Never Give Up 2-27-15

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No 9. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 27, 2015

David Woodbury

Never Give Up!

Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what
makes it permanent.– Marilyn vos Savant  1946-NA

There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head-on the
hard truths and saying, “We will never give up. We will never
capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to
prevail.”– Jim Collins, from his book, Good to Great

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.– Babe Ruth

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.– Florence Nightingale

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The day after we signed our lease for the Arthur Murray Dance Center of Santa Monica,

I had 10 workmen in the studio at 8 AM the next morning.

The electricians were working in the back of the new studio. At 8:15 I was startled as Carlos came running up to the front yelling in Spanish and dripping wet from head to toe. I ran to the back and Carlos had cut through the building’s water main and the space was flooding!

We were all yelling and the men began pulling out ceiling tiles and looking for the cut off valves. We turned every valve we could find off and finally the water stopped.  The back of our now ballroom was flooded, the walls were ruined, and carpet was damaged, and water was flowing into the building’s basement.

Being my mother’s son, I stopped everyone and paused. “Is everyone OK?” I asked.

They all said yes. The plumber began his assessment to fix the pipe. I said “Let’s thank God we are all OK and continue our work.”

That was in the first 15 minutes of the build out.  In 33 days, we were done with paint, plumbing, electrical, flooring, music and furniture and we opened Arthur Murray in Santa Monica.

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Did I give up?  NO! Was I shaken, YES.  Have I felt defeated at times? I think that with so much responsibility, we all feel defeated every once in a while. But I did find a way to prevail and make it happen.

Has the studio grown? Why YES! We are 100% better this year over our startup year. Has it been fast enough for me? I plead the 5th on that question.

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This is my reality. I am accountable and not a victim.  Everything in my life has led to this moment in time for me.  The good, the bad. The challenges and the victories, all have made me the successful man that I am today. I do not have excuses, I have opportunities and open doors wherever I look. It seems that every day I enter the studio, something wonderful happens each day to make our studio even more fantastic than it already was.  My great partners, our incredible staff, and our beautiful students.

Life is short. We are breathing; we have food, a place to sleep, faith, family, friends. We are all so blessed. No, I will not give up, today, tomorrow, or in the future.

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Never give up, never give in. Be a lighthouse for those around you. Be the leader and mentor that others are looking for. Become a hero for someone who needs a boost and a friend to someone who needs guidance.

Never give up.

David Woodbury

10-21-14 Being a “Yes” to Dancing!

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Tip from Gaby

Being a YES to Dance

I wanted to thank all of our students that came and participated in our dance contest at the 2014 Wellbeing Festival. Thank you for being a “YES” to your dancing

and for sharing your love and dance skills with the people in your community. I hope all of you will take this experience and add it to your page of adventures.

Because you said “Yes” you have influenced hundreds of people, put a lot of smiles on people’s faces and touched many hearts, mine included.

Amazing what saying “YES” will do, it can lead you to places and things and people that might change your life.

So my tip for the day is: be a “Yes”, especially to Dance!

To Dance is to Live!

Gabriela Young



1-28-14 Being Present!


Gabriela Young – Franchisee Arthur Murray Santa Monica

Dear Gaby
Tips for Ballroom Dancers.

Being present.
Recently as I was giving a new student at the Arthur Murray Santa Monica Dance Center his second ever Salsa lesson, I became present of how many things can get in the way of us learning a new task, me included!
So here is my tip of the week, to make it through your dance classes and get the most out of them.

Being present, or as my student said STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES. That means leave your work at your work .
If you come running in 1 minute before for your dance lessons, you will probably waist about 15 minutes of your learning experience.
Solution, get here 15 minutes ahead of time so you can leave your work behind, this way your mind will be on your Salsa lesson not your work load.
You will be more relaxed and more productive this way!

So get here early, get your mind on and body ready.
You will thank me and yourself for this!

To Dance Is To Live,
Gabriela Young

1-24-14 “Starting without a Paper Clip”.

DEW Good Photo 11-7-David Earl Woodbury

No 5: Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, January 24, 2014

“Starting without a Paper Clip”.

2013-09-20 09.47.52When we signed our lease for the Arthur Murray Santa Monica Dance Center on September 16, 2013, I returned to the studio and sat on a rickety bench and a card table with a netbook and a cell phone, and that was it. We had the power turned on and we had water, but no phone, internet, or dance floor!

As I began to build our dream, I would reach for a note pad to write on, a stapler, a Sharpie, and then a paper clip, and I realized that we were starting from scratch, from our hopes, our vision, our dreams.

As the days followed I became a mobile office, bringing in several bags that had extension cords and chargers. Another bag had office supplies, and yes, paper clips, pens, papers and notebooks. Without having a sign, a dance floor, not a stroke of new paint or any new electrical of plumbing, we were experiencing a lot of new students walking in. Since we are a Guest School at heart, I created a Guest Book and we began collecting names to call when the floor was finished.

2013-10-16 11.22.01As the floor boards were being set, I began to dance on the newly laid wood. I could not wait to experience the thrill and joy of dancing in our new studio. Then, as the last piece of wood was laid, we all took a moment for the photo shoot and celebrated. Then, the magic of dancing began and we taught our first training session that very day, on our new floor!
Our first student lesson was November 7th and it was a joyous day for us all!



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Now, I’m2014-01-19 16.44.16 in a beautiful front room that we call the Dream Maker Room. This is where we turn dancing plans into reality and our students begin the great journey of Dance through the Arthur Murray Medalist System. Also, we create magic in the front office by planning our events and competitions for our students and staff. It is an exciting room with a wall of glass that brings in light, life, and hope and energy.

As I am composing this reflection in a nice chair, working on a glass table, typing on a state of the art PC and yes, I have paper clips right next to me. Everything in our studio came from our vision, hard work, and persistence. We have in essence built a new home for ourselves, our Arthur Murray Home, and it is beautiful. Everyone who walks in our doors says how welcome they feel and that the feel the good vibes in the studio! Our studio them is Hospitality, all are welcome in this place!

What is the magic for me? First, it is my amazing partners, Gabriela Young, the Queen of Salsa and she is a master coach. Joel Rieck, my partner and a brilliant Arthur Murray Man! He can do anything and accomplish every dream he has. Then our great staff who I focus on the most. They are so full of enthusiasm, hope and the love of dance and teaching dance! Then, our fantastic students who make this all possible through their participation and presence in the school. The Arthur Murray Students make my day a joy and they truly bless me and I love and appreciate them.

The rest of the magic for me is the fact that I am living in my dream come true! Starting just from a chat, a thought, a concept, we are now changing thousands of lives through dance. We offer courage, confidence, growth, self-esteem, and transformation to all our staff and students and we are giving them a place to live the life they have dreamed of.

The rest of the magic is now I am truly a consummate Arthur Murray Man! I live, worship, and work all in a mile radius, and I am walking the walk, and talking the talk. I want to me know at the Arthur Murray Man of Santa Monica. When people talk about dance, I want them to say, “Oh yes, you have to go to Arthur Murray, they are the best!” We are the dance beacons dancing in Santa Monica and we enthusiastically want to give back to our great city.

Live your dream…make it happen…dance today!

Thank You!
David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Polish Your Dancing Skills – The Medalist System

How to Plan a Great Dancing Year!

No 4: Changing Lives through Dancing

DEW Good Photo 11-7-By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 17, 2014   (Today is our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!)

There are not secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.
— Colin Powell (1937-) American Military Leader and Diplomat


The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all,
the world needs dreamers who do.
— Sarah Ban Breathnack


Dream to Create the Future Victor Hugo 1-17-14 How to plan a great dancing year, prepare with hard work based on the knowledge we have gained from our past mistakes and successes.  Then Dream, but Dream and Do!


I have had a big dream, and I have taken big action.  Yes, a dream is a wonderful thing to have, but without the work behind it, it is like the morning mist that slowly fades away into past memories and is a thing of the past.


Have you ever had an idea and said “That’s brilliant!” and then promptly forgot it?  I have these life changing thoughts all the time, in fact, I have life changing dreams when I sleep. Now, I have paper and a pen close by.  Write down that amazing thought, that ground-breaking dream, that life-altering message that comes to you from above…then ACT on it.


How am I planning a great dancing year? Well, first I have spoken my goals to large groups of people, and today I spoke my goals to a large room full of my peers, and they were writing down my goals as I spoke, and our team leader is going to follow through with our words!  Wow, that’s a goal that has come alive and is now in the full light of day.


Then, I have a plan.  I must confess, that I am the biggest pain in the butt at the studio.  I am constantly speaking our goals…all day…all night…day after day…week after week.  And get this, I’m seeing our goals turn into reality.  Perhaps not as fast as I want, but I see the reality taking form from these great dreams. Just like Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird, we are rising from the ashes into a new golden bird of dreams come true.


Take your calendar and write in your next dance event. A private lesson, a group, a party, bringing a Guest, dancing in a competition, going to a Showcase, graduating from a dance, or just coming in to practice your favorite dance or perfecting your weakest dance.


Take someone with you. Let your teacher know what you want to do. Tell another dancer what you are planning. Make an announcement at a party that you are now competing and then perform a spotlight of what you are goinDream of Success Winston Churchill 1-17-14g to perform. Write a blog, post it on Facebook, just let someone know what you are doing and come out of your shell.


Now, get on the dance floor and make it happen. Chose your best song, put together your best moves, then dance, dance, dance and live your dream.


I’m not going to rust out, and I’m not going to wear out (I hope). I’m not going to sit on my derrier and wait for the sunset of my life to arrive.  I’m going out with a fight, dancing a jig, with a song in my heart.  Yes, plan a great dancing year and I’ll see you on the dance floor!

Thank You!

David Earl Woodbury 

Next Week: Polish Your Dancing Skills With The Medalist System