Private Lessons
Home Wedding Lessons

Private Dance Lessons

Written by Rick Archer
Last Update: August 2010

About Rick Archer
About Marla Archer

Contact Rick Archer
Contact Marla Archer






About Private Lessons

There are several compelling advantages to taking Private Dance Lessons.

1. SpeedOne of the major reasons, of course, is speed.  As opposed to the gradual learning of Group Lessons, Private lessons are the quickest way to improve your dancing if you need to prepare for a special event such as the First Dance at a Wedding or dancing on a Cruise Trip.

2. Pace.  Private lessons allow you to move at your own pace.  They are useful for people who are fast learners or slow learners (meaning group classes would either bore you or overwhelm you).   

3. Privacy.  Some people would prefer not to switch partners in a group class.  Some people would prefer not to be watched while they learn.

4. Review. Private lessons are an excellent way to review patterns you might have forgotten.  They can also be used to polish leads or to quickly catch up to the skill level of an advanced partner.

5. Odd Schedule. Private lessons can be used to solve the problem of difficult schedules.  Many people have trouble making weekly group lessons on a regular basis.

6. Excellence. Last but certainly not least, private lessons are the best path to take if excellence in social dance is your goal. There are details that can be covered in private lessons that are too technical to be part of a group lesson.  Private lessons allow an instructor to fine tune everything from footwork to leads, arms and timing.

Cost. The cost is $50 an hour for up to 4 people unless otherwise specified. 
To set up a lesson, please just drop us an email. 

Rick and Marla are available days, weeknight evenings, and all day Saturday.

Wedding Lessons Wedding Dance Information Cinderella Wedding First Dance Difficulties Marla's First Year

2010: SSQQ Bissonnet Closes: The End of an Era
Written by Rick Archer

In April 2010, I was forced to close the doors on SSQQ, my longtime dance studio, after a 30 year stay on Bissonnet Street in Bellaire.  The Bissonnet Studio was forced to close because the landlord wanted to build a hospital.  It was definitely a bittersweet moment because SSQQ had many students who were sad to see the studio come to an end.  SSQQ was more than a dance studio; over the years, SSQQ helped an entire community of friends come together.  Something as good as this dance program definitely deserved to continue.  Read The Last Waltz for the complete story.

Of course everyone hoped that I would move the studio to another location.  Unfortunately, running a large dance studio requires a tremendous amount of time and energy.  At age 60, I was reluctant to start all over.  In addition, there was a strong 'been there, done that' kind of feeling.  I felt like there were other challenges out there.  Marla and I felt the time had come to concentrate on our dream of seeing the world via our successful SSQQ sideline, the SSQQ Travel Club.  

After SSQQ-Bissonnet closed, Marla and I still wanted to continue teaching dance.  While it is true that organizing large cruise trips can be a full-time job in its own right, four cruise trips a year leaves still leaves 48 weeks at home here in Houston.

With this in mind, Marla and I created a spacious 500 sq ft dance studio in our home here in the Heights to teach private lessons.  If you ever need help with any dance - Western, Swing, Waltz, Salsa, Night Club, Slow Dance, Foxtrot, Rumba, West Coast - just let us know. 


Private Lessons for Small Groups

Written by Rick Archer
July 2010

When the term "Private Lesson" is used at dance studios, it typically refers to one-on-one training or an instructor working with a couple.

Going back to the days of the Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray franchises, dance studios have historically utilized Private Lessons as the main staple of their business.  They may have offered occasional group lessons, but private lessons were the backbone of their studio.

SSQQ achieved its extraordinary success by trying a new concept: Group Lessons.  During its 32 year run, SSQQ made its mark by emphasizing Group Lessons over Private Lessons.  The SSQQ Group Class Dance Program was a phenomenal success.  At its peak, SSQQ averaged over twelve hundred students a month. There was no other dance studio in America quite like SSQQ. 

As one of the first studios to concentrate on the Group Lesson concept, SSQQ literally created a new model for dance studios.  Because it was the first dance studio to demonstrate that a well-run group lesson format could be successful, SSQQ was truly a pioneer.

However, the April 2010 closing of SSQQ-Bissonnet put an end to that, at least where Marla and I are concerned.  The days of running a dance studio are over for me.  Now that we no longer have a 7,000 square foot, 6 room studio to run, Marla and I have moved back towards the traditional Private Lesson concept.

Fortunately there is a very pleasant compromise - "Group" Private Lessons.   Since the dance floor here at our house in the Heights can hold up to a dozen people, there is no reason why an individual can't organize their very own group to take lessons. 

Do you have friends who would like to learn the Western Waltz?  Organize a group of your friends. 

Do you have friends who want to learn Synchronized Polka or Night Club?  Organize a group of your friends.   What's so hard about that?

A group private lesson is $50 for one hour for up to 4 people. 
Each additional person is $5 more.  Limit 12 people.

We can do the class Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday, or Friday evening from 6-7, 7-8, 9-10 pm.  We can also do classes on Saturday early morning, afternoons and early evening. 

And why is it so inexpensive?   That's easy to explain - no overhead!  Since we do the lessons in our home, we have no rent to pay.  Marla and I are happy to pass the savings on to you. 

A Group Private Dance Lesson combines the best of all worlds - Social Interaction, accelerated learning, a fun teacher and inexpensive too.   You decide what you wish to learn.  You decide who is in your class. What more can you ask for?

Where are the Dance Lessons Held?

Rick and Marla live in the Heights near Fitzgerald's, a popular Rock 'n Roll Club on Studemont (aka Studewood).  Our house is in a very safe neighborhood with plenty of street-side parking. 

We will be more than happy to give the exact address once a lesson is scheduled.

We have a 500 square foot dance floor in our house just slightly smaller than Room 2 at our previous SSQQ-Bissonnet location. 

The room is very comfortable room complete with mirrors and pictures from the old studio.  Our dance room is perfect for learning in a peaceful, relaxed environment. 

By the way, when we say "Private", we really mean it.  Of course it feels a little odd going to someone's house, but once our friends get started, the place feels just like home.

Private Lesson Photographs

Lisa and Edward - Salsa

Heather and Andy - Wedding Waltz

Debbie and Jack - Wedding Foxtrot


Rick and Michelle -
They danced their Wedding Waltz to 'Moon River'

From: Michelle
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 8:13 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Our wedding dance!

Hi Rick!

Thank you so much for all of your help with our wedding dance! We did a great job and got many compliments.  Here is a photo someone put up on facebook.

I'm still waiting for the ones from the photographer and the video from the videographer. I will pass those on when I get them.

We really appreciate your help and couldn't have done it without you!   My new husband did an amazing job and I'm very proud of him!

Take care, Michelle

From: Rick Archer
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 5:02 pm
Subject: Our wedding dance!
To: Michelle

You look awesome, Michelle!  I enjoyed every minute of helping you and Rick.  Thanks for the photo. send me more!

By the way, did you get any compliments?

Rick Archer

From: Michelle
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 5:08 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: Our wedding dance!

Tons of compliments!  Everyone said our dance was beautiful!

Jamie and Christina - Wedding Night Club

Greg and Jessica - Wedding Picture

Greg and Jessica - Wedding Jitterbug

Edie and Eric -- Wedding Foxtrot

Edie and Eric -- Wedding Foxtrot

Amy and Mark - Father/Daughter Wedding Swing

Tracy and James - Wedding Slow Dance

Hilary and Ben - Wedding Slow Dance

Stephanie and Dan -- East Coast Swing

Enrique and Elisa - Western

David and Peggy - Son/Mother Foxtrot

Megan and Mark - Slow Dance


Will and Jennifer - Wedding Twostep

John and Kelly - Wedding Twostep

Jason and Rachel - Wedding Twostep

Roxanne and Jeff - Wedding Foxtrot

Joanna and Zach - Wedding Foxtrot

James and Cassandra, Allison and Jesse
- Wedding Twostep

Shay and Mike - Wedding Slow Dance

Shay and Dale - Father/Daughter Foxtrot

Lindsay and Andrew
- Wedding Foxtrot

Carrie and Jason
- Wedding

Taft and Katie
- Wedding Twostep

David and Lindsay -
Father Daughter Wedding Foxtrot

Lindsay and Matt
Wedding Slow Dance

David, Lindsay, Matt, Tootsie
Father-Daughter, Groom, Mother in law

Idil and Mehmet
- Wedding Foxtrot

Mary Jane and Donald


Karen & Booker, Monica & Darian, Quien & Terrell
Group Birthday Lesson - Waltz

Mitch and Darlene - Swing

Linda and Michael - Twostep and Western Swing

Linda and John - Western Swing, Synchronized Polka

Jenny and Michael - Wedding Twostep

Thomas and Lenae - Wedding Twostep

Whitney and Joe - Daughter/Dad Wedding Foxtrot

Melanie and Tim - Wedding Foxtrot

Melanie and Stephen - Daughter/Dad Wedding Foxtrot

Claire and William - Wedding Slow Dance

Sydney and Barry - Wedding Slow Dance

Jeanise and Glenn - Wedding Slow Dance and Swing

Christine and Michael - Wedding Waltz

Alice and Rod - Wedding Slow Dance

Alice and Han - Wedding Slow Dance

Susan, Ed, Janet - Salsa

Andrea and James - Wedding Foxtrot

Meredith and Ron - Wedding Slow Dance

Hal and Lina - Wedding Swing

Kristi and Richard - Western

Carolyn - Western

Cristina and Travis - Wedding Western

Devin and Taylor - Wedding Waltz

Sallie and Jeff - Western

Meredith and Christopher - Wedding Foxtrot

Marissa and Glenn - Wedding Foxtrot

Nathan and Angela - Wedding Foxtrot

Kimberly and Matt - Wedding Foxtrot

Sameet and Ruchi - Wedding Foxtrot

Melanie and Tim - Wedding Foxtrot

Scott and Lindsay - Wedding Western

Andrea and James - Wedding Foxtrot

Kieran and Leanne - Wedding Foxtrot

Ray and Debbie - Western

Tess - Western, West Coast Swing

Bryan and Elizabeth - Two Step & Western Swing



NOTE: For a further look at the theme of Group Lessons and Private Lessons, please visit:
The Wonderful World of Social Dance

SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ