."

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 superiors.

Then, remembering he was talking to a reporter, Smith added with a smile: "I guess you could label him however you want."


(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 group classes.
"I understand that you do not allow same sex dancing here at this studio."
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 Learning.
Marla replied, "I'm sorry, but in that case you will need to get your refund from Leisure Learning because they have your money."
"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 they said:

To Whom It May Concern,

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 situation.

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


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 versa.

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  )


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).



I am taking the month off in the Jokes Department. Please forgive.

And that's a wrap for August.

Thanks for reading this month's issue of the SSQQ Newsletter!

Rick Archer (email)


Please direct questions, comments, and contributions to:
Rick Archer at

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