Rachel Koenig
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Rachel Koenig
Written by Rick Archer
February 2008

Rachel Koenig was a very popular SSQQ Western instructor who taught here at the studio for ten years (1998-2008).

Known to us as Rachel Seff till her marriage to Dave Koenig in 2004, Rachel was always quite a character.

Rachel has been such a big part of this studio in so many ways that I hardly know where to begin. 

Personally, I think the easiest way to begin get a handle on this talented, vivacious lady is to revisit the SSQQ Newsletter stories.


The very first story about Rachel comes from the August 1999 issue.

SSQQ Staffer Rachel Seff was happy to report to the Grapevine that her friends David Meinert and Eileen McPherson are engaged to be married. The date is set for February 19. (Click here for their picture).

Apparently that sneaky SSQQ Cupid gets some of the credit, but I might an even sneakier real-life person named Rachel deserves even more credit!

Dave is a long-time friend of Rachel's. According to Rachel, Dave saw Eileen for the first time at an SSQQ Whip practice night at the studio. He watched Eileen dance for a long time, but Rachel said he didn't the nerve to speak to her then.

The following Tuesday, Dave and Rachel were sitting together at Longhorn when Dave pointed out Eileen. Dave proceeded to add that he thought Eileen was cute.  Rachel rolled her eyes in dismay at his shyness and decided to swing into action.

In a scene that sounds shoplifted from a Hugh Grant movie, good friend Rachel proceeded to literally "push" Dave into Eileen at the at the Longhorn to force him to speak to her!  Rachel then cleverly disappeared to the dance floor and watched from afar.

Rachel's sneaky trick worked!  After half an hour of apologizing for knocking her down, Dave eventually got up the nerve to ask Eileen out. They have been dating ever since.

In addition to Whip classes, the couple have also taken some Wednesday Ghost-town classes as well as Aggie Jitterbug. That makes sense; Dave is a flag-waving A&M graduate. Best wishes to both !

Rachel has always prided herself on her matchmaking ability.  Considering this dance studio prides itself on connecting people, Rachel was definitely in the right place to utilize her yenta skills. 

So exactly what is a Yenta?   This word has several meanings, some good, some bad. 

The dark meaning of the word is a meddlesome, gossipy woman, someone who is an ever-present nuisance. 

The positive meaning of Yenta is Matchmaker.

Just as you can have a bad witch and a good witch, in this case Rachel is definitely the Matchmaker.  In the classic movie Fiddler on the Roof, Yenta was the woman who got all the couples together. 
A good yenta provides you knowledge and wisdom about everything who does whatever is necessary to assure eligible and marriageable singles make each other's acquaintance.  That seems to capture the essence of one of Rachel's favorite roles here at the studio over her many years here.


On the other hand, Rachel occasionally evoked some of the other meanings of her nickname, but never in a hurtful way.  In November 1999, Rachel shared a very interesting story.  I have always loved this tale.

JD Horne is a student of mine from law school. This incident took place when JD and several of his friends were out in Austin recently. JD relates the story in his own words below....

The Absolutely True, and Funniest Damn "J.D. Horne Pick-Up" story of all time!

I was at Lucky Lounge (a 4th Street bar where exotic dancers and/or similarly beautiful and shallow women go to meet men) and had been working on this girl for over an hour. She was absolutely the bomb--way out of my league. I actually only approached her on a dare, because these guys were talking to these other guys that we were with about how "fearless" (read: stupid?) I was when it came to girls and that I would go up and talk to anyone, making me the perfect "point man."

Well, anyway the conversation deteriorated into these guys picking the hottest girl in the bar and "daring" me to go talk to her. My manhood challenged, I sauntered over, fully expecting her to laugh out loud at my feeble approach and only hoping that she would not humiliate me publicly. To my surprise and wonder, she was warm to my approach and turned out to be genuinely nice and intelligent, in addition to being unGodly hot.

Like I said earlier, I talked to her for at least an hour, with these guys!!! standing over in the corner eating their hearts out in amazement the whole time. So anyway, it becomes time for her to leave with her friends, so she gives me her card and asks me for my card which I promptly provided and I went ahead and asked her out on the spot for dinner the next week. She said yes & then I leaned in for a little swapping of spit--nothing short of ELECTRIC!

I turned and strolled over triumphantly to my minions, shit-eating grin on my face, while they were literally doing the Sammy Sosa-esque "We're not worthy" up-and-down flailing of the arms. Sounds like a great story, right?? WRONG!

We're standing there in a semi-circle a few minutes later and I see her from across the bar stomping, and I mean literally STOMPING, over to the spot where I was standing with her "posse" of girls. Before I could even say a word, she blurts out (and I think I'm quoting): "Look here, asshole, the date's OFF and you can stick this up your ass!" With that, she threw my card at me and stormed out of the building. To say the least, I was absolutely flabbergasted. What, pray tell, would cause such a visceral and spontaneous tongue-lashing?? I followed her out of the bar, running behind her like an idiot, asking her "what happened? what did I do? etc. etc."

She absolutely would not even speak to me. Her and her friends jumped in a cab, and I never saw her again. I walked back to the bar in absolute bewilderment, wondering what the hell had happened. Alas, to my ultimate shame, I soon found the answer...

When I walked inside the bar, the six GROWN men that I was with that night were literally sprawled out on the concrete floor of the bar in absolute hysterics. They had even recruited curious total strangers who were similarly laughing at me. Upon seeing me, they broke into spontaneous applause, the likes of which is usually reserved for rock stars and/or athletes. The reason for the laughter, the applause??  On the back of my card that I had given to this vision of beauty was the following notation, written down the previous week from another night on the town:

Amy 476-3323

Just call me "King of Smooth"....


In December 1999, Rachel emailed me to talk about an Award she won.  Rachel was very modest, but I was curious, so I visited a Texas A&M web site to learn more.  This is the story:

SSQQ Staffer Rachel Seff, Matchmaker Extraordinaire, Toga Party Reveler, and frequent Grapevine contributor, won a community service award at Texas A&M recently. I stole this writeup from a TAMU web site:

1999 Harris Award Winner : Rachel Seff '92

Rachel Seff '92 received her BA in Religion and Political Science from George Washington University in 1991. A native of Westchester County, New York, Rachel relocated to Texas to attend Texas A&M in pursuit of her Masters Degree. She received her Masters in Education Administration with an emphasis in higher education from Texas A&M in 1992. She is pursuing her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Houston and is scheduled to graduate in May, 2000.

She is the former Coordinator of Career Services for the University of Houston Law Center and now serves as the Director of the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center at the University of Houston College of Business Administration.

Rachel has been involved in numerous volunteer activities with the Houston A&M Club. She has
volunteered with Habitat for Humanity (1997, 1999), International Festival (1997, 1998, 1999), Bevo Burn
(1998, 1999), the Houston Food Bank (1997, 1998). Rachel has also served on the following committees: Coach's Night (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999), Muster (1997, 1998, 1999), Evening with the President (1998), and Casino Night (1997). In her part time, Rachel is a country-western dance instructor at SSQQ.


Over the years, Rachel has participated in many of our SSQQ Halloween Parties.  Her first costume was Elvis.  She came as Elvis again in 2001.  Rachel enjoyed wearing her belly dance costume, which was my favorite for obvious reasons. 

Rachel made six Halloween parties in a row in years 1999 - 2004.  

In 2003, Rachel introduced a new boyfriend to the studio, Dave Koenig.   Dave and Rachel came again in 2004, the year they were married.  However, sorry to say, we haven't seen them recently.  Hopefully now that Rachel has retired, she and Dave can visit us on Halloween.



There have been a number of crazy incidents over the years here at SSQQ, but no incident has ever been more bizarre than the notorious Shaggie Jitterbug Argument I had with Texas A&M back in 2000. 

To make a long story short, there exists a dance in Texas known as the Aggie Jitterbug.  I am not supposed to use the word "Aggie", but I think enough time has passed that no one cares any more.  I imagine the watch dogs have moved on.

The Aggie Jitterbug is a partner dance that most closely resembles swing dancing.  However there is no particular footwork nor does the dance even remotely have any discernable rhythm to it.  No matter what the speed of the music is, people dance it at whatever speed they are comfortable with. 

No footwork and no rhythm... no wonder Aggie Jitterbug is so popular!

Back in the Disco Era of the late seventies, I learned a Disco Dance we called the New Yorker.   When I met my first wife Pat, a Texas A&M graduate, back in 1984, I danced the New Yorker with her one night.  Pat exclaimed that I was dancing the Aggie Jitterbug, a dance she learned up at A&M.  Oh Really?   This was the first time I had ever heard this, but I took her word for it.  Later on, I speculated the dance I learned in the Disco Era probably was the Aggie Jitterbug.  I suspect back in early 1978 someone had adapted this simple dance to Disco music and it caught on as a useful partner dance here in Houston area.

Aggie Jitterbug is very similar to high school swing dancing.  This dance relies heavily on arm tension to stop momentum.  Nor are fancy leads particularly necessary either.  This is very appealing to dancers who have no rhythm and no desire to learn footwork. 

The downside is this dance is very rough on women because they are always getting their arms jerked.  This is why the Aggie Jitterbug dance more or less disappears after high school and college... as girls grow into women, the willingness to get thrown around diminishes rapidly with age.  Plus the older you get, you don't heal as fast from a night of dancing with a  rough man.

So you can imagine why the Aggie Jitterbug  has had little appeal here at SSQQ over the years.  Since our men use dance as a way to meet women and please women, why would they want to learn a dance that adult women hate?

With this thought in mind, there has never been any demand here at the studio for a four-week Aggie Jitterbug course.  The only real use for the dance comes from high school kids who want to learn something simple for prom dancing. 

So once or twice a year, I offer the Aggie Jitterbug as a one night Crash Course.  I did this for twenty two years without giving it a second thought.  Then in February 2000, an aggie graduate named Stephen Huzar lost his temper at me and sent me a nasty email.  Huzar was angry because I was depriving Aggie students of valuable scholarship money!  In his words, I was guilty of a blatant act of greed

As Huzar wrote at the time, "It is
rather disgusting that you would contribute to end the noble act of raising scholarships for worthy students."

I cannot begin to tell you how flabbergasted I was by this bitter, angry email.  As I read further, I discovered Huzar wanted to offer Aggie Jitterbug lessons through Leisure Learning magazine.  They pointedly told him that SSQQ was already teaching Aggie Jitterbug and that they didn't need two teachers.

Huzar had a fit!  I was taking money out of A&M's pocket!  Countless thousands of A&M graduates were filling SSQQ corporate coffers with A&M lucre, money that should be going to an A&M certified Aggie Jitterbug like Huzar instead!   This was a blatant act of greed!

The problem is, Huzar didn't have a clue what he was talking about.  Puzzled, I reviewed the schedule.  I found that the last time I had taught Aggie Jitterbug had been in a crash course seven months ago in July 1999.  That course had been attended by 10 students.  I charged ten bucks.

$10 x 10 students = $100.

Huzar was accusing me of greed and exploiting his beloved University over a hundred bucks.  If Huzar had approached me with a little respect, I would have donated the money on the spot.  $100 was not worth getting this upset about.  Or so I thought.

This was not worth fighting over.  After all, I meant no harm in the first place.  I actually felt hurt.  After all, I liked A&M!  A few years back an amazing A&M vet had cured my dog of cancer using an advanced treatment.  In addition, I had been married to a woman who was an A&M graduate.  Furthermore I had an A&M graduate working for me who could attest I had never said a derogatory thing in my life about A&M.  

In fact, now that I knew what Huzar was upset about, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to mend some fences and make some friends in the process.  This is where Rachel Seff came in.  With her Masters Degree in Education Administration from Texas A&M, I thought Rachel would be the perfect intermediary in this dispute.  I approached Rachel about helping me teach a special Aggie Jitterbug class.  We would advertise it as a benefit and donate all proceeds to an A&M scholarship fund.

As I expected she would, Rachel readily agreed to help.  On March 25th, 2000, Rachel and I taught Aggie Jitterbug to 40 students, a very impressive total.  Paying $10 each, I kicked in the original $100 from the July 1999 class to make it an even $500.  I then mailed the check to Texas A&M University. 

I had obviously seen this was the perfect opportunity to practice my Biblical pearls of wisdom.  You know, turn the other cheek and that sort of stuff.  A soft answer turneth away wrath. 

The problem was, this Christian stuff didn't work with these guys.  They really did enjoy being bullies.  Huzar refused to call off the dogs.  Not only did he refuse to attend the Benefit, he definitely thought it was worth continuing to stay upset about. 

Huzar managed to get a man named Tobin Boenig over at the TAMU
Collegiate Licensing Office upset as well.   Boenig wrote a very nasty letter of his own, chewing me out for creating headaches.  It was his job to conduct the difficult and arduous task of monitoring illegal use of A&M trademarks.  

Then Boenig got a lawyer involved, Mark H. Zietlowm, to write another threatening letter.  Zietlow had this choice statement for me, "
your use of “Aggie” is a direct infringement on the rights of Licensing Resource Group. We consider your infringement to be a serious intrusion on the rights of our client." 

Frankly, thanks to these threatening letters, I had become downright angry.  I had actually gone out of my way to placate Huzar by conducting a special Aggie Jitterbug class and donate ALL PROFITS to Texas A&M University.  These threatening letters were coming to me AFTER THE BENEFIT!

I didn't see what the point was to fight these people.  I had little doubt they would spend lots of taxpayer's money to squash little me.  It certainly wasn't worth the gamble to fight back so I agreed to stop using the word "Aggie" in any further writings.  

Calling it the "Forbidden Word", I deliberately avoided using it again for quite a few years.  I also gave "Aggie Jitterbug" a new name.  Calling it "Shaggie Jitterbug", I figured this would get the watch dogs off my back.  What on earth was the point of inviting a law suit over something this silly? 

In the past year or so, I have begun to use the phrase "Aggie Jitterbug" again.  It is of course the commonly-accepted name for this local dance.  Why should I not be allowed to call it by its name when everyone else does?  However, if the Trademark Guard Dogs decide to raise further objections, I suppose I will have to back down again.  Have you ever heard of anything sillier than this?

Read the whole story if you wish.  I guarantee you will smile.  At a certain level, it is a very funny story.

The Complete Sordid Shaggie Jitterbug Saga



Back in the days when Rachel first started at the studio, she ran with a wild crowd led by rumored lunatic asylum escapee Daryl Armstrong.  I forget who started the rumor, but I remember believing it. ;-)

Unfortunately these crazy days in the mid to late Nineties occurred before the dawn of the SSQQ Newsletter in 1999.  This story stayed hidden for some time.  It was not until March 2006 that I finally got around to writing about this Era in my story known as the Matchmaker, easily the best story I have ever written about SSQQ.

It probably comes as no surprise that Rachel was a card-carrying member of this band of lunatics.  I guarantee she caused quite a bit of trouble herself, but was clever enough to fly under the radar when it came to pictures and stories.  In the picture on the right, Rachel enjoys a Margarita evening with Daryl and Joanne Armstrong as well as Rachel's friend Gillian Tilbury. 

I specifically wrote about Rachel and Daryl in a chapter titled Comeback Kids.  No story about Rachel is complete without a visit back to the crazy days of the Daryl Armstrong Experience.



Rachel had two more mentions in the Newsletter in the year 2000.

In August 2000, Rachel raced for Team SSQQ in our annual Balloon Race (don't ask or I will a long story).  Since it was her birthday when she ran, this means Rachel is probably a Virgo on cusp.  She said at the time this birthday was a significant one, so I imagine she turned 30.  Rachel added that she was very nervous racing as "an older woman".   Such courage.

Here is an article from the September 2000 Newsletter

Rachel Seff Marries off Two SSQQ Couples!!

Last year Match Maker extraordinaire Rachel Seff announced to me that four of her friends were engaged to be married. Then Rachel, better known in SSQQ Circles as "Yenta", added she had "helped" spark these SSQQ romances (see the 1999 Grapevine for the stories if you are curious.)

With all the weddings in August, I noticed I hadn't gotten any feedback from Rachel about her friends Karen Murray and Dave Bowman and David Meinert and Eileen MacPherson. So I emailed Rachel to make a gentle inquiry. This is what Rachel sent me:

"Yes, Rick. Karen and Dave were married a few weeks ago. Dave and Eileen were married in February."

Wow!! I am very happy for both couples. I only wish Rachel could have included a couple more details. I guess all the excitement is in the engagement process. I would now like to take a moment to congratulate Rachel on several things:

Rachel's new job in the Admissions Office at the Rice Business School.
Rachel's strong running for Team SSQQ in the recent Beach Ball Balloon Race.
Tying SSQQ's Susie Merrill as SSQQ's top Matchmaker (Susie claims to have assisted the romances of Janet Wukman and Ray Meyers plus Tony Catalano and Karen Day)
Tying SSQQ's Dennis Taupo as the studio's worst Wedding Announcement writer. If Rachel wants to stay in the MatchMaking business, she needs to learn to publicize her accomplishments better.


One SSQQ tradition I miss terribly is the Lip Sync Show. 

Sort of like Fractured Fairy Tales, we pretend to be famous singers.  We get up there in front of a very supportive audience and sing memorable songs, usually with some unusual (and very sick) twists along the way.

Since Rachel is something of a natural ham, it was no surprise that she signed up for not one, but two skits.  Normally I had to beg people to perform, but not Rachel.  She was gung-ho from the start. 

In the picture on the right, that is Wil Colbourn, Rachel, Jill Banta, Paul Foltyn appearing in a Beach Boys Skit

November 2000

Tales of the SSQQ Lip Sync Show!!

This year's Lip Sync Show on Saturday, November 18th, was clearly our most successful revue to date. I am well aware this event was a lot of work, but the concentrated efforts of the SSQQ Staff and Friends produced a fun, highly entertaining show. The list of people to credit is a long one, but here goes:

Special Thanks go out to:

Susie Merrill. She worked hard to organize her dance team to rehearse "Big Spender" and the notorious "Skit". Then she turned around and Emcee-ed the event very well.

Ben Liles, who passed the torch to a new generation of talented Village People by training them in the act he had helped develop.

Anita Williams, who allowed herself to be persuaded to do "Last Kiss" again despite severe time constraints. She also was a smash hit in "Strangers in the Night" plus appearing in two other skits as well.

Rachel Seff, who put her creative talent to good use and helped create two new very well received skits: Little Red Riding Hood and Copa Cabana.

Ann Bush, who was in every skit… or practically every skit. Her leadership rescued the Supremes, a skit that I thought went very well plus volunteered for the new Do-Re-Mi skit (which with a little practice could probably go in many perverted directions!!), plus helped with the Beach Boys and Big Spender.

Brain White, who single-handedly saved the Beach Boys skit from oblivion, plus was terrific in the Village People act.

Joanne Spuck, who as Connie Francis was absolutely perfect in "Where the Boys Are".

Wil Coulbourn, who organized an entertaining Rolling Stones skit…and to Carol and David Armand for participating.

MG Anseman, who is considering a new career in show biz after his success as Little Red Riding Hood, a handsome man in "Where the Boys Are", and the Biker in Village People.

Marla Jennings for lending her experience to the Supremes.

Tracy King and Jeff Perry, for helping complete the Supremes act.

To all the Heartbeat dancers for two great acts, including "Big Spender" and this year's smash hit, "The Skit".

To Jorge Rodriguez and Brian Spivey for the Village People (as well as Robert Goins, MG Anseman, and Brian White).

To Jack Benard for Where the Boys Are.

To the Heartbeat, including Ann, Brian, Candi Angulo, and Mo Hendrix,

And to all the "Civilians" who also contributed greatly: Gloria Sanchez, Randy Goshorn, Robert Goins, Joe Lachner, John, Tracy, and Rick from the Rolling Stones, Steve Bahnsen in Where the Boys Are, and especially to Mike Waltz for being man enough to be Tiny Tim!!

Great Show!!

We got many thank you notes. Here is my favorite from Margaux Mann, the crazy Balloon Racer whose name irritates my computer's "spell check" function no end.

Hi Rick,  Just called up the December schedule to see what's on. My figuring is that if Carl isn't going to play volleyball on Tuesday nights then we can finally learn Latin dances. Does that make sense? (I haven't spoken to Carl about this yet.) Also, I love the '4 deliberate mistakes' page. Wish me luck.

AND, I never got to thank you for a fun lip sync night.

Carl really didn't want to go so he took me to a movie instead. On the way home, when I still whined about not going (about 10:45), he pulled into the SSQQ parking lot at the last minute. Well, you sure got him hooked. He loved it and was even critiquing as to how he could do some of the songs better. Uh-oh. He might be signing up for next year. (Not me, though. I embarrass myself enough on balloon night -- or should I say YOU embarrass me . . .) My favorites of the night: your rendition of that horrible song (where the girl dies), Little Red Riding Hood, Joann's song, and the YMCA. There may have been others, but I forget.  Thanks, Margaux


February 2001

Rachel Seff gets Published!

Rachel Seff, known to insiders as "The Seff Group" for her multiple personalities, gave me a complimentary copy of her brand-new book last Fall. I was of course immediately jealous because I would like to write a book too. However writing a book is the easy part; getting it published is even more amazing. Well, Rachel has accomplished both! Here is an email she sent to me last week.

Hi Rick, guess what! The book I co-authored, "60 Minutes to Success: The Ultimate Guide to Power Lunching" is actually selling quite well.

So much so that I have been asked to participate in a few business etiquette/career consulting programs around the Houston area.

All book signings are free and open to the public. Each will consist of a 20 minute program on business etiquette followed by book signings by yours truly. (That means they want you to buy the book, too. It retails for an easy $9.95).

Saturday, March 10, 2001. 2:00 pm - The West Alabama Bookstop located at 2922 S. Shepherd

Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 2:00 pm - The Barnes & Noble Superstore located at Highway 6.

Hope you can make it! - Rachel

Actually my daughter Sam and I visit the Book Stop store on West Alabama and Shepherd all the time. I think I might just drop in and harass Rachel to help deal with my bitterness at all her success. ;-)

It doesn't help that Rachel tries to soothe my feelings by promising to tell of her days as a starving dance instructor whenever she is on "Rosie" or "Oprah" or "Debra"...


March 2001

Good News - Rachel gets her

Rachel Seff, aka the Seff Group for her multiple personalities, informs us via email:

I am proud to announce that I successfully defended my dissertation this afternoon, March 21.

My degree is a doctorate in educational leadership, with a focus in research and quantitative statistics within higher education from the University of Houston.

Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2001, at 9:00 am for all who are interested. Details to follow.

(Editor's Note: Rachel requests that we change her nickname from the "Seff Group" to "Dr. Rachel" after her idol, Dr. Ruth, the noted sex consultant. All teasing aside, Rachel is to be commended for her wonderful accomplishment. She is a very talented lady indeed!)


February 2002

Written and contributed by SSQQ Instructor Rachel Seff

1. Slither only people you know.
2. Thou shall not slither with a sweaty neck.
3. Thou shall not slither a women if she has already declined a previous follow-through.
4. Do not criticize or correct your partner's moves.
5. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
6. Leave the teaching to the instructors.
7. Let the man lead. 'Follow' may be an 'F' word, but it isn't a bad word.
8. It is ok to say 'no thank you' to a dance invitation, but it means you must sit out for that entire song. 
9. Use deodorant.
10. Altoids should be your best friend.

(Editor's Note: Rachel is a published author and has a Ed.D from A&M. In addition as you can see from her writing she lives life on the sassy side. I really admire her 10 Commandments!)

February 2002


In last month's Newsletter, I mentioned there are horror stories everywhere regarding air travel thanks to 9/11.  In fairness to the industry, I went skiing over Christmas and experienced nothing to complain about. I did however receive an interesting reply to my Newsletter article from Ms. Dance Etiquette herself. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001 4:49 PM

Rick - Loved the newsletter, as usual. Thought I'd share my own nightmare travel story with you.

I was flying back to Houston last month after a 4-day recruiting trip in Indiana. Knowing all of the new hassles with security, I got to the airport quite early. I passed the time by walking through all of the airport shops.

One shop right by the entrance to the gates was Bath and Body Works. I love all of the yummy hand-lotion products, and so I put on a bunch of lotion. And I mean a bunch of lotion - hands, arms, elbow, face, etc. I then proceeded to walk through security. I go through the medal detector.

BEEP! My high heels set off the alarm. Shoes come off. Try again. BEEP.

So the Security guy walks in and runs a magic detector wand around my body (most men should be so lucky). It appears a wire in an undergarment is setting things off. Security guy acknowledges this quite loudly and lets me through.

Whew, I thought. Thank goodness that's over. Nope, not yet. BEEP! Now my BAG goes off. (I only travel with carry-ons). Three green-beret army guys walk over to me and ask me to step aside. Apparently, my bag has tested positive for hazardous materials. Now the entire mass of people at the security gate is staring at me with eyes of suspicion. And I'm completely mortified. Hazardous materials?!? What did it test for? The army guy checks the scanner. T-N-T.

T-N-T?!? So they start opening my bags, which after a 4-day trip is full of dirty clothes and not packed very neatly. They go through each item and hold it up as if on display. Had I known I would be doing this, believe me, I would have packed much sexier items. Then they ask me all these questions. Who are you? Where do you work? Who do you know? Etc. All very non-eventful answers. Finally, one of them asks me about perfumes and lotions.

Yes, I'm wearing perfume that I put on in the morning, and yes, I have on lots of lotion because I just lathered up with all of the Bath and Body Works stuff.

Ahhhh, they say. Did you know that the most women's hand crème contain glycerin?  And what is the main ingredient in T-N-T?!?  TriNiTro glycerine.

(Editor's Note: When Rachel told me the story in person, she was smiling. Apparently the Green Berets were actually pretty decent with her considering the seriousness of the situation. Good for them!  My guess is Rachel is too cute and too unthreatening to fit the typical terrorist profile.)


Rachel was best-known for teaching Western dancing.  In addition her Dirty Dancing crash courses were very popular.  But Rachel is also well-known for being the only SSQQ instructor to ever teach Belly Dancing.

December 2002

Rachel Seff, also known as the Midnight Zephyr, will teach a lady's only BELLY DANCE Crash Course on November 9. This ancient dance discipline needs little description, but we might add it improves your hip motion in Whip.

Hmm! Interest in this class has been phenomenal so far.  Our ladies are excited for the right reasons and our guys are excited for the wrong reasons. Sorry, guys, beat it. Ladies only.

January 2003

Last but certainly not least is our first-ever four-week BELLY DANCE class taught by the Midnight Zephyr, Rachel Seff. Taught on Friday evenings in January from 6-7 pm, Rachel has only promised to teach ONE MONTH and then take it from there. If you ladies want it, here it is. A one-time shot. Interest in this class has been phenomenal.


Pictured on the right is Dave Koenig and his future wife Rachel.

June 2003


This time I don't have to say a thing. Not when Rachel Seff is involved.

Here is what RACHEL had to say:

"Good news, Rick!

After a whirlwind four and one-half month romance, I have accepted a marriage proposal from Mr. Dave Koenig.

Dave and I met through a mutual friend from work, Susan. I had encouraged Susan to join an on-line dating service. She went to dinner with Dave. A few days after the date, I called Susan to see how it went. She said it was ok, but didn't feel there was a 'spark' between her and Dave. She did, however, mention that she thought he and I might be a match and that I might really like him.

"He's from Boston, he likes to dance and he has a boat," Susan remarked to me. (Those that know me know I am also from Boston, love to dance, and love the water and the outdoors).

"Hmmm." She definitely peaked my interest.

So I sent Dave an email. "My friend Susan thinks we might make a good match. Check out my profile and let me know if you're interested."

Dave replied a few moments later, "Sounds great. How about Saturday night?"

Rachel: "I am teaching a belly dance class at my dance studio, so I can't make it. You can check out the website at www.ssqq.com"

Dave quickly replied to me " See you there…" Of which I did not know, since I had already turned off my computer.

On Saturday, November 9, 2002, I taught my belly dancing class, and then stayed at the studio for the swing dance party. As I started to head home at 10:30 pm, another instructor, Jill Banta, asked me, "Have you met Dave?"

"What are you talking about?" I replied.

Jill: There's a guy here named Dave that asked me who you were and I pointed you out to him."

Rachel: "Which guy?"

"Him," Jill said as she motioned toward handsome man in a white button-down shirt and red suspenders on a chair in the corner.

"That guy has been watching me all night!" I proclaimed.

So I proceeded to flirt about and walk back in forth in front of Dave a few times. No response. Finally, I waved at him and motioned I was leaving.

Dave stopped me as I was walking out of the studio.

"Hey!" he said. "When were you going to say hello?"

"When were you going to stop stalking me?" I replied with a flirt.
We sat on the sofas and talked for 30 minutes or so. It was a really good first conversation. Covered all of the basics….where are you from….what do you do…etc.

And the romance began! First date to dinner at Argentine Grill. He drove me home and immediately asked me out again. Second date to dinner and theatre downtown…and the moment he picked me up I knew this was one special guy. He was dressed in a handsome sport jacket, big smile, and a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses.

"This is it!" I told my girlfriends JoAnne and Lisa as I gushed about him after our second date. Both cautioned me that I have kissed a lot of "frogs" in my day and not to get my hopes up that he was my prince.

Turns out, Dave also told his friend Jerry after our second date that he was pretty sure I was "the one." Jerry said no way and told him. So Dave bet him $100 and now he has to pay up!

We took a trip this past weekend to Boston for one of Dave's friends' weddings. It was also an opportunity for him to meet my grandmother and me to meet his Mom. (He had already met my parents two times before, and I had met his father and step-mom, as well).

We met Grammy for breakfast on Friday morning, March 28, 2003, and had a nice 2-hour visit. Then we drove directly to Dave's mom's house in Framingham and took her to lunch at her favorite restaurant, Legal Seafood.

After lunch, the three of us went on a walk in Callahan State Park. It was quite breezy and cold, but a beautiful, clear day. As we headed back to the car, Dave starts asking rhetorical questions about ceremonies and marriages.

"I wonder what you need to get married?" he asked his Mom and me.

She and I look at each other quite puzzled, wondering what he is talking about.

"I guess all you need is a guy and a ring and someone to ask," he said, answering his own question.

At which point, he took a ring box out of his jacket pocket, dropped to one knee and proposed. Right there in the middle of the park, in front of his Mom, because he knew it would make her really happy that he finally met the girl of his dreams.

I screamed and accepted, and then promptly cried all afternoon.

"I know this is kind of hokey…but will you ask my parents?" I asked after I regained my composure.

"Don't worry, I already did," Dave replied. (He has called them the day before.)

The ring is beautiful and the man is the guy of my dreams. Dave is the most sincere, patient and kind man I have ever know. We talk and laugh and sing to each other in the car, and have a great time dancing and sailing. He's quite chivalrous and romantic, and very good at picking out jewelry! He's also career driven and very successful.

When my Dad met Dave, he commented. "This is not only a really good guy, but he's a really good guy for you."

Thanks for sharing in our lives….I'll keep you posted as to possible wedding dates.


(Editor's Note: Rachel is a supremely talented woman. I think she is a special lady and I am very happy for her. I know she has been hoping for this to happen for a long time, but you know what its like to be 'choosy'. I am glad she found the man she has been waiting for!!)

January 2004


I have known Rachel Seff for many many years. Rachel joined the SSQQ Staff in 1998. Her warmth, intelligence, and charisma made her one of the most popular instructors we have ever had. Whatever it was that the studio needed, Rachel was always game. If someone needed a sub, Rachel was incredibly giving with her time. If I needed a new crash course taught, Rachel was always game. Rachel loves to perform. Rachel taught belly dancing, she was the lead actress in one Lip Sync skit after another, she organized Christmas Carol singing at her house, and she became notorious for her unusually popular Dirty Dance class.

I might add I never had the nerve to ask questions “why” her DD class was so popular. I just smiled and said “thank you”.

You might not know this, but Rachel was particularly good at matchmaking. Particularly in our romance record-setting year of 2000 where we had 30 different documented couples who met at the studio who either got engaged or married, Rachel claimed responsibility for pairing about half of these couples together personally.

All year long Rachel and I had a good-natured competition about which of the two of us deserved more credit for assisting the various relationships along.

Naturally Rachel claimed she won.

During this same time, I came to realize that Rachel was disappointed that she hadn’t found the right guy for herself. As she watched her friends get married, she wondered why with all her wit, beauty, education, business success, and sex appeal she couldn’t find a man to settle down with. Mind you, that was three years ago.

To say that Rachel was picky when it came to men was an understatement. She went about her affairs of the heart very methodically. She was determined not to make a mistake. And when she got depressed about waiting, she would confide her disappointments to me.

This said, when Rachel met Dave Koenig, I saw an immediate difference. She liked him a lot right from the start. So ladies, take some advice from Matchmaker Rachel - Do not compromise. Wait for the right guy. He will appear if you are patient enough.

Here are some thoughts Rachel shared with me about her courtship and her wedding:

“Ahhh…you want the scoop, eh?

I kissed a lot of frogs before finding my prince charming. I was in multiple different dating services, went to lots and lots of singles events, and literally forced myself to go to activities where I knew eligible men would be present.

In the end, I met my Prince Charming (Dave) through a colleague from work who was also a member of the dating service. Susan had gone on a date with Dave. A few days later, I asked her how it went. She didn’t think he was a match for her, but she thought I might really like him. "Think about it, Rachel. He's from Boston, he likes to dance and he has a boat!!" (Those that know me know I am also from Boston, I love to dance, and love the water and the outdoors).

"Hmmm." I was a bit skeptical at first, but I trusted Susan. Thank goodness because she turned out to be right!

Once Susan peaked my interest, I decided to send Dave an email: “My friend Susan thinks we might make a good match. Let me know if you’re interested.” He wrote back immediately and we had a nice ‘Email’ conversation.

I told him a little about the dance studio. I casually mentioned I would be teaching a Belly Dance class, but Dave didn’t seem to pick up on the hint.

So on Saturday, November 9, 2002 (almost a year to the day of my marriage!!), I taught my belly dancing class. Then I stayed at the studio for the SSQQ Swing dance party. As I started to head home at 10:30 pm, another instructor, Jill Banta, asked me, "Have you met Dave?"

"What are you talking about?" I replied.

Jill said, “There's a guy here named Dave that asked me who you were and I pointed you out to him."

I responded, "Which guy?"

"Him," Jill said as she motioned toward handsome man in a white button-down shirt and red suspenders on a chair in the corner.

"That guy has been watching me all night!" I proclaimed.

So I proceeded to flirt about and walk back in forth in front of Dave a few times. No response. Finally, I waved at him and motioned I was leaving.

Dave stopped me as I was walking out of the studio.

"Hey!" he said. "When were you going to say hello?"

"When were you going to stop stalking me?" I replied with a flirt.

We sat on the sofas and talked for 30 minutes or so. It was a really good first conversation. Covered all of the basics….where are you from….what do you do…etc.

And the romance began! First date to dinner at Argentine Grill. He drove me home and immediately asked me out again. Second date to dinner and theatre downtown…and the moment he picked me up I knew this was one special guy. He was dressed in a handsome sport jacket, big smile, and a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses.

"This is it!" I told my girlfriends JoAnne Armstrong (Daryl’s wife) and Lisa Cloud as I gushed about him after our second date. Both cautioned me that I have met a lot of frogs in my day and not to get my hopes up that he was my prince.

And although we didn’t tell each other out loud, we both knew on the second date that this relationship felt very different than all the others. (But I think it was the belly dancing that really hooked him!)

Turns out, Dave also told his friend Jerry after our second date that he was pretty sure I was "the one." Jerry said no way and told him. So Dave bet him $100 and now he has to pay up!

Dave and I were married on November 8, 2003, exactly one year from when we met. We had a destination weekend wedding in Newport, RI, for close family and friends.

My advice? Don’t give up! The only way you can meet someone is if your force yourself to get out and participate in activities where you will meet new people.

And oh yeah, take my belly dance crash course in January. It will drive your potential mate crazy with enthusiasm!

Rachel Koenig”

(Editor’s Note: I found it interesting that Rachel, always the Matchmaker, actually met Dave through her friend Susan doing some matchmaking of her own. As they say, What Goes Around Comes Around. My guess is Rachel had some serious good karma to cash in on!

One of the ways the ssqq magic works is that many students invite their friends to come to the studio with them. The more targets for those floating pheromones to attack and attract, the more likely the chemistry will react. Or put more succinctly, the more the merrier.)




February 2005


This award goes to an SSQQ Staff member who does something beyond the call of duty. In any given month, there are always at least 100 quiet acts of simple kindness performed by someone who works at SSQQ for which the person gets no credit, but our organization benefits from the gratitude. The problem for me is that these many moments usually occur way under my radar. So if you have an instructor to nominate, please let me know and why!!

On the other hand, sometimes the move is dramatic enough to catch my eye so I can say something about it.

I nicknamed Rachel Zeph-Keonig "The Zephyr" a couple years ago when she offered to teach a Belly Dance Crash Course. Rachel got a kick out of the nickname because it rhymed with her last name of "Seff". Rachel got married last November, but decided to keep the nickname anyway.

Rachel Zeph made some serious waves here at SSQQ with her Belly Dancing in January. She offered a Saturday Belly Dance class in January that was attended by over 50 women!!

Now you know why Rachel is our "Employee of the Month" - she really made a lot of people happy (and me too!)

The energy her class created was incredible. The ladies absolutely loved it! The men were pretty interested themselves - the women constantly had to kick out various male intruders who just had to poke their noses in to see what was going on!

Rachel is successful at this class because she is sexy, she is funny, she has the right curves for the part, and she keeps the ladies laughing!

Unfortunately Rachel is also a happily married lady. Why "Unfortunately"? Rachel cherishes every delicious free moment with her husband Dave. As a result she strongly resists any extra demands on her free time. She did the Saturday January class in response to all the requests from SSQQ ladies for her help, but clearly stated it would be ONE MONTH ONLY.

That was before the class drew 50 women. Guess what? Now they want more. How did you guess?

Rachel suggested we move the class to Sundays at 7 pm. She said she give up teaching her beloved Sunday Night Western class for a couple months and experiment with holding the class on Sundays.

Starting on Sunday, January 30, we will see if her ladies are receptive to the new time spot. We will keep you posted!




Rachel Koenig has been a beloved SSQQ instructor for many years. Last year Rachel met her match and married David Koenig. It didn't take long for another announcement - Rachel was soon "with child" as they say.

Undeterred, Rachel managed to teach Belly Dancing and Twostep right up to the very last possible moment. It was only a couple months ago that Rachel decided to begin a leave of absence.

"Dave and Rachel Koenig are proud to announce the birth of their son, Zachary Benjamin Koenig, in September 2005.

Although 3 1/2 weeks early, Zachary weighed 6 lbs, 6 oz, and was 19 inches long at birth. Mom, Dad and Baby are now home from the hospital and are doing fine.   Thanks to everyone for your calls, visits and well wishes. Regards, Rachel & Dave"


October 2006


As you will read in future Newsletters, Gary Richardson was the co-MVP of our recent Rhapsody Reloaded Cruise Trip. Not only did he make a lot of people happy by conducting late-night dancing aboard the Rhapsody attended by as many as 70 people at 1 am in the morning, he took a phenomenal number of pictures that will soon be published on the SSQQ web site. His contributions went way past anything we had the right to expect of him. He did it for one reason - Gary loves to make people happy.

Gary and I have had a special friendship for years. He has been a huge part of the studio's success in so many ways, but most of all he has been my computer guru for the past eight years.

Back in August, Gary emailed me to say he had sold another SSQQ computer to our Wonderful Western dance instructor Rachel Koenig. Gary likes to keep track of who he sells his computers to, especially if they are from SSQQ. Rachel's computer was the 110th computer he has sold to someone from SSQQ. This remarkable total means that over the years he has averaged selling over one a month to someone from SSQQ!

I emailed Rachel the following letter:

"Rachel, I own 20 TFW computers. Btw you and me, I could save a couple dollars buying one over the counter somehow.

That said, I would have no way of knowing the quality of my computer because I am sure the transaction would be made with some anonymous person who will be gone in two months.

Even more important, what I could never buy in a million years would be the kindness and unfailing help he and his staff have given me over the past eight years. If you ever run into a computer problem - he will have your back.

That is why I keep going back to him.

Gary is my friend and I thank you for trusting him."

Rachel emailed back:

-----Original Message-----
From: Rachel Seff Koenig, Ed.D.
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 12:21 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: your new Gary computer

"Yep - I agree that Gary is great.

We lost power at our house with a bad storm a couple of weeks ago and ever since then, our 5-year old Gateway computer has been on the fritz.

Dave brought it in to Gary over the weekend and it turns out the motherboard was fried... Dave said Gary was really, really helpful.

But more importantly, Gary is going to be able to save all of our data and files, including all of the pics of baby Zach! Thanks! Rachel"


January 2008

On a Wednesday evening in early January, Rachel spotted me at the studio and made eye contact.  Rachel is irresistible, so I walked over to see what was up.  Rachel smiled and said she was pregnant again. 

I nodded.  "Does that mean it's time?"

Rachel nodded. "Yes, Rick.  I think it's time.  Between marriage, career, and motherhood, I am having a hard time squeezing in dance teaching.  I will miss teaching, but something has to give."

I smiled back. "I completely understand.  I have been expecting this moment for some time now.  I am very happy for you."


A few days later, I asked Rachel to share some thoughts about her many years here at SSQQ. 

1. When did you first come to SSQQ? What got you over here?

I started taking classes in 1996, shortly after my divorce, as a way to meet people. I lived in an apartment right behind Home Depot on the West Loop (2 minutes from the studio) and took a series of jitterbug swing classes, then moved into western.

SSQQ became my social life and exercise fitness center!  I would also hit the Longhorn every Tuesday night for the free buffet and dancing.

One night I remember watching Sorrell Warren dance whip and noticed how sexy he and his partners looked. "I want to do that!" I proclaimed. I started taking whip shortly thereafter. I'm now proud to say I can make Sorrell blush when I whip with him!

2. What are your memories of the Daryl Armstrong Experience? Seems like that was the group where you spent most of your time in your early days at the studio.

It was during the western and whip classes in the 1997 time frame (I think) that I met Daryl and Joanne, as well as Ruth Ann (Manison) Prince, Gillian Tilbury, Lisa Cloud, Yim Szeto, Chris O'Rourke, Verladyne Arbaugh, Rocky and Laura, Randy Goshorn.

Ruth Ann was the social ring leader. She had an email list that told about all the social activities so the whole group could be involved.  She was the first person I knew who grasped the value of this new development known as email.  Her email list got things rocking!

I participated in quite a few trips to Galveston and Surfside Beach House party weekends, as well as the millennium celebration at the Surfside house, across from the "Loveshack."

We also had Daryl's infamous margarita bus tours.  Rick, you are sworn to secrecy, by the way. ;-)

The people in this group remain my closest friends today.  Newly single and seeking friends, it was a tremendous way to meet people, not to mention to a great way to learn how to dance!

3. Who do you remember from your early days at the studio?

I started teaching during the same time frame as Tracy Perry and Jill Banta.  Western was HUGE, and so was jitterbug/swing thanks to the 1998 Gap commercials.

4. What was the studio like in those days?

Jill and Mo ran a "shoe store" at what was now the registration table.  I own 8 pairs of dance shoes that I bought from them.  Actually I don't think the studio is too different today than was back when I started.

5. When did you get interested in western dancing?

I was forced into it when the group of friends I was taking swing with decided to take Western. That group included Sam Mele, Ray and Karen, and Big Kevin.

6. How did you come to be an instructor?  What did you teach?

I started as an unpaid assistant to Chris O'Rourke on Fridays, Ben Liles on Wednesdays, and Marla Jennings on Sundays. (Yes, I really had no other social life).

Then sometime in 1998, I think you put me onto paid staff and I became Marla Jenning's official assistant on Friday nights.  Marla and I had a blast together.  She called me her official comic relief.  I got my own class towards the end of 1998 teaching Western on Sunday nights.

Wil Colbourn was my early 'unofficial' assistant for a couple of months, and then came MG!  Some of your best instructors were people I trained!

I've always been an official "western" instructor. I taught Western on Sunday evenings from 1998 - 2005. Then I went on a 6 month maternity leave.  When I came back, I moved to over to teaching western on Wednesdays.  I spent the past three years on Wednesday.

Over the years, I've also taught Aggie/Shaggie Jitterbug, Dirty Dancing, and Bally Dancing. Wil Coulbourn and I handled the Shaggie Jitterbug and Dirty Dancing. To this day, he is the only partner I will let throw me in the air for acrobatic moves.

7. Haven't we argued over the years as to which of us has done more matchmaking?  Don't we often claim the same couples?

Yes, we have argued ever since I met you.  And I win. I always win. Just admit it Rick. I am much more of a yenta then you will ever be!

Who is right, you or me? I am (of course)!

I can count 14 couples since 1998 that have met in my classes and ultimately married!  In fact, it's a fact I always rattle off to my new students when I start a session.  No wonder they stick with my class!

8. How has the studio changed over the years?  What changes were for the good and what changes were for the bad?

Do you really want me to answer this publicly?!?

In the early years, we used to have to stay after practice to help 'clean-up' the area. This included collecting all of the unused drinks, pouring the contents into a big bucket, and then pouring the big bucket of coke, beer and who knows what else into the toilet. It was disgusting. I once had someone dare me to drink what was in the bucket. I did not drink it.  I don't miss cleaning up after Practice Nights at all.

Another change is the parking problems. 
Parking on Sundays was never a problem at the studio.

9. What are some of memories about teaching?   Anything you would do differently if you had to do it all over again?

To this day, I confess that I use the syllabus that I learned from as a student in 1998 to teach my western classes. And not to throw them under the bus (sorry guys) but I'm pretty sure that Daryl and MG do the same thing.

I have never quite learned advanced 2. Plus I completely fake through most ghost town classes and wind up teaching my own thing because I have no idea what the syllabus actually says or means.

Linda Cook is the only instructor I know that can decipher your wording accurately enough to put it into a pattern. Thank god for some of the male students at the studio who have taken multiple classes of ghost towns because they basically show me what to do.

But, to my credit, I don't think the students have minded a bit. They know I don't ever take myself too seriously, and I'm certainly not afraid to make a fool of myself in class.

Oh yes, the slight sexual innuendos help, too.  Whatever I lack in technical expertise, I always manage to keep their attention...

10. What do you think you will miss about the studio now that you have moved to the next era of your life?

With husband, a 2 ½ year old, new baby on the way, and new job, I just needed to let something go. While I've enjoyed every moment of the studio, it's definitely time for me to pass on the torch to a new generation of dance teachers.

11. How did you meet your husband Dave?

Through a mutual friend. She went out with him and didn't like him, but she thought we would hit it off.  She was right. 

We corresponded via email a couple of times, and then he asked me out for a Saturday night in November 2002.

Turns out, I was teaching a belly dance crash course that night! I told him I couldn't make the date because of the class. Well guess what? He showed up at the studio for practice night! He watched me dance all night long (yes, it probably did have something to do with the belly dance outfit I was wearing) and then we sat on the couches in the tv room and talked until closing. Love at first sight.

12. Tell me how your son Zach is doing.

Two and a half and all boy. Walking, talking, running, dancing, he likes to climb to the highest point of furniture in the house and then make a flying leap onto the floor. A fantastic little boy!

I would like to add it has been my pleasure and privilege to be a part of SSQQ.  My years here are featured prominently as the last item on my resume, and is ultimately the question I get asked about the most during job interviews.

I've had a great 10 years, and look forward to my continued friendships with the staff and students.

All the best, Rachel



In 2007, SSQQ passed the 30 year mark.  I can look back and see a long list of people who have contributed to make this wonderful dance studio what it is today. 

It is true that I am the thread that ties all these years and all these people together.  While I am proud to accept some credit for the studio's success, this story about Rachel helps explain what this studio has accomplished goes far beyond my own contributions.  A lot of people have given their time, heart, and energy to help make this place special.

Rachel is easily one of the most talented instructors to ever teach at SSQQ.  Funny, sexy, outgoing, warm, willing to help, well-spoken, charming, entertaining... the list of positive adjectives can go on and on.  Although I will miss Rachel very much, I am not sad.  In fact, I am happy for her as she moves on to the next stage of her life.

The dominant emotion that I feel is "Gratitude".  I am grateful for all of Rachel's many wonderful contributions.  I am grateful to Rachel and to many others like her who have made a lot of people very happy over these years. 

It is people like Rachel who have made this dance studio a legend in its own time.   Others will take Rachel's place, but I will not forget her.  Rachel is one of a kind, trust me on that one.  

RJA, February 2008 

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