To Be Alive is a Grand Thing! 4-29-16


AMI Convention 2016 Logo

No 18 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 29, 2016

To Be Alive is a Grand Thing!

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, wracked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie

AARP Magazine came out this month with an article “The Terrible 22’s”. It was a horrible rant on the Millennials of today, how they are, and the challenges they face and the challenges we have with them. I read that article and still had no answers for the generation entering the work force today. I do not understand labeling a whole generation and not sending out good energy to them.

For me, all my life I have only known that I needed to work hard, achieve, and be the best I can possibly be in my life. No one ever told me that I could not achieve. Of course, in the beginning, my boss said I would not be a good dance teacher, and 41 years later I’m still loving teaching dance, and that boss and I have been great friends the whole time.

Kaiser Permanente Ribbon Cutting 4-27-16 Logo

Or the time I failed my Bronze Tango test, and my best friend told me I would never be a good Tango dancer. Well, I re-tested and received honors in my Bronze and also my Silver Tango after that! Yes, I told myself that I could do it, and I did do it!

SQA Booth 4-21-16

“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” – Aristotle

Four words were taught to me in the beginning of my Arthur Murray career. Poise, carriage, grace, and composure. Poise and grace were states of being, and carriage and composure were action words and verbs. I was always told to be poised, carry myself in a dignified manner. Speak words of grace, and maintain a composed demeanor.

“A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.” – Alistair Cooke (1906 – 2004)

No, I don’t always “feel like it” but I always know what to do. I realized that I write my own script in life and that I’m accountable for my actions and not a victim of others actions and beliefs.

 Joel and David Logo

“A hero is a man who does what he can.” – Romain Rolland

Every day I do try to do what I can, and exceed and maintain that level of accomplishment daily.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”               -Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)  American Writer

That last quote was from someone listed as “American Write”. The only thing is, Helen Keller could not see, hear, or talk. She is recognized as one of the great Americans of all time because of her achievements. Also, I’m amazed that Miss Keller used the phrase “we do not see the one” in her speech. Perhaps Helen Keller could hear and see better than most in her own way.

Funny, I have this next quote

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain (b: Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910) American Author and Humorist

Joel and David at Kaiser Permanente 4-27-16

After 41 years of teaching for Arthur Murray, I get a lot more instruction done through a smile and laugh than I ever did with a reprimand! Yes, showing kindness is an art, and a lifestyle that is learned and one that must be maintained!

Let’s end with this:

“The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.”- David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) American, University President, Author

You say, how do I know where I’m going? And how do I have the confidence to know this?  Well, the answer is simple. I will live the rest of my life giving service to others and living from the joy of that service.

Thank you,

Keep on Dancing!

Reese’s Pieces – Setting Goals Part 1, 4-5-16

Reese Elliot

003 4-5-16 Reese’s Pieces Setting Goals Part 1

Many people grew up with an aversion to the gym and physical activities. Luckily, nowadays there are a plethora of tools available to fitness enthusiasts. This updated health and fitness information is available now more than ever before. Through these tidal waves of research and statistics it is our job to discern what works best for us. Programming a health and fitness plan can seem quite daunting. The first thing we must do is determine our fitness goals.

When planning a workout program, it is important to determine what your short and long term goals are. Having goals that you constantly work towards keeps us accountable. Making these goals realistic is absolutely vital. If we work towards something that isn’t achievable we will be our own worst critic when we don’t achieve. This sort of negative self-thought is not conducive to getting what we want out of fitness or dance. So what do we do? We set goals with our trainer or instructor and we put together a plan to achieve this. Today, we will focus on short term goals.

I don’t want to keep anybody from dreaming big. I’m not saying big dreams aren’t necessary for our mental health. However, when it comes to fitness training it’s best to set realistic short term goals that help you feel accomplished. These short term goals could be something as simple as walking three times a week, or drinking enough water every day. Sticking to these short term goals will help us develop towards our long term ones. For us dancers, a good goal to set is the frequency that we attend class. This is something we all have control over and it only benefits us. If you set a goal of coming to a group class three times a week, stick to it. You may not see the benefits immediately, but you are working towards your long term goals.

Any journey that’s worth taking has bumps and obstacles along the way. Our journey to live a healthier, more active lifestyle is no exception. Goals are a way for us to maintain accountability. Lapses happen, and when they do it’s important to remember that it happens to everybody. Even the professionals. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”- Zig Ziglar

Thank You,

Reese Rolison, Dance Professional

Arthur Murray Santa Monica

Do You Know Where You’re Going? 4-8-16

2016-02-06 21.02.09

No 16 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 15, 2016

Do you know where you’re going?

“The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.”- David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) American, University President, Author

Where are you going? Up, down, in, out, bad to good, what’s happening to you? Where is your path taking you?

“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”- Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English Writer and Statesman

I can tell you where I’m going, and that’s up, up, and away! I’m striving every day to live my dream. Slowly, I’m finding the answers to the questions that I have been asking every day of my life, and I don’t think I was ready until now for the solutions. Lent was a tough time for me this year. Full of challenges and trials that seems insurmountable for me. Then, right after Easter, I received some answers to some very trying questions. Answers that have already changed my life and are sure to change my future!

“The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them.- Benjamin Jowett (1817 – 1893) British Theologian and Classicist

Part knowing where I’m going is that I don’t care who gets the credit these days. I’ve had all my awards and trophies. Enough for a lifetime. Now, I enjoy seeing others receive their accolades and their prizes for success. Yes, it is true, you can have everything in your life if you help everyone around you achieve their goals in life.

“The best portion of a good man’s life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”- William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

After over 400 blogs over these past years, I have never dreamed the way I dream today. I remember them and write about them. The dreams have chapters and they ebb and flow. It’s like a series on HBO. I watch the dreams and awaken to clarity and change. Don’t let go of a dream. Don’t let a grumpy dumpy around you foul up your dreams. Don’t let anyone stop you from moving forward with your dreams. It may be rough, but the journey will change your life.

“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blue prints of your ultimate accomplishments.”- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) American Motivational Speaker

Enjoy your blue prints of you are to build your life, and act on your dreams.

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury (email me if you like this blog)

The Ash Man 4-1-16

David and Paola DSB 3-6-16 with Logo and Text

No 14 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 1, 2016

“The Ash Man”

Dreams. I was having a rough time in my life. My attitude was flawed and I would go to sleep and awaken in the same mood. Just couldn’t shake it. I even got cross with God during Lent. I said “If you’re mad at me, that’s OK. I’m still going to believe”. I was shutting down and not feeling well and my light was dim for a while.

Then a new dream. I dreamt of myself being free of anxiety and not worrying about tomorrow. A voice said “Be happy today, be happy now and don’t worry about the future”. Then, a foul mouthed, angry ‘me’ came up and start speaking. I pushed his hand away and his skin slit open and a gray ash seeped out the tear in his skin. I looked at this person and I realized he was “The Ash Man” and was fully of soot and dirt. He was real and but was not the real me.

He tried to talk to me and as I pushed him away, more ash began to seep from him. The light and water of life washed over me and he was swept away and then I awoke. I was happy, and that joy lasted. I realized that the trees on my street were turning green. The Spring was coming and was aware that Lent was just ending. The man of ash had left me and I saw him for the man of despair that he was, and that I was not that sad or negative person. I was alive and full of hope!

Lesson learned, Live in the Moment. If today is good, don’t worry about tomorrow. If today is rough, know that tomorrow is a fresh, new day, a new start, a new beginning.

“You can have anything you want — if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

My singleness of purpose is to not give up, knowing that life has changes and turns and I must turn with those changes. Also, from the last dream, I have learned to get to my life’s destination ‘all in one piece’.

“The best portion of a good man’s life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” – William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

I want to get to the end of the road of success, but with a giving heart that still practices service and with a heart that has not grown cold. My mom had a philosophy, Build an Empire. She said the moment you met someone, instantly find out what you liked about them, and build an empire on that quality. This has been a wonderful tool in life that I have now learned and I practice this daily. I tell my staff that when I see them doing something wonderful, that I only remember that moment and always see their best every day.

I’ve never before seen the “Ash Man” and the next time I see him, I’ll know what he is made of and know that he has no power over me or the light that I see and experience daily. Do you have an Ash Man? Remember he’s not you and that you are truly wonderful and a miracle of light and life!

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury

Email me if you like my blog: