Best Place to Learn "The Whip" (2000)
SSQQ Dance Studio
Before you get too excited, you should know that SSQQ stands for slow, slow, quick, quick, not sadomasochists squealing and quivering quietly. And instruction in "The Whip" has more to do with fancy footwork than learning how to inflict a blow that will hurt like hell without breaking the skin. But that doesn't mean SSQQ's Whip classes aren't hot. The Whip is a spin-off of West Coast swing, brought home to Texas by GIs returning from their California posts after World War II. But over the years Texas women put their own twist on the upright USO dance: They added a sexy hip swivel, and the dance went downhill (in the very best way) from there. The naughty whippers practiced to the music of Al Green, the Commodores, Barry White, ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan in the dives and honky-tonks along Telephone Road. SSQQ owner Rick Archer honed his dirty dancing skills at one such club, the now-defunct Four Palms, a place with a sign advising you to "Check your guns and knives at the door." Now, in his much better lit Bellaire studio, he teaches The Whip complete with all the bumps and all the grinds. Try it out at a party. Jaws will drop. Just $36 for ladies and $44 for men gets you eight hours of classes, two hours once a week for a month. Schedules vary from month to month, so call ahead or check out www.ssqq.com.