Share the Love 6-10-16

Winner SASB 2016 Greg Saccone

No 24 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 10, 2016

Share the Love

“When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.”

– Samuel Goldwyn (1879 – 1974) Film Producer

In ballroom dancing, on comment I dreaded to hear at the end of a performance was, “David, you looked so great”. I knew that I had failed, for I wanted to present my partner, and to be the frame and she be my picture. I should have been the vase and she the flowers.  A great man always presents his lady and tries to present her in the best spotlight.

I always wanted the applause to be for my partner and not for myself.  My favorite performances of all time were the ones where I could not take my eyes of the lady dancer, no matter how great the man was. I always knew that he was presenting her and the greatness of his skill to do this.

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

– Beverly Sills (1929 – 2007) American Opera Singer

At some point in life, we have everything we need. Money, food, shelter, possessions, position. Then we begin to feel a lack in our lives, an emptiness so to speak. Well, I have figured out how to get rid of that emptiness, give praise to others and thank others. This had been a wonderful “medicine of joy” in my life and I get much more happiness from applauding and recognizing the efforts of others than receive accolades for myself.

Beverly Sills was America’s songbird and star of the New York City Opera. She became General Manager of Lincoln Center and was an amazing fund raiser for the arts. Sills had a special needs daughter and she was an amazing mother and consummate professional. She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera and was billed as an overnight success, after she had been singing just across the plaza for over 20 years as a mega opera star.

“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

Every day I prepare for success. I am constantly striving to be better and succeed. What I now know is that success, to me, means how my gifts are shown through others that I have trained. There is no “personal success”. Achievement is usually a place we have arrived standing on the shoulders of those who have carried, trained, and guided us to greatness.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

– Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American Writer

What amazes me again about this quote is that it is from the amazing Helen Keller. She speaks of optimism, faith, achievement, hope and confidence. I have to remember that she was blind, deaf, and unable to speak. Yet Helen Keller became one of the great figures of history. What if she had never tried? What if someone with a vision had not helped and guided her through faith until her enlightenment came? She did persevere and her inner eyes were opened, her spirit began to hear, and she was able to speak in unique ways that changed millions of lives.

Don’t give up. It will get better!

Keep On Dancing,

David Woodbury (email me if you like my blogs!)

Believing in Others 8-18-15

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No 33. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 18, 2015

Believing in Others!

While watching dancers compete, I am always blown away by the commitment, energy, drive, and preparation from the dancers. They have first come together to be a team. They have mastered the art of organization. They plan their practices, their lessons, their competitions and travel and all the many, many aspects that go into competition.

They budget for their costumes and their entry fees. Many of the top competitors are also top instructors, studio executives, guest directors, franchisees, and some are also dance judges themselves. They are masters with their own calendars, their shared daily planners, their diets, their exercise, their daily practicing, and their discipline.

Men can be stimulated to show off their good qualities to the leader
who seems to think they have good qualities.
— John Richelsen

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How can you not believe in the couples as they dance round after round, and heat after heat of dances? They are fully in the moment and they are one with each other, the music, the judges, and their audience. There is magic being created on the floor. They are creating energy right in front of you and a floor full of these magnificent couples is a sight to behold.

It teaches the strong to know when they are weak and the brave to
face themselves when they are afraid. To be proud and unbowed in
defeat yet humble and gentle in victory. And to master ourselves
before we attempt to master others. And to learn to laugh, yet never
forget how to weep. And to give the predominance of courage over
— General Douglas MacArthur, on the virtues of competitive athletics.

Most dancers who make it to the top are awesome people. They have paid their dues, they have earned the right to be champions. In a final round of the top partnerships, you will find that they are all perfectly groomed, perfectly polished and rehearsed, and they are on top when it comes to decorum and manners. They have mastered the art of Floorcraft on and off the dance floor.

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.
— J. Andrews

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The life of man is like a game with dice; if you don’t get the throw
you want, you must show your skill in making the best of the throw
you get.

— Terence

If you do the best you can, you will find, nine times out of ten,
that you have done as well as or better than anyone else.
— William Feather (1889-1981) American Author and Publisher

Some couples compete for many years before they make it to the top. They dance many, many years of competition and they the floodgates of success open up to them and they have their great season of victories. They might come in second many, many times before reaching the first place. They may have a tough competition, rough floor, bad health, hard times, yet they persevere. They continue to do their best and they find that the only real magic is reaping the rewards of hours and hours, months and years of preparation and practice.

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Perhaps the name of this blog should be “Believing in Yourself”. If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love someone else? That’s a great motto. Champion ballroom dance teams often go on to great careers in coaching, judging, designing, performing, and mentoring other dancers. They have a career for life and some are living legends.

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in
the past.
— Tyron Edwards

Plan for the future, believe in others, but most of all, believe in yourself!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

Impossible, then improbable, then inevitable. 4-23-15

2015-02-24 20.10.17

No 17. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, April 24, 2015

At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.
— Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) American Actor

It seems that every day, I am amazed by what’s happening around me. We’re owners of an Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica. We are active members in the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, and EVERYONE in business knows that Arthur Murray is in Santa Monica. We are blessed with active service at St. Monica Parish Community and given every possible opportunity to serve. Our franchisor, Arthur Murray Int’l, Inc., has showered us with opportunities to grow, participate, learn and prosper.

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The doors that are opening all around us open up to endless possibilities of a fantastic life of service and dancing. Funny, a few years this all seemed impossible, yes improbable, then finally inevitable. God opened the doors and we walked through on a pathway of hard work, faith, and determination.

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.
— Walt Disney (1901-1966) American Animator and Film Maker

I loved to walk around Disneyland. Just imagine that it was all just an orange grove that was transformed by one man’s dream and vision. That vision continues today many years after Walt’s passing. Walt Disney made the impossible come true.

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Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.
— Harvey Fierstein

As I sometimes try to catch my breath with all that is happening around me, I look for how this wonderful life is defining me. How will I be remembered? What legacy will I leave behind? I want this said at my memorial service, “I am happy to serve”. And that’s the truth. I’m happy to give back after such a miraculous life of constantly receiving blessings from others in every area of my life.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an
invincible summer. — Albert Camus (1913-1960) French Writer

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Have there been rough times? Yes. Do I intimately know about the “Dark Night of the Soul”? Yes. Yet during the darkest days of my life, I truly found my greatest calling in life and I hope to go on to help others find their callings in their lives and to be a light and a living example to all who are growing and learning.

Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in
the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and
commitments.– Kevin Costner (1955-) American Actor, Producer and Director

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Take a minute and look at the extraordinary life all around you. Pause and think of all of those who got you to where you are today. Let a moment of excitement go through you as you think of all the possibilities that are ahead for you. Then, stay true to who you are and give others the same hope that is in your heart.

Thank you,
David Woodbury

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?




2014-05-09 20.40.43
No 29 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, July18th, 2014
How to say YES to dancing! It’s sometimes harder than you think!

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can
see nothing but sea.
— Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English Philosopher, Lawyer and Politician

As a studio manager, I have the privilege of enrolling most of our new students. Some have told me that they have thought of taking dancing lessons for many, many years. New students will tell me that they have dreamed of becoming a dancer, and now was the right time for them to begin. Some have “been at sea” for so very long that they just can’t see themselves dancing, even though they just tried it. Others are so happy that they will continue dancing for the rest of their lives.

Who would have ever heard of Theodore Roosevelt outside of his
immediate community if he had only half committed himself to what he
had undertaken, if he had brought only a part of himself to his task?
The great secret of his career has been that he has flung his whole
life, not a part of it, with all the determination and energy and
power he could muster, into everything he has undertaken. No
dillydallying, no faint-hearted efforts, no lukewarm purpose for him!
— Orison Sweet Marden (1850-1924) American Editor and Speaker

When you begin to dance, it will take some courage and a commitment of time and energy. The more you put into it, the quicker it becomes a more natural endeavor.

The four stages of learning:
The Initial Stage: when everything is new
The Awkward Stage: when everything feels uncomfortable
The Conscious Stage: when you know what it should be
The Natural Stage: You now have muscle memory and it’s easy to dance!

As you grow in your dancing, as you say YES to your dancing, you will always be going through some stage of learning with each of your favorite dances. It is a natural part of learning and part of the curve of learning that we all experience.

Say YES to your dancing. Is it taking the first lesson? Is it dancing your first competition or solo routine? Is it attending your first group class and dance party? Or, is it all the above? No matter which it is, take action, step on the floor and begin to move your body!

Women: become the best dancer, partner, and follower possible. Gentlemen: learn to be the best lead possible and become an expert in asking a lady to dance, holding a lady, giving a great lead and mastering the art of floor craft on the dance floor.

In my life, I am saying YES to my dancing. Even after 38+ years of dancing with Arthur Murray, I am still learning. The exercise I get from dance is so much more important to me now. The benefits of good posture, stamina, good breath and circulation are worth all the work. Also, my happiest times of the day are the times I am dancing with a partner. It seems that time stands still and I am whole in mind, body and spirit while moving with my partner to the music.

Let’s start planning out the rest of the year and planning your dancing through the next months. Stay tuned!

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Getting Ready to Dance in the Fall and Winter!

“I Am Marketing” 3-21-14

DEW Good Photo 11-7-David Earl Woodbury

No 13 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, March 21, 2014
“I AM Marketing”

At a recent meeting for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the president Laurel Rosen said to us “I am marketing”. We were all talking about what we were doing to promote our businesses and she said we should live as ambassadors for our businesses and let others know what we do for our careers.

IMGP4831For me, I am a walking, talking, breathing Arthur Murray man. I love our business, believe in our work, and know that our mission statement is: “Changing Lives Through Dancing, One Step at a Time”. Every day I walk out my door after an Arthur Murray morning of preparation, arrive at the studio to serve all day as an Arthur Murray professional, and I leave, I go into the world as an Arthur Murray man. What is an Arthur Murray man? A man of dancing skills, character, faith, dedication, professionalism, leadership and commitment.

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes
Opportunity looks a lot like work.

IMGP4988In my one of my pockets I always have two one decade rosaries, one to give away and another to keep. The other pocket has my Arthur Murray cards to give as I share about the benefits of dancing and how it is good for your health and life. Go out in the world and have faith and work through the day! Remember, life is your friend, go enjoy it!

“Oh, I couldn’t possibly live that way, always thinking about work and ‘marketing’ people”. Well, I’m not different when I’m at mass, the grocery, on a run, or at the studio. I live my life each moment as the same man, always striving to be the best in every way, being a man of character.

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional
glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful
scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. — Harold B. Melchart

IMGP4989I Am Marketing. That just means that I live each moment. Sometimes there are many challenges with lots of ups and downs. The mentors in my life are the same great people all the time. They are always leaders and living to serve others, whether it’s through their faith, career, or the ways they give back in their lives.

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

Sophia Putnam and David Woodbury Tango 3-7-14

Take a stand and decide who you are and be that man or woman, all the time. Promise yourself that you will value long term character over short term gain that may vanish in a moment. After our last 4.4 earthquake in Santa Monica this past week, I was jolted into remembering what really mattered in my life. Knowing in those few horrible and frightening moments of shaking, the sounds of the house shaking as things fell, and my own shouts of fear, I was reminded of what truly matters in life, and how we can face loss in a fraction of a second. When the quake was over, my only concern was that we and the kitties were OK. Then I ran to the window to see EVERYONE’s lights on and people out on the streets. Imagine that one moment in time awoke millions of people and was felt for hundreds of miles!

You don’t have to think of your life as marketing, but I do urge you to live your beliefs and values. Whatever you do in your life, do it with all your might and all the gusto you can muster! Talk to others, never know a stranger, always share a smile and give a compliment. Laugh out loud and make some noise in your life.

For me, I’ll live the rest of my years sharing my faith, my love of dancing, and my passion for life with everyone I meet. Arthur Murray…changing lives, one step at a time!

Thank You and Sophia Putnam in all these great photos!

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: The Time Machine!