WHAT IS NEW AT SSQQ!!
This is the November 2006 issue
of the SSQQ Newsletter written by Rick Archer.
THE SSQQ HALLOWEEN PARTY IS THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER
This Saturday marks our 29th Annual
Halloween Dance Party. We expect anywhere from 200
to 300 guests. Here are my ten favorite reasons
why our party is so popular.
1) THE PARTY
IS A SURE THING.
Given lots of choices on a popular evening, people
want to go where everyone else is going. If they
come to SSQQ, they know they will see friends,
costumes, and lots of dancing. With a 28-year track
record, the SSQQ Halloween Party has become a
Halloween Tradition for many people.
and Dancing go hand in hand.
Everyone loves a costume party where there is more
to do than just stand around. At the SSQQ Halloween
Party, we fill THREE different dance floors with
wall-to-wall dancers. Room One has Western, Swing,
Cha Cha and Tango music. Room Four has Whip music.
Room Five has Salsa music. After a while, people
can dance in any room and they won’t know the
difference. Speaking of dancing, don’t miss Bryan
and Lisa’s exciting Whip Exhibition at the party!
3) STUNNING COSTUMES AND PICTURES.
Let’s face it – getting a good costume is a lot of
work. But like any activity you put energy into,
wearing a good costume turns out to be fun. It is
marvelous to be surrounded by fabulous costumes
wherever you look and to know that you are
contributing to the fun! Who wants to be seen in a
crummy outfit? Plus as a reward for the effort it
takes to get a costume, we make a point to take your
picture. For many years we have taken costume
pictures and published them on the SSQQ web site.
As a result, since the SSQQ Party has a rich
tradition of excellent costumes, people actually put
some thought and effort into their costumes and it
pays off. By the way, if you are worried about
dancing in your costume, just plan to take off the
bulky parts when the dancing begins. A few years
ago, Linda Cook and her daughter came as two trees
with a hammock hung between them. After some great
pictures and lots of laughs, Linda’s tree was seen
sitting peacefully next to Dracula for the rest of
the evening as Linda danced the night away.
4) THE HAUNTED HOUSE.
Everyone hates the SSQQ Haunted House for a single
reason – it is ridiculously scary for something so
simple! It may be an “amateur production”, but our
Haunted House is definitely creepy. What makes it
so scary is that we keep the room pitch dark. Then
we pump up eerie music from “The Exorcist” and
“Halloween” very loud to make sure your nerves get
on edge. It takes at least 5 to 10 minutes to slowly
inch your way through the winding maze shrouded in
darkness. And you never know just whom you might
meet in the Haunted House… But you know what – it
sure gets you in the right mood!
Wherever you look, there
are monsters, ghosts, vampires, and witches hanging
from the walls and the ceiling to remind you of the
traditions of Halloween. We take decorating for the
Halloween Party very seriously. It takes a dozen
people an entire day just to get it right! By the
way, if you would like to volunteer some of your
time, we start decorating at the studio on Friday,
October 27, at 10 am. We will be there all day. If
you have time to lend a hand, just drop by!
6) BEAUTIFUL LIGHTING ON THE DANCE FLOOR.
Thanks to our friend
George Grega and his GJG Productions Company, we
have a marvelous light show. The entire big room
will be lit with beautiful strobe lights throughout
the evening to enhance the pleasure of the dancing.
7) THE PARTY IS SAFE.
This year Byron Holloway, the Assistant Bellaire
Police Chief, will be back to patrol our parking
lot. Chief Holloway has been on the SSQQ Halloween
Beat for half a dozen years now. No matter how
crazy our party gets, it is wonderful to know we
will always be safe with him around. Not only does
he make sure a patrol car drives through the parking
lot on a regular basis, the entire Bellaire Police
is seconds away if he needs them. Thanks to Chief
Holloway’s careful eye, we have never had a
dangerous incident in the history of the party.
HALLOWEEN LINE DANCES.
Twice during the evening, we turn the studio into a
scene reminiscent of the famous “Thriller” video.
Monsters line the floor to perform our Line Dances.
What a treat it is to see Frankenstein and the Mummy
getting down to the tunes! Whether you are on the
floor or just watching, the Monster Mash, Thriller
and many other favorite line dances entertain both
the dancers and the spectators. And nothing makes
people laugh harder than the goofy Monster Mash!
“It’s a Graveyard Smash…”
9) A DEVIL OF A GOOD TIME.
The old adage is to learn to dance as if no one is
watching. There is something about wearing costumes
and masks that make for lowering those proverbial
inhibitions. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.
People feel free to act a little crazy… and they do.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU
There are so many people
to dance with and have fun with! Attendance
is always over 200 people and two years ago we
almost reached 300.
These people are here to dance… and maybe find
romance too. So many monsters, so little time.
HERE ARE SOME PLACES TO
VISIT ON THE SSQQ WEB SITE TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD
PICTURES FROM THE 2005
BEST COSTUMES FROM THE 2005 HALLOWEEN PARTY
STORIES OF THE HALLOWEEN PARTY
friend Carol Gafford shared her pictures from this
year’s Carnival of Venice. This is your chance to
see 28 of the most beautiful Masquerade pictures
THE SSQQ MONSTER QUIZ
About six years ago, I published a Monster Quiz that
consisted of 40 pictures from various Horror
Movies. I scored 27 on the test. There were 13
pictures that I had no clue on. Still, I was very
proud of my score and clung to the fantasy that I
was way better than the average guy in my knowledge
of Halloween Monsters.
You can find the link to this puzzle on our web
page, which advertises the Halloween Party. By
chance, a new dance student named Tresa Frazier
decided to give it a shot. I was astonished to see
she scored 37 out of 40! This was no ordinary
We struck up a correspondence and I discovered she
takes Halloween even more seriously than I do. My
kind of girl!
Tresa offered to help me expand my Monster Quiz and
I readily accepted her offer. As a result, our
picture puzzle has doubled to 80 pictures this
year. In addition, Tresa was kind enough to write
an Introduction Story to the Monster Quiz. It is a
very interesting story about her love affair with
Since we have 40 new pictures, I challenge our
readers to try the puzzle themselves. The best
score as of Noon on Saturday gets two free tickets
to this year’s Halloween Party (you will have to
check your In-Box on Saturday afternoon). The next
ten best scores get in to the party for half-price.
THE HALLOWEEN LOGIC PUZZLE: THE MONSTROUS MAGAZINE
Jeffrey Jefferson delivers mail for the Post Office.
His delivery route includes the posh 10-story
Haunted Towers Apartment House.
Monster families which reside at this building (one
family per floor). Each horrible family gets 3
different publications a day. The delivery schedule
to the Apartment House includes 10 different
magazines in all.
Unfortunately for Jeff, it rained today. When he
began pulling the magazines from his
not-too-waterproof sack, he found all the labels
stuck together in a gummy mess. Undaunted, Jeff sat
down in the lobby to figure out which magazines to
stuff into the mailboxes of the following families.
See if you can be as successful as Jeffrey in
sorting out the magazines!
the way, the winners of the difficult October Logic
Puzzle are as follows:
Julie May Zumwalt
This one was very tricky. Several people tried
without luck. So Congratulations to our seven
THE WILD AND CRAZY RHAPSODY
Okay, I know, you want to
see your pictures and the story. Keep your pants
on. You want a good story or do you want something
halfway done because I was in a hurry? I have a
creative block right now because I am preoccupied
with the Halloween Party. After the Halloween Party
is over, I am pretty sure I will get it going.
THE WONDERFUL AUTUMN LEAVES
CRUISE TO NEW ENGLAND
I got four pages finished, then I got stuck in court
one day. That miserable experience took all the
wind out of my sails. By the time the creative
spark returned, it was time to add stories to the
Halloween section of the web site.
So I will be back to work on the New England Cruise
in November. Speaking of that day in court… see
the next story.
MY DAY IN COURT
On Thursday, October 12, I
had the opportunity to spend four hours in Municipal
Court observing how justice is handled here in
I was there to dispute a ticket I had received for
placing heavy trash in front of my house prior to
pickup time. I thought this ticket had been given
to me in error so I intended to have my say in
court. Little did I know I would have to wait 4
They say you can't fight City Hall.
Throughout the day I was given several very
interesting lessons on the possible origins of this
The reason this story is interesting is that I
discovered the hard way they play dirty in trash
court. There is a fascinating shakedown game under
foot. You will just have to read the story to
understand what I am talking about.
PARTIES IN NOVEMBER:
BLACK AND WHITE
BALLROOM/SWING PARTY ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11
As Ballroom Dancing
continues to grow in popularity here at the studio,
we have a Black and White Dance the second Saturday
RUMBA - Jill
AMERICAN TANGO - Jack
PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ (FOX,WALTZ)
SWIRLEY TWIRLEY JITTERBUG
BALLROOM DIPS AND LUNGES -
Dakota (cpls only)
MAUREEN’S FAVORITE ADV SWING
PTNS - Ms M
THE TURKEY TROT WESTERN
PARTY SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Western Party to get you in the mood for
TWOSTEP - Jack
WESTERN SWING - Linda
WESTERN WALTZ - Charlene Tees
REVERSAL WESTRN SWING-Ben (cpls)
AMAZING ADV HUSTLE PTNS - Scott
WESTERN LINE DANCES - Mae
DANCING - Bryan (cpls only)
THE UPCOMING NOVEMBER
DANCE SEMESTER – CLASSES BEGIN SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29.
Remember – if you miss the
first week of class, you can always start in the
second week. The Second Week Review will catch you
Special classes for NOVEMBER
ADVANCED SWING/JITTERBUG returns to Sundays at
4:30 pm with Jack Benard. As we announced last
month, we are upgrading our Ballroom Dance
program. Of the six major Ballroom Dances we
concentrate on, Swing is by far the most popular
and practical dance of them all. Consequently
we teach Swing separate from the other 5
Ballroom Dances but at the same time – Sundays
at 7 pm. At the request of several Ballroom
students, Jack has begun a three-month Swing
program on Sundays at 4:30. This way a student
can take Swing on Sundays at 4:30, then stay for
their Ballroom class at 7 pm.
GHOST TOWN 6. Scott and Cher will be teaching
Ghost Town 5 this month on Sundays at 4:30 pm.
Then Scott will teach the exact same Ghost Town
on Fridays as well. In other words, for the
first time in the history of the studio, we will
have a parallel Ghost Town.
I made this move because our students requested
it. They said the material was tough to hang
onto since the class moved so fast. Now if you
miss one day, you can make it up on the other.
Since you cover more ground, Scott always throws
in a bonus pattern as well!.
pm on Sundays, Dakota continues his FOUR-MONTH
TANGO class with ADVANCED TANGO. This class
will advance one level each month through
December. This class was incredibly popular in
September with 70 people sign up for it! The
energy is phenomenal.
BEGINNING BALLROOM on Sundays at 7 will cover
this month. FOXTROT, WALTZ, AND RUMBA. Jack
Benard will be the teacher.
INTERMEDIATE BALLROOM on Sundays at 7 will cover
TANGO and CHA CHA. Jill Banta will be the
first ADVANCED BALLROOM class will cover
ADVANCED FOXTROT, WALTZ, AND RUMBA patterns.
Marla Archer will be the teacher. As we have
previously reported, we are using the Fall
classes at SSQQ to prepare for Dakota’s
ACCELERATED BALLROOM program, which makes its
debut in January 2007. You can read more about
reminder that we will no longer be teaching SLOW
DANCE as a regular four-week group class. That
said, there are special occasions like the First
Dance at a wedding, a fancy New Years Eve party,
a romantic standard at the Captain's Reception
on a cruise, or a sultry torch song at a
nightclub where the ability to Slow Dance would
sure come in handy. If you are getting married
or would simply like to learn to Slow Dance,
Marla Archer can teach you SLOW DANCE, WALTZ, or
FOXTROT in a private lesson. Contact her at
Marla teaches an average of 5 private lessons a
week to couples who need to learn how to Slow
Dance, Foxtrot, or Waltz at their Wedding
Reception. If you know someone who needs to
prepare for this important moment, read Marla’s
story about her Wedding Dance experiences,
and Lisa’s MARTIAN WHIP has moved to Mondays.
This turned out to be a very popular move as the
class has grown to 40 people. Not only did they
love the class, Monday Night Whip Practice
became a serious rocking event. The class is
growing so fast that we will be moving it to
Room One in November. If you are an advanced
Whip and West Coast Swing dancer, this is the
place to be on Mondays!
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’.
Sharon Crawford-Shaw finishes her three-month
Western Cha Cha class with ADVANCED WESTERN CHA
CHA on Wednesdays at 7 pm. Next month Scott
Ladell will take her place with a Death Valley
class in December.
teaches Ghost Town Two in November. Call it
“Ghost Town Lite” or “Training Wheels Ghost
Town” since this class is only slightly harder
than our Advanced Western Swing classes.
Martian Technique resurfaced on Thursdays in
September, and now we continue this class in
November. Martian Technique is an advanced
program for the graduates of our Basic Beginner
thru Lunar program. It moves faster than Lunar
Whip, but nowhere near as fast as Martian Whip.
It is a place where the classes are small and we
can concentrate on polishing your skills while
adding new material. This month Dakota teaches
his WEST COAST SWING SYNCOPATIONS AND TIMING
class on Thursdays!
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.
Willie Bushnell teaches Zydeco starting on
Saturday at 430. Zydeco dance music originated
in the state of Louisiana. Similar to Cajun
music, Zydeco is more heavily influenced by
blues and music from the West Indies. Zydeco is
fun, sexy, and pretty easy to learn! This is a
great Saturday class that will have you laughing
all night long!
the request of many Salsa students, Bjorn and
Rebeca Bangstein have moved their Saturday Salsa
Explosion on Saturdays to 2:00 pm. This has
turned out to be a great move. Not only did
they have 40 students in their class, they all
had plenty of room to dance! This move allowed
students to take both the Explosion class and
the 4:30 Advanced Salsa class back to back.
SPECIAL LADIES-ONLY WEST
COAST SWING FOOTWORK AND STYLING WORKSHOP: Saturday,
November 18, Noon to 1:30 pm $12 WITH LISA PALMER
State Whip Champion Lisa Palmer will be teaching a
ladies Workshop in November. More information about
it soon. Sorry, guys, but this one is Ladies Only.
You can’t even pay to watch.
that’s a wrap for November.
Thanks for reading this month’s
issue of the SSQQ Newsletter!
Thanks for reading this month's issue of the SSQQ