Remembering Katrina Rodriguez 1-29-15

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No 5. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 30, 2015

Today we have heard of the passing of our dear friend, Katrina Rodriguez. Much love and many prayers for Katrina’s dear family. My heart goes out to Tavio and I send strength to you in your time of great loss. I love you my friend.

When the horrible storms of life have passed through my life, it has been very similar to the one house that is standing in the middle of the total desolation after the tornado passed through. You see a house standing with no shingles missing and not a scratch on it. Out walks a lady holding her cat, only to view her neighborhood that has disappeared.

Arthur Murray and my dancing has been that safe house in my life. As the storms of life have passed, including the loss of both parents, and having my life partner pass in my arms, my dancing, my family, Arthur Murray family, and my faith family of St. Monica’s have stood by me to strengthen and comfort me.

I send this love, support and strength out to Katrina’s husband, Tavio. This is an unspeakably hard time in your life and you will ride on the shoulders and love of the prayers of those around you who will hold you up in prayers.

I cannot right my blog. My heart is sobbing. What a terrible loss.

I love and miss you Katrina.

David Woodbury

Changing Lives Through Dancing 1-23-15

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No 4. Changing Lives Through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 24, 2015

Sustained Motivation

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my
decisions.– Stephen Covey

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.– Ernest Hemingway

All endings are also beginnings; we just don’t know it at the time.– Mitch Albom

LISTEN TO THIS! You have permission to be enthusiastic EVERY DAY! You have

permission to have dreams, be filled with passion for those dreams, and to have the fire in your heart to achieve your dreams. It’s OK to have Sustained Motivation!

It’s easy to feel very alone when you are a dreamer, a risk taker, a forward mover, an innovator, a passion driven person. Everyone wants to “cool you off” and “find balance” in your life. “Don’t go overboard” they say. Learn to rest, balance your life, take time to smell the roses they say.

You don’t have to be alone any more. All around us are self starters and leaders. We don’t always see them because they are always first, always in the front, and they get there before others even begin. I have found my circles of enthusiastic leaders and they are phenomenal people. They innovate, lead, guide, direct, orchestrate, and execute. They are happy to do all this and their goal in life is to help others. They are not just phlegmatic and melancholy people, they are usually sanguine and they have enough choleric in them to make things happen!

I have decided to make my circumstances rather than let someone else have control of my future. I have been destroyed in my past, but never defeated. Yes, I have thought that my endings were it for me, yet only to find that these were new beginnings in my life.

A great dance for this story is the Tango, the Dancer’s Dance. It requires drama, a strong forward drive, a great dance frame, musicality, connection and partnership, special awareness of surroundings and music, a staccato movement with the feet and legs, and an awareness of your partner first and foremost.

Tango is a dance that transforms a male dancer into a dynamic leader, and makes a lady a master of following and styling. Tango has elements of almost every other dance and is danced to many types of music. This is a little bit like life. Dancing the Dance of Life, knowing how to interact with our partners and being aware of those around us so we move in harmony with grace and poise.

Let your motivation out. Be yourself and look around for others who are just like you. You’ll never feel alone again and you will be able to sustain your gift of being a dreamer!


David Woodbury

Next Week: How are your dancing goals for 2015?

Get the Most out of your Dancing in 2015

No 3. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 16, 2015

Get The Most Out Of Your Dancing In 2015!



Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they

merely determine where you start.–Nido Qubein


I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my

decisions.– Stephen Covey

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Want the most out of your dancing in 2015? Then plan the moon and the stars. Plan your Bronze, Silver or Gold level of dancing. Dream your favorite routine for a solo dance and perform that dance at a competition. Compete in a championship division and go for the gold. Reach for the sun.


The unreasonable man attempts to adapt the world to himself. The
reasonable man attempts to adapt himself to the world. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Playwright

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I’m always trying to change things around me to match my own dreams. I am a salmon; I am always swimming upstream. Just think, all those little boy salmons swimming against the current just to find love. I swim against the current to make my dreams come true.


“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”― Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

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I had the above phrase on my fridge from the moment we started planning to open our own Arthur Murray Studio. I looked at it every day. Yes, I was going beyond my comfort zone and doing many things that I did not know how to do, and I handled many things that I did not think I could handle. It all worked out and I met each challenge head on. I did the things I could not do and more.


Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has
reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.– Booker T. Washington

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What comes from taking risks….courage, strength of character, and an iron will against all adversities. You will never know if you can if you don’t try, and you’ll never success without some failures in life. What matters are not the mistakes, but what we learn from our experiences.


Fear is the opportunity for courage, not proof of cowardice.– John McCain


People are always asking me what I am afraid of. My answer is the fear of not living up to my potential and not using the gifts given me. I fight this fear by seizing every opportunity to grow and to help others grow and achieve greatness in their lives.


Be a product of your decisions and decide to have an outstanding year of living, loving, dancing, and being a guiding light to all those around you



David Woodbury


Next Week: Sustained Motivation!

New Year’s Resolutions for Dancers 1-13-15 Gabriela Young



New Years resolution for your dancing.

Since most of our students at the Santa Monica Arthur Murray are just starting on their Bronze programs,

here are a few items you could add to your list of dance resolutions for 2015:

If you’re a Bronze 1 dancer:

A resolution for leaders:

I will navigate the

compass clearly, North, South, East, and West

If you’re a follower:

I will focus on my posture and balance before I focus on my partner.

For all of you: the only person

I will compare myself to is the person I used to be before I started dancing

If you’re in Bronze 2:

Resolutions for Leaders:

I will talk and dance simultaneously as much as


Followers: I will emphasize my legs and feet before I wiggle my hips and rear!


I will follow my teacher’s recipe for all things technical in my dance program.

Thank you Chris Lyman at Arthur Murray Live, for these helpful hints!

Happy dancing everyone,

Gabriela Young


Do You Have a Dream Sheet for 2015?

No 2. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 9, 2015

Do You Have a 2015 Dream Sheet?

I love calendars. Remember carrying around your paper planner? I used a Daytimer. What a thrill to start a new January with my new leather-bound 12 months of exciting fun activities. My planner had all my Arthur Murray dancing events, all my birthdays and anniversarites. I’d keep my goals and dates to monitor my progress.

There was always a section for dreaming and planning my future. I’d write down anything that came to mind that I wanted to accomplish in my life. Later I switched to a Palm electronic planner. Wow, I had all my contacts and calendar all in the same device. How I dreamed of not having to carrying around both my phone and planner. I used to hold them together and imagine that they were one.  Remember the disasters of your electronic planner crashing and you had not backed up and you lost your information?

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Then, one day, an Arthur Murray student told me that I could type a date into Google Calendar and that it would appear on my phone, and vice versa. All my desktop contacts would also be on my phone.  Wow, heaven for me. I could make an appointment, enter my new contact and sync it immediately with reminders within seconds.

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Why do I love calendars? Well, I love having things to look forward to. First, I make my yearly Arthur Murray schedule and add the dates. Then, I schedule my St. Monica service dates around my dancing events. Add to these Disneyland dates, trips, vacations, weddings, meetings, consulting and I end up with an action packed calendar.


Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.– Robert Brault


I can look at a month with all the color coded events and get excited about living. In front of me is life and all the many events that I am celebrating. There is always something exciting on my schedule and always something to look forward to.


Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly,
one-directionally, without regret or reservation.– William H. Sheldon

With a new year, I always look to see when the holidays fall during the week, my birthday, and all my family and studio events. I know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there.

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As for service, I do not think you can live a life of service without planning what you are going to do. I have two great mentors who set up schedules of service that involve hundreds of volunteers. They are amazing. They require that we give them our available dates for many months at a time, then they weave a perfect and fair balance of service between all the volunteers.

They are the masters of scheduling and I admire their contribution. Unfortunately, there are not too many leaders of this kind and they end up doing the lion’s share of the work in order that we, the many working under them, may have the opportunity to fulfill our service callings.

Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel
fulfilled.– Dr. Benjamin Spock

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Ok, here’s an exercise for you. Buy two things, first a wall calendar for your kitchen, or bath, bedroom, office, or hallway. Put it where you will see it first thing each morning.

Secondly, purchase a planner. Go to the dollar store and get a paper planner, or go to the Apple store and get a new iPhone 6 and use your new iCal. Get the new Samsung S6 and start on your new Google Calendar.  But get something and get started.

Begin to write all you goals, hopes, dreams and how you are going to make these happen. Track your progress. Sit and look at your “Dream Sheet” and know where you are going, how and when you are going to get there, and be faithful to remembering why we are here!


The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain



David Woodbury

Next Week: Get The Most Out Of Your Dancing in 2015!




















Have the Greatest Year of Your Life! 1-2-15

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No 1 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 2, 2015

Have the Greatest Year of Your Life!

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek
out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the
hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers
through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that
you’ll never walk alone.– Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) British Actress

This year I want to have fun with my work.

There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is

play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lie

happiness.– Gelett Burgess

This year I want to have harmony at my work.

You cannot add to the peace and good will of the world if you fail to
create an atmosphere of harmony and love right where you live and
work.– Thomas Dreier

This year I want to be happy.

I’m not happy, I’m cheerful. There’s a difference. A happy woman has
no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to
deal with them.– Beverly Sills (1929-) American Opera Singer

Well, happiness is not easy to come by. Fun at work and harmony is not easy to come by. What is the answer?

Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody
believes he got the biggest piece.– Sherry Rothfield

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I think the answer for me is to realize that it’s not all just going to be about me. It is about the team and working together. Getting along is not easy, and being the leader of a fantastic group of talented professionals is not easy, yet, we will reach our goals working and dancing together.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am
thankful that thorns have roses.– Allophones Karr

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I received an email today that told me to quit complaining and take action. I took action and the results will be tremendous! Yes, this will be the greatest year in my life, my Arthur Murray life, my Chamber of Commerce life, my St. Monica life, my home life, my family life, my service life.

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Come join me and let’s live the lives we were meant to live and be the great people we were born to be!


David Woodbury

Next Week: Do you have a Dream Sheet for 2015?