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24 Articles on SSQQ Policy
Information Guests & Watching Rudeness No Children Change Partners Crowds/Receipts
Business Policies Questions Dance Widow Same Sex Volunteers Refund Overview
House Rules Private Lessons Group Privates Electronic Trnsctns Deal is a Deal Changes
Refund Wedding Lessons Group Discount Exceptions Exception Overview Tuition Switch
Refund Struggle Refund Defeat Refund Arguments Double Charges Switching Classes New to SSQQ

SSQQ Business Policies at a Glance

There is the distinct possibility that SSQQ is the most complicated dance studio ever created. This page helps you review our policies quickly.
Please direct questions to:  Rick Archer

Stuff Happens/
Something Comes Up/
People Change Their Minds

Dance classes are a "leisure time" activity. They are a great deal of fun.

However, as the word "leisure" implies, whenever something more important comes up, dance classes become expendable.  Over the course of a month - the length of a dance semester - the chances of "something coming up" are pretty good.  We accept this obvious reality without hesitation or rancor.

Many of You, Few of Me

SSQQ averages 1,200 customers a month. The sheer numbers dictate that we set up basic ground rules known as "Policies" to put a limit on the amount of changes we can accept without going nuts.

Registration Week

The First Week of the Dance Semester is known as Registration Week. Each night we have 3 or 4 Registrars on duty to handle Walkin Registration, answer questions, handle problems and make changes.

First Night of Class

First Night of Class is defined as the Night you register for. If you walk in the door and register on Monday, then Monday is your "First Night of Class".

If you use Online Registration and register for Monday, but walk in on Tuesday, Monday is still your legal First Night of Class.

Changes such as Refunds or Course Switches must be made on or before the "First Night of Class" if you wish to avoid a penalty.

First Night of Class:
One Hour Grace Period

The First hour of the First night of class is important. Known as "Grace Period", it serves as an "Evaluation Period".  This hour gives you the opportunity to take your class at no risk and make an informed decision as to whether the class is right for you or whether you wish to make a change. This change can be made during Break (8 pm or 5:30 pm) at the Registration Desk.  

You can ask for a Refund. You can ask to switch to another class. There is no penalty to do either. We will give you your money back without rancor and we don't mind at all helping you transfer to another class if you wish.

Use it or Lose it -
The Non-Verbal Contract

"I hereby acknowledge that no one at your business forced me or tricked me into coming here. I come of my own free will.

I think I am interested enough in dance to show up at this place 4 times in a 30-day period. I understand if I lose interest for any reason or something more important comes up, I can take the class over again at a later date.

But if I choose to stick around after one hour of my first class, I won't get my money back no matter how much I kick, scream or holler. That's the risk I take."

SSQQ Refund Policy

Once the One-Hour Grace Period on the First Night of class is over, no Refunds will be issued. This rule applies to Online and Walkin equally. No exceptions. 

You may postpone taking the class you signed up for to a later date. You may switch to another class in the same month or at a later date. You can even transfer your class credit to another person in the form of a Gift Certificate.

Second Week of Class

90% of all Registrations are handled in the First Week. Since Refunds are almost never asked for in the Second Week, we shorten the Grace Period from one hour down to 30 minutes. In other words, the Registrar leaves after 30 minutes.

Third and Fourth
Week of Class

We do not permit Registration in the Third or Fourth Week of Class unless you obtain EMAIL PERMISSION in Advance ( The Hall Monitor will stop you and turn you away. It is not fair to the existing class to allow people into class after the movie is "half over".  Now if you take a private lesson to catch up, that's another story... but you will still need an EMAIL PERMISSION SLIP.

No Refunds for Double Charges can be issued at the studio in the Third and Fourth Week for the simple reason that there is no Registrar on duty to help you.

Double Charges on
Credit Card

Accidental double-charges on your credit card bill do occur. This problem is caused by the customer hitting the "Back Button" or the "Submit" button a 2nd time while the Internet is busy processing your Online Registration transaction. 

Do not worry. We will not keep your money. That said, you will probably have to wait until the First Week of the following month to get your Refund because we will need to see the paper evidence and we will need your Credit Card in order to swipe it AT THE STUDIO. If you catch the problem quickly enough, we can handle it during Second Week Registration of the current month. Bring the information with you when you come for your Second Week of Classes.

Electronic Transactions

There is a common misconception that all Registration Problems can be handled by emailing the studio and we magically hit a command and the problem goes away. Nothing could be further from the truth.  The real story is documented at great length in the article known as "Electronic Transactions".

Exception Rule

We consider "Ignorance of the Rules" to be a Legitimate Excuse. Our list of rules and policies is so vast that our own Staff is unclear at times what the rule says.

Therefore we have an Exception Policy. If you ask for something that bends our Rules, but doesn't threaten to stop the earth from spinning, depending on what it is we may be able to give you a wrist slap and say, "The Policy is (_________) and you can find it here on the Internet at, but if you wish, we will make an Exception for you in this situation.

Please email ssqq in advance to ask,

Group Tuition Cannot be
Switched to Private Lessons

This deeply misunderstood Rule is explained at great length in the "Tuition Switch" article.  Basically a Deal is a Deal and we won't change the Deal after the fact. Please read the article for this to make any sense at all.


Missed Classes

Each month our students miss dance classes for any of a million reasons that range from the absurd to the serious.  Since missing one class isn't that big of a problem, most people don't worry about it. 

However if they miss 2 or more classes, then they worry they didn't get the full value of the course and ask how to make up their class.

1. If you miss 1, 2, 3, or all 4 classes out of 4, you are always welcome to retake the class over again for half-price.

2. You can even take it over again for free if you wish to exercise your "Once a Year Exception" waiver.

1. Half-Price Policy - Any class in your Class History may be taken for Half-Price.
Permission is not necessary. Just register Online or Walkin.  Either way is fine. 

Any class can be repeated for half-price if it is in your Class History. If you miss a couple classes, this is a very simple way to review the material you missed.  Please note you don't need permission. 

2. Half-Price Policy - A class that is NOT in your Class History is subject to full-price.
We have many students from pre-2002 who took classes that are obviously not in our database.  We also have students who can't seem to locate a post-2002

(Classes Not in your history require

2. Once a Year Exception Policy: Taking the Missed Class Over Again for Free

If you wish, we will be happy to make an Exception and let you take the class over again for free. 

Please note there is a limit to this offer - we will let you repeat a class for free once a year under the "One Exception Per Year" Rule.

All you have to do is email Rick Archer at and receive email permission to show to the Registrar when you take your class at a later date.

Switching Classes

Considering there are over 1,000 transactions done a month at SSQQ, it really isn't that unusual for several people a month to make a request to switch classes.  We typically get about 6 requests a month to change classes and typically give our blessing to 9 out of 10 requests.

However we do have a major concern.  We prefer you ask to make your switch while you are at the studio on your first night of class. The Second Week is all about balancing the boy-girl ratio of each class and avoiding taking any chances of over-crowding our classes. Therefore we impose strict controls on which classes are "open" and "closed". 

By waiting till the second week to make your request, you risk having your class closed. 

And don't just show up without emailing first. You might save yourself a wasted trip if you ask in advance.

Switch to Another Class

Switching from one Class to Another Class in the Same Month is no problem!
(Please note that switching classes after Week Two is not permitted)

You may always switch to another course in the same month, but we prefer that you do it the same night you start classThere will be no charge to switch.  Simply go ask the Registrar on the premises before Break is over at 8:20 pm or 5:50 pm if you are taking a weekend class.

Second Week:  The reason we are sensitive about Second Week Switches because this is the week we worry about the class balance and over-crowding.

We usually accept requests for switches in the second week if you email for permission. There will be no charge. However our Registrars are expected to check the boy-girl ratio and the On-Line Registration board for notices on classes that are over-crowded or unbalanced.

Please be aware we might say "no" if the class you wish to switch to is over-crowded or has too many extra of one sex and adding YOU makes the problem worse.

Switching Classes from One Month to a Later Month Will Require that you use your Once a Year Exception, but you have to do it in the ORIGINAL MONTH!

Once a Dance Semester Has ended, the course or courses you took that month become part of your permanent Class History.

SSQQ has an extensive history of everyone's classes. You can research your Class History by visiting the SSQQ On-Line Registration Page. Click "History" on the left and enter your Student ID.

The way our system is set up, our Registrars can transfer students from one class to another within the same Month without a problem.  If we switch a student from one class to another in the Same Month, the student's Class History will change automatically.

Once the Month is over, that class becomes locked into each student's Class History as a permanent record.  The class cannot be changed or deleted after the fact.

Example:  You took Ghost Town 3 in May, but tell us you only came one time.  Now you want to take Advanced Salsa 4 the following month and wish to switch tuition from Ghost Town 3 and apply it to Salsa 4. Unfortunately you asked us AFTER MAY IS OVER!  We won't allow you to do it. 

Why Not?  Because Ghost Town 3 is part of your permanent record. You can take it again for as many times as you want for half-price. And if we give Advanced Salsa 4, that goes on your record too. Then you would have two classes on your permanent record for the price of one. This is not fair to the studio.

This issue has come up several times in the past.

EXAMPLE ONE  Request Denied:  Switching to a Different Class in a Different Month

 -----Original Message-----
From: M L
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 3:14 PM
Subject: Advanced Salsa lessons

Hello, I enrolled in Advanced Salsa 6 last month, May. I was only able to make it to two of the classes, and was thinking of enrolling for the month of June.

I noticed the class is not exactly the same. Do I have to pay full price, or half price since I already took another Advanced Salsa class?  Thanks, ML

 -----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 5:16 PM
To: ML
Subject: Advanced Salsa lessons

We prefer that you pay full price for the June Advanced Salsa class.  You can re-take the May Adv Salsa 6 class for half-price when it is offered again soon. This class rolls around once every four to five months.

REASONING:  As most of our students know, each Advanced Salsa class covers different material.  This gentleman is basically saying, "Look, I bought a watermelon. I only ate half of it.  Can I have my next watermelon for half-price?"

Common sense says put the watermelon in the refrigerator until you are ready for it.  This man is basically asking us to sell him one and a half watermelons for the price of one.

In SSQQ terms, our answer is, "Why not simply retake the dance class you paid for when it is offered again for half-price?" 

Please note if you missed your classes due to an emergency, if email us within the same month, then you can take it for FREE when the class comes around again.

-----Original Message-----
From: SB
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 3:24 PM
Subject: URGENT question

 Hi,  My husband and I signed up for the 2 Left Feet class, but Saturday he pulled a muscle in his back on a job, and he is is still at home and can barely stand for 10 minutes at a time now without problems.  We are trying to take a dance class for a wedding at the end of May.  Are you going to be offering Intro to Ballroom Dancing in May?  We need to find a class with some slow dances to replace this one--can you help me?  I realize that we have 7 days to come down there and change to another class, but I can't tell what you will have for May, as I didn't see anything for April on your website that would be good for us.  PLEASE HELP ME!     SB

From: Rick Archer
To: SB
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 7:42 PM
Subject: RE: URGENT question

Calm down, it isn't as Urgent as you feel right now! ;-)

Actually you did me a favor. I forgot to list "Slow Dance and Romance" on Mondays in April, so your email helped realize my mistake. This class is 4 straight weeks of pure Slow Dancing for Weddings. If Monday is a good night for you, then this is exactly the class you want. Let me know.

-----Original Message-----
From: SB
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:45 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: URGENT question

Dear Rick,

Thank you for your fast reply. (You don't know how long I have been planning to get my husband into dance lessons for this wedding--so I probably was a little panicked at a delay and possibly nothing to fit our needs!) Yes, that April class would work perfectly. What do we need to do to change to the next month's class?

Sincerely, SB

----- Original Message -----
From: Rick Archer
To: SB
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:59 PM
Subject: Permission to take Slow Dance and Romance in April

Print this out and bring it with you: Registrar, T and S B have permission to take Slow Dance and Romance in April. There will be no charge as they have a credit from March 2005

-----Original Message-----
From: SB
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 8:02 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: Permission to take Slow Dance and Romance in April

Rick,  Thanks for making everything easy!   SB

The difference between Example One and Example Two should be obvious. In Example Two, the student contacted us immediately and explained what the problem was.  As a result we got them into the exact class they needed from the start.  Everyone is happy.

In Example One, the person emails us AFTER the month is over and asks to take a completely different class. This request doesn't "feel right". Furthermore the moment we enter him in a different Salsa class, he now has TWO ADVANCED SALSA CLASSES on his Class History, but he only paid for one class.

This is why we created the policy that says you should ask permission to switch classes during the ORIGINAL MONTH or forget about it. Our system does not allow us to make changes after the month has ended.

You don't believe us? 

True Story. On Thursday, March 10, 2005, Marla Archer personally asked David Schroeder, the man who designed the system, how to switch a class from a previous month. He was unable to do it. He simply muttered something and walked away. 

Ask any Registrar if they know how to change a class after the month is over. If you find one who knows how to do it, I will personally give you a $10 bill and thank you for finding someone who knows how to do it.


Email Rick Archer at to make your request. Please be aware you are exercising your "once a year exception" option.  EXAMPLE


Request Approved

-----Original Message-----
From: AB
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 1:22 PM
Subject: Classes and Schedules


My name is AB. I am a student of your studio of a few months. I went to class last Tuesday (Advanced Salsa 8 I believe). This week, I am sick as a dog and will be missing this class, and furthermore, next week I will be out of town on a business trip. Since I will be missing the end of a proposed pattern, and be back for the last class in the middle of the second pattern, rather than be a goof on the floor, I want to get a credit to next month's Advanced Salsa 9 class.

I spoke with Linda today, and she mentioned this would be alright, and I would only be charged $5 to start the Salsa 9 class. Please verify if this is correct, and what steps I need to do in order to make this happen for Salsa 9.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 2:12 PM
To: AB
Subject: RE: Classes and Schedules j missed class

Because you make your request in the same month as you registered, I was able to grant your wish. I have erased Adv Salsa 8 from your record. This email gives you permission to take Adv Salsa 9 without any charge. Show it to Marla Archer at the Registration Desk and she will handle it from there.

Request Approved

From: Frank
To: dance@ssqq
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 9:51 AM
Subject: request to switch classes

A couple nights ago I took "3 left feet" on Tuesday.  while I was the studio I noticed how much fun the salsa classes were.  After reading your web site, I thought I would email to ask to switch to "beg salsa" even though I realize I failed to do this the first night of class as the rules state. Do you mind if I switch


From: Rick Archer
To: Frank
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 11:19 AM
Subject: request to switch classes

Of course. No problem. However when you get to the studio, you will have to see the Registrar so she can change your class history. Print this out and bring it with you. RA.

Request Denied

From: SSQQ Hall Monitor
To: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 7:05 AM
Subject: Switching a class in the third week

Last night a guy came up to me who was taking a Salsa class on Tuesday and said he wanted to switch to the Slow Dance class for the final two weeks because he had been invited to his girl friend's office Christmas Party and they had a DJ. He had his girlfriend with him.

I told him "no" because people are not supposed to start in the third week, but I hated doing it. How do want me to handle problems like these??

Rick Archer Reply to situation above:

I think you did the right thing.  However that is a tough call.  I probably would have let them do it if they had simply emailed me to ask for permission ahead of time. That class has three extra men in it, but if he brought his girlfriend that would not have caused a problem.

However I don't like people who simply show up at the door and expect you to make an exception for them.  I answer 90% of my email the same day and we answer the phone for 5 hours each week day. All they had to do was ask.

 Request Approved

-----Original Message-----
From: msheler
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 7:03 PM
Subject: intermediate salsa

I tried to call, but could not get a hold of anyone. I was just wondering if it would be possible for me to get credit for the salsa class I am in right now. I was in a car accident last weekend and am not supposed to do anything to physical for a couple of weeks. I have only been to one class and thought I might be able to start again in a couple of weeks. Let me know. Thank you. M Sheler

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 9:24 AM
To: msheler
Subject: RE: intermediate salsa

When you are ready to take the class again, print this out and bring it with you to show to the Registrar. You are welcome to restart your intermediate salsa class at no charge. Get better!

Request Approved

-----Original Message-----
From: batt1015
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 12:47 PM
Subject: missed classes

I have been unable to attend (missed 2) of the Wed evening classes Beginner Two Step.

Can I retake next quarter?

Thank you, Beverly A

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 03:23 PM
To: Beverly A
Subject: missed classes

Absolutely not a problem. Print this out and bring it with you. There will be no charge. RA

Request Approved
-----Original Message-----
From: Annette A
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2004 8:20 PM
Subject: missed classes

Rick, I signed up for the intermediate swing - and missed the first 2 classes due to illness. I am finally well and can come this monday Jan 19, - but will have missed 1/2 of the course. Can I skip the last 2 classes in Jan and then take this complete course in Feb. My account # is xxxxxxx0511, authorization TKT 015775.

Thanks, Annette A

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 12:39 PM
To: Annette A
Subject: RE: missed classes

Yes, skip the January classes and start over in February. If you bring this to show the registrar, there will be no charges.  Hope you feel better.  RA

 Request Approved
-----Original Message-----
From: Holly M
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 2:29 PM
Subject: missed class


My husband and I registered for Monday night beginning swing. We attended the first two classes but are unable to attend the second two (or their parallels.) How much do you charge for us to take the classes next month? Yes, I read the website info, but can't quite figure it out...

Thanks for your help.   Holly M

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 2:45 PM
To: Holly McDonald
Subject: RE: missed class

If you are unable to complete your course, you may retake it at a later date no charge. Please print this out and bring it with you.  RA.

 Request Approved

-----Original Message-----
From: Jacob C
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 10:58 AM
Subject: Missed a Month

I paid for a month of lessons back a couple of months ago and could not make it even once for the entire month. Would I have to repay if I came in this month instead?

My name is Jacob C and I think the month was around February. I signed up for beginning Western swing, but I may take the two stepping class instead.

I plan on showing up on Wednesday this week to take the lessons this month.
Thanks again,  Jacob.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 11:45 AM
To: Jacob C
Subject: RE: Missed a Month

Print this out and bring it with you to show the Registrar. There will be no charge. Just show up the night of your class and have fun!!

Rick Archer

Request Denied:  No Switching Classes in the Third Week!

----Original Message-----
From: RDavis
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 8:59 AM
Subject: switch a class

I am enrolled in the "Some like it Hot" class on Tuesday at 7 but I now have a conflict on the next two Tuesdays.

I would like to switch to Jill's Intermediate Salsa class on Thursday, if possible.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 8:59 AM
Subject: Re: switch a class

If you had asked in the Second Week this would not have been a problem. But we don't let people start in the Third Week. I hope you understand.

Request Above Approved After Being Denied: It Turns out the Class is a Repeat

----Original Message-----
From: RDavis
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: switch a class

I have taken Intermediate Salsa before. I don't think I would hold the class up.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 2:37 PM
Subject: Re: switch a class

Ah, that's different. In that case I don't mind at all.  Print this email out to show to the Hall Monitor on Thursday. Have fun!

Request Approved

-----Original Message-----
From: Powers, Tiffany
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 4:12 PM
Subject: request for class exchange


I called a couple of Saturdays ago and inquired if I could move the registration of Brian Baca and Tiffany Powers from Saturday, 11/22 Swing Acrobatics to Saturday, 12/6 Slow Dancing.  You asked me to send you an email so you could send me permission.  Is this still okay?

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 4:41 PM
To: Powers, Tiffany
Subject: RE: request for class exchange

Not a problem, Tiffany. Print this out to show the register this Saturday, December 6. enjoy!!  There will be no charge.

Request Denied:  Switching
Group Tuition to Private Lessons

-----Original Message-----
From: Deborah Peterson
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 9:23 AM
Subject: Transferring tuition to private lessons

To Whom It May Concern:

My fiancÚ and I were at SSQQ on Jan. 10th for group slow dance lessons. Obviously we were there to learn to dance together, but we were told we would have to switch partners. This is not acceptable.

Therefore we decided to take private dance lessons instead and scheduled a lesson with the instructor before we left.

I will be at SSQQ this Thurs. Jan 20th at 5:30 for a private dance lesson. How do we switch our class tuition to this instructor?? 


I am sorry, but this won't work. This has been a complicated issue here at the studio for many years. There are Group Classes and there are Private Lessons. Our instructors work for SSQQ when they teach Group Lessons. They work for themselves when they teach Private Lessons.

What you are essentially asking us to do is pay another business out of our own funds.

For example, you give a lawyer one hundred dollars for a consultation on an inheritance concern. Halfway through the consultation, you discover there is another attorney in the building who is more qualified to handle your particular question. Do you ask the first Lawyer to give you your money back so you can hand it the second Lawyer?  And the answer is: Maybe.  Then it is up to the first Lawyer to decide what to do with your money.

My question is why didn't you simply ask for a Refund while you were at the studio on January 10th?

Request Approved

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Varian
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 2004 9:54 AM
Subject: Class Change?

To Whom it May Concern:

Last Monday night, Joyce Lo and I attended the intermediate swing class,
but did not like the content of the lesson.

We would like to finish our four-week term of lessons in the beginning
Latin Cha-Cha.

Please let me know if this can be done. Thank you!

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004 11:22 AM
To: Mark Varian
Subject: RE: Class Change?

Bring this to the registrar on Monday and you are welcome to switch to Latin cha cha. The registrar will make the switch.

Request Approved

 -----Original Message-----
From:    Hudnall, Tim
Sent:    Tuesday, September 07, 2004 1:21 PM
Subject:  Class Switch

Rick,  I'm enrolled in Beginning Western Swing.  I realize I would rather repeat Beginning two-step and Polka.  I read the "Same Month: You may always switch your tuition to another course in the same month, but you must ask within 7 days of starting your first class." rule.  I know I'm past the 7 days but here's my offer.  I know repeats are 1/2 price and I paid full price for Swing. 

Can we just call it even and I'll take the next three weeks of Beginning Two-step?    
Thanks, Tim Hudnall


Sounds okay to me. Print this out and show it to the Registrar. And next month if you go on to Beg Western Swing just pay half. 

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