Slow Dance and Romance
Home Up Love Boat Era


this is the start of Gypsy Prophecy Part II.  Obviously it is incomplete.  9-29-2020

The intent was to add stories about Gary Schweinle and the 2012 Black Magic Dance Cruise.  these stories have been written and can be found on the computer as well as on the internet.






Wherever we went, Slow Dance and Romance was present.  Now obviously not everyone has the good fortune to meet the love of their life on an ocean cruise like we did, but you would be surprised.  An ocean voyage has an uncanny ability to touch people on a deep emotional level.  Over the years, our own courtship story would be repeated many times on SSQQ cruises. 

As I have said repeatedly, SSQQ was an incredible marriage generator.  While some relationships bonded quickly, many SSQQ relationships developed over time.  One of the studio's strong points was the ability for people to be friends first and foremost.  A man and a woman have time to get to know one another.  One good example would be Gareld and Virginia McEathron.  They met in dance class in the mid-Nineties and got to know each other over the next couple years.  One day Gareld proposed to Virginia right there in dance class.  That was a pretty wonderful moment.  

When Marla added cruise trips to the Slow Dance and Romance mix, the SSQQ Love Potion became even stronger.  A good example would be Bruce Hanka and Mara Rivas.  They first met each other on our 2002 cruise, but did not connect.  They took our 2003 cruise, but did not connect.  They took our 2004 cruise and did not connect.  They took our 2005 cruise and did not connect.  Things were different in 2006.  This time they boarded the ship together.  They were married in December 2008. 

In particular, I felt like Charles Teige bestowed a special blessing on my marriage and career.  As Captain Teige predicted, in the years to come, SSQQ did indeed travel the world.  All credit, of course, goes to Marla.  She started with the Gulf of Mexico, branched out to Alaska, New England, Canada, Hawaii, and the Eastern Caribbean.  From there it was off to Europe.  I could not be more grateful.  Marla's love of Travel opened up an entire new world of experiences for me. 

Wherever we went, Slow Dance and Romance was present.  Now obviously not everyone has the good fortune to meet the love of their life on an ocean cruise like me, but you would be surprised.  An ocean voyage has an uncanny ability to touch people on a deep emotional level.  Over the years, my courtship story would be repeated many times on SSQQ cruises. 

For a married couple, a group cruise is the best of all worlds.  Of course the singles have the time of their lives stuffing hot tubs and chasing their latest love interest around the ship with wild abandon.  Their crazy antics are the stuff that create interesting cruise stories.  Meanwhile, married couples can dance the night away or find a spot to share peaceful moments if they wish.  Or they can enjoy seeing their friends.  Be alone, be together, the choice is always there.  For Marla and I, sharing our trip with friends is our preference.  Friendship has played a major part in every journey. 

Whether it is the silliness of 30 people stuffing a hot tub or 30 people wandering the insanity of Mardi Gras together, each shared experience builds ties.  It is rewarding for me to watch our guests use Marla's trips to form friendships that will last a lifetime.  Shared joys make friends of us all. 

I have noticed Marla's cruise trips attract a great number of married couples who originally met at SSQQ.  It is great to have these couples come along.  They know from experience that SSQQ Slow Dance Magic works especially well at sea.  Not only do they love dancing together in such a beautiful setting, but they take delight in seeing the same people that helped bring them together in the first place.  I have seen how Marla's adventures bring couples closer together.  Back at home, we get so busy we don't always pay enough attention to one another.  Too many distractions.  A cruise trip can change that.  Seven days at sea gives the sparks a chance to rekindle.  Hint to the wise... the dance floor is a very good place to start. 

If there is one question that has bedeviled me my entire life, it is the mysterious reluctance of married men to learn to partner dance.  Single men intuitively see the value of learning to dance as a way to first meet a woman and later get to know her over a period of time.  However, once the relationship is set in stone, many men discard their interest in dance. 

Personally, I think that is short-sighted.  The cynics claim that marriage is a three-ring circus... engagement ring, wedding ring, suffering.  I beg to differ.  Speaking from personal experience, Dance and Romance continue to rhyme long after the wedding ceremony.   Dancing is not only the perfect way to meet someone, it is the perfect way to keep the Romance strong. 

Yes, it is true that women appreciate dancing more than men.  For that matter, they also tend to like plays, operas, and flowers more than men.  However, flipping the coin, what about those countless hours men spend on golf, poker and football?  These are things most women could care less about.  Although it will take some effort on the man's part to get started, Dancing is the perfect activity to bridge the Mars Venus differences. 

At some point, a man should recognize that dancing has the unique ability to make a woman very happy.  How many times do I have to say that women love to dance?  Dancing combines music, movement, and touch.  A woman enjoys a dance similar to a kid who loves being carried on Dad's back.  A trip around the floor is a very pleasant experience, something a woman delights in.  Most of all, Dancing shows a woman how much the man appreciates her.  Yes, a gift of jewelry, a trip to Vegas, or watching a predictable Hallmark smoochie movie together are things a man can do to charm a woman. 

But they don't have the same lasting effect as a lifetime of dancing with her.  That she remembers!  The man who dedicates an evening of dance to his wife sends a clear message that he wishes to reward her for the untold amount of time she spends in service of her marriage and her family.  By paying attention to something a wife enjoys, the respect involved goes a long way to patching up any differences or small resentments. 

I cannot speak for other men, but I can speak for myself.  Marla does things for me day in and day out that carry little reward.  Evening meals, washing clothes, grocery shopping, cleaning the house.  Only a foolish man will take this for granted.  If a man turns around and does something special to express his gratitude for all those small favors, that gesture goes a long way.  A night of dancing becomes a very gentle way for me to say thank you.  Dance has enhanced my marriage to Marla in so many ways.  After a night of dancing, that smile on her face tells me all is right with us. 

Oh, by the way, there is one other thing I have learned that women like.  They like to travel.  Women love to visit exotic places and share good times with friends.  If a man knows how to dance, then a cruise trip becomes an even better vacation.  A long walk through the streets of Paris, a river cruise on the Blue Danube, and a romantic dance at night is a perfect recipe for happiness.  When I say Love blossoms at sea, I am completely serious. 




So we come to the end of my winding road.  The Magic Carpet Ride has chronicled much hardship and much success.  So who was responsible for my eventual success?  Or for that matter, who was responsible for my crippling accidents and spectacular failures?   

During the 32 years I ran SSQQ, the studio was always the most important thing in my life.  I felt it was my mission.  However, along the way I came to believe I did not create this dance studio on my own.  To the naked eye, yes, I was the one building the studio brick by brick, step by step.  However, deep down, I believe the studio was handed to me.  Following a blueprint handed to me by the Divine Architect, all I had to do was assemble the parts handed to me.  I truly believe my success could be attributed to the uncanny lucky breaks I received at the formative stage of my dance career. 

And yet at the same time I worked as hard as I humanly could to make the studio a success.   Along the way I reached several conclusions.  I came to believe God will deliberately place challenges in my path.  I also came to believe God helps those who help themselves.  I learned not to take too much Credit when I won.  And, since I believe in Cosmic Stupidity, I decided not to be too hard on myself when I lost. 

The important thing is to play the hand that Fate deals me to the best of my ability.  I learned the harder I work, the luckier I get.  However, sometimes things will not succeed even when I do the best I can.  When this happens, I try not to get angry.  If I have done my best, then why be ashamed?  Better to accept God's Will.  I have led a charmed life for which I am very grateful. 


I think the friendship I developed with Charles Teige was remarkable.  Our conversation was far more personal than what I was willing to share.  How often do you suppose an anonymous guest on a ship with 2,000 passengers ends up spending an hour speaking privately with the ship's captain about life and love?  And how does one explain our instant deep connection? 

Both of us agreed it required a very interesting series of coincidences to bring us together.  First I had to write the story about the Captain's struggles at Mardi Gras.  Then he had to discover my Internet story by accident through Google.  Then I had to run into my friend Patricia Gaspar on this trip.  Then Patricia had to share my Mardi Gras pictures with the officers, thereby alerting Captain Teige to my presence on board.  As coincidences go, unusual, but then most coincidences are.  Most people dismiss coincidences and move on.   Not me.  And not Captain Teige.  We discussed our instant rapport at great length.  Sometimes we meet a person and feel like we have known them before.  That's how it was with us. 



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