What we are capable of becoming 8-29-14

2014-08-24 11.40.08

No 35 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 29th, 2014

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life. Robert Louis Stevenson

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

The Northridge Earthquake on January 17, 1994 changed my life. We had experienced two 6.0 earthquakes in Santa Monica a week before the big quake. My flashlight was ready, shoes, and water. After the horrible shaking stopped, I reached for my bed stand for my flashlight. The bed stand was not there. My TV had flown across the room and my end table was overturned.

My tables and dressers had been covered with plate glass, covered with glass collectables, now all broken all over the floor. The sliding mirrored closed door has flown across the room and blocked my escape from my bed.

That was a morning I’ll never forget. My cat was in a tiny ball under the guest bed. My kitchen floor was a mixture of precious crystal glasses. My china, refrigerator contents and all manner of food that had spilled from the pantry and shelves. I wept as I threw away my mom’s broken crystal and plates.

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From that day on I decided on two things. 1. I was not going to worry about what I could not control, i.e. earthquakes. 2. Eat off your good dishes in life.  I promised myself that I was not going to eat off of paper plates in my life again.  That is an analogy for always doing my best every day and delivering the best I have to give to others daily! Even today, I have my best china out and eat from it and drink from my most expensive Waterford goblets. Yes, I have broken a few glasses and chipped a few dishes, but I did it from using them and not having them covered in dust and unused then broken in an earthquake.

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Our neighborhood walk the earthquake morning revealed apartment buildings where you could see directly into apartments, brick walls now lying on the ground. St. Monica’s church had a tilted steeple and you could see through the cracks in the walls of the sanctuary. The heavy stone cross lay smashed on the entrance steps. No home had a chimney and Montana Avenue brick store fronts lay on the sidewalk. The market looked as if someone had thrown all the food on the floor and we had no power, water, and gas fumes filled the air.

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Now, I don’t worry. I have decided to be the best I can become in life. This truly is my only end.

We watch movies and TV about heroic acts by soldiers or cops, but
maybe that sort of heroism isn’t very relevant to modern reality.
Maybe real courage is being willing to get up and face another day,
and do honest work to the best of our ability despite knowing that,
in all likelihood, we won’t get the recognition or financial reward
we deserve.– John F. Groom

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I consider myself lucky and know that all I have, everything around me, my health, and even my life could be taken away from me in a few seconds. Live in the moment. Live life to the fullest. Eat off your “good dishes” every day and give your all in life. Don’t worry about the other guy. Be happy for what you have and strive for greatness and all great things will come your way.

I call people rich when they’re able to meet the requirements of
their imagination. — Novelist Henry James

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: VACATION IN HAWAII! See you in two weeks!



2014-03-25 13.23.25


Tip From Gaby

Last week’s top pick of the 30 Day Dance Challenge for me was:

Cindy Long’s and Brent Smith on using the spine.

Cindy’s exercise teaches you how to shape and keep your frame, from closed dance position to promenade. Brent Smith’s exercise rotated your spine as your foot brushes underneath your body. This will give you the contra body movement and look that your tango deserves.

Happy dancing everyone
To Dance is to Live!

Thank You,
Gabriela Young

Believe and Achieve 8-22-14


No 34 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Believe and Achieve!

When you set your goals, and then plan to realize and live your dreams, you may find that life will test you….a lot! Speaking of testing, my daily readings have taken me to the story of Job.
He was a good and righteous man, who had his wealth, family, and health all stripped away from him. The reading that burns in my heart is this “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me.” I always think, if Job was not afraid of losing his great wealth and fortune, would he have been tested so?

Roosevelt Eleanor

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
— Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) American First Lady and Political Activist

A comfort zone can be a dangerous thing. It will kill personal growth and stunt courage and innovation. Comfort will keep us on our couches, in front of a TV while we have a tablet in our laps and an iPhone in one hand and a remote in the other. The books we want to read are collecting dust and the book we are trying to write sits idle, the pages of our journal growing yellow with age.

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
— W. Clement Stone

Coming out of our comfort zone will take some work. First, we must BELIEVE in something and then have the plan to ACHIEVE that dream. This requires “coming out” and telling others that we have a goal and we are starting our journey to making the dream come true. Then, there is the plan of attack. How are we going to take the first step, achieve the first success, recover from failures, and keep on going even during the rough times.

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Are you a dream maker, or a dream killer? When someone pours out their heart to you, do you squash their dream, or do you say “That is fantastic…you’re going to MAKE IT!” I want to be a dream maker and help others to fulfill their dreams and show them how to take the steps toward success in life.
I like a man who attempts the impossible.
— J.P. Morgan
Have you been in the dark tunnel in your life? Have you personally seen the darkest before the dawn? Has your life taken you through the dark night of the soul? I can say yes to all the above. I think that I thought I would never go through this tunnel and hello, here I am again. The difference is that I know that I’m going to make it in life and that I will live to see the light as I emerge from the tunnel.

People tend to think of happiness as a stroke of luck, something that
will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is
the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it,
insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking
for it. You have to participate relentlessly.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Why do we put ourselves through these trials? This is why; we know that we will be stronger for our efforts, and that our realized dreams will have value and worth to us because we sacrificed for what we have achieved. So, take a deep breath, Believe and then get to work and Achieve. Guess what, I know you can do it and I know that you will make it? See you in the light!

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Being the Best!

Gabriela Young: Footwork 8-19-14



Tip from Gaby


Toe, ball, flat to heel lead.
Can you guess what dances this footwork applies too?
You guessed it, Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep.
Thank you Hunter Johnson for the wonderful
exercise you shared with us on the 30 Day Dance Challenge.
So, let’s get to practicing!
Your smooth dances will love you for it!

Happy Dancing Everyone.

To Dance is to Live!

Thank You,
Gabriela Young

Being Unforgettable 8-15-14

2014-07-17 17.54.22

No 33 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 15th, 2014
Be Unforgettable!

How I love this song, by songwriter Irving Gordon

That’s what you are
Tho near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more
Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why darling it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too. ©Copyright 1951 by Bourne Co.

When this song comes on with Nat King Cole singing, I am transported into another world of love, dance, movement, and romance. “How the thought of you does things to me.” Those words always say that it is incredible when we are unforgettable to someone else in our lives.

How am I remembered? Am I forgettable or does someone wish they could forget me? Is the mention of my name a sweet sound to someone, or the horrible clanging of a soup pan? Has my legacy made the mention of my name synonymous with service, or servitude?

There are great leaders in my life who make my heart smile just mentioning their names. The names of my parents, grandmother, god mother, many leaders and mentors in my life, bring my heart joy and give light to my spirit. There are people in my life that I will never forget because of their contributions and guidance.

Do you have some painful names that you wish you could forget? Well, that’s OK. I think we all have a few of those. I just hope those who wish they could forget me will forgive me, and those who love me will carry some words of inspiration with them for many years to come.

One climbs a mountain not to conquer it, but to be lifted away from
the earth up into the sky.
— Climber and Writer Russell Banks

My dream is that others will smile when they hear my name and say, “He’s so much fun”. That they will remember my ‘circle of success’ formula and remember my passionate belief of service to others. That they will remember that I had a smile, a word of encouragement, a thought of wisdom for them. I want them to remember that I put my hand on their shoulder and said “I’m always here for you and you are going to make it in your life.” I want it all so I am willing to give it all away and pay the price for being a leader of others. Even if that price is to ultimately change myself so I can be of better service to those around me.

Unforgettable, I have had many of those souls in my life. I want to be a hero, a guiding light, a mentor and a friend. Unforgettable, yes, that’s what I want to be in life.

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: How to attend a Dance Competition!

How to be a Champion Dancer! 8-7-14

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No 32 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 8th, 2014
How to be a Champion Dancer!

We all have dreams. And we all get disappointed. We all have
heartache and we suffer and work to get through it. It’s just the
human condition. …So I stand here today so proud. I’m so proud of
my team and I’m so proud of myself.
— Diana Nyad, who at age 64 swam 103 miles from Cuba to Florida

To be a champion dancer, you must have a passion fueled by a white-hot burning desire to achieve your goals.

thomas-edison 10000 ways that won't work

When Thomas Edison was interviewed by a young reporter who boldly asked Mr. Edison if he felt like a failure and if he thought he should just give up by now. Perplexed, Edison replied, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.” And shortly after that, and over 10,000 attempts, Edison invented the light bulb.

Are You Willing to Strike Out?

Babe Ruth New York Yankees

In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the record for most home runs in a season. That same year, he also broke the record for highest batting average. His third record broken that same year was striking out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball. He held the most strike outs record for 29 years until Mickey Mantle. Babe Ruth was not afraid to strike out and was fearless in his entire remarkable career.

As in dancing, most of us want to hit home runs, yet we are afraid to fail in order to get there. You can’t have one without the other. If you don’t go out swinging that often, you won’t hit many home runs. If you want to his over the fences, you must be willing to strike out!

Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your best
friend. Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it
work for you. If you don’t learn to control it, it’ll destroy you and
everything around you.
— Boxing trainer Cus D’Amato to 13 year old Mike Tyson

To be a truly great dancer, learn what it takes to be a champion. Study the lives of athletes, dancers, composers, writers, business leaders, and get several mentors to help you on your way. The harder we strive to achieve greatness, the more times we seem to fail. This is one fact, you will eventually achieve greatness, and it will matter in your life and in the lives of others! Don’t give up. Keep striving and don’t be afraid and enjoy your achievements!

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: How to go to a Dance Competition!