Make Tomorrow Better Than Today! 9-26-14

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No 38 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 26, 2014

Make Tomorrow Better Than Today!

You have to ask (what can you do that) will make tomorrow better than
today?– Clothing Designer Yuki Katsuta


Every morning when I awaken, I take a moment before opening my eyes and visualize. I see light and that I am completely whole and perfect. There is a serene time of peace and hope, rest and joy. It takes a second to find that perfect place, yet it is always there waiting for me. Light, Health, Hope, Joy, Peace…I say these over and over and then open my eyes to begin a great day.


This new day is a clean slate. No matter what happened the day, week, month, or even year before, I have a fresh day, a new beginning to make magic. This awakening helps me overcome any negative feelings in the morning and gives me a bright look to the wonderful day ahead.

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I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn
how to do it.– Pablo Picasso

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Is the day ahead always cherry and full of hope and joy, well, no. Some days are a loss to me, out of control and I am sick by dinner. The evening gets even worse and I return home exhausted. Yuck! I hate those days, yet they are mercifully few and far between. Then, when that wonderful day where everything is working out well comes, I surely do appreciate it in every way!

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
are the ones who do.– Apple’s “Think Different” Commercial, 1997

Can we change the world? I think yes. I still think that when I arrived at the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica that I can change the lives of my partners, staff, and our wonderful current and new students. I still have a dream that everyone who walks in through our doors will be magically transported into a world of dance, fun, friendships, and hospitality. The thought that success will stream over us as a cascade of one accomplishment after the other still fills my mind and I am full of hope.

My question to you is this.  Do you have what it takes to make it to the end? Do you have enough patience, hope, will, vision, direction, and passion to make your dreams come true? I do and the more I say it the more I see us inching along the road of accomplishment to making all our dreams a reality.

In dancing, change takes time. We must learn a new muscle memory, a new habit, a new order of moving, a new way of connecting and partnering. Dancing causes us to be in a place where we have to take instruction and actually make changes in ourselves.  It is said, never be with someone expecting them to change. That’s bunk. I hope we are all always changing and trying to become our better person. In dancing, we partner with someone on the sole basis that through time, practice, patience, vision and hard work, we will change and become strong and polished in our movements.

Don’t give the people what they want, give them something better.
— Entertainment pioneer Sam Rothafel

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Be unforgettable and be different. Be the example of success in your circle of friends. Always have hope, volunteer for the hardest tasks. Dream the most difficult dreams. Tackle the hardest assignments and see them accomplished. You will find that in the end, you will always give your best and you will be in the front line as a leader to others.


Thank you,

David Woodbury


Tips from Gaby 9-23-14


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Tip from Gaby

Competitive dancing:
People often ask me, what are you looking for when you are judging Gabriela?
I used to tell them, he who stands up the most wins.
Yes, we are always looking for people that have the best posture, however great posture is not the only ingredient of a champion. Good techniques also come into play but the endgame is how authentic are you and what is it that you are saying through your dancing. Are you saying I just missed that rock step where’s my partner, or are you saying this is the best rock step I have ever danced and I love dancing with my partner!
We are what we think, even on the dance floor .
So pick your thoughts well!
Through your dancing and your thoughts tell us how good you are show us your enjoyment, your confidence your love of dance the love of music. Tell us you love dancing with your partner.
If you can share with us all the good things about your dancing, you will be another step closer to becoming a champion dancer.

Thank You,

Gabriela Young

Recreating Yourself 9-19-14


No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, September 19, 2014
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
— George Bernard Shaw

How to create a new you? It can be through dancing and dancing can give you the courage to make the changes in your life that are now only dreams. Do you want to overcome shyness? Are you out of shape and need to drop a few pounds? Are you depressed, stressed, overworked? Well then, dance. Angry, dance a Tango (never waste a bad mood!). Need a lift, dance some Samba. Lacking grace and poise, dance a Waltz. Want to be agile, learn Salsa and Swing.

For all of your needs, there is a dance to fix all your problems. So many times, new students enter our doors and they don’t think they can dance. After a wonderful lesson with a professional Arthur Murray Instructor, they are amazed that they CAN dance and how EASY it was. The Arthur Murray way of teaching is Fun, Easy and Quick. All you have to do is give it a try!

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As a new studio owner, I find that I have new challenges every day. Before owning a school again, I thought I knew all the answers to all the questions. Yet, I found out that I did not know all the answers and that sometimes I had a hard time finding any answers at all to what was happening around me. Now, I realize, most of the things that bother me don’t matter anyway. What matters is giving the great Arthur Murray service first to my staff, students, and then to anyone else I come in contact with.

My great friend, Jim Byrd, asked me for a favor many years ago. He only asked me one thing in 16 years of friendship. And that was, “Treat me the same as you treat all your students”. At first I thought that this was an easy request, then I found out how hard that was on a daily basis. Imagine being pleasant in the morning, afternoon, evening, feeling sick, feeling well, good days, bad days. Wow, what a difficult request. I was not always good, but I tried to be my best and I still try to be my best even today.

If you are patient in one moment of anger you will save a thousand
days of sorrow.– Chinese Proverb

I have a quick mouth and a fast response. My tongue is a two-edged sword and my mind and wit are fast and furious. My fuse is short and I can set off in a second. The times that this happens to me are always times I regret. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Matthew 15.11. NLT. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15.1 NIV. These are two verses I try to remember daily. It is better to pause a moment before speaking, especially when angry.

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How does this apply to dancing? First, we learn “floor craft” in competition dancing. We learn that our partners are not ram-rods used to plow through a group of dancers. Out ladies are not battering rams and our job is to protect and present our ladies on the dance floor. We learn to let someone pass in front of us rather than cutting them off or crashing into them. Also, we learn how to say “I’m sorry” for bumping into someone. Many dance events are won by the caliber of elegance and grace of the couple on the floor rather than their bravado.

Also, taking dance lessons teaches you to not be so defensive. We learn to listen to someone criticize our faults, give us the answers to how to fix them, and then give them immediate results. We learn to hear that we are wrong and we learn to like it. I am a defensive person. If you pause, I’ll defend myself. It’s awful. I’m working on it. Martin Barthold from Sherman Oaks is trying to help me out of this. He is a saint and one of the only people in my life who is trying to help me out. Thank God for him. Martin, I’m getting better.

So let us go forward quietly, each on his own path, forever making
for the light.– Vincent Van Gogh

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The solution: DANCE MORE. And yes, I’m dancing more and loving every bit of it. I’m trying to listen more, not go off so fast, and still trying to create a new me to help be of service to others.
Remember God gave us two ears and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak to be successful in life. Thanks Roz DeBeve for those words of wisdom.

Thank you,
David Woodbury

Aloha 9-12-14!

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No 36 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 12, 2014


No one’s going to do something for you, and I think that’s been the
thing that’s gotten me through everything. I’ve never sat around and
waited for anybody to do anything for me. If I wanted to do
something, I made it happen.– Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Operations

OK, we finally took a vacation after 18 months of hard work and building our studio. It was a fantastic week of running, eating, swimming, and drinking in the glorious Waikiki experience. We saw so many shows with fun dancing, absolutely amazing. We even went out Country Western dancing! Wow, so much fun.

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It was not a lazy trip. Up at 5 AM every morning for a 6 AM run. The sun was not yet up and the morning on the beach was always magical. Many other runners were running as well and everyone was so friendly. We spoke to passing runners and said “Good Morning” along with a friendly wave of the hand. Who does that anymore? When our glorious run was over, we went to our gym, right on the ocean front, and then feasted on a Hawaiian breakfast overlooking the beautiful, very blue waves of Waikiki!

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Every moment was special and I drank in the rest and fresh air. We finished the vacation with a visit to Disneyland, my birthday present from Joel of Premium Passes! No block out dates. I cried for an hour when I opened up my birthday card with the passes inside. I cried going to the park, I cried in the park, and I cried during the fireworks as she sang “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you dream will come true”. I get a little choked up just typing this. Yes, believing in your dreams will truly make them come true.

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As I returned to the Arthur Murray Santa Monica that I love so much, I realized that I was so happy in my work and studio life. Fear was removed.

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

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As I sit typing my blog, my eyes are tired from a great day of dancing and laughing and helping others dance dreams come true. As the evening lengthens, I just cannot see clearly, but I know that I have given my best and that the reward of success will come my way. All day long, I have only spoken of hope, success, hard work, and vision. I know that we are succeeding and that we are being made great through the hot fires that refine our souls and spirits, that challenge our hope and vision, and that make our vision crystal clear and redefine our paths to success.

A man who makes no mistakes makes nothing.– Winston Churchill

It’s good to be in my dancing home again, loving the laughter, the dancing, the dreaming, and the acts of life transformation as we teach others to dance and become new people. Never lose your dream. Never lose hope. Focus on your vision and never let go.


Thank you,

David Woodbury

Dear Gaby – What’s Next? 9-9-14



Tip From Gaby

Now that the 30 Day Dance Challenge has concluded you are probably thinking what’s next?

Well, I found that with so much information on how to improve your dancing skills at so many different levels that if we don’t go through it over and over again, you will not retain it to muscle memory. I recommend taking some of your favorites and start the real work of doing the exercises on a regular basis.

When you use and apply the information we are given, you will see great improvement in your dancing skills.

And if you need help with some of the exercises please let your teacher know!


Happy dancing!

Gabriela Young