No 37 9-14-17 “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 15, 1956

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

– George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

Do you ever say any of these things? Someday I’ll make it!  I can’t wait until my ship comes in! I’ll try again. Has that opportunity passed me by? I wonder what might have been? Well, I have thought of this a million times. What my life would have been had I made different decisions and taken different paths.

What if I had just stayed with my parents and taken over my dad’s business? What if I had chosen another great field? What if I had stayed in certain relationships, finished a different degree, walked a different path? What would have happened?

What I have learned today, is that everything I have, am, and will become is from all the experiences of my life and decisions I made. Also, I realize that I would not be who I am today without going down the paths I chose in life.

Do you feel like you’ve missed the boat? That it’s too late for you? That you missed your calling and that you are trapped in the current life you are living?

Well, you’re not trapped. Listen to this truth, you have lived your perfect life and you are perfect just as you are. You are wonderful, special, unique, and a great success at just being you! You are meant to be the perfect person you are today and you have a lot to give to others and the world.

The truth here is that it’s never too late to live your perfect dream. Where does all the hope and knowledge come from in my life?  Well, I finally found out that my life is just not about getting all the time. It’s about giving of my gifts to others. These are the only times when I’m truly happy. When I am able to help, inspire, mentor, or guide someone else, I’m truly happy. When I’m just trying to raise my bottom line, I’m not truly fulfilled.

Does this mean I don’t believer in success and prosperity? I believe that we must be successful to have the resources to help others and to be effective in our local and global communities.

It’s not too late for you.  Write your book, become a competition ballroom dancer, run a marathon, become a great cook, get married, study and graduate, open your dream business, get in shape, become a fundraising guru, or just find any dream you have and share it with others and get busy and make it happen.

Will I have it all in the end? I think I have it all right now. I think that during the hustle and bustle and confusion of the day, I try to take a quiet moment and realized how blessed my life truly is and I have hope, God willing, for all the many coming years in my life.

When I turned 60, I did not know how I’d feel. To my great astonishment, on that day, I set a 20-year goal. To be just like my great dance mentors who are 20 years older that I am. They are vibrant, surrounded by young people, in great demand, and are always helping and guiding others.

I want to be that handsome 70-year-old guy, perfectly dressed, in great health, and on the dance floor all night with energy to spare. At 80, I want to be the guy in demand on the dance floor and the guy who is elegant, poised, graceful, and strong. I can see my 80-year-old slender, healthy, happy self on the floor dancing the night away, full of laughter, love, and surrounded by friends.

Perhaps having this dream keeps me going. I remember my lovely mother, J. Clair Woodbury always said to me, “Keep a little song in your heart”. Yes, I try to do that every day. Put a smile on your face and see your reflection in the faces of others.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

No 7 “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” 2-17-17

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No 7 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 17, 2017

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey (1895 – 1983) American professional boxer

Sometimes in my life, I just can’t seem to get up, but I do. After dancing 41+ years, having run 19 marathons, having taught many, many dance lessons, my legs get tired. I’m the last one to leave a movie. Just don’t want anyone to see me get up. For the other side, I can still teach all day, dance a full dance party at Arthur Murray Santa Monica at night, and also perform in the show with energy to burn. I feel on fire, alive, and ready to conquer the world with dance!

There have been times that after surgery, I’m up that very day walking. After back surgery, they were rolling me down the hall with I.V. in toe, and I taught one of the nurses Waltz and danced with her in the hallway. It was amazing, astounding, and fun. The dancing just took hold of me and off I went dancing at the hospital.

After having my shoulder rebuilt, I came back to choreograph a professional staff Quickstep formation, that I danced in, and tapped, skipped, jumped and chassed with all the 20-year old’s with my arm in a sling. By the time of the performance, I danced with my arm held high without any aid, and Quickstepped my little heart out.

After my Mom’s death, I remember dancing in a competition that following weekend. I had many entries with a lot of wonderful students. There I was, dancing, laughing, competing, and performing, even though my heart was aching. I went on and know that my Mom would have wanted that from me. I did what I knew I had to do and I did it with all my heart.

The hardest time was just after losing my partner, who died in my arms at home. I thought I could not go on. I remember putting together the funeral, calling the caterer for the reception, handling all the calls and scheduling the service for everyone. I had to get up. I had to move forward. I had to take care of others. I could not get up, but I did. I continue to get up today because I know I can, I must, and I shall get up.

Am I a champion? I don’t really know. But I know that my dad, Troy Woodbury, was a true champion. He lived to help others. He was selfless and lived a life guiding others every day. I am surrounded by champions. Joel Rieck is a true champion. He is always there in a giving and uplifting way and always takes the best path in life. I am surrounded by real champions and I am blessed to know them all and to be able to call them friends, family, and mentors.

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“Be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world.” – Paul Harding

Yes, there is still a bit of heartache going on, but I know the champion’s way and the life of a champion. We are knocked down, but we get up over and over.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – W. Clement Stone (1902 – 2002) Businessman, Philanthropist and New Thought self-help book author

This is what I conceive in my life. I am not afraid of the future. In fact, I’m interested in what the future will bring and how I will live in that future. Now, I just want to give encouragement to others and to help others grow. This does not always make one popular, but it makes one true. Helping others means you are a coach and sometimes have to use tough love. In the end, I think that to help others become the champions they are meant to be is my soul calling in my life.

Think you can’t get up. You can, you must, you will. You will get up over and over. You will then find that others around you watch you rise up over and over and they will begin to rise with you. Then you will stand with a group of champions and stand strong, together, united. Don’t give up. It will get better!

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Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Keep on Trying! 8-12-16

 

Party 8-5-16 Logo

No 33 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 12, 2016

Keep on Trying!

“But try,” you urge, “the trying shall suffice; The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life: Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate!”- Robert Browning

Do you ever want to give up? What a horrible question from me a motivator. You might be saying, “Oh, never. How could you ever ask that!” Well, I have been discouraged before and still experience challenges when it comes to keeping my Try-O-Meter on high every day.

Sometimes I see the road as long and I feel as if I’m driving through the desert! My personality is that I live for success. I am a successful person. I know how to make it happen and I’m a hard worker. Every day I only see opportunities to grow and realize my dreams. That way of thinking is the only way for me.

Many dancers who are in the top 6 have arrived because they never gave up. They started off as new pros and competed many, many times until they worked their way up from quarter finals, semi-finals, to the finals to being in the top three, to winning! They weathered all the wins and losses and never let go of their dreams. Then at the top, they continue to train and strive for success and perfection in their dancing. They then help the other new dancers on their paths of success as champions.

“The saints are the sinners who keep on going.”- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish Novelist

Because I am Southern, and from Southern parents, I always feel guilty. I always know that I am be biggest sinner of them all and undeserving sometimes. My mother’s middle name was “I’m sorry” and she was always apologizing for everything all the time.  It’s a thing from the South, but it never goes away. Not that my mom and didn’t know how to laugh and enjoy life, we just felt a bit guilty because we laughed so hard and often!

Weather I am a saint or a sinner, weather I deserve what I have or not, I just keep on going and I don’t give up. I cannot stand quitters and I just will never throw in the towel. Success comes to those who make it to the end, and they keep the success because it was fought for and was won in the battle of life.

“Remember that if the opportunities for great deeds should never come, the opportunities for good deeds are renewed day by day. The thing for us to long for is the goodness, not the glory.” – F.W. Faber

Not going for the glory is tough for me. I love the spotlight and the fame. Yet, many of the stars I know in my life are also the nicest people on the planet and they have maintained their goodness with their greatness. I love the fact that opportunities are renewed day by day, and that each new day is a new beginning.

If you read my blogs, I just pour out my heart that we have to all keep going in our lives and not give up. Why, because when we succeed, we carry someone with us over the finish line and help them to finish. At the end of a 5K or 10K race, tired and spent, you will see everyone sprinting to the end and they want to pass everyone running up to the huge FINISH sign.  It’s funny, at the end of a race, everyone is smiling for the keepsake photo, no matter how you feel, there is a big smile, then as you walk through the finish line, someone puts a medal around your neck and you truly feel great. You made it!

Please don’t give in or give up. I know that I am taking others with me on the road to success and I just cannot give into anything but the fact that we ALL are going to make it in our lives.

Put your arms out and “bring a friend” to the finish line in their life. You’ll find it’s worth every step of the way!

Keep On Dancing!

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like my blogs!)

F.A.I.L. 1-15-16

2015-12-27 07.04.13

No 03. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 15, 2016

F.A.I.L.

If you Fail, never give up

Because F.A.I.L. means

“First attempt in learning”

End is not the end, In fact,

E.N.D. means “Effort never Dies”

If you get No as an answer,

Remember N.O. means

Next Opportunity, so let’s

Be Positive!

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound. Rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”                           – Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) American Motivational Speaker

If I had to have the right time, the right feeling, the right mojo to do things, nothing would get done in my life. Every day I see a FAIL sign ahead and I take always take the ‘Next Opportunity’ route to my destination. Life is just not going to go easy for any of us, so we must adjust and put a little song in our hearts and keep going, knowing that our efforts are going to pay off.

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

Have you a dream that you want to fulfill? Do you have a quest, a mission, a calling, a vision of what you want to do in life? Well, it will not be easy to attain, but it will be fulfilling. And if this truly is your dream, you’ll love every step of the journey, including the bad and the good.

How to you make a FAIL a SUCCESS? First, you must engage others in your vision. You have to make them feel that you are sure of your goal, and that you have enough passion to get you to the end!

People will forget what you say, They forget what you do, But they never forget how you made them feel! – Maya Angelou

Make people feel good around you and make them feel as if they are in a “happy zone” when they are around you! Have your wits about you and always remember how to treat others.

“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.” – Ann Landers, born 1918

As for having class, I have learned a secret. The other day I offended someone so badly that they called me and just let me have it over the phone. They were offended by something that I do with a good heart daily and have done a million times, but that was not what they wanted and they were hot at me. Guess what I said after my reprimand, “I’m sorry”. I said it sincerely four times and they did hear me and then truly thanked me for my position and how I received the message. Was it class? I think it was just being nice to someone and just truly making someone else happy.

“Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.”                                                                  – Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) English Author

Doing the right thing truly will take courage in your life. It will mean saying “Sorry” many times, even when you have done nothing wrong. Yet you will come out the best in the end for truly taking the opportunity to be humble and contrite.

Think you can do these things? I believe you can. Read on about the little bumblebee and go make a Buzzzz in life!

“Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”                                                                                         – Mary Kay Ash (1915 – 2001) American Businesswoman, founder Mary Kay Cosmetics

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Perseverance, Experience, Caution and Hope 11-20-15

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No 46. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, November 20, 2015

Perseverance, Experience, Caution and Hope
“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.”- Joseph Addison(1672-1719) English Writer and Statesman
PERSEVERANCE

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.

Stay with it. Don’t give up. Life will never be easy. If your life is easy, it’s some else’s toil that is making your days tranquil and languid. Buckle up and get to work!

EXPERIENCE

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. -Steve Jobs

After 40 years of dancing and teaching, I love sharing the love and knowledge of dancing. Do I know it all? A big no to that. In fact, I am still humbled by my dancing mentors and teachers. Yet, I have my own gift. You can dance for me and I can fix you in just a few minutes and give you an easy way to remember the dancing key I gave you. Not only am I gifted at this, I love every minute of it. Teaching with laugher and joy is the best ways to have others learn from you.

Wondering what it would be like to be a “senior” instructor, I have learned that I love it as much as my students. Having an older body, I love and respect what dancing does for my health and my muscles. Dancing keeps me young and laughing every day. Also, I am surrounded by young people every day which keeps me from getting old and crotchet!

CAUTION

In 2010 I slipped and shattered my left shoulder. It was just a terrible and catastrophic fall. I broke off and cracked my shoulder into a million pieces. I now have a new shoulder from UCLA and it works like a charm. Do I feel it? Yes, every day. It never goes away. And now I am cautious about what I do, how I walk, and where I go. This caution has been a good thing for me. First, I’m not such a jerk anymore. With an injury comes humility. Now I truly listen to my students who hurt and have physical problems. Caution is a good thing. Don’t have an accident to learn it.

HOPE

Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality. – Jonas Salk

Have you ever lost hope? Have you ever lost your mojo and lost your groove? Has there ever been a time in your life where you could not see clearly? Lost in the dark night of the soul? I’ve experienced all of that. I’ve had it all, lost it all, gotten it all back, and now am focused on a life of service to others. Do I have hope now, yes, abundantly yes!

I love this King James Version of this scripture:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” King James Version

Faith is the realization of what we have hoped for, the realization of what was not seen and now is. I’ve had a lot of faith that things would get better, the vision to see the end result, and the good sense to see and live in the moment of hope realized. Don’t fuss at someone when they say “I hope so”. Encourage them. You may need a little bit of their hope in the future yourself.

A very good friend of my, Jim Byrd, said to me years ago, “It will get better”. He knew that these words would get me through losing him and would give me the courage and hope to go on with my life. So today, I say to others all the time, “It will get better”. And it does get better.

Perseverance, experience, caution and hope. Learn them, experience them, and love them.

David Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!

Finding that Bit of Magic 11-6-15

Beth and David 6-10-15

No 45. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, November 6, 2015

Finding that Bit of Magic
“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

– J.B. Priestley (1894-1984) English Author

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What happens when you wake up in the morning? Where does your mind go? What thoughts fill your consciousness and soul? For me, many things happen. I awaken with excited hope sometimes. Some mornings have been filled with a horrible dread. Having to bury a loved one, and then awakening the day after that burial with the knowledge of what just happened.

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Many mornings I awaken with my mantra “I am filled with light and love”. I imagine that light is flowing through my body. My spiritual vision shows me taking my heart out of my body and giving it a good wash, sometimes a shake, sometimes pulling out pieces of black glass out that have cut into my heart. Some days, I pound my heart against the rocks and let the stream from the waters of life wash my heart. I give is a good shimmy shake and then put my healed and clean heart back into my body.

There are some mornings I awaken with a headache and have to flood my head with light and I focus on healing water flowing through me. I have also taken my brain and given it a good scrub as well and put back a clean mind into my body before awakening. Generally, I just let bright energy flow through me, sometimes for an hour, then I get up and greet the morning in peace and with joy.

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There are going to be mornings when we need a bit of that magic. There will be the morning when you are going to get married. The day you will be on national television and millions of people will see you dancing. You may have that day you have to put down a beloved pet who has been your companion for many, many years. The horrible day you have to run a funeral as you say goodbye to your other half. The day when you sign a new lease and start a business, buy a new house, purchase a car, go to court, have major surgery, fly to Paris, take a week in Hawaii.

No matter what, we awaken and greet the day knowing that as night follows day, as darkness leads to light, time will march on and we will live though that day to see another. Sometimes when I am so busy, and have so much happening, I see people walking around who are obviously on vacation or on their day off. They are so relaxed, happy, without a care and I have to remember when I am on vacation, I see others who are working as I am, and I think, for everyone there is a season and we all live to see another day together.

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Find that bit of magic in your life. Hold on to it. Water it. Prune it. Tell others about it. Share it. Take out a loan on it. Invest it. But no matter what you do, don’t ignore that magic. Some people never find it. Some people kill it. Some people take that magic and build Disneyland from it. No matter what amount of magic you have, cherish it.

When I am teaching an Arthur Murray Dance Lesson, I always say to my student how much I love teaching them. Then I say to them that teaching and dancing with them is by far the best part of my day. I believe that when you dance time stops. You stop aging. Nothing on your body hurts and you are young, happy and healthy. When you continue to dance the clock turns back and you start getting younger again. I truly believe this. Perhaps that’s the bit of magic in my own Arthur Murray life!

David Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Something to be Enthusiastic About!

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No 41. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 9, 2015

Something to Be Enthusiastic About!

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. – Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

Most people will tell you that they just want to be happy in their lives. As Arthur Murray dancers, we love to be happy while teaching dance, learning dance, and performing dances. Dancing makes us feel good and we are blessed to uplift others through music and movement.

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Sometimes, I run into someone who wants comfort and luxury at the main ingredients in their lives to make them feel good daily. They want that special Starbucks caramel macchiato, their perfect car, the stylish clothes and all the accessories worn over the perfect body. They are one of the beautiful people. Yet, are they happy?

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Who do I find that is happy around me? It is the person and the people who have dreams and they are motivated by helping others achieve their dreams and goals in their lives. They are not frustrated (OK, sometimes, but usually while they are organizing a fundraiser!) they are not sad, they are not depressed. They don’t have time for such luxuries.

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It’s funny that the people who give in life consider being in a bad mood and being unmotivated a “luxury” that they cannot afford. Amazing how that works! I am surrounded by event organizers, people who support the arts, volunteers for events that raise money from cancer to helping kids. They are always on a mission to make the next event work so that they can help someone else. These are amazing people.

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As I sit in organizational meetings for fundraiser and events, I feel the camaraderie that all the attendees have to be their best and deliver their best performance as volunteers. You leave one of these meetings feeling motivated, full of the ‘can do’ attitude, and your to do list is full of great things to do and experience.

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All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and
have an idea that is obviously impossible.
— Dr. Frank Richards (1875-1961) English Writer

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I do believe that I can accomplish my goals. This is the same feeling as walking on the dance floor to perform a dance presentation. Your tummy turns on you before you go on the floor and you have a moment where you can’t breathe. Your mouth is dry. Your hands and body sweat. You and your partner are both feeling adrenalin going through you a million miles an hour.

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Boom, you take the floor. Everyone is cheering for you. Then, the glorious music begins. Your muscle memory takes over and then you begin to move to the music together. You feel the wonderful energy of the audience and suddenly you are not dancing, but creating magic! You hear cheering and clapping and suddenly it’s over. You’re done. You leave the floor to a thunderous applause and you hug each other. You made it and you did it.

If you’re not enthusiastic or happy, I’ll share with you what my mom, J. Clair, would always say: “Keep a little song in your heart.” I try to do this every day. Sometimes I have to make sure it is a happy song and not a funeral dirge, but I do my best to keep humming along and singing in my heart a song of joy and praise. Out sing the blues. Drown out their tunes with your happy songs and find something to be enthusiastic about in your life.

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury