entered the new century, 1999 was notable at SSQQ for the marriage of
fourteen couples that
Nine more couples reported their
engagements to be married in 2000. And
all these couples are the tip of the iceberg. There are always several more couples who
have forgotten to keep us posted!
(Note: 2006 update: When we first wrote
this story, the number of couples listed as getting married in
1999 was 12. Five years later, that number has grown to
14. The numbers are always under-reported.)
The numbers were even more amazing in 2000 - Nineteen couples were
married and eleven more announced their engagement.
when it comes to Romance, 1999 was not that unusual. These numbers have been the norm here
for many years.
is something very special about this place.
we are visited by former students who moved out of town for their job or left the studio
to go back to school. Surprisingly, the first thing they say is not "hello".
Instead they usually begin the conversation by complaining there is no SSQQ in the place
where they moved.
by the indirect compliment, we invariably remind them that SSQQ is the original. Since we
more or less made SSQQ up as we went along, it's difficult to imagine many places like us
"Secret for Success" has always been simple - we do a good job of teaching you
how to dance, then we organize opportunities for you to practice your dancing.
improve through practice, you will also see the strangers in your classes become friends.
At this point, dancing becomes a lot of fun. We have always made a huge effort to get all
of our students to practice together.
always, our mottos have been "It takes Two to Tango", "The More, the
Merrier", and of course, "Practice Makes Perfect".
SSQQ is one of
the easiest places to make friends that you will ever find. This is no accident. We set it
up that way.
anything else, it takes time for friendships to develop. If dancing turns out to be a
hobby you enjoy, you can get to know people gradually over an extended period of time.
Mind you we aren't simply talking "boy-girl" here, but rather
"friends", people you can count on to smile at you when you see them, the kind
you can trust, sit in a chair and chat with while watching the others dance, people you
can have fun with. Over the years SSQQ has helped to create an enormous network of very
There is a group of 30 people who all took classes here at the studio back in the
early-80s. They met each other at SSQQ, learned together, and made a point to all go out
dancing together. They organized special get-togethers. As a result, this group of
students became inseparable friends over the years.
in this group are two of my best friends, Tom Easley and Mike Fagan, plus former
instructors Diane Head, Carol Gafford, and Judy Price.
Out of this group, there are 6
married couples that credit SSQQ with a big assist.
though the studio and dancing is no longer a central binding point,
twenty-plus years later today the group still
keeps in close touch. For one thing, everyone makes a point once a year to all go skiing
together. Quite frankly, they are very close to being an SSQQ-version of the The Big
Chill (especially when they are freezing their butts off skiing in Banff).
a sense, I call this group a Generation a number of people who all
started dance lessons at roughly the same time and eventually bonded together. Even though
dancing is no longer central to their lives, their ties of friendship still exist today 15
One of the members of this group, Tom Easley, is a perfect example of SSQQ Karma in
action. Every year he would make a huge effort to organize a weekend Beach Trip to
Freeport. He would rent the cottages, publicize the event, organize the room assignments,
collect the money, and put in a lot of time keeping track of the details. Then crowds of
50 people would drive down to the Beach hang out together the whole weekend.
One day in 1986 he noticed a beautiful young lady taking a private lesson at the
studio. Noticing the look in his eye, I took the hint and introduced Tom to Margaret
Eicke. Tom invited Margaret to come down for the day at his Beach Trip the following
weekend and handed her a map. Margaret decided to drive down and spend a couple hours on
Saturday to check things out. She had such a great time, Margaret ended up staying the
whole weekend with the group.
Now married for 12 years, Tom and Margaret Easley have two wonderful children, a
beautiful home, and many fond memories of SSQQ.
As they say, what goes around comes around.
Click here to
Another look at Tom Easley's "Look-a-Like" Generation"