WHAT IS NEW AT SSQQ
This is the
December 2006 issue of the SSQQ Newsletter.
This issue is a bit late. Classes
started on Sunday, November 26. Please
forgive. However, I hope you will the wait was
worth it. This is definitely the best
Newsletter in quite a while. There are all
sorts of interesting stories to check out starting
with the announcement of our upcoming Hawaii Cruise
in late May 2007.
Here are the
Chapters in this month's Newsletter:
- CRUISE TRIP TO
- WHERE ARE THE
2006 CRUISE PICTURES?
- BRYAN SPIVEY
PARTY COSTUME PICTURES
- DECEMBER CLASS
- DECEMBER DANCE
- ADVENTURES OF
A DANCE TEACHER: HOW I LEARNED TO DANCE
- LOGIC PUZZLE
- SLOW DANCE AND
- POT FARM
- DANCING WITH
- MY DAY IN
- WALTZ FOR HEALTH
BANGSTEIN'S SATURDAY EXERCISE CLASS
- RICK ARCHER'S CHRISTMAS PUZZLE
- RICK REILLY'S
STORY ABOUT GOVERNMENT INTIMIDATION IN
THE BALCO STEROID SCANDAL
- COMPLAINT OF THE
- DANCE POACHERS
- MILT'S JOKE OF
1. ANNOUNCING THE
2007 SSQQ CRUISE TO HAWAII!
Saturday, May 26th to Saturday, June 2nd
Come experience the wonders of Hawaii on our
next SSQQ cruise vacation. We sail on
the Memorial Day weekend aboard
The Pride of America, one of
Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ships.
Hawaii is expensive. There is no way around
that. Still, this trip is well within reach.
This is your chance to see one of the most
beautiful places in the entire world for as
little as $1,500 per person ($750 air fare,
$750 inside cabin).
Hawaii is the Jewel of the Pacific Ocean.
There is so much to see that you will go
crazy having to choose one exotic
destination over another.
Will it be a trip to explore a lush rain
forest or an expedition to witness
Or will it be a chance to view
orchid-scented botanical gardens or visit
one of the many stunning beaches?
Will you hike atop the lunar landscape of
Hawaii’s lava fields or will you visit
Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the
These will be tough decisions, but whatever
you choose, you can't miss. This is a
cruise trip you do not want to miss.
Contact Marla Archer at 713 862-4428 or
with any further questions.
2. WHERE ARE THE CRUISE PICTURES AND THE
STORIES FOR NEW ENGLAND AND RHAPSODY
is half-finished and Rhapsody Reloaded is on
the drawing board.
Please forgive, I've been swamped.
Both sets of pictures will be in the January
Newsletter, I promise.
3. BRYAN SPIVEY FINISHES
IN THE TOP TWELVE AT THE US OPEN
From: Bryan Spivey
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 9:57 AM
To: rick archer
Subject: US OPEN
This past year Valerie Menard (my
partner) and I have been practicing,
traveling and competing all over the US. Our
goal was to go to the US OPEN, one of the
biggest events that accomplished competitors
go to try and become a part of
This past weekend at
Anaheim, California, there were 28
couples from all over the US
in the CLASSIC
DIVISION program. After
the preliminaries, only 12
Valerie and I were one
of the 12!!
We made the US OPEN finals.
Historically there have
been only 2 other men
from Houston to
ever make the US OPEN finals....Mario
Robau Jr. and David Appel.
That number now
stands at 3.
We left early Sunday morning, so we
are not sure where we ranked among the elite
dancers of the US, but making finals and
representing Houston was exciting in it's
I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
I know I sure did!
Bryan Spivey and
fiancée Lisa Palmer
Bryan is pretty modest, so let me make clear
just how big Bryan's accomplishment was.
After Bryan's phenomenal performance, a lady
who was also in this competition came up to
Bryan and asked, "How much training in
rhythmic ballet have you received? I
have never seen anyone with such a sense of
timing like yours!"
Bryan smiled at the compliment and answered,
"My dance training was mostly in football
Bryan is a natural. He never danced in
his life till he came to SSQQ. In
fact, he didn't even come to the studio for
Bryan came to SSQQ in 2000. At that
time SSQQ had serious problems with
overcrowding. We had just initiated our Hall
Monitor positions and Bryan thought he could
pick up a couple extra dollars while he went
Bryan wasn't a bad Hall Monitor, but he
wasn't a very good one either. He was far
more interested in dancing than monitoring.
He would monitor for the first fifteen
minutes, then find a dance class to
So imagine how frustrated I was the day I
discovered Bryan had taught one of the Swing
classes! One of the teachers didn't
show up. Bryan volunteered to fill in.
When I found out, I threw a fit. My words
were something like, "Who on earth let a
HALL MONITOR teach one of our classes!!!"
I wasn't mad at Bryan. In fact, I was
glad he offered to help. I just
didn't think he was qualified to teach.
But when I learned the students had really
enjoyed Bryan as a teacher, I calmed down
and gave it some more thought.
What made Bryan's situation so unique is
that he never bothered taking any classes.
He didn't need to. Bryan never took a
complete ssqq class in his life that I knew
of. He just pick things up in bits and
pieces and danced for the fun it.
Bryan acquired dance material so quickly
that it wasn't necessary. Watching him dance
one night at Swing Practice, I realized that
not only was Bryan a natural dancer, he had
a prodigious talent. Bryan's rhythm and
ability to move gracefully far surpassed
anyone I had ever seen walk through the
studio doors. He was a better dancer
than anyone I knew and he had gotten to this
point without any training at all. I
was stunned. How did he do it?
Obviously Bryan was in the wrong role. He
needed to be a Swing teacher. I switched him
to part-time Hall Monitor and part-time
Swing assistant in February 2002. He became
a co-teacher on Mondays by August of the
Bryan developed an interest in competition
dancing. Out of the blue, he won the
2003 Strictly Swing Champion with Michelle
Wann (July 2003).
The following year he became a Texas State
Champion along with his fiancée Lisa Palmer.
And now to his resume Bryan has added this
Top 12 finish in the toughest dance
competition in the entire country. The
people in this competition are among the top
professionals in the country. The list
reads like a Who's Who of West Coast Swing
dancing. And now Bryan has their
Bryan Spivey should now be considered one of
the top ten male WCS dancers in the country.
That is quite an achievement.
Bryan intends to take a little time off from
dancing. In April 2007, Bryan will
marry his long-time sweetheart Lisa Palmer
(who just happens to be quite a dancer in
her own right). Where Bryan goes from
there is up to him.
In the meantime, Bryan deserves all the
praise imaginable. From Hall Monitor
to Top Ten Dancer. That is quite a
2006 HALLOWEEN PARTY COSTUME PICTURES
Yes, the Halloween Pictures are
now ready. The 2006 Halloween Party had over 300
guests. This year Gary Richardson was our
photographer. (Gary is pictured at right with his
lovely wife Betty). Gary filled in at the last
moment when our regular photographer decided not to
do it this year. We were very fortunate for his
I would have to say the
costume that got the biggest laugh belonged to Bob
and Jan Milz who came as the Cleaver Family.
As usual, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I don't know who the Egyptian and the Pirate lady,
but I loved their costumes.
The identity of She-Banshee will remain anonymous,
but he-she-it is married to the pretty lady in the
same picture. Nick Mullet and Sheila are
handsome indeed in their Renaissance Costumes.
Special kudos to Sheila for making them herself!
In the next row you have Jack Benard and Jackie
Chang from the land of the Arabian Nights.
Linda Cook was very creative in her Piñata costume.
No one knows who the Little Shop of Horrors lady
was, but we sure liked her costume!
DANCE SEMESTER – CLASSES BEGIN SUNDAY,
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
on Sundays at
4:30 pm with Jack Benard.
Jack Benard begins a three-month Swing
program on Sundays at 4:30. This way a student
can take Swing classes on Sundays at 4:30, then stay for
their Ballroom class at 7 pm.
GHOST TOWN 7 - Scott and Cher
In response to the request for Parallel Ghost
Towns, we now will offer the same level on
Sundays and Fridays. If you miss one day, you
can make it up on the other. In addition Scott
is likely to throw in a bonus pattern as well!
pm on Sundays, Dakota
completes his FOUR-MONTH
TANGO class with SUPER-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. TANGO, SWING
and CHA CHA. Marla Archer will be the teacher.
INTERMEDIATE BALLROOM on Sundays at 7 will cover
FOXTROT, WALTZ, AND RUMBA.
Jack Benard will be the
ADVANCED BALLROOM class
will cover ADVANCED TANGO and
CHA CHA patterns.
Jill Banta 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! By
the way, Bryan recently finished in the Top 12
of the National West Coast Swing Championships.
In other words, Bryan is now one of the top 12
male dancers in the country. Quite an
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’.
SCOTT AND CHER'S DEATH
VALLEY 5 IN DECEMBER.
As a Christmas present, we have decided to bring
back this amazing series of the most advanced
Western Swing patterns taught by our expert,
Scott Ladell. Death
Valley is a series of highly sophisticated
Western Swing patterns. It is tougher than Ghost
Scott is a leader on the Western Competition
Dance Scene. He will deliver the goods whether
you are an Advanced Social Dancer or someone
ready to challenge the big dogs on the
competition stage. Either way, Scott is your
GHOST TOWN 3 in
December. 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
December. 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 ADVANCED 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.
the request of many Salsa students, Bjorn and
Rebeca Bangstein have moved their
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.
and Blues Twostep is
taught on Saturdays at 4:30 pm by Willie
Bushnell and Willie Green.
Also known as "Swingout", Rhythm and
Blues Twostep is a popular dance used in
African-American nightclubs. Taught by Willie
Bushnell, R&B Twosteppin' is a partner dance
similar to Zydeco. The man and woman first dance
in closed position, then the man "swings her
6. PARTIES IN
The Red and White
Happy Holidays Salsa Dance!!
9:15 pm - 11:30 pm, $7
Music in Room 1
(Wear Red and White or Stay outta Sight!)
CRASH COURSES (7 - 9 PM)
CUMBIA - Luis
BEG SALSA - Alex
SLOW DANCING! - Jill (cpls only)
LATIN HUSTLE - Scott
BACHATA - Linda
ADV SALSA EXPLOSION! - Rebeca/Bjorn
SSQQ CHRISTMAS DANCE PARTY !!
9:00 PM - 12 Midnight
DRESS CASUAL. THE IDEA OF THIS PARTY IS TO RELAX.
Christmas Designs or colors like
Red and Green would be nice, but if you are in a Bah
Humbug mood, wear whatever you like.
MUSIC WILL BE WESTERN, SWING, AND WALTZ IN ROOM 1.
Much of the Dance Music will have
a Christmas Twist to it. A Twostep to George
Strait's MERRY CHRISTMAS STRAIT TO YOU
or a Swing to FROSTY THE
SNOWMAN is guaranteed to put you
in a Christmas Mood. Better watch or we will
have you rocking around the Christmas Tree!
WE WILL PLAY WHIP MUSIC IN ROOM 4.
HO HO HO!!
THE 2007 SSQQ NEW YEARS PARTY
9:00 pm - 1:00 am, $20 per person
Semi-Formal Dress :
Coat & Tie for Men,
Dress or Dress Suit for Ladies
Big Band Swing, Ballroom Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, and
Foxtrot in Room One
Western and Whip in Room Four
Appetizers plus complimentary soft drinks, wine and
Champagne, Noise Makers, and Silly Hats at Midnight
The SSQQ New Year's Party has traditionally
attracted 200 people.
There is drinking, but never to excess.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed.
SSQQ is cheerful, safe, comfortable and smoke-free.
What better way to welcome in the New Year than with
ADVENTURES OF A DANCE TEACHER: HOW I LEARNED
Twice in my life, Dancing has helped rescue me from
a serious personal crisis.
In 1986, I used Whip Dancing to recover from a deep
depression brought on by a divorce. It is an
interesting story. You can
find it in Stories: 201
In many ways though, this 1974 saga is even more
remarkable because I started my climb from a much
tougher place. This story
explains how learning to Freestyle Dancing
helped me climb back from the deepest hole of my
The story follows the events of a nine month period
of my life, some of which you might find were pretty
unusual. Due the
discovery of an odd little book, one day I decided I
wanted to learn to dance. I had never danced in my
life, so I was surprised at how strong the desire
was. Unfortunately, after one lesson, I realized I
was absolutely terrible. This wasn't going to be as
easy as I hoped. Although I was discouraged, I
decided to continue. Even though learning to dance
was always an uphill struggle, I practiced with a
relentlessness that I didn't completely understand.
I often wondered why I took this project so
seriously. I certainly never imagined that pursuing
a skill like freestyle would accomplish the miracle
of resurrecting my shattered confidence. Nor did I
have any idea that dancing would help pull me out of
my terrible downward spiral.
Despite all the setbacks I encountered, I would not
give up. I got on the path for no better reason than
it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
Then I discovered I felt better about myself when I
practiced my dancing. That is why I stayed with it.
SSQQ HALLOWEEN LOGIC PUZZLE:
The Cowboys-Texans Football Game Logic Puzzle
Guess what? This month's
football puzzle was
contributed by Ann Faget, our
month's puzzle didn't really count because we
published the same one just a year earlier. So
I gave the Usual Suspects the month off since they
all solved it last year.
The only new winner from last month was Julie
Amazing Zumwalt. Congratulations!
slow dance and
day I was thinking to myself, "Gee, Rick, things
haven't been quite as busy this year in the SSQQ
That thought frustrated me because I started the
year off by reading a 9-Chapter Story called
Matchmaker on the history of SSQQ's role in
creating romances. So I was feeling sorry for
myself. Lotta good that story did!
had just attended the wedding of my two friends
Carol Gafford and Rick Mullet. I took some great
pictures, so I decided to write the story about
After I finished, I updated some of the other
stories that had taken place. Suddenly I was
overwhelmed... we have had 13 weddings and 10
engagements this year! Just one more and
we hit our average of 24 a year. So I am
asking you all to please consider getting married or
engaged before the year is out! C'mon,
do it as a favor to me!
This month I added stories and pictures about the
Carol Gafford and Rick Mullet
Larry Thomas and Pam Cochran
John Otts and Cynthia Hall
Curtis Goode and Kathy Heller
and the Engagements of:
Phil Liggett and May Massaad
Mike Shannon and Gina Garza
Tracy Kirkland and Gary Schweinle
good to know that good SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance
Magic is still cooking. Best wishes to all!
2006 Slow Dance and Romance
Rick and Carol's First Dance
THE STORY OF THE INCREDIBLE POT FARM!
the true story of a multi-million dollar Marijuana
Farm that was built in a cave underneath a house in
Tennessee. And guess what? They got
caught. Of course you will be curious how they
got caught. The pictures are awesome and
the story itself is very interesting. I give
the story a Must-Read status.
From: Malcolm C
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 7:34 AM
Subject: Pot Farm
Hey Rick... Outstanding Web Page... Thanks
so much for all the work on 'Pot Farm'. Well
done, awesome, & interesting!!!
Thanks again, Mal C
On Nov 30, 2006, at 6:02 AM, Rick Archer
How did you find
that page? I was going to announce it today in
the new Newsletter and you
beat me to it.
Thanks for the compliment. I hope it didn’t show
I was rooting for the crooks…. ;-)
From: Malcolm C
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 1:57 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: Pot Farm
I did a search in "Dogpile" for it... A friend
had sent it to me in an email previously (how to
do that is over my head), & I had saved it as a
"Draft", but I had lost it accidentally when I
was installing an updated email program...
I use it periodically when I minister at a Boy's
Prison camp in a "Keynote" presentation (they
love it)... Although I'm a pastor now, I'm a
retired Robbery-Homicide Detective, & it is a
great piece to share with the kids as an object
Re the "rooting for the crooks", yeh, it kinda
came across that way initially, but I thought
your analogies were really good, & at least from
my point of view, you brought it back "on track"
again very nicely...
Anyhow, the kids really appreciate it, as do I
(only now I can give you credit when I share
it), & I thank you once again for all the effort
you put into it...
respectfully, & with much gratitude,
11. GARY RICHARDSON
always, I am in great debt to my friend Gary
When I finally post the pictures
from the Rhapsody Reloaded Cruise that we took last
August, you will amazed at the job Gary did.
As our official Cruise Photographer, Gary took
hundreds and hundreds of pictures. He put
together a CD of the trip that included over 1300
pictures! I cannot imagine how much time
he had to put into that effort. We are much in
At the 2006 Halloween Party, Gary filled in for our
regular photographer when he decided not to do the
party at the last minute. I was up a creek
without a paddle until Gary said he would take the
pictures. Mind you, this is Gary's favorite
dance of the year. He would far rather be
dancing, believe me. But he was kind enough to
help me out and as a result, we have 200 great
pictures from this popular event.
The other day Gary brought me
several hundred new country-western songs to add to
our jukebox list. He loves western music and
likes to collect the new albums when they come out.
His generosity will be appreciated not just by me,
but by our Practice Night dancers as well.
That Pot Farm story listed above was started when
Gary sent me the pictures. He contributes to
the studio in so many different ways.
Gary and betty
Gary runs a computer store known as TFW Computers.
Not only does he sell computers that he builds
himself, he provides the best service for computer
problems of any person in Houston.
People in the dance community have known about
Gary's excellence for years. He sells several
computers a month to people from SSQQ.
Recently he has sold computers to Robert Goins, Cher
Longoria, Rachel Koenig, Dakota Wilhelm, Don
Schmidt, and Nancy Edelman. I am saying this
for a reason. Gary is so good to me that I
would like to return the favor any way I can.
If you are shopping for a computer this Christmas,
go see Gary. He will take wonderful care of
you. You have my word on it.
For more information,
Phone : 713- 461- 8660
2551 North Gessner
2 miles north of I-10
12. DANCING WITH THE STARS
you know, recently former football star Emmitt Smith
and his professional dance partner Cheryl Burke were
crowned the winners of this weekly dance show.
They best the team of Mario Lopez and his partner,
professional dancer Karina Smirnoff.
This result was just as stupid as it could possibly
be. I had no complaints with the dancing of
Emmitt Smith. I enjoyed watching him immensely.
But for his dancing to be better than that of Mario
Lopez? C'mon now. What a joke!
Mario Lopez was the most gifted male dancer I have
seen on the show. He has a phenomenal talent for
dance. If he were to train and compete against
professionals, I imagine he would do quite well.
So let's just call the result what it was: a
The decision was not based on dancing, but on Emmitt
Smith's fame as a professional athlete.
A similar thing happened in the First season of the
show. In June 2005, hotsy totsy Kelly Monaco
and her partner Alec Mazo scored a narrow victory
over John O'Hurley and his partner Charlotte
Jørgensen. Kelly and Alec managed to get two
miracle 10s in their final performance despite the
fact that she nearly fell down twice in the routine.
The result was a complete farce.
I wrote about it in the newsletter at the time.
completely skipped the Second season because I could
not stand how the outcome had been rigged in the
But one night in October 2006, my wife was watching
an episode of Season Three when I walked in, so I
decided to watch a while. I was impressed.
First the caliber of the celebrities had clearly
risen from D-List unknowns in Season One to people I
had actually heard of in Season Three. Second,
the majority of these people were very good dancers.
They were obviously taking their dancing seriously!
So Marla and I watched practically every week after
I skipped the final show because I was certain
Emmitt Smith was going to win and I knew it would
make me angry. I am not the only one who
thought this way. I grabbed the following quote of
the Internet. I took me about 20 seconds to find
someone who agreed with me:
THIS WAS A POPULARITY CONTEST THEN THIS IS THE
OUTCOME. IF PEOPLE WOULD BE HONEST AND ADMIT
THAT THEN I COULD BE OKAY.
IF THIS HAD HAVE BEEN A DANCE COMPETITION EVEN
EMMITT HIMSELF KNOWS THAT MARIO IS THE BETTER
Emmitt's popularity, the other reason I was certain
Emmitt would win is because America loves the
Underdog. Mario lost because he was too good!
Every Bubba and Yahoo in America resented this
gifted, pretty boy dancer and decided to teach him a
You know how I guessed? The same thing
happened to me once. Sharon Crawford
(Shaw) and I were the victims of the exact same
phenomenon back in 1988.
If you want to read a funny story, visit
13. MY DAY
IN COURT REVISITED
month I published a story about an ordeal I went
through in court of Judge Kathy Han regarding a
mistaken ticket I received for trash that wasn't
mine. Here is what I wrote in the November
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.
I have written many stories
over the years, but this particular story made more
people mad than I ever would have imagined. I
received several emails commenting on the runaround
I wrote about. I will share with you the most
From: Brian N
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 5:30 PM
Subject: Kathy Han
Email I sent to Judge Kathy Han:
Judge Han, you should be embarrassed if the
story titled 'My Day in Court' is true. Your
position as a judge is designed to benefit
society, but in actuality it seems to be a
cancer. Although you failed to extend the same
courtesy to Rick Archer, I will give you the
opportunity to explain your side of the story
and how Rick Archer's treatment in your
courtroom was not a mere "shakedown" as he put
it. If it was a shakedown, you have no right,
absolutely none, to preside on behalf of the
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 5:54 PM
To: Brian N
Subject: RE: Kathy Han
I will be curious to see if she responds.
From: Brian N
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 9:12 AM
To: 'Rick Archer'
Subject: RE: Kathy Han
I doubt she will respond. Regardless, I believe
you are correct; she is concerned about her
reputation. Perhaps a few more scathing emails
from others may be cause for change. I applaud
you for taking the time to document your
experience, despite the immateriality of the
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 1:13 PM
To: Brian N
Subject: RE: Kathy Han
I am one of those people who firmly believe that
bullies will walk on people unless they think
someone is watching.
That is why I am grateful for the freedom our
media is given here in America.
WALTZING YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
Grab your partner and waltz to
A study finds that dance is an
effective and fun way to help cardiac patients
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
Nov. 13, 2006
CHICAGO - Italian researchers have come up with a
novel way for cardiac rehabilitation patients to
exercise their damaged hearts without having to
squeeze into spandex or gyrate in a gym: Waltzing.
The dance proved to be just as
effective as bicycle and treadmill training for
improving exercise capacity in a study of 110 heart
failure patients, 89 of them men. Compared with
others, dancers also reported slightly more
improvement in sleep, mood, and the ability to do
hobbies and housework and have sex.
"We have to find something that may capture the
patients' interest," Dr. Romualdo Belardinelli,
director of cardiac rehabilitation at Lancisi Heart
Institute in Ancona, Italy, said at an American
Heart Association meeting in Chicago on Sunday.
Waltzing was chosen for the study because it is
"internationally known" and is quite aerobic, as the
study ultimately verified, he said.
The new study involved heart
failure patients with an average age of 59. The
condition occurs when weakened hearts can no longer
pump blood effectively, making simple activities
such as climbing stairs and walking the dog tough to
do, let alone enjoy.
Researchers assigned 44 patients to a supervised
exercise training program of cycling and treadmill
work three times a week for eight weeks.
Another group of 44 took dance classes in the
hospital gym, alternating between slow and fast
waltzes for 21 minutes, three times a week for eight
weeks. A third group of 22 patients had no exercise.
Cardiopulmonary fitness increased at similar rates
among those who danced or exercised and did not
change in those who did neither. Oxygen uptake
increased 16 percent among exercisers and 18 percent
among dancers. The anaerobic threshold - the point
where muscles fatigue - rose 20 percent among
exercisers and 21 percent among dancers.
Part of the reason the waltz, an international
dance, has health benefits may also be that people
interact with partners and social companions rather
than exercise alone, doctors said.
REBECCA BANGSTEIN'S SATURDAY MORNING EXERCISE CLASS
Title: Cardio Salsa y Mas
Description: Dance and work-out to the beat
of salsa, merengue, cha-cha, samba, punta and
Time: Classes will begin in November-
Price: Pre-registration fee $24 for 4 classes
$8 per class
For information, contact Rebeca
ARCHER'S CHRISTMAS CAROL PICTURE PUZZLE
In 1996, Marla Jennings, one of
our instructors, brought me a puzzle to look at.
It had pictures such as #8 that represented famous
Christmas Carols. If you would like to see
what the puzzle looked like back then, click
The SSQQ web site came on line in 1999. For
the fun of it, I scanned in Marla's puzzle and
shared it with my students. The puzzle was fun
and I got compliments for adding it to the web site.
I didn't much else on the web site, so I just left
it where it was and the following year reminded
everyone where it was in case they wanted to try it
When Search Engines like Google became more powerful
in 2001, people from all over the country began to
locate my puzzle and try it. Nor was it
limited to the USA. I got inquiries from
Europe and Australia too. Finally I figured
out what was going on.
Encouraged by all the interest, I started to add
more clues that I made up myself. #42 on the
right is an example of a clue I created in 2001,
Today the puzzle to 100 clues and it has become
internationally famous. If you type "Christmas
Puzzle" into Google, the SSQQ Puzzle stands at #2
out of 180,000 entries as I write. "Christmas
Carol Puzzle" gets a #1 ranking out of 760,000
entries. It is fun to see this cute game do so
If you would to try your hand at the Christmas Carol
Puzzle, by all means do so.
The SSQQ Christmas Carol Quiz
REILLY'S ARTICLE ON STEROIDS IN BASEBALL
(Editor's Note: This article made me very angry.
Steroids have been a problem in baseball for over
ten years, but nothing was done about it.
Everyone knew it was a problem, but claimed until
they had proof, their hands were tied. Two
investigative reporters for the San Francisco
Chronicle used confidential sources to blow the
story open onto the front page of every paper in the
country. People talked to these reporters
under the condition that their names would not be
These two reporters did the whole country a favor by
shining a light on all the cheating that was being
done by athletes such as Barry Bonds who used drugs
to set records that may never be broken.
Now the government wants to know who the reporters
talked to so they can prosecute them. They are
threatening to put these reporters in jail if they
don't give up the names of the people they talked
Look at it this way. The moment these
reporters and others like them start to break their
promises, no one will have the guts to leak stories
any more. You know and I know that the whistle
blowers serve an invaluable role in keeping the high
and mighty honest. So if the government can
successfully threaten these reporters, investigative
reporting goes down the drain.
I resent the intimidation tactics my own government
is using on these reporters.
Rick Reilly is an award-winning columnist for Sports
Illustrated. Usually I just look at the
pictures and wait for the yearly swimsuit issue, but
this particular story definitely caught my
attention. Read the story and decide for
It's Clear Who's Getting Creamed...
The reporters whom the President congratulated for
their fine work on the BALCO story may go to the
Breathe easy, America. Two of the
central players in the BALCO steroids scandal look
like they're headed for the clink.
One weighs 170 pounds, including glasses, and
couldn't bench-press the phone book. The other
hasn't lifted a weight since high school.
The criminals? Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters
who broke open the story -- Mark Fainaru-Wada and
The juicer athletes never had a chance against these
guys. Their pit-bull reporting triggered a national
wake-up call about steroid use that led to
congressional hearings and, at long last, steroid
testing in baseball.
Thanks to Fainaru-Wada and Williams, the authors of
Game of Shadows, we learned the nasty truth about
the web of steroid-using athletes and trainers spun
by BALCO's mastermind, Victor Conte. Without their
reporting the compelling evidence of Barry Bonds's
steroid use might never have been revealed. Nor
would we know that Jason Giambi and former 100-meter
record holder Tim Montgomery had admitted their
steroid use to a grand jury.
It's the best sports reporting in our lifetime, so
impressive that in April 2005, when Fainaru-Wada and
Williams met President Bush at a
correspondents-dinner reception, he shook their
hands and said, "You've done a service." And why
wouldn't he? He said in his 2004 State of the Union
address that this country must clean up steroids in
pro sports, and Fainaru-Wada and Williams started
scrubbing. But then Bush allowed his Attorney
General to subpoena them to give up the source of
grand jury testimony they'd reported or face jail
Hold on, hold on. I hear you yelping: Somebody
violated a judge's gag order and leaked secret grand
jury testimony, and the government is trying to find
out who. Fainaru-Wada and Williams obviously know
who it is but refuse to say. They must go directly
to jail, not pass Go, etc.
No, they uncovered information that had been part of
grand jury testimony, but it was then released to
the BALCO defense team and the prosecution in the
pretrial process, and it wasn't until 11 days later
that the gag order was imposed.
Of course, Fainaru-Wada, 41, and Williams, 56, could
simply roll on their source, but then no source
would ever speak to them again. Already, Williams
says, sources "have started double-clutching a
little since we were subpoenaed."
The Hearst Corporation, which owns TV stations,
magazines and 12 daily newspapers, including the
Chronicle, has received 80 subpoenas of reporters
over the last 18 months, compared with five over the
previous 18. Meanwhile, Bush runs what is arguably
the most secretive administration in history. He
even signed an executive order designed to keep
presidential papers secret beyond the usual 12-year
Last week, Fainaru-Wada's nine-year-old son said to
his father, "Dad, I don't want you to go to jail."
What could Fainaru-Wada say, except, "Sometimes you
have to keep your promise no matter what."
So the men whom the President congratulated for
their fine work may be going to the slammer for a
year and a half for it. Not Bonds, who insisted that
the "cream" was an "arthritic rub" and the "clear"
was "flaxseed oil."
You want justice? If they are jailed all 18 months
they will serve more than four times the sentence of
anybody else in the scandal, including Conte, who
did only four months.
And they may still be locked up next summer when
Bonds -- a man who, according to their reporting,
may have committed tax fraud and lied to a grand
jury -- breaks Hank Aaron's home run record.
That, my fellow Americans, will be sickening. "If
that happens," says Fainaru-Wada, biting his lip,
"if we're sitting in jail when that happens, that
won't be a moment I'll take well."
The deadline for Fainaru-Wada and Williams to file
with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is Nov. 3.
Should they lose there, another appeal stage comes
after that, then the Supreme Court. At the same
time, Senator Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) is trying to
get a bill passed that would shield reporters (as 31
states do now) from having to reveal their sources,
especially when -- in the eyes of a judge -- the
public's right to know something takes precedence
over the harm of concealing a source. Which is the
case here, times 10. But the bill looks like it will
die, mostly because of opposition from the White
House. That figures.
These guys should be getting the Pulitzer, not the
Issue date: October 30, 2006
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH ONE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT
INCONSISTENCIES IN THE SCHEDULE
From: Amy R
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:44 AM
Subject: calendar vs website
Sometimes the printed calendars available at the
studio are a bit different than the calendar on the
website so I would just like to verify which is
correct. Advanced Swing/Jitterbug 5 will be taught
by Jack on Sundays and Jack/Marla on Mondays during
November? And for December it will be taught by
Maureen on Sunday and Steve/Marla on Monday? The
printed calendar says Jack for December as well as
November, but the website is different. Please
confirm which is correct.
Thank you!!! Amy R
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:57 AM
To: Amy R
Subject: complaint calendar vs website
I am fairly legendary for making errors. I
admit I am guilty because I am psychologically
incapable of proofreading my own material.
My level of perfection vis a vis details is directly
correlated with how much coffee I have had that day.
Little coffee, lots of errors. Lots of coffee, lots
of errors. Just the right amount, very few errors.
As a rule, the Internet is ALWAYS more accurate than
the printed schedule because I can make corrections
on the Internet instantly.
Furthermore, if you see a schedule for November and
December, several items in the "December" part of it
will likely change when the December-January issue
Sorry about the inaccuracies. In the future,
do exactly what you did - email me so I can see the
problem and correct it.
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH TWO -
UNHAPPY ABOUT WEDDING LESSON NO-SHOW
From: julie g
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 12:21 PM
Subject: Wedding Dance Lessons
We need dance lessons before our big day!! Sept.
4 weeks left to go!!
I figured 2- classes? or see how it goes? for a
Slow Dance to..Elvis Presley's Falling in Love
but there will also be a "parents" dance Which
we ALL need help with! (4couples actually but 3
couples need lessons)
A waltz to: Could I have this Dance for the rest
of my life by Anne Murray
Can I get a price quote and Can we start next
Please Help! Julie G
Marla Archer wrote:
Hello Julie, Congratulations on your upcoming
I can certainly assist you and your fiancé to
learn how to slow dance gracefully and work with
your group on Waltz.
Here is our wedding link:
Please take a moment and read the site, it will
provide you with helpful info.
Private lessons are $50 per hour and payable by
check or in cash.
My current availability is as follows:
Wed. Sept. 6th 5:30 pm
Thurs. Sept 7th 5:30 pm
Tues. Sept 12th 5:30 pm
Fri. Sept. 15th 5:30 pm
Tues. Sept 19th 5:30 pm
Wed. Sept 20th 5:30 pm
Thurs. Sept. 21st 5:30 pm
All six rooms are in use at 7 pm for group
Please let me know which of the dates will work
----- Original Message -----
From: julie g
To: Marla Archer
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 12:40 PM
Subject: Re:Wedding Dance Lessons
Can We do Fri Sept. 15 @ 5:45-6:45 for the Waltz
to Ann Murray for the parents?
and 1 class just for us Thurs Sept 21st @ 5:45-
Do we need to bring the music?
and is the total $ 100 for the check?
I look forward to hearing from you!
I am unable to take a 5:45 pm lesson on Friday
Sept. 15th because I do group registration at
6:30 pm, thus the 5:30 pm availability.
I am available to schedule a lesson on Thurs.
Sept. 21st at 5:45 pm.
Yes, you should bring your music on CD. You may
write one check for $100 if you wish. The
payment needs to be made at the conclusion of
your first lesson.
Please let me know if the 5:30 pm time frame
will work. 5:45 pm will work on: Tues. Sept.
19th or Wed. Sept. 20th as well.
(Editor's Note: Marla met with this couple one
time. They paid her for the lesson and paid her
for their next lesson as well ahead of time.)
From: julie g
Date: 9/19/2006 4:38:13 PM
To: Marla Archer
Subject: Re: Wedding Dance Lessons
is there any way we can move our dance lesson to
Friday OR the following week?
this Thursday is not going to work out. i have a
very important school thing.
I need to know what i need to do to make this
work especially since we have already paid for
the lesson!! :)
please let me know asap!!
Marla Archer wrote:
I am very sorry but I am leaving Friday morning
at 5:30 am for Boston to take a studio cruise. I
will not return until Oct. 1st. (if you look at
my original availability, Sept. 21st was the
last time offered)
I could be available to work with you from 3:30
to 4:30 on Thursday if that helps out any. We
have simply run out of time options.
I know you are getting married on Sept. 30th and
the dance lesson was for the wedding, however I
am more than willing to reschedule a lesson with
you for a future date.
Please let me know if you wish to keep the
lesson as is.
SSQQ Dance Studio
From: julie g
Date: 9/20/2006 12:56:36 AM
To: Marla Archer
Subject: Re:Wedding Dance Lessons
3:30 - 4:30 would help so much!!!!!!!!
Thank you, Thank you!
See you then, Julie G
Marla Archer wrote:
I don't know what happed to you this afternoon,
but I was at the studio at 3:30 pm ready for
your lesson as agreed. I waited the entire
hour for you to show, since you had already
We are now square in regards to the lesson
Good Luck to you all!
From: julie g
Date: 9/21/2006 8:31:24 PM
To: Marla Archer
Subject: Re: Wedding Dance Lessons
Since you obviously read the email I sent back
requesting the 3:30 slot I am surprised that you
chose not to respond back. I kept checking my
email waiting for your response and since it
never came I figured you hadn't read the email
in time. If you read my email why did you not
respond back in setting up our appointment?
I understand I will not be getting the $50
refunded, and this is not an attempt to get it
either. I just want you to know that I do not
feel as though you "really tried" to arrange
this final dance lesson and now it is too late.
I hope that the next couple that comes to you
for help will get better treatment and gets
their moneys worth. We definitely did not.
Date: 9/21/2006 10:36:39 PM
To: julie g
Subject: Re:Wedding Dance Lessons
I am sorry you feel "cheated".
I said I would be available for the lesson at
3:30 pm and you said "See you then".
That phrase indicates it is a done deal.
If you were confused, a simple phone call would
have been in order. My phone number is stated
along with my signature on the previous emails.
Or you could have sent another email. I
checked my email right before I left.
I was trying to accommodate your last minute
request. I gave you several different dates to
work from the initial email. I saved the 5:30 pm
time slot for you on the 21st as you requested.
You were the one who was unable to make the
agreed upon lesson time. Even though I had
numerous personal errands to run prior to my
trip, I made time for you at 3:30 because I
wanted to help you out.
I have worked with approximately 200 couples
this year and have not had a single problem
And I never asked for prepayment of the lesson.
I offered to give the $50 in change back.
However, once I get in my car and drive over to
the studio in the middle of the day to try to
help you at 3:30 pm for a last-minute change in
plans, I don't feel I owe you any money just
because you failed to make the lesson.
That said, I am sorry about the mix-up. I was
looking forward to helping you.
Best of luck,
(Editor's Note: This story was
sent to me by Sharon Shaw, my talented Western Waltz
instructor. She asked me to comment on it. The
story was written by a woman named Trish Connery.
She is a dance instructor out of LA. She also
puts together an online newspaper called "Dance
Chatter". I looked at her web site. I noticed
that this story below was sent out as a feeler
across the nation to solicit comments from other
dance professionals. Her article combined
these comments and was quite extensive.
I was recently "poached" on by a couple who
ostensibly "watched" my class without paying for
it, only to see them blatantly performing the
material right along with the class. Pissed me
off. I didn't get in his face but I did call him
on it and he not only didn't stop, it didn't
even phase him! . I'm sure almost every teacher,
event director, etc., has experienced this
"dance poaching" as I call it, whether it's a
class, workshop, or even a dance event. We all
know there are some chronic abusers in our
community who seem to think nothing of what is,
in effect, stealing.
I'm not just talking about arriving late to a
dance so they don't have to pay, I'm talking
about everything from those that "watch a class"
rather than pay for it to those who save and
reuse wrist bands to avoid paying for
Why do they feel this is OK? It is because dance
is an art, an intangible?
If you can't really touch it, you don't have to
pay for it? Or is just because they're cheap? Or
even broke? Are they even aware of how
disrespectful they are? Or do they consider it
fair game? Is dance poaching just something that
dance professionals have to live with?
The more I thought about it, the more the whole
subject irritated me to the extent that I
decided to write about it in my newsletter,
I'm looking for input from teachers, event
directors, dance organizers, club directors,
DJ's, etc., from any and all dance communities -
Swing, Ballroom, Salsa, Country, etc.
What are your most memorable poaching stories
and what, if anything, did you do about it?
Looking for the funny, the bizarre, the
pathetic, etc. Also, any thoughts, issues,
concerns, suggestions you might have on the
Let me know if you have a story to contribute,
and let me know if you DON'T want me to use your
name/affiliation. Feel free to send this on to
anyone you think might be interested in
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 10:35 AM
To: Sharon Shaw
Subject: RE: [HDC] Dance Poachers
Well, there are unethical people in every walk
of life. I can think of
a couple situations here at the studio right off
the top of my head.
This story is no
different from "Salsa Joe", the guy I
heard about here at the
studio who lets three of his
buddies into Room 5 when he thinks no one
is looking. From what I
was told, they call him on his cell phone and
wait outside the door till he decides the coast
is clear. We haven't caught him
yet, but give us time.
There was a couple on our New England cruise who
stiffed Marla on her
commission ($300) by signing up elsewhere to
save a couple bucks. But they
got their travel agent to seat them at
one of our tables! And they shadowed
us constantly throughout the trip because
they really wanted to be part of
I don't blame this woman for being angry. No one
likes to be taken
advantage of. I am surprised she didn't chew him
out to his face.
20. JOKE OF THE MONTH: 'SURVIVOR',
Due to the
popularity of the Survivor shows, Texas is planning
to do a series entitled, "Survivor-Texas Style."
The contestants will all start in Dallas, then drive
to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, over to Houston and
down to Brownsville. They will then proceed up
to Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and
Amarillo. From there they will go on to
Abilene, Fort Worth and finally back to Dallas.
Each will be driving a pink Volvo with bumper
stickers that read:
"I'm Gay, I Love the Dixie Chicks, Boycott Beef,
I Voted for John Kerry, George Strait Sucks,
Hillary in 2008 and I'm here to confiscate your
one to make it back to Dallas alive wins.
that’s a wrap for December. Thanks for reading this month's issue of the SSQQ