No 8 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, February 19, 2016
What Lies Within Us
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I just love to watch ballroom dancing. Young, old, professional, amateur, championships, solos, I love it all. I especially loved to judge dance competitions. You get to stand on the floor and see the dancers dance past inches from where you are standing. You can hear them, smell their perfumes, smile at them, sometimes even speak with them. But not matter how you watch, you become one with the dancers and the dance floor.
Being so close to the dancers gives you the ability to truly see the inner dancer. You get to see the dancers with floor craft and perfect dance habits. You admire the men who never have their ladies bumped into, and they never use their partners as human ram rods. They follow the most polite rules of the floor and moving with the other dancers.
You also see the couples who are fighting and not getting along. Or, you may see some under-rehearsed dancing. When you are judging a competition, you immediately see the first place couples early in the game. In fact, you find the final 6 couples pretty quickly. As the quarter finals turn into the simi finals, you see the first place and top 6 always looking polished and well-rehearsed. They shine!
Funny thing, when you get to the final, you see the couple who has done rounds to build stamina very quickly. They do not look tired and seem full of life and energy. You see the couple who has “paid the price” of success and has not cheated on practice and physical preparation. When that perfect first place couple wins, it’s amazing how elegant they are with perfect respect and humility with the other dancers. They are lovely on and off the floor and exude the joy of dance.
“We can often do more for other men by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs.”- Francois Fenelon (1651-1715) French Roman Catholic Theologian
The championship couple, professional or amateur, is always directing their criticism to their own dancing and they are continuously looking for self-improvement. They immediately read their scores and anxiously await the feedback from their coaches on their performance. They study their videos and are in a relentless pursuit of perfections through daily practice and preparation.
“Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to recognize in your humdrum routine, as perhaps it may be thought, the true poetry of life.” – Sir William Osler (1849-1919) Canadian Physician
You can bet money that the most common denominator of all champion dance couples is the amount of practice time they share. They practice without fail, several hours a day. They take many lessons, study fitness and nutrition and they meditate. They listen to advice and their best friends are other champions and champion coaches. They know they true poetry of their dance lives is the humdrum routine of practice, practice, and more practice.
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall fight in France, we shall fight in the seas or oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. – speaking in the House of Commons on British resistance to the Nazis, June 1940” – Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Politician
Sir Winston Churchill pluck and daring kept the British spirit alive during WWII. His statement “we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength” burns in my heart. Do I have this will to fight within me? Do I have the faith to never surrender? By myself, no. But with the circle of champions around me, yes, I will make it. With the leaders and mentors that circle my every day, I will make it. In dancing, in business, in service, in faith, in family, in home life. In all areas, I will succeed because I know that little spark that lies within me will never go out.
David Earl Woodbury
DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like this blog)