October Extra
Home Up

An Insider's Look 
at the 2009
October SSQQ
Dance Semester

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Please visit BALLROOM DANCING for an in-depth explanation of how our Ballroom Program works.

x Sunday 430 Sunday 7 Monday 7 Swing Monday 7 Whip Tuesday 7
  Wednesday 7 Thursday 7 Salsa Thursday 7 Whip Friday 7 Saturday 430


About the OCTOBER Dance Semester

A "Dance Semester" at SSQQ is a month long.  There are two kinds of classes - Regular classes that are offered every month and Special Classes that are offered on an 'occasional basis'.  Here is a quick run-down on the Special Classes for OCTOBER.

Sunday 4:30 pm - BEGINNING NIGHT CLUB with Scott Ladell

Danced to slow, romantic songs, Night Club is an unusual dance that is best described as an "active" form of Slow Dancing.  Combining a special blend of Ballroom patterns taken from Rumba, Bolero, Foxtrot, and Waltz, Night club is a pretty dance to watch and fun to use. Nor is it difficult to learn.

A unique feature of Night Club is that it is danced apart. This allows people without romantic partners to dance to Slow Music in a very stylish manner.  You would be surprised at the number of songs that would normally be considered "Slow Music" that suddenly become exciting to dance to once you master this unique dance. 

In recent years, Night Club has become a fixture on the Country-Western competition dance circuit. It works perfectly to Western ballads such as "Breathe" by Faith Hill.
 

Sunday 4:30 pm - BEGINNING WESTERN WALTZ - Rick Archer


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. Historically, the ladies line up to grab the best Waltz dancers any time a Waltz comes on.  (Hint: there is a good story on the web site about how two other average guys used their Waltz skills to great advantage.  Go read The Waltz Kings

Western Waltzes such as “You Look So Good in Love” and “Open Arms” are sure to warm any girl' heart.

 

Western Waltz patterns are taken from Ballroom Waltz. Some Waltz patterns travel and others such as the Box Step are danced in one area.  Western Waltz moves adapt Ballroom Waltz patterns to allow them to "travel" around the floor just as a Twostep or Polka would.  


 

Sunday 7 pm - BEGINNING BALLROOM FOXTROT - Marla Archer

 

Foxtrot Dancing is synonymous with Frank Sinatra music. 

Foxtrot is dance of Inaugural Balls, Wedding Receptions, Big Band music and Formal Dinners. It is also the dance that people use to all the Sinatra standards like "Come Fly with Me", "Fly Me to the Moon", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "It Happened in Monterey", "I've Got You Under my Skin", "Lady is a Tramp", "Luck Be a Lady", "Night and Day", "The Way You Look Tonight", and "Witchcraft" (and many others). Besides Sinatra music, Foxtrot can also be used to a wide variety of music ranging from Van Morrison's "Marvelous Night for a Moondance" to "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin. The Foxtrot also works well to a wide variety of slower Swing songs.

Foxtrot is a cousin of the Texas Twostep.  Like the Twostep, the Foxtrot can travel around the floor, but it is more commonly danced in a limited area of the floor using variations on the BOX STEP. 

Foxtrot is frequently used for the important First Dance at weddings.  It is not a particularly difficult dance to learn and its smooth walking style lends itself perfectly to any "formal occasion" such as the First Dance. 

The Foxtrot also comes in handy at New Year's Eve Parties.  When "New York, New York" comes on, you will be ready.  As a side note, the Foxtrot also turns out to be very useful on all cruises.  On every trip, you can usually expect Ballroom Dancing to come in very handy at the Captain's Reception and other similar Formal events.

 

 

Sunday 7 pm - BEGINNING LATIN CHA CHA - Jill Banta


Cha Cha is a fun and flirtatious dance.  It is also the answer to a trivia question: What dance can be used to the widest variety of music?

Cha Cha is an incredibly versatile dance. Cha Cha can be used to Tito Puente or Marc Anthony Latin/Salsa music, romantic Country-Western Polka music, all Disco music, 50s Sock Hop music like "Johnny Angel", popular music with a Latin Beat like the Beach Boy's "Kokomo" and certainly many Santana hits such as "Oye Como Va", "Evil Ways", and their Grammy winner "Smooth". 

Cha Cha patterns can vary from the simple to the complex.  You can even throw in some double turns when the mood strikes. Best of all, the Cha Cha has an attractive hip motion that make pretty dresses do the exact same thing that Gap Khakis do for Swing dancing.

Cha Cha is sexy, easy to learn, and lots of fun!  It is a very popular dance because its lends itself to flirting and laughing.


Monday 7 pm - SOLAR WHIP - Mario Robau 


SSQQ is fortunate to host a weekly "Advanced" West Coast Swing/Whip class taught by Mario Robau Jr.  Mario is considered one of the finest Whip and West Coast Swing instructors in the United States.  His credentials are amazing - 7 National championships including 3-Time U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships Champion, 8-Time Dallas Dance Champion, 5-Time Southwest Regional Champion, 9-Time Texas State Regional Champion, and for good measure 10+ Houston City Championships. Mario is the youngest person ever inducted into the Swing Dance Hall of Fame.  What is unusual about Mario Robau is that he is not only an amazing dancer, he is simultaneously a very gifted instructor.  Mario's Solar Whip class on Mondays is filled with Houston's finest West Coast Swing dancers.

In October, Mario will be concentrating on "Musicality".  On a general level, Rock Music calls for aggressive movements, soft jazz music might call for smooth motions.  Specifically, Musicality tries to match precise dance movements that eerily parallel short but very important stretches in the music.

"Musicality" is related to dance choreography - listening to the music and matching interesting parts of each song to dance movements that remind someone of the music.  As an example, let's say a lady on the dance floor suddenly reels off five tap-tap-tap steps just as the music hits a rat-a-tat sequence.  Each step is in perfect time to the music.

Another definition of Musicality is when what you see matches what you hear.  An unmusical dancer is someone who gets in the way of the music, who's "off" the music or, at worst, is fighting the music.  The way in which the dancer moves has no relationship to the music.

In dance class, typically the emphasis is on patterns and footwork.  When you start to match patterns to music, you are entering an entire new level. There are few teachers for this level.  SSQQ is fortunate to have the best - Mario Robau.
 

 

Thursday 7 pm - SUPER-ADVANCED BACHATA - Linda Cook

 

The consensus in the Salsa community is that Bachata has now moved past Merengue to become the second favorite Latin dance behind Salsa.

Bachata is a Latin dance used to slow-rhythm Salsa music. It is considered "suggestive" and naughty. Originating in the Dominican Republic, Bachata traces it roots to an ancient African dance rhythm known as 'Ibo' brought over by slaves stolen from the Nigerian Kwa tribe in the early 1800s.  The dance is very similar to Bossa Nova.

Long considered disreputable music of the lower classes, Bachata was not played on commercial radio until recently, even though it had a huge grassroots following. In many ways the history of Bachata is similar to that of American blues. Originally a rural, guitar-based form, Bachata was the music of the poor and uneducated. The lyrics often contained raw double-entendres and bawdy sexual innuendoes.

And now that you know that Bachata is sometimes known as the Salsa version of "Dancing Down and Dirty", come learn how to dance it!


 

Friday 7 pm - ADVANCED WESTERN WALTZ - Rick Archer


Prerequisite: Beginning Western Waltz
 

Western Waltz is a very popular dance here at SSQQ.  Now that Sharon Shaw has finished her annual five-month Western Waltz program, there are students out there who missed this year's class and want to learn the Advanced patterns as well.

Friday is an especially popular night for Waltz.  During Friday Night Western Practice, we make sure to play Waltz music much more often than you would expect to hear them in the dance clubs.  Since there is a steady supply of Waltz dancers available, the floor really fills up on Friday Nights when the Western Waltz music comes on.

 


Descriptions of Classes that are offered on a Regular Basis Every Month
(or every other month)

   4:30-6:30 SUNDAY AFTERNOON SSQQ WESTERN PROGRAM

Beginning Two Step/Polka

Western Music has dominated the radio airwaves as the most popular music in Texas pretty much forever! As a result, Western Dancing is very popular here in the Bayou City.

Since
you live in Houston, Texas, you should get plenty of opportunities where a little knowledge of the Twostep/Polka will come in pretty handy.  For example, Western dancing is a fixture at Rodeo time.
Come learn the fundamentals of these important famous dances!

The Texas Twostep is easy to learn and fun to use.  From George Strait's "Fool Hearted Memory" to Shania Twain's "Holding onto Love", the Twostep is used to a wide variety of C&W music.  It is also the dance that gave SSQQ its name: Slow Slow Quick Quick.

The Polka is used to a different speed of music than the Twostep. Known as the "Triple Step" dance, the Polka and the Twostep can be danced to about 80% of all Western music (the other 20% are Waltzes, Night Club, and Honky-Tonk Swing).

Since this class is so popular you take this class on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday.  As these are considered "Parallel Classes", you can rotate between the three time slots to fit your schedule. 

 

Beginning and Intermediate Western Swing  (History of Western Swing)
Western Swing is a dance that combines Double Turns with Twostep and Polka rhythm.  Another name for what we call Western Swing is "Twostep with Turns", but that doesn't do justice to this highly popular dance that originated here in the Houston area back during the "Urban Cowboy" era.

Over the years, Western Swing has been a favorite because the ladies love to turn and swirl and the men always enjoy seeing the grins on their partner's faces after a roller-coaster trip around the floor.

All levels of Western Swing are offered on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday at the studio.  One thing to remember - you need to know how to Twostep before you can take Beginning Western Swing.  It's one of those "don't run before you learn to walk" concepts.

Intermediate Western Swing is three courses in one:
First, it reviews all the Beginning Western Swing patterns
Second, it shows how to convert the Twostep Western Swing patterns to the tricky Polka-rhythm
Third, it covers many new Polka patterns such as Conversation, Crossovers, and Side Travel
 

Advanced Western Swing I and II (I in the odd months, II in the even months)
 ADV WESTERN SWING II WILL BE OFFERED ON SUNDAYS, WEDNESDAYS,  
 FRIDAYS IN OCTOBER


Advanced Western Swing covers many very important patterns including Cross the Line, Crossed Hands Wild West Shuffle, the Texas Tornado, the Lariat, the Yo-Yo, and the Dishrag. This course serves as the introduction to the difficult Clockwise Reverse Double Turns known as the "Cyclone Turns".

Please note you are always welcome to take Advanced Western Swing II BEFORE you take Advanced Western Swing I.  The order makes no difference.
 

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  SUNDAY EVENING 7-9 PM SWING AND BALLROOM CLASSES

OVERVIEW ON EAST COAST SWING AND JITTERBUG CLASSES
(Read more: History of Swing Dancing)

Many people do not know this, but Swing Dancing is America's gift to the world.

It is the only Ballroom dance that is 100% Born in the USA!

Swing Dancing started in Harlem in the Roaring 20s Jazz Age.  The first form of Swing dancing was the Charleston.  The Charleston gave rise to the Lindy Hop in the late 20s.  As Jazz music transformed into Swing music, similarly the Lindy Hop grew into Swing dancing during the 30s and 40s Big Band Swing Era.

Since that time, Swing Dancing has grown to include many types of music such as 50s Rock 'n Roll music, fast Blues, Western Honky-Tonk "Born to Boogie" music, plus the marvelous Big Bad Voodoo Daddies/"Jump, Jive, and Wail" 90s Swing music as well.

People ask all the time, "Where should I begin?"

Swing Dancing is a good answer to that question due to its versatility. A Swing class is an excellent starting point because no matter what the music is, Swing can be used at practically any dance occasion. 

Please note our Sunday Swing classes are taught primarily to Big Band Music while the Monday parallel class is taught to all kinds of Swing music.  Although the music OCTOBER differ slightly, both classes should be considered "parallel". You OCTOBER rotate between them or come both nights each week. 

One more note: people ask about the "Jitterbug".  Swing Dancing can be used to a Slow Slow Quick Quick footwork and timing to fast music while Jitterbug is the SSQQ term for the Triple Step Triple Step Back Step footwork used to slower Swing music.  Both dances have identical patterns, so it easy to learn both dances at the same time.
 

BEGINNING Swing/Jitterbug on Sundays AND MONDAYS

 TOM AND JO WILL TEACH BEGINNING ON SUNDAYS IN OCTOBER and MARLA WILL TEACH THE SAME CLASS ON MONDAY NIGHTS 

Each month SSQQ has a new Sunday Beginning Swing classes offered at 7 pm.  In addition there is a parallel Monday class at 7 pm.

Swing dancing can be used a wide variety of music and many different speeds of music ranging from 120 beats per minute to 220 bpm.   However to dance to such different speed ranges comfortably, you must learn how to adapt your footwork to the different speeds.

  • The slowest music (120-150 bpm) uses Jitterbug footwork:  1 and 2, 3 and 4, Back Step. 
    (6 beats, EIGHT STEPS TOTAL)
  • The medium range music (150-180 bpm) works best with Tap-Step footwork.  
    (6 beats, Tap-Step, Tap-Step, Back Step = SIX STEPS TOTAL)
  • The fastest music (180-220) uses Swing footwork.  Step-Hold, Step-Hold, Back Step. 
    (6 beats, FOUR STEPS TOTAL)

    All three footwork systems use 6 beats.  All three footwork systems use identical patterns. 

    The fastest music requires the fewest steps (SWING) while the slowest music (JITTERBUG) requires the most steps.  Those extra steps in the Jitterbug system are used for Traveling, which in essence speeds up the dance.   In addition, medium range music works best with the TAP-STEP footwork.  

In the Beginner Level of Swing/Jitterbug we teach mostly Swing footwork and warn you about Jitterbug and Tap-Step footwork.  Once you make it to Intermediate, we show you how to use the other two systems.

Intermediate East Coast SWING/JITTERBUG ON SUNDAYS AND MONDAYS

 JACK WILL TEACH INTERMEDIATE ON SUNDAYS IN OCTOBER and STEVE WILL TEACH THE SAME CLASS ON MONDAY NIGHTS

Swing Dancing can be used to a wide variety of music once you learn to adapt your footwork to the different speeds.

  • The slowest music (120-150 bpm) uses Jitterbug footwork:  1 and 2, 3 and 4, Back Step. 
    (6 beats, EIGHT STEPS TOTAL)
  • The medium range music (150-180 bpm) works best with Tap-Step footwork.  
    (6 beats, Tap-Step, Tap-Step, Back Step = SIX STEPS TOTAL)
  • The fastest music (180-220) uses Swing footwork.  Step-Hold, Step-Hold, Back Step. 
    (6 beats, FOUR STEPS TOTAL)

Swing Footwork is taught primarily in Beginning Swing Jitterbug.  The Intermediate Level covers the Jitterbug and Tap-Step footwork systems.

Please note that Swing is also a Ballroom Dance, but due to its importance it has its own program.
You can take Swing classes on Sundays & Mondays at 7 pm

BEGINNING WHIP/WEST COAST SWING
 NOT OFFERED IN OCTOBER
 

INTERMEDIATE WHIP/WEST COAST SWING
 OFFERED ON SUNDAYS AND MONDAY IN OCTOBER

MARTIAN TECHNIQUE

TECHNIQUE 4 IS TAUGHT BY MG  ON SUNDAYS AND RICKON MONDAYS IN OCTOBER

The purpose of Martian Technique is to offer 4 solid months of different material to prepare our students for Martian Whip. The first hour of each week will be footwork and fundamentals that students will need at the higher level. Then the second hour will cover important patterns.  The Technique class is spread over four months.  The purpose of each course is to improve students on the fundamentals of West Coast Swing footwork such as the Rock and Go patterns and Alternating Triples.  The other purpose of each Technique class is to learn more about the Whip Hitch and Bump.

In addition, a major goal of the Technique class is to train students in West Coast and Whip syncopations, also known as the Hitch technique.  The Hitch is the gateway to superior WCS dancing.  Mastery of the difficult syncopation on 1-2 (Walk Walk) allows a wide variety of new footwork patterns to develop. 

Entrance into the Technique class assumes you have completed Beginning and Intermediate Whip ahead of time.

 

THE SUNDAY BALLROOM PROGRAM

LISTING OF SUNDAY BALLROOM CLASSES

Ballroom Dancing is a general term that is used to refer to about a dozen different dances, including dances like Cha Cha that are considered Latin Dances as well.  If you would like to be more specific, then call it Ballroom and Latin Dancing

Here at SSQQ, we offer Beginning-level courses in the five most important Ballroom and Latin dances: Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, and Rumba plus a special class on Slow Dancing.  For a more detailed look at the SSQQ Ballroom Program, please read our special Story:

THE SSQQ BALLROOM PROGRAM

Schedule of Ballroom Classes

SMOOTH - Marla LATIN - Jill
 
January April July October FOXTROT TANGO
February May  August November WALTZ CHA-CHA
March June September December SLOW DANCING RUMBA

After a great deal of experimentation, we have discovered an entire month of training in any one of the six dances is more than sufficient to allow you to get out on the floor at any Ballroom Dance and be effective. 

Two advantages of offering a single Beginning level of each class is to allow students to pick and choose the dances they wish to learn as well as take the classes in any order.

1. Foxtrot is the dance for Weddings. It is also the dance of choice for all Sinatra music such as "New York New York" and "The Way You Look Tonight". 
2. Waltz is Cinderella's dance of Romance, grace and elegance. Waltz is certainly the dance most commonly associated with the term "Ballroom Dancing" due to its beauty. 
3
. Cha Cha is sexy and flirtatious. It is easy to learn and to dance. Best of all, Cha Cha it is also a dance where a flirt can have a field day of fun!  
4. Rumba is the sultry Latin dance of Romance.  This moody Latin Dance works marvelously to soft jazz music like "The Look of Love" and "Night and Day".  Rumba is a deeply sensual, graceful dance.  Note that there are patterns in Foxtrot that are identical to certain Rumba patterns... learn them both at the same time.
5. Tango is the seductive Dance of the Dark.  If Waltz is the symbol for the light side of Romance, then Tango is the timeless symbol for the dark side of Romance.  Tango music is haunting and mysterious.  In the spirit of the music, the movement of the Tango very dramatic complete with dramatic lunges and eye-catching flares and fans.  Jealousy, Suspicion, and Passion are emotions associated with Tango, which of course explains why both the music and the dance itself are so intense.
6. Slow Dancing might actually be the most practical dance to learn of the six!  There are many opportunities to use Slow Dancing throughout the year - wedding receptions, a music combo at a restaurant, a cruise, and of course New Year's Eve.  There will always be moments when the Art of dancing gracefully to slow romantic music will come in very handy.

   SPECIAL STORY: THE SSQQ BALLROOM PROGRAM  

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FORMAL DANCING FOR WEDDINGS AND OTHER SPECIAL OCCASIONS
- MARLA ARCHER


Here at SSQQ, we say that Slow Dance and Romance go hand in hand.  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.

Formal Dancing for these occasions comes in three forms: Slow Dancing, Foxtrot, or Waltz.

When it comes to Slow Dancing, the blunt truth is that most people don't have a clue how to Slow Dance gracefully. Women are lucky because they can probably wing it, but the men don't do very well when they are forced to fake it.  Sad to say, they usually flub miserably.

As a word to the wise, there are certain moments in life when the ability to dance gracefully to romantic music becomes a mighty important skill to have.

Like the ability to change a tire comes in handy at an unexpected time, the smart person learns how to Slow Dance AHEAD OF TIME... because you never know when you will need to know how to Slow Dance.

Learning to Slow Dance is especially important to couples who are getting married.  At least these people have of knowing when their time is due. As a result, they have the luxury to prepare in advance.

Classic romantic standards like Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable", "At Last" by Etta James, or American Graffiti-era hits like "In the Still of the Night", "All in the Game", "Only You", and "When A Man Loves a Woman" become special to dance to when you actually "Know How" to Slow Dance properly.

Slow Dancing is a derivative of Foxtrot. Most people can shuffle from foot to foot, but when it comes to Slow Dancing well, the majority of people are clueless.  This course covers ways to Slow Dance gracefully with several footwork combinations. We explain how different songs OCTOBER require different timing and footwork.

We no longer offer the Slow Dance class as a 4-week program at SSQQ.

Instead, Marla now teaches this material in private lessons plus occasional Saturday evening Crash Course (check the current Schedule).  In a typical week, Marla teaches 5 Wedding Couples a week in Private Lessons.  Her strengths are Foxtrot, Slow Dance, Waltz, and Swing.

Warning: If you want to dance the Foxtrot at your wedding, start earlier.  If you want to Waltz at your wedding, start twice as early!!

To read more about Marla's Wedding Dance experiences, please visit: 
Houston Wedding Dance Lessons

You can contact Marla at marla@ssqq.com

 

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  MONDAY EVENING 7-9 pm EAST COAST SWING PROGRAM!

MONDAY NIGHT Beginning East Coast Swing/Jitterbug
- Steve, Maureen, and Marla

If there is one dance that is popular to a wide variety of music, that would be Swing.   Swing music can be Big Band, Rockabilly, 50s Jitterbug classics, Born to Boogie Western, and 90s Retro Swing Hits by Brian Setzer and the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies.  Once you learn to Swing dance, you will find many opportunities to use it.

Swing Dancing originated from Big Band Swing music.  Since the 30s and 40s Big Band Swing era, Swing Dancing has grown to include 50s Rock 'n Roll music, Western Honky Tonk music, and 90s Swing music as well.  Swing Dancing is probably the single most versatile and practical form of social partner dance to learn because it can be used at practically ANY DANCE OCCASION!

Please note this same class is also offered on Sundays at 7 pm.  You can take both classes for the price of one.   You can come to both classes or you can alternate.
 

MONDAY NIGHT Intermediate East Coast SWING/JITTERBUG

Swing Dancing can be used to a wide variety of music once you learn to adapt your footwork to the different speeds.

  • The slowest music (120-150 bpm) uses Jitterbug footwork:  1 and 2, 3 and 4, Back Step. 
    (6 beats, EIGHT STEPS TOTAL)
  • The medium range music (150-180 bpm) works best with Tap-Step footwork.  
    (6 beats, Tap-Step, Tap-Step, Back Step = SIX STEPS TOTAL)
  • The fastest music (180-220) uses Swing footwork.  Step-Hold, Step-Hold, Back Step. 
    (6 beats, FOUR STEPS TOTAL)

Swing Footwork is taught primarily in Beginning Swing Jitterbug.  The Intermediate Level covers the Jitterbug and Tap-Step footwork systems.

 

MONDAY Advanced Swing/Jitterbug

SSQQ currently offers 4 different Advanced levels. 

Our Advanced levels cover double turns, famous Swing and Lindy footwork patterns, and all sorts of intricate patterns.  You can take these different levels in any order you wish after completing BOTH Intermediate Swing/Jitterbug levels. 

 

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  MONDAY EVENING WHIP/ WEST COAST SWING CLASSES 7-9 PM

SSQQ Whip/West Coast Swing
(History of Whip)

BEGINNING AND INTERMEDIATE WHIP/WEST COAST SWING
 INTERMEDIATE
WILL BE TAUGHT ON MONDAYS BY SCOTT IN OCTOBER

Beginning and Intermediate Whip and West Coast Swing are taught on Sundays and Mondays.   The main night for Whip is Monday Night. 

Whip and West Coast Swing are very sophisticated partner dances used to Blues, Rock and Disco music. 

Both dances have identical patterns with identical timing. However the styling is different. Whip uses an unusual hip motion styling for the woman while West Coast Swing (WCS) emphasizes a wide variety of jazzy lady's footwork such as hitches, hijacks, kicks and flicks.

West Coast Swing is the dance system widely used throughout the USA.  The legendary Whip was once the Toast of Texas, but in recent years it has been passed here in Houston in favor of the flashier WCS.  

Here at SSQQ we teach mostly West Coast Swing, but we include Whip Styling as well.  A dance as hot as the Dirty Whip deserves to be kept alive.  Together the dances make for a potent combination.

There are three levels of classes in the SSQQ Program.  There are parallel Beginning and Intermediate West Coast classes on Sundays and Mondays (Beginning in the odd months, Intermediate in the Evens).

Once you complete Beginning and Intermediate, these classes would be followed by a two-month Monday training program known as Martian Whip 1 through 6.  Here is where you learn many of the famous Whip and West Coast Swing patterns. This would allow the Monday student to stay with his and her same group for six months before joining Solar Whip
 

MARTIAN TECHNIQUE

TECHNIQUE 4  WILL BE TAUGHT ON SUNDAYS BY MG AND MONDAYS BY RICK IN OCTOBER

The purpose of Martian Technique is to offer 2 solid months of different material to prepare our students for Martian Whip. The first hour of each week will be footwork and fundamentals that students will need at the higher level. Then the second hour will cover important patterns.  The Technique class is spread over two months.  Tech I covers West Coast Swing footwork and patterns.  Tech 2 covers Whip footwork and patterns.

The major goal of the Technique class is to train students in West Coast and Whip syncopations, also known as the Hitch technique.  The Hitch is the gateway to superior WCS dancing.  Mastery of the difficult syncopation on 1-2 (Walk Walk) allows a wide variety of new footwork patterns to develop. 

Entrance into the Technique class assumes you have completed Beginning and Intermediate Whip ahead of time.



SOLAR WHIP ON MONDAYS

In April 2009, Mario Robau, America's most famous West Coast Swing and Whip instructor, began teaching his Advanced West Coast Swing class.

The results were phenomenal.  95 of Houston's best Swing dancers signed up for the class.   And every one of them came away shaking their heads - Mario Robau was even BETTER than advertised.  

One thing people learned is that Mario does not spend time telling you whether you belong in this class or not.  That said, the consensus was there were at least a dozen people in that class that need more seasoning.  No one will stop you from taking Solar Whip, but at some point you have to decide for yourself if OCTOBERbe an easier class might not serve you more.

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 TUESDAY EVENING SALSA CLASSES 7-9PM

Please Note that Tuesday BEG and INT Salsa are parallel to Thursday and Saturday

Beginning Salsa

Starting with Living La Vida Loca, Salsa first exploded on the dance scene with passion in 2000.

Unlike earlier dance crazes such as 70s Disco and 90s Swing, since then Salsa has shown to have legs. The energy of Salsa just grows stronger and stronger as the 2000s progress.

Today in 2006 with epicenters in Miami, New York, and LA, a strong case can be made that Houston is the fourth largest center for Salsa dancing in the country.

Latin dance clubs in Houston are thriving. Salsa dance classes at SSQQ are filled to capacity. Tuesdays alone frequently see classes approaching 100 students. While some people don't like crowded classes, the vast majority of our students absolutely thrive on the energy generated from so many people dancing to the pulsating Latin rhythms.  These are VERY POPULAR CLASSES. 

You can take Beginning Salsa three different nights of the week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for one price.  This is place to start if you want to learn to dance Salsa.   Sexy, flashy, fun, challenging, and great music all combine to make Salsa the most popular form of social dancing in America. 
 

Intermediate Salsa 2    TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS IN OCTOBER

Currently you can take Intermediate Salsa three nights a week for the price of one!   Please note our Salsa classes are beginning to get so crowded we OCTOBER need to change our rules, but for the present you are welcome to come all three nights if you wish.

There are four levels of Intermediate Salsa.   The patterns vary, but the difficulty is about the same.  Like the branches on a tree, after you finish Beginning Salsa, you can take the four Intermediate Salsa classes in any order you wish. And when you discover the Intermediate patterns are getting too easy, that's when you know you are ready to move up to Advanced Salsa.
 

Advanced Salsa 10 - Steve GEKAS

Steve's Elite Tuesday Adv Salsa class covers the most difficult Salsa moves. Please be aware the pace of this class is very swift.  Steve has been teaching this class since 2004.  In that time, Steve's Advanced Salsa class has come to be regarded as one of the premier Advanced Salsa classes in all of Houston.

Salsa first exploded onto the scene in 2000 with Ricky Martin singing "Living La Vida Loca" against the backdrop of the Bush-Gore struggles down in Florida. Since then Bush has been re-elected and Salsa has grown to become the most popular single dance style in America today.

Steve and Danielle spend so much time dancing in the clubs and practicing at the studio that they have come up with their own style of exciting and complex Salsa patterns.  Since their students are mostly very experienced dancers, Steve and Danielle work hard to stay ahead of this talented group. As a result, Salsa dancers from around Houston flock to the studio on Tuesday to see if they can the challenge of this "Honors" Advanced Salsa program. Indeed, the Tuesday Advanced Salsa class has become so popular our biggest room regularly fills up with classes that approach 100 students. If you can handle the heat, this class can't be beat.

 

INTERMEDIATE ARGENTINE TANGO ii - Noe and Sonja  
 TUESDAYS IN OCTOBER

As opposed to American Tango which is more structured and memorized, Argentine Tango is creative and improvisational. With an emphasis on intricate footwork including foot flicks, leg wraps, and swivels, Argentine Tango is a wonderful dance!

People ask all the time what the difference is between American and Argentine and International Tango. Here is a wonderful quote :

"The forms of tango are like stages of a marriage. The American tango is like the beginning of a love affair, when you’re both very romantic and on your best behavior. The Argentine tango is when you’re in the heat of things and all kinds of emotions are flying: passion, anger, humor.  The International tango is like the end of the marriage, when you’re staying together for the sake of the children."

Argentine Tango allows you to be in tune with your partner in a very sensual yet elegant way. It makes the woman look graceful.

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  WEDNESDAY EVENING WESTERN CLASSES 7-9PM

Note: Many Wednesday classes are parallel to Sunday and Friday. The In-Depth descriptions are listed with Sunday.

Beginning Two Step
Two Step and Polka are the two basic dances used to Country-Western music.

You can take this class on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday for the price of one. (See Sunday's writeup)
 

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Western Swing I & II
(See Sunday's writeup)

 ADV WESTERN SWING II WILL BE OFFERED ON SUNDAYS, WEDNESDAYS,  
 FRIDAYS IN OCTOBER

 

Super Ghost Town 10 - scott   WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY IN OCTOBER
In response to the request for Parallel Ghost Towns, we now offer the same level of Ghost Town twice a week.  This way 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!
 

SHARON SHAW'S INTERMEDIATE WESTERN WALTZ    WEDNESDAYS IN OCTOBER

Sharon (Crawford) Shaw's legendary Western Waltz program begins anew in OCTOBER 2008 with a Beginning Western Waltz class, the first step in a five month cycle. 

Sharon taught her first extended Western Waltz class back in OCTOBER of 2000. In that year, Sharon had over 70 people sign up for Beginning Western Waltz in OCTOBER.  Due to the high energy of the class, naturally we scheduled a follow-up Intermediate class in OCTOBER. However there was no drop-off!   Not only did the same 70 people stick around, the class grew a little bit as experienced Waltz dancers joined in progress to share the fun.  Soon the students started begging for more levels. Sharon and her friend John Jones added an Advanced level in June. Then came Super-Advanced in July.

In 2000, Sharon and John stopped at four levels, but when the same thing happened the following year, they found a way to add a fifth month of Western Waltz in 2001. 

What makes the class exceptionally fun is that many of the dancers stay after class to practice.  Before you know, all that practice pays off - the entire room is wall to wall with beautiful Waltz couples swirling and twirling across the floor!  As a result, many of the finest Waltz dancers in Houston claim they owe their skill to Sharon and John's class!

Sharon's Five Month Western Waltz cycle in 2009 marks her tenth year of teaching the best Western Waltz in the entire city.  You do not want to miss it.

Warning - two years ago we actually had to CLOSE this course due to over-crowding. Do not hesitate to sign up. It could easily happen again. If you have ever desired to learn the Western Waltz, this is your golden opportunity. Join now.

 

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  THURSDAY EVENING SALSA CLASSES 7-9PM

Many Thursday Salsa classes are parallel to Tuesday and Saturday.

Beginning Salsa
You can take Beginning Salsa three different nights of the week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for one price.  This is place to start if you want to learn to dance Salsa.   Sexy, flashy, fun, challenging, and great music all combine to make Salsa the most popular form of social dancing in America.  (See Tuesday for writeup)
 

Intermediate Salsa 2    TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS IN OCTOBER

You can take Int Salsa three nights a week for the price of one!   (See Tuesday for writeup)
 

Advanced Salsa 4   THURSDAY AND SATURDAY IN OCTOBER
Take both the Thursday and the Saturday Advanced class for the price of one!

Don't forget a parallel to this course will also be offered on Saturdays at 4:30 pm!!  Take both the Thursday and the Saturday Adv class for the price of one! 

One common question about the Advanced Salsa classes is "which one do I take first?" 

Just like with the four Intermediate Salsa levels, you can take Advanced levels in any order you wish.  However there is one important note: The pace and the patterns of Advanced Levels 1 thru 6 (offered on Thursdays and Saturdays) are easier than the difficult Advanced Salsa class on Tuesdays. 

In other words, Thursday/Saturday is Advanced, Tuesday is Super-Advanced.

The Thursday/Saturday class will be difficult, but with two chances a week to practice the material, it should be easier than Tuesday.

 

super ADVANCED BACHATA - Linda Cook     THURSDAYS IN OCTOBER

The consensus in the Salsa community is that Bachata has now moved past Merengue to become the second favorite Latin dance behind Salsa.

Bachata is a Latin dance used to slow-rhythm Salsa music. It is considered "suggestive" and naughty. Originating in the Dominican Republic, Bachata traces it roots to an ancient African dance rhythm known as 'Ibo' brought over by slaves stolen from the Nigerian Kwa tribe in the early 1800s.  The dance is very similar to Bossa Nova.

Long considered disreputable music of the lower classes, Bachata was not played on commercial radio until recently, even though it had a huge grassroots following. In many ways the history of Bachata is similar to that of American blues. Originally a rural, guitar-based form, Bachata was the music of the poor and uneducated. The lyrics often contained raw double-entendres and bawdy sexual innuendoes.

And now that you know that Bachata is sometimes known as the Salsa version of "Dancing Down and Dirty", come learn how to dance it! . 
 

 

 
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  FRIDAY EVENING WESTERN CLASSES 7-9PM

Many Friday classes are parallel to Sunday and Wednesday. You can read their write-ups by scrolling up to Sunday.

Beginning Two Step

Two Step and Polka are the two basic dances used to Country-Western music. You can take this class on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday for the price of one.  (See Sunday's writeup)
 

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Western Swing I & II
(See Sunday's writeup)
 ADVANCED WESTERN II WILL BE OFFERED ON FRIDAYS IN OCTOBER

Super Ghost Town 10 - SCOTT
 WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY IN OCTOBER

In response to the request for Parallel Ghost Towns, we know offer Ghost Town on two different nights of the week. If you miss one day, you can make it up on the other. 

 

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  SATURDAY AFTERNOON SALSA CLASSES 4:30-6:30PM

Many Saturday Salsa classes are parallel to Tuesday and Thursday.

Beginning Salsa
You can take Beginning Salsa three different nights of the week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for one price.  This is place to start if you want to learn to dance Salsa.   Sexy, flashy, fun, challenging, and great music all combine to make Salsa the most popular form of social dancing in America. 
 

Intermediate Salsa 2
 TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS IN OCTOBER

You can take Intermediate Salsa three nights a week for the price of one! 
 

Advanced Salsa 4
 
THURSDAY AND SATURDAY IN OCTOBER

Take both the Thursday and the Saturday Adv class for the price of one!

Alternating Saturday Class:

ZYDECO (odd months) - Willie Bushnell and Ronnie Alexander 

Zydeco is a Creole Swing Dance that is extremely popular in the Houston area.

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!
 

Rhythm and Blues Twostep (even months) - Willie Bushnell & Willie Ellis
 SATURDAYS IN OCTOBER

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 out".

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The SSQQ Newsletter

SSQQ has a Newsletter which contains quite a bit of information about the studio including the last-minute schedule changes, the social events, and “gossip”. If you would like to get an “Insider’s Look” at what is going on at the studio, visit the SSQQ Newsletter.

Like any good politician who wishes to stay in office, we are well aware that staying in business requires making our customers happy. Please send your suggestions for classes you would like to see offered to dance@ssqq.com

Thank you! 
Rick Archer

 

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