No 31 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 1st, 2014
The World Needs Dreamers!
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all,
the world needs dreamers who do.
— Sarah Ban Breathnack
All my life I have been a dreamer. As a little boy, I arranged fire logs into my “Model Home” in the back yard and pretended I was an architect. I was going to build my own home and move out by age 7! Then I was going to be a singer, a writer, a missionary, a preacher, a musician, an
entrepreneur, a great leader. Yes, I had dreams.
As a young boy, I started making a living doing odd jobs. For many years I cut grass for many of the homes in our area. I start a babysitting job and began to clean homes. I began to grow as a young businessman. My dad dropped me off at college just before my 16th birthday after finishing High School in 2 years. I was going to be an opera singer and I had a good voice and an ear for languages.
One summer, I came home and rented an apartment and started as a student at the Arthur Murray in Nashville, Tennessee. I took a break from college and was working at the Human Services Department in Downtown Nashville. As a guest at Arthur Murray’s in 1975, I soon moved on to my Bronze program and began to dance. My parents were Southern Baptist and told me that “I was going to hell” if I continued.
Well, I did continue. After about a year of my parents wondering what I was into, my franchisee called them to come and see me dance. I was in a huge ballroom, in white tails, hair cut and cleanly groomed and I was in a show dancing the elegant waltz. My parents cried (not the first time my dancing made someone cry!) and my dad came over and said, “Well, someone finally got you to stand up tall.” Yes, I had arrived as a dancer!
After my first five years I took my full Dual Standard Arthur Murray judges test. I was the youngest judge in the country and began to travel, judge and coach. I had moved to the largest Arthur Murray in the world in Phoenix and was in the “Camelot” of Arthur Murray Studios!
The chance came for me to move to Santa Monica, my home for 28 years, and I have been a manager, twice studio owner, and twice and current International Guest Director for Arthur Murray International. I have lived through the passing of both wonderful parents and had a partner die in my arms. The road has not been easy, but it has been exciting.
The dreams I have had have always kept me alive and going. I always have a dream. I’m typing this in our “Dream Room” at the Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Center. This whole studio is a dream come true for my partners and for me. We live our hopes and dreams each day and the dreams of a successful future fuel my enthusiasm each day!
Take a chance and remember your dreams will be tested and you may lose your way along the journey, but don’t worry. A real dream will never leave you and hope and vision will always come back to you. You’ll be OK, you’re going to make it!
David Earl Woodbury
Next Week: How to be a Champion Dancer!