What a man can be, he must be 9-30-16

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No 40 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury


Friday, September 30, 2016


“What a man can be, he must be.” – Abraham Maslow


“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”

– Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) American Psychologist


As a ballroom dancer for 41 years and with Arthur Murray for 41 years, I have loved being the best I can be every day. Arthur Murray has given me to opportunity in every area to excel, grow, and achieve great things in my life. What I can be I have and continue to achieve with Arthur Murray.


“True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American Writer


When I first started with Arthur Murray I was a student enrolled on my Bronze Program. Then, I my love of dancing overtook me and I went on to teach full time.  In the beginning I thought I would stay a year or so. After that first year, I then said, OK, 5 years max. Well, at the end of the 5 years I took my judges exam and began traveling as a dance judge and I was competing as a professional dancer.


Now after so many years, I realize that my love of dancing, my love of meeting people, and my love of giving service to others kept me dancing. Arthur Murray has a training program called All Stars. It is the most amazing training program in the world and its focus in giving excellent service. Every day I feel that I learn something new when I step into the school. Thank you All Stars!


“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”- Charlotte Bronte


Have the years all been easy? We all know that life has challenges, and that we will always have adversities. Yet, the sweet victory of overcoming hard times makes the springtime of our lives so much more exciting!


“Originality and the feeling of one’s own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881) Russian Novelist


“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: ‘To rise above the little things.'” – John Burroughs (1837 – 1921) American Naturalist and Writer


Every time I seem to approach a difficult time in my life, I now think, “Time will pass and as the sun rises, there will be a new day dawning”. The dread of having a rough patch ahead of me is not so powerful as I know that I will make it to see another day and that “it will get better.”  It’s funny, the day after what seemed to be a terrible struggle, I realized that it was not as bad as I feared, and that I was stronger and wiser.


“There is great power in a resolution that has no reservations in it — a strong, persistent, tenacious purpose — which burns all bridges behind it and which clears all obstacles from its path and arrives at its goal, no matter how long it may take, no matter what the sacrifice or the cost.” – Orison Sweet Marden (1850 – 1924) American Editor and Speaker


This is an amazing quote. “No reservations” “A strong, persistent, tenacious purpose” “No matter what the sacrifice or cost”. I’m there. I’m going all the way. I’ve decided to move forward and make my dreams come true.


“The hero is the one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light.” – Felix Adler


I wanted to be that hero, setting up the light for others. Now, I want to be the light that takes other through the dark night of the soul. Someday you my friend will find yourself in the dark night, or you have gone through it, or you are there now with no end in sight. There will be a light soon for you and that will be delivered by a messenger of light who will see you to the end and see you though.


I love the above quote from Helen Keller. What I love most about Helen Keller, is that she is remembered as an American Writer. I am always humbled, always humbled by who she was and what she accomplished with her life. “Lord, help me to become all that I can become and use all my gifts to lead others to light”.


Thank you for reading!




Keep on Dancing!

Go Straight to Your Goal! 9-23-16


No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 23, 2016

Go Straight to your Goal!

“It is the man who goes straight to his goal, obstacle or no obstacle, that commands our respect, gets our confidence, and gets to the front. He is the man who is sought in an emergency, not the man who is afraid of obstacles, who magnifies difficulties.”

– Orison Sweet Marden (1850 – 1924) American Editor and Speaker

Before turning 60, I lived a life of “setting goals”. In fact, that was my whole life. I was dreaming the big dreams of success, and contemplating all the things I would do if I just applied myself. I have also lectured and helped many people set and realize their dreams.

So what am I doing now? Now I’m living my goals. No one talks about what do you do when you have achieved your goals. I believe that you reassess and go to the next level! It is challenging to have struggles and to have fought for a goal, and then achieved it. Many have lost faith at this point in their lives, for they did not know what to do next.

After reaching a goal, life’s obstacles are still there and we must learn how to deal with daily life and how to rekindle our passions and dreams.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt(1884-1962) American First Lady and Political Activist

Do you have a reoccurring dream while you are asleep? I do. I’ve had some of the same dreams all of my life and I can remember them. How about a conscious dream? My true lifelong dreams have not changed in 60 years. To live a life of beauty, movement, music, service, and faith. To share all this with others, that has been and will continue to be my life’s dream.

“The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be common, nor the common heroic.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

As the above quote says, I have resolved to be great. This life is not easy, but is very exciting and rewarding. I want to make a difference, to leave a mark, to leave a legacy!

Let’s end with this amazing quote from Shaw.

“Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Playwright

Thank you for reading!


Keep on Dancing!

Hospitality 9-17-16


Hospitality Summit 9-17-16 at St. Monica Parish Community.



Last weekend, Joel Rieck and I were facilitators at a Hospitality Summit. This was an all-day training for leaders from many different ministries. Our privilege was to lead our table of leaders and help focus on what Hospitality means and how to live the life of Hospitality. All around the ballroom were posters with quotes and I would love to share these with you in this blog.


There is no hospitality like understanding.


Understanding is accepting people just as they are and letting them know that “All are welcome”. You may look different, dress different, believe different and come from a completely different background, but you are welcome just as you are.


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Have you ever left a place and not felt welcome? Did they exclude you, judge you, or say to you that you will be accepted when you change and become just like they are?

Has you ever left had an interaction with someone that left them feeling badly about themselves? Hospitality is making others feel that they are welcome and will be accepted for who they are at that time.


Hospitality is love in action. It is the flesh and muscle on the bones of love.


It’s OK to say to someone “I love you”, it’s another thing to say to them “How may I help you?”. Hospitality is a verb and it means giving of ourselves to others in the “flesh and bones” of action.


Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to

participate in God’s actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.

Letty M. Russell

In the world of dance, there are great differences. Smooth, Ballroom, Latin, Standard,

Rhythm, Theater Arts, the world of Tango and Swing. How do we unite the worlds of partnership dancing? They are united on respect for the dance, respect for the partner, respect for the other dancers, and respect for the judges. If the world acted more like the competitive dance world, we would have a great period of partnership and connection in the world. Justice and healing on the dance floor is always based on honoring the dance and the music and moving harmoniously with our partner surrounded by other couples.

The Heart of Hospitality is creating space for someone to feel seen and

heard and loved.


At a dance competition final, with six finalists, there is a major component that the couples must show in order to place. That is floor craft. We must not bump into, impede, hit, obstruct, or disrupt another couple’s dancing. This is a learned skill and is what makes watching a dancing final so exciting. Each couple is trying for first place, dancing their best, exhibiting dancing that has taken years to learn with hours of practice, while all the time giving all the other couples to space to do the same. This is a great lesson for life.


Hospitality is one form of worship.

Jewish Proverb

For me, Hospitality saved my life. I walked up to a man, Dan Schwala, 14 years ago and asked “May I help you?” and he put me to work and he taught me how to show and live the life of Hospitality.  As I was on my last thread, and I have been several times since then, the giving life of Hospitality has always given me a reason to live and go on. Serving other led me out of the “Dark Night of the Soul” and opened my eyes to how to be happy in my life.


Hospitality is simply an opportunity to show love and care.


Want to have a great day? Just ask someone if you may help them. Ask them if they would like to talk with you. Do they need some help in their life? Do they need a friend? Do they just need to talk? Show someone else that you love and care how they are and you will find that life will bring these “opportunities” to you daily.

In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.

Kobayashi Issa

My mother, J. Clair Woodbury, did not know a stranger. Yes, she had Southern opinions about a lot of people, but they were always her friends. Daddy and I would leave mother sitting in a mall as we went to shop, and we would come back to find a group of people around her listening and enjoying stories about Louisiana. J. Clair truly did not know a stranger.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.


Unfortunately, I spent a great deal of my life trying to “find myself”. I was often unhappy, lost and unfulfilled. I was always looking for that magic that would make me feel completed. It was not until I learned the magic of helping others that truly became “Free” in my life. This Hospitality Summit has opened my eyes to the joy of helping others in every area of life. I can’t wait to use more of this in my Arthur Murray Dance life and in all other areas of living.

Hope you enjoyed this little view into the wonderful world of Hospitality and serving others!

Thank you,

David Woodbury

Keep on Dancing

Email me if you like this blog: davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

P.U.R.P.O.S.E. 9-9-16 Happy Birthday Troy D. Woodbury, Sr.

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No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 9, 2016


Part of God’s Plan

Unique and Talented

Radiant in Spirit

Passionate and True

Optimistic in Thought

Soulful and Inspired

Enriched by Faith

Christine, my husband Joel’s mom, sent me this saying on my 60th birthday card. I loved it so much I’m sharing it with you! (Today’s my dad’s birthday, born 1909!)

Yes, I have my mom’s talent and my dad’s uniqueness. My mom’s radiance of spirit is my call to the light every day. My dad’s passion for life, and his true nature to serve are in my blood. Daddy was always so optimistic in his thoughts. I remember daddy singing all the time “Oh what a beautiful morning….Oh what a beautiful day!” I can still hear him singing in my heart. My mom was truly soulful and inspiration moved her. Finally, Enriched by Faith, that was both J. Clair and Troy D. Woodbury. They both lived and moved on to heaven Enriched by their faith.

You have a choice

Each and Every Single Day

I choose to feel Blessed

I choose to feel Grateful

I choose to be Excited

I choose to be Thankful

I choose to be Happy!

Life is never easy for me. No mint juleps in my afternoons. But, I am so blessed by the opportunities that come my way!

“I run great risk of failing. It may be that I shall encounter ruin where I look for reputation and a career of honor. The chances are perhaps more in favour of ruin than of success. But, whatever may be the chances, I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.” – Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) English Novelist

This quote moved me. Yes, I might fail. And the challenges that face me are huge. Yet, I would rather carry on my fight to the end than give up. I will not give up. I will continue with the above P.U.R.P.O.S.E. and I will make my blessed choices each day!

Keep on and don’t give up.

Thank you,

David Woodbury


Email me if you like my blogs.

My 60th Birthday 9-1-16

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No 36 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 2, 2016

My 60th Birthday!

Today is September 1st and I’m now 60 years old! I started with Arthur Murray October 15, 1975 and what a wonderful dancing life this has been.

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Arthur Murray has taken me around the world and was and has been my school of life. 41 years of dancing, laughing, performing, teaching and having fun have been the fountain of youth for me.

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Yes, my belt size is bigger, my feet are flatter, my knees sound like creaky doors, and my back goes out, but I have stamina and energy when I’m dancing that rivals 20-year old’s! I simply still love to dance.

Birthday Chamber Logo 2016

I always wondered what it would be like to be an older dancer. Well, I certainly am a lot more fun to take a lesson with, because I have learned to love and laugh. I listen to my students because I hurt all over just like they do. And when my students make a mistake, rather than being a rough teacher, I laugh and say “What was that!” and we both laugh until we have to hug each other.  A bit of loving laughter seems to go a lot further in instruction than a reprimand!

My personal teachers are all about 20 years older than I am. They are Arthur Murray legends and they are in such great demand today. They dance, teach, coach, own schools, travel and train others. They are constantly surrounded by young dancers and they have the stamina of much, much younger people. They are my dancing examples and I strive to be just like them in my next 20 years. Imagine, at 60, I have a new 20-year plan. Retirement for me will be to coach full time and train others for the rest of my dancing days.

The new fuel for me is now service. As long as I am giving great service to others, I seem to be OK in my life.  Depression is kept away, darkness and sadness seem to fade away when you are always planning some benefit to help others in some great way. When you always have to be at a meeting and you are giving time to serve, you seem to always be happy.  Also, the people who you are working with are usually just the same and they are happy in giving service to others!

When my daddy passed, his funeral was long with the many, many organizations that came to honor him for his service.  Daddy was a part of so many groups that help others that I sat in amazement as “strangers” to me seemed to know him and love him so very much. Guess what, I’m becoming my dad. I love being surrounded with workers and leaders and find life is rich with joy when I’m around these people. I love being a part of many groups who specialize in changing the lives of others.

Leaders are timeless and ageless. They seem to have great health and happiness. They are known and loved by many others. They seek out new ways to serve and give of their time.  They seem to thrive on the art of donating time to worthy causes.  They seldom complain because they are too busy making a phone call or planning on a committee.

Am I happy at turning 60? Well, I think I have a lot more to learn, and I definitely know that I have a lot more to give. I’d be worried, except I have to finish my city-wide Buy Local event next weekend, and I have a major Hospitality Summit at St. Monica’s the next Saturday followed by a wonderful dance competition the next day. November and December are our busiest months, then we have our Dancing with Our Stars Event in January, Seasons of Love Show in February, then the Sand and Sea Ball in early 2017.

I guess if I’m going to have a pity party, I’ll have to find some time and schedule it, for right now, I’m just too busy to worry about unimportant things in my life.

By the way, time to get moving and motivating others. Thanks for letting me share my wonderful 60th birthday with you all!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury


Email me if you like my blogs!