Happy Thanksgiving 11-24-16

2015-12-13 18.44.45

No 48 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


I had great parents. Troy D. Woodbury and J. Clair Ford Woodbury were so good to me and gave me so much of themselves.  I was the runt of the 4 kids, spoiled and a rotten kid, but they sure loved me and gave me their all.

Daddy was fierce and momma felt every part of life.  Daddy was strong and devout in all his Southern and Baptist ways. He was the head and ruler of our house.  Now momma was a feeler. We laughed together, cried together, fought together, prayed together, and in the later years were friends together.  She was amazing. Momma always knew that I was different and she always made me feel good and special.


My brother, Troy, was the ‘miracle baby’. He came out upside down and had the cord wrapped around his neck. The doctor saved him and momma and I lived the rest of my life knowing that he was her special boy. And yes, he is special!  But I, I was unique with mom. She confided in me and she was always there to support me.

As for daddy, when he died, he had a marble stand next to his bed with a bronze plaque on it that said “You are my life’s hero”. I gave that to him years before. He passed with that message next to him. Daddy loved me. He helped me through the death of my life partner, Jim Byrd. He loved Jim like a son.


I have spoken for Arthur Murray for over 40 years.  Just before speaking engagements, I would call daddy and we would pray over the phone. I would tell everyone of this prayer at the start of my speeches and it set a great tone for every talk. After speaking, I would call daddy and tell him how great it went.

As time moved on, I started to become just like daddy. His will stated that he lived his life to tell others of his faith and trust in God. Reading his will moved me so much that I put the same words into my will to be read at my death. I’d better not mess up my life, for that will be read at the end of my life.


Now that I’m older, I’m a member of the Chamber, Church, and many groups, just like daddy. I know everyone and love being with everyone everywhere.  Daddy’s blood runs through my veins.

For momma, she gave me the secret to my life.  J. Clair said to me one time, when you first meet someone, find what you love about them and ‘Build An Empire’ on that quality.  I have been lecturing on ‘Build An Empire’ for decades now and always credit my dear mom for this training. I still practice this every day.

For the other side, I’m my mom. Emotional, prone to sadness, a worrier, and sometimes trying. This is what made my mom so unique, and what gave her character. She could cry, but she could also laugh a lot as well. Also, I always saw that daddy loved her, even during the rough times. And I loved her too. Hopefully Joel will see through my dark times and love me as well when I’m not at my best in my life.

Well, I’m proud to be the son of Troy and J. Clair. I am my parent’s son and would not have it any other way.  I do live every day to tell others of my faith, and of my great parents who gave me the love of my faith and the love of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Thorns Have Roses 11-18-16


Joel and David Unique 2016 Logo

No 47 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thorns Have Roses

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr (1808 – 1890) French critic, journalist, and novelist

“The Price of Admission” is what we pay in life to have the things we want. Have you ever fallen for someone and then gone to dinner with them, and were horrified? The table manners, how they treated the staff, and general dining etiquette? You at that time decide if you are willing to pay the “price” to continue going out with them.

Or, have you ever fallen in love with someone and then seen something about them that was a deal breaker, but it was too late, your heart was already given to them? Yes, this has happened to us all. And get this…the things in others that irritate us about them are the things in our own lives that irritate others. Many will argue with me on this, but every time I can’t stand someone else, it is over a quality that is in my own life, hidden or active.

Yes, thorns have roses and that’s how they come to us. Now if you are a florist, you will take a beautiful rose, trim off the thorns, wrap the stem in wire, wrap that wire in dark green tape and position the rose perfectly in an arrangement. Yes, even a perfect rose may be tamed and molded for an arrangement or a vase. And yes, we are able to control our own price of admission for others in our lives.

“The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart – this you will build your life by, and this you will become.” – James Lane Allen (1849 – 1925) American Author

What we think, we become. The ideal that we constantly glorify does eventually take us over and we become our thoughts and ideals.  For me, I show up, try my best, stay consistent and keep on trying and I know that those actions will always win out for me.

“Tough times never last. Tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller (1926 – 2015) American Minister, Evangelist

Roses are hearty flowers, yet they take a great deal of work and care to cultivate. I remember a story of a grandson visiting his grandparents, and they were awaiting the next morning when all the roses would open and be in their full bloom. The next morning, the grandmother looked out to see that her grandson had pulled the flowers open on his own and they the petals had fallen to the ground. The grandmother exclaimed, why did you do this, and his reply was, I was just trying to help them bloom.

You can’t force a rose to bloom and you must wait until it is ready, and it will be perfect when it opens in its own good time. We cannot rush life and we must be patient (not my best attribute!)

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) American poet

Sometimes perseverance (I love that word) is not taking action, but WAITING for the right time. Waiting for the results of hard word. Waiting to speak. Waiting to take action. Waiting for the other person to speak. Waiting for the rose to open. Waiting for the sun to rise. Waiting for the right moment to then take action. Perseverance is fueled by patience and a waiting heart.

“To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue… gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.”– Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese Philosopher 

Well, what good is it if we get to our goals, and we are then not nice people. I’m trying to get to my finish line with some of my etiquette still in place and still the great son that my mom and dad raised. If I “win the lottery” of life and do not have a centered life and am not a kind person, it was not worth it. Be careful what you wish for in life, for you just might get it! I am wishing for a good heart!

For all the thorns on me, there is still a rose at the top. I want to give back. I want to have a kind heart. I want to live my life to help and inspire others. It’s time to go to the florist and pick up, although carefully, some roses and see that above the thorns will be a glory of color and beauty.  Be a beautiful rose in life!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

The Sun Rises Again! 11-11-16


No 46 Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Sun Rises Again!

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams (1929 – 2003) English moral philosopher

In dancing, we sometimes win and sometimes we lose, but always we gain from the dancing itself and the effort to become better. To be a Quarter Finalist, Semi Finalist, or Finalist all indicate hard work and great effort. To be in the top three is an honor and is a combination of many skills and many hours of effort and training.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.” – Colin Powell (1937) American Military Leader and Diplomat

After a major dance competition, all the dancers are treated with such honor and dignity. They are all praised, not just for their placement, but for the dancing itself. The top dancers always honor and respect the new couples who compete, for they remember that not too long ago, they were in the same shoes and trying to become champions in their own right. There is not always a first place, but there is always learning to get to the top.

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”– Julie Andrews (1935) English film and stage actress

What an honor to meet a champion. To chat with them. To see a star at the top of their game, or a star from many years in the past. They all have magic. They all have a story, they all had vision and determination.

The following is one of my favorite quotes:


Persistence, by Calvin Coolidge

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is filled with educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination are alone omnipotent.

“Press On!” has been and always will be the answer to every human problem.

Pressing on is always the answer. Yes, the sun will rise tomorrow no matter what happened today. But to make a difference, we must not rely on our talent, genius, and education. We must rely on the stick to it attitude that makes us try, and try and try again to become the champions we know we can be.

Let the sun rise again on your life and let determination lead you to your goals.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Make Your Own Circumstances 11-4-16


No 45 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 4, 2016

Make Your Own Circumstances

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) Irish Playwright


We think, “Oh, they have it so easy in their life. Money, family, opportunity. It was all given to them.” Yes, it may seem that others have it easy and we have it hard, but get this. We have the best in our own lives if we just look up and see all the great things around us.


I’m a blamer and I get jealous of other’s success. I think, “That should have been me”, “I can do that, what didn’t that success come to me?”. The reality is that we are all truly living in our own great success. We have control over our circumstances and we have the ability to make opportunities come our way. We never truly know what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.  The funny thing is this, often the ones we are envying are looking at us and saying, “Wow, they have all the luck” for they see the good in our lives that we are unable visualize.

“Trials, temptations, disappointments — all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fibre of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.” – James Buckham (1844 – 1930) Canadian lumberman and Liberal politician


Why do our diet and exercise programs fail? Once it gets a bit hard, or requires extra energy, or tests our character, we give in. The temptations are overwhelming and we just do not have the strength to overcome the trials. We just give into our present circumstances and cannot pull up.


Do you know how a world class ballroom dance couple makes it to the top? Is it talent, luck, or is it just given to them? The answer is simple, the best couples have worked the hardest, practices the longest and have earned their ranking through many trials and failures. Their successes are precious and sweet, and they have hearts of gratitude for the glory given to them. They made their own circumstance and created their own opportunity and stayed with it to the top.


“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” – Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970) American Football Coach


It’s easy to stay down after being knocked down over and over. Yet, as Vince Lombardi says, coming back is the real glory. I’d like to just get up and stay up, but as Waltz has rise and fall, and Tango is staccato with starts and stops, and Swing has its turns and spins, and Samba has a bounce, blessedly there is the Foxtrot that is smooth and glides across the floor. I wish you, the reader a few Foxtrot days, but also enjoy your Tango days, and keep on coming back!


Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!