No 11 “That is why I succeed” 3-17-17

No 11 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 17, 2017

“That is why I succeed”

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan (1963) American Basketball Star

It has been reported that this quote from Thomas Edison was in response to a New York Times Reporter’s question: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

In life, we all want to hit home runs, but fear keeps us from achieving our goals. To hit over the fences, we must be willing to strike out.  Consider Babe Ruth. In 1923, he broke the record for most home runs in a season and also broke the record for the highest batting average.  Imagine this, also in 1923, Babe Ruth struck out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball.

Babe Ruth was fearless and not afraid to strike out. He held world records for 60 home runs in a season then a lifetime home run total of 714 for 39 years. Get this, for 29 years he held a career record of 1,330 strike outs! What his amazing career proved is that you cannot have home runs without strikeouts.

Do you feel as if you are failing? Are you blue and feeling like life is not working? May I suggest that you compare your “strike outs” to your “home runs”. Sit down and write down your success for the week, the month, or your life to now. List how you have made a difference in some else’s life. Perhaps you helped someone in a special way. Perhaps you were a good ear to someone who was sad. List the good things you did and meditate on these things and give thanks for the opportunity to help and serve others.

Today’s world is so quick to call someone a failure, so slow to give someone praise. The opera star who is an overnight sensation after 20 years of work, the Carnegie Hall solo recitalist who is suddenly a new star after a lifetime of practice. The World Series Champions and Super Bowl winners who have spent season after season practicing to be the best. The reward will come. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Keep on keeping on and you’ll be in the winner’s circle before you know it.

Mr. Jacques DeBeve sent me this today:

Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

Work like you don’t need the money.

Love like you’ve never been hurt.

Dance like nobody’s watching.

Sing like nobody’s listening.

Live like it’s Heaven on Earth.

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

No 9 “What to give up for Lent?” 3-3-17

2017-02-23-09-16-49

No 9 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 3, 2017

“What to give up for Lent”

It’s the 3rd day of Lent. Ash Wednesday has passed and until this past Wednesday, I did now know what I was going to give up. Late night eating (like that’s going to happen). Getting up early every day (nope). No Netflix at night (never). I was lost as what to do and what I would stick with for over 48 hours.

Then, I awoke to this. Give up worry. Being in the present moment and being thankful for that moment. Not worrying about rent, payroll, bills, obligations, duties, responsibilities, but being in the present moment and thankful for what I had a that moment.

2017-02-22-13-02-50-1

Awakening and thinking, I’m in a safe place. I awoke! I’m warm. I have food to prepare. I have a day full of opportunity and achievement ahead of me. Then, going throughout the day saying, I have a great life. I have a life doing what I love. What’s to worry about?

The truth to all is that I’m a horrible worrier. It actually makes me ill at times. I just can’t seem to help it. It kills my joy and bothers my health. I worry so much that it has become a comfort zone for me and has tarnished the view of my splendid life.

2017-02-21-18-15-44

Then, I realized when I’m not worried. When I’m serving others in a leadership role. When I’m motivating others. When I’m asked to do a hard task that enriches the lives of others.

Then the truest time when I’m my happiest with NO worry. When I’m speaking and dancing in front of people. Ask me to speak in front of a large crowd and I immediately say yes, when, where, what and how.  When I’m dancing, especially performing, I LOVE it. I feel young, healthy, happy, and care free. No matter how big the audience, I’m just at my best. I look in the eyes of the audience and I just dance my little heart out for them. I’m free.

2017-02-20-13-01-00

So to all my friends who are also worry warts, start dancing! Perform a routine. Compete in a competition. While you are dancing, training, and then performing, you’ll be working hard, but you will not be in a worried state. I’d rather be looking forward to dancing a show than bored and full of distress.  Go ahead, put yourself out there and learn the freedom that comes from dancing. Thank you Arthur Murray for a lifetime of fun and freedom. I love my life!

2017-02-22-21-52-03

Oh, by the way, I’m still going to give up worry for the next 36 days! How about you?

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

No 7 “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” 2-17-17

2017-02-08-21-29-22

No 7 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 17, 2017

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey (1895 – 1983) American professional boxer

Sometimes in my life, I just can’t seem to get up, but I do. After dancing 41+ years, having run 19 marathons, having taught many, many dance lessons, my legs get tired. I’m the last one to leave a movie. Just don’t want anyone to see me get up. For the other side, I can still teach all day, dance a full dance party at Arthur Murray Santa Monica at night, and also perform in the show with energy to burn. I feel on fire, alive, and ready to conquer the world with dance!

There have been times that after surgery, I’m up that very day walking. After back surgery, they were rolling me down the hall with I.V. in toe, and I taught one of the nurses Waltz and danced with her in the hallway. It was amazing, astounding, and fun. The dancing just took hold of me and off I went dancing at the hospital.

After having my shoulder rebuilt, I came back to choreograph a professional staff Quickstep formation, that I danced in, and tapped, skipped, jumped and chassed with all the 20-year old’s with my arm in a sling. By the time of the performance, I danced with my arm held high without any aid, and Quickstepped my little heart out.

After my Mom’s death, I remember dancing in a competition that following weekend. I had many entries with a lot of wonderful students. There I was, dancing, laughing, competing, and performing, even though my heart was aching. I went on and know that my Mom would have wanted that from me. I did what I knew I had to do and I did it with all my heart.

The hardest time was just after losing my partner, who died in my arms at home. I thought I could not go on. I remember putting together the funeral, calling the caterer for the reception, handling all the calls and scheduling the service for everyone. I had to get up. I had to move forward. I had to take care of others. I could not get up, but I did. I continue to get up today because I know I can, I must, and I shall get up.

Am I a champion? I don’t really know. But I know that my dad, Troy Woodbury, was a true champion. He lived to help others. He was selfless and lived a life guiding others every day. I am surrounded by champions. Joel Rieck is a true champion. He is always there in a giving and uplifting way and always takes the best path in life. I am surrounded by real champions and I am blessed to know them all and to be able to call them friends, family, and mentors.

2017-02-12-07-09-43

“Be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world.” – Paul Harding

Yes, there is still a bit of heartache going on, but I know the champion’s way and the life of a champion. We are knocked down, but we get up over and over.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – W. Clement Stone (1902 – 2002) Businessman, Philanthropist and New Thought self-help book author

This is what I conceive in my life. I am not afraid of the future. In fact, I’m interested in what the future will bring and how I will live in that future. Now, I just want to give encouragement to others and to help others grow. This does not always make one popular, but it makes one true. Helping others means you are a coach and sometimes have to use tough love. In the end, I think that to help others become the champions they are meant to be is my soul calling in my life.

Think you can’t get up. You can, you must, you will. You will get up over and over. You will then find that others around you watch you rise up over and over and they will begin to rise with you. Then you will stand with a group of champions and stand strong, together, united. Don’t give up. It will get better!

2017-02-15-12-00-25

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

No 6 2-10-17 “I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it”

steve-and-georgetta-2-4-17

No 6 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 10, 2017

“I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.” – Pete Egoscue (1945) Founder of Physical Therapy Method The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion

I am always comparing myself to others. Where they are in their lives. How much money are they making, the car they drive, the home they live in. The amount of time they have off, where they travel, and on and on. Sometimes I think, “Only if…”

Then I awaken and see that I have a wonderful, perfect life and that I am fully blessed in every area of my life. That comparison demon is cruel. It makes me think my life is tough, when it truly is worthy every step of the way.

2017-02-05-08-45-18

No one will admit to this sin of mine, but I’ll be honest with you. I get sad and depressed sometimes when I think of how hard the road is. Then, I think of all the things I can do that few others can do. I think of the wonderful gifts that I have been given and the sheer bravery that runs in my blood to try the impossible, daily!

“I like a man who attempts the impossible.” – J.P. Morgan

If you asked me at the last second to speak to a group of 800 people, the first words out of my mouth would be “On what subject?” I then would proudly stand in front of the crowd and tell a story of my dad, who’s inspiration and life has given me the ability to speak to others.  I then would welcome everyone and let the electricity of life that I always feel at those times, run through my mouth, body and soul until the allotted time for speaking had passed, then I would simply say thank you and tell my audience that I love them.

2017-02-04-19-41-33

This is the same for dancing in front of a group of spectators. The power of life just runs in my veins. I must remember that this is a gift perhaps there is someone out there wishing they had this gift. You just can’t be envious of others.

“Dedication is simply reminding yourself what you want. Then paying the price to get it. Every day.” – John F. Groom Attitude Media Publisher and Entrepreneur

With the dogged determination that I received from my mom and dad, I also have the willingness to pay the price for what I want. Also, there is the realization that good things come in the right times, and that opportunity truly does meet preparation. I always feel that I’m getting ready for “the big moment” in my life, and then I awaken to realize that every day is that “big moment” for me!

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” – Epictetus

After the Northridge Earthquake hit Los Angeles, I vowed to not worry ever again about the things I cannot control.  My house was earthquake “ransacked” in just a matter of seconds and the aftermath was surreal.  I have given up on dread of the unknown, and have turned my efforts to the things I can control in my life with my actions and my will. Don’t give up. It is worth it!

2017-02-04-18-31-58

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 5 – A solitary fantasy can transform one million realities 2-3-17

 

2017-01-28-18-02-16

No 5 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 3, 2017

A solitary fantasy can transform one million realities – Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) American poet

Do you love to dance? I do. I love to dance in front of hundreds of cheering spectators and I love to perform and especially to excite a crowd through my dancing. It is one of my safe times and places. Dancing in front of any group of people is one of the times in my life where I am most calm and relaxed. No one can hurt or bother or intimidate me. I am dancing to give my heart and soul to all those watching and I am living the dance through and with my partner. It is one of my happy places in life. (Also speaking in front of huge groups excites and electrifies me!)

I am told that what I love is not normal. Most people are afraid of public speaking and dancing in front of a huge group of people. The reason I have heard of most is just plain fear. Fear of failure and of looking bad. I’m not afraid of failure. I’m so busy doing so many things that I always have a little bit of a mess up on something! Here are some great quotes on failing.

“I’ve seen extreme bravery from the least likely of people. Life is about the moments when it’s all gone wrong. That’s when we define ourselves.” – Bear Grylls (1974) star of Man vs. Wild TV show

“In Silicon Valley, failure is experience. Now, if you fail at everything, that’s different. But a failure is a mark of experience more than anything.” – Vint Cerf, One of the Key Creators of the Internet

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame someone else.” – John Burroughs (1837 – 1921) American naturalist

“Students gain lasting self-confidence not by being protected from failure but by learning they can survive it.” – Tony Wagner, teacher and author

“A man who makes no mistakes makes nothing.”- Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Saying someone’s name wrong. Making the wrong decision. Going the wrong way. Missing a dance step. Speaking out and regretting it.

Or just plain doing something stupid. It’s going to happen. But if you are trying with all your might to make a difference in life, and living to help others, you’ll do many, many more things wright than wrong in your life.  Let go of fear and don’t worry so much about what others are thinking. Guess what? They are just as concerned that you are judging them as you think they are judging you.  Kind of funny in a way!

I’ll leave you with this great quote and don’t die without fulfilling your dreams!

It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.” – Dr. Benjamin Mays (1894 – 1984) American humanitarian

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

The World Needs Dreamers Who Do! 1-20-17

2016-09-01 12.01.38

No 3 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 20, 2017

The world needs dreamers who do!

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Do you dream? I do. I dream and have “awake” dreams. I dream about dancing, choreography, about our Arthur Murray School, of Joel, St. Monica Parish, health, those who need prayer, the day ahead, and sometimes about the previous day. Dreams are so much a part of my life now that I awaken often to a full memory of where I went and what I did in my dream.

“A lot of dreams don’t come true in life. If you can make somebody’s dream come true, you should.” – Jameer Nelson (1982) American professional basketball player

My whole 41 years of dancing with Arthur Murray have been a dream come true. First, being a student, then a teacher, competitor, dance judge then coach, franchisee, to now having my own broom at the front of our school (and I use my broom every day!). As I compose this blog I’m in the “Dream Room” front office at Arthur Murray Santa Monica.

When we first found our space, we said “this is our dream come true” and the name “Dream Room” stuck.

“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” – B.J. Marshall

It seems as if my whole life is now seeing the great dreams of life and them making them come true on a daily basis. Guess what, no one said it would be easy. No one said it would be the same as success as my friends. Not one person told me how hard the road would be and how hard the trials would be. But still, I continue to dream and live that dream every day.

“The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals, the tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.” – Dr. Benjamin Mays (1894 – 1984) American humanitarian

I never want to give up. Sometimes there is a dream killer at large. You have to watch this specific type of person. I see them on a regular basis. They are sneaky and they want to distract you from your goals. You know what I found out recently, if you just keep looking to the light of your dream and focus on your goals, the dream killers eventually are not around anymore.

“Your imagination is the preview to life’s coming attractions.”- Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) German physicist

Be brave and dream a big dream. Then, to make it begin, tell someone about it. Tell a group of people. Post it on Facebook. Send out an email to all your friends. Write a blog about it. Get the word out that you are taking action and moving forward in your life. Take a chance on life and let the light of life shine through you and achieve your goals and then help someone else realize their own goal.

“I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.” – Pete Egoscue (1945) Founder of Physical Therapy Method The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion

“I like a man who attempts the impossible.”– J.P. Morgan

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

02 The Light of Life 1-13-17

No 2 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 13, 2017

troy-walking-down-the-street My Dad, Troy D. Woodbury, Sr.

The Light of Life!

As I wrote last week, each morning I visualize and meditate.  Sometimes I am surrounded by the waters of life that heal and energize me with new life, a new heart, and a new mind.

Then, there are times a bright light is shining on me, in me, through me, around me. The light is a powerful beam that goes through my mind, body and spirit. This is what I often see during my meditations and this light has healed me many times.

As the light shines through me, I have seen a black box, sometimes two. One black box is darkness. The other black box is anger, and there is a box with a huge pile of the cares and burdens of the day piled high in it.

Then the light shine throughout my body and finds any illness and heals it. If there is anything in my heart that is not right, the light finds the boxes of darkness and opens and releases its contents. The dark boxes open and the darkness flies out like black crows. The anger box disappears in the light and the light become forgiveness. The pile of burdens evaporates and I am left filled with pure light.

This flooding of light happens many times in my morning meditation. It is funny, I watch it happen as if someone else was doing all this to me. Sometimes I am in control of the light and where it shines. Sometimes it has a life of its own. In any case, the light is powerful and if full of healing powers.

I’ve come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me won’t remain in the darkness. John 12:46 NIV


If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light. Luke 11:36 NLT

In dancing you always know the dancers who have light and life. They are radiant. They smile at each other and at the audience and the other dancers. They look as if they are having fun and they show that they enjoy their dancing. They are not fighting with each other. Dancing with light goes a long way.

Let this blog encourage you. Let your light shine!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!