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The New Millennium

As we entered the new century, 1999 was notable at SSQQ for the marriage of fourteen couples that met here.  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.

Furthermore, when it comes to Romance, 1999 was not that unusual. These numbers have been the norm here for many years.

There is something very special about this place.

Occasionally 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.

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Flattered 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 existing elsewhere.

Our "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.

As you 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.

And as 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.

More than 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 close friends.

The Look-a-Like Generation

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.

Included in this group are three of my best friends, Tom Easley, Mike Fagan, and Ted Jones, and four women, instructors Diane Head and Judy Price and my friends Carol Gafford and Margie Saibara.

Out of this group, there are 6 married couples that credit SSQQ with a big assist.

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Even 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).

In 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 years later.

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.

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 Another look at Tom Easley's "Look-a-Like" Generation"

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