Celebration of Community
Music and Dance
THE TRADITION OF GIVING AT CHRISTMAS
purpose of our Waltz into Christmas Party is
for lots of people to have fun.
purpose is to
raise money for charity.
proceeds will be donated to Chapelwood Methodist Church in
support of their 'Christmas Manna' project.
allow me to explain the background of this idea. In
December 2022, I received a note from Susan Agnew, our
Chapelwood sponsor, asking for help with a project that was
very important to her.
From: Susan Agnew
Sent: Monday, December 5, 2022 9:40 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Announcement Tonight
I hope you have a fabulous turnout for Sharon's Waltz
Open House tonight! In addition to the nametags,
I'm going to leave a stack of cards with information
about Chapelwood's Christmas Manna program.
Christmas Manna is a long-time Chapelwood tradition of
adopting families that need help buying gifts and
clothes for their children, and I've been involved with
this program for many years. As of yesterday, we
still have over 50 families that need to be adopted, so
I'm reaching out to everyone I can think of. If
anyone is looking for an opportunity to give back this
holiday season, I would ask them to consider adopting
one of our Manna families.
had done me a huge favor. Once upon a time, my friend
Sharon Shaw was responsible for teaching Western Waltz to
classes approaching 100 students at a time. I saw an
opportunity to bring Sharon out of retirement for a
one-night celebration, but to do so I would need
Chapelwood's Fellowship Hall to accommodate the expected
large crowd. To my surprise, Susan was kind enough to
let me use this room for free. (Click here for the
Sharon's Waltz workshop)
return, Susan asked me to make a brief announcement about
her Christmas project. However, Sharon was so busy
with her large class, I could not find a place to interrupt.
Afterwards, I felt guilty for my oversight. Then it dawned on me
that I was in
position to do better than a simple announcement. I told my class
I was donating all tuition from our December dance class to
Susan's project. The group was so touched by the idea
that many pulled out their wallet and added extra on the
spot. Our efforts were greatly appreciated.
Sent: Friday, January 6, 2023 12:53 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Thank You Again
Rick, I want
to sincerely thank you and everyone with the Monday
Dance group for your generous contributions to our
Christmas Manna program.
We were able to provide toys, clothing and gift
cards to 150 families in need, and made their
Christmases so much brighter.
Also, you are
too kind to keep giving me so much credit in your emails.
I'm happy the dance classes are going so well and that
we can accommodate your group.
(For further information about
As one can guess, I was very touched by this outpouring of
kindness on the part of students who are also my friends.
Call it the Christmas Spirit working through me, but I
immediately made a vow to do this again next year if given the
chance. I promised myself I would organize a December
dance party to reflect the Christmas tradition of giving.
party, I wish to emphasize Waltz. First and foremost,
Waltz was the reason I asked Sharon if she would be willing
to come out of retirement. Second, Waltz has a rich
musical legacy at Christmas. Classics such as
The First Noel, What Child is This,
It came upon a Midnight Clear, Silver Bells,
We Three Kings, and Carol of the Bells
are all Waltzes. I promise to play these carols
at our party as a rather unique way to pay tribute to our
MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Chapelwood Methodist Church, 11140
Green Bay, 77024.
WHO IS INVITED: ANYONE WHO LIKES TO DANCE REGARDLESS OF THEIR
EXPERIENCE AND ABILITY. COME ONE, COME ALL FOR A WORTHY CAUSE.
COST: $15 PER PERSON. PEOPLE ARE WELCOME TO CONTRIBUTE MORE IN
THE COOKIE JAR IF THEY WISH, BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY NOR IS IT
EXPECTED. FOR THAT MATTER, IF YOU ARE BROKE, WE INVITE YOU TO
COME FOR FREE.
DRESS: WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT. THIS IS NOT A FORMAL
DANCE PARTY, THIS IS A FUN DANCE PARTY. PLEASE DRESS COMFORTABLE.
FOOD: IT DEPENDS ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS. TYPICALLY
PEOPLE BRING ENERGY FOOD TO MUNCH ON... COOKIES, CAKE, CHEESE,
FRUIT, CRACKERS AND GUACAMOLE. A TABLE WILL BE
FOR FOOD CONTRIBUTIONS.
DRINK: WATER FOR SURE WILL BE PROVIDED. PERHAPS WE CAN
HAVE SOME PUNCH AS WELL. NO ALCOHOL, PLEASE. REMEMBER, THIS IS A
MUSIC: IN ADDITION TO THE CHRISTMAS WALTZES, THERE WILL BE
REGULAR DANCE MUSIC INCLUDING COUNTRY-WESTERN TWOSTEP MUSIC AS WELL AS
CLASSIC BIG BAND
SWING MUSIC. AS FOR WEST COAST SWING, WE WILL MAKE SURE TO
PLAY POLKA MUSIC SUITABLE FOR WCS AS WELL.
CIRCLE DANCES: AS A WAY TO EMPHASIZE THE CONCEPT OF
COMMUNITY, WE WILL HAVE THREE CIRCLE DANCES INCLUDING THE COTTON
EYED JOE, THE BARN DANCE, AND THE BEER BARREL POLKA. THESE
DANCES ALLOW EVERYONE TO DANCE WITH EVERYONE IN THE SPACE OF THREE
MINUTES. THEY ARE VERY EASY TO LEARN ON THE SPOT.
HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW A CIRCLE DANCE WORKS, CONSIDER COMING
EARLY TO THE CIRCLE DANCE WORKSHOP FROM 6-7.
DANCE WORKSHOPS: IN ADDITION TO THE CIRCLE DANCE
WORKSHOP, SHARON SHAW WILL TEACH "INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN
WALTZ" IN ONE ROOM AND RICK ARCHER WILL TEACH "INTRODUCTION
TO THE TEXAS TWOSTEP" IN ANOTHER ROOM. BOTH CLASSES
WILL RUN FROM 6-7 PM AND THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. THE
IDEA IS TO GIVE PEOPLE WITH A MINIMUM OF SOCIAL DANCE EXPERIENCE A
CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DANCING AT THE PARTY.
AT 8 PM, MEMBERS OF THE
SQUARE DANCE CLUB WILL GIVE AN 8-MINUTE SQUARE DANCE
DEMONSTRATION. RICK AND SHARON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE LOLLIES
FOR THEIR CONSIDERABLE HELP IN ORGANIZING THIS EVENT.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP TO CHAPELWOOD AND
ABOUT THE HEY
LOLLIES SQUARE DANCE CLUB
Rick Archer's Note:
and I joined the Hey Lollies Square Dance Club in September
2022 at the encouragement of our friends Sharon and Bill
Shaw. Marla and I agree this was one of the smartest
moves we have ever made. I can report with all honesty
that square dancing has enhanced our marriage considerably.
That is because Marla and I participate each week in a
terrific activity that involves dancing, friendship,
community, and exercise. I might add that square
dancing is a lot more challenging than I ever imagined.
It requires some serious concentration to master the moves.
Some people might object to that, but not me. I like
the mental challenge of learning and remembering. I
also like the smile that square dancing puts on Marla's face
throughout the evening.
Hey Lollies has
around 175 members. The club dances every Thursday
night at Chapelwood United Methodist Church, 11140 Greenbay Street.
It is necessary to know the major square dance patterns in
advance. For that reason, the Lollies have developed
what many say is the top training program in the city,
perhaps even the state. Run by Tim Ploch, an
experienced and very popular instructor, the 9-month program
trains new members on a year-round basis. Classes are
held every Thursday in a different room at Chapelwood.
The next set of classes will begin in September 2024.
an odd coincidence, Rick and Sharon's
Social Dance program and the
Lollies Square Dance program both meet at Chapelwood.
When the Lollies heard about Rick and Sharon's Waltz
into Christmas charity event, they asked to be
included as a way to do a good deed as well as form closer
ties to Houston's social dance community. As one
lady put it, "the chance to use a night of dancing for a
good cause sounds pretty irresistible to me."
LESSONS IN NOVEMBER
Out of curiosity, do you know how to
Waltz? A two-hour party allows for roughly 35 songs to
be played. With seven Christmas Carol Waltz songs on
the schedule, roughly 20% of the music will be
If by chance you would like to learn
Waltz or brush up on patterns that need polish, Sharon Shaw
and Rick Archer will be offering Waltz classes in November.
Sharon's class covers the
Traveling-style of Waltz better known as "Western Waltz".
Sharon's class has already met 8 times in September and
October, so you would be joining her November Advanced class in
Rick's class will cover Stationary
Waltz (as seen in his Wedding picture with Marla).
Stationary Waltz patterns are very useful for special
occasions such as a First Dance at a Wedding or a cruise
trip where the dance floors are limited in size (such as the
one seen in the picture). Rick and Marla's November
class will be taught as if the students are new to Waltz or
perhaps new to the Stationary Style. The class is
perfect for Beginners.
For more information, please visit our
ADVANCED WESTERN WALTZ (Sharon)
WHEN: 4 MONDAYS (Oct 30, Nov 06, 13, 20)
COST: $30 per person
BEGINNING STATIONARY WALTZ (Rick)
WHEN: 7 MONDAYS (Oct 30, Nov 06, 13, 20, 27, Dec 04, Dec
COST: $50 per person
Once upon a time, Waltz was incredibly
popular in Europe thanks to Johann Strauss and his beautiful
Viennese Waltz music. Wouldn't it be fun to see if we
can recreate a marvelous spectacle such as this?