No 24 “If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.”

No 24 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 16, 2017

“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” – David Viscott (1938 – 1996) American psychiatrist

It seems I have begun over and over many times. My life does not seem like the normal life to me. Others seems to have an easier way. They set a goal, find a path, stay on the path and glide down the road that follows success.

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein (1954 ) American actor

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu (5BCE – 531 BCE) Chinese philosopher

I’ve had a lot of people define my life and what I have and haven’t done. Others have even tried to guide my life by their definition of what I am doing and what I should be doing. I get “should” on quite a lot sometimes.

I use to believe that I had all the keys to success. Then the locks changed, the keys were no longer effective, and eventually the doors were not even there. I though success was “permanent”. Boy, that is a myth. I found out to my great surprise later in my life, that success is now “service” and must be maintained on a daily basis.

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

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.” – Betty Smith (1897-1972) German/American Author and Writer

My eyes see life for the first time more and more often now. Many times, I do think I’m doing the impossible. It seems, more and more, I am conquering tasks that in the past I would have never attempted. By the way, on this road of the impossible, I have met the most incredible people I have ever known. These heroes on my service road are the most inspiring friends I have ever met. They encourage me and lift me up. And together, yes, they make doing the impossible fun.

I truly don’t know what the future will bring. I only know that through a life of service am I truly happy and fulfilled. It’s hard to have the blues when you are completely spent from giving from your passions and talents. Live in the moment and plan for a great future, learn from the past. Embrace the impossible and surround yourself with heroes and superstars!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!



No 18 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 5, 2017

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

I’m a high maintenance person. I’m either very happy, very sad, very peaceful, very upset, very productive or very blah! There is not too much grey area for me. As a Virgo of two Virgo parents, well, I’m perfect and I expect everyone and everything around me to be perfect. I can’t stand myself when I’m not perfect.

At 61, I now know that nothing and no one in this earthly realm is perfect. I’m not. I always want things to be better, and now I know the solution. I have to be the catalyst and I have to be the change I want to see. If something is not right, I have to start the change and be the energy to make something new happen.

The days of complaining and expecting someone else to pull up the slack are over for me. There is no one to go to. It’s me doing it or the highway. That’s OK, for now I have the heart of a leader. I’m finally fulling feeling the heart of my dad beating in side of me. Just don’t live for what you can get, but for the opportunities to give service to others. I wish I could just take a second and tell my dad that I now know why he was so happy giving service in so many ways.

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) German Philosopher

Perhaps we are all destroyed in some small way every day. We all go through rough times. We go through times when we just don’t think we can make it. Today I tried to remember my dad and if he ever showed me his stress. He always had a good face on and kept his faith and his positive outlook on life. He was such a great example of service, cheerfulness, a happy heart, a good laugh, and a great leader. How I wish that today I could tell him how proud of him I am and that I’m becoming just like him. Just tell him how his example in my life has guided me and has changed me.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”- Mark Twain (b: Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910) American Author and Humorist

Perhaps Mr. Woodbury had the great courage to master his fear. I know fear was present, for I was a handful in my early years. All I can remember is that dad was there for me. When my partner Jim died, dad was the strongest for me. It was as if he had lost a son. In a way, he had. I’ll never forget his sorrow over Jim’s passing, his compassion, his love for me, and his support as I struggled with grief. I visited daddy right after Jim passed, and that was right before daddy went home to be with mom. Two military funerals back-to-back. I guess I learned to face my grief and move forward.

Today, I have Mr. Woodbury’s spirit inside of me. That spirit tells me to lead, be the agent for change, and the optimism to make those changes happen. I know that I don’t know it all, in fact, I seem to know very little. But I can stand up, volunteer, become active, add my energy, and lead the way for others.

Here is a challenge: find someone who is down in the dumps. Find someone who is lost. Find someone who is crying because they are not getting enough in their lives and help them learn the magic of giving back to others. It is a recipe for success

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!


“Whatever you do, you need courage” 1-8-16

2015-08-26 22.21.28

No 01. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 8, 2016

“Whatever you do, you need courage”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

“Determine that a thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” – William C. Durant (1861 – 1947) American Manufacturer, Founder of General Motors

Hey, do you need a lift in 2016? Did you make New Year’s Resolutions? Have you already left them behind? I’m collecting dreams in 2016 and I’m going to have a “Sweet 16” this year. This is a year of realizing dreams and making magic happen in my life. A year of joy, happiness, fulfillment, and realization.

Wow, doesn’t that sound great? How about the 18 hour days that make all this a reality? Am I willing to pay the price for making my dreams come true? Yes, I am.

And what do we do to make these dreams realities? Courage. Courage to get up every morning with our mines washed clean and our hearts cleansed and ready to conquer another day.

Determination is getting up on a long day and just jumping into the tasks that are ahead. Starting off with moving our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. For me, I laugh that what determines a great morning for me. I awaken with all my high and mighty plans, then I must clean the kittie’s poop. This must happen daily and they are prolific and never surprise me. I’m scoopin’ the poops while I’m laughing at what I must do to get the day going. Then it’s treaties and foodies for the kitties before I can do anything. Yes, this requires both love and determination.

Perhaps this is what creates me on a daily basis. Not being afraid of the routine, being grateful for my life and taking daily moments to give thanks for my MANY, MANY blessings.

Now, in a new year, I’m looking forward. Not only putting my mistakes behind me, keeping the knowledge from going through the mistakes in my mind and heart, yet also having courage to seize every day.

Wow, it takes a lot of work to make all these dreams come true!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

12-26-14 New Year’s Resolutions – David Woodbury

2014-12-16 22.15.43

No 52 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Year’s Arthur Murray Resolutions!

My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She
said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and
worked hard and done the best that is within you.  Success is being
praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying.
Always aim for achievement and forget about success.– Helen Hayes (b. Brown) (1900-1993) American Stage/Film Actress

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage
unless you’re scared.– Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) American Aviator and Business Executive

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.
Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a
section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.– Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) Military Commander and 34th US President

What do I want in 2015? I want to be a better person and be able to help others achieve their goals. I have been given to ability to train, teach, write, motivate, dance, organize and generally have so much energy that I think sometimes I’m going to burst!

2014-12-20 16.56.03

I know how to set goals and make them come true. These 39 wonderful years with Arthur Murray I have been surrounded by the best dancers, instructors, franchisees, and overall mentors that call our company home. Now, my circle of mentors are all the greatest leaders, advisers, and motivators in the world. All I have to do is look around in a circle and I am surrounded by those who say “Yes, you can realized your dreams” Believe and your will achieve your goals” “Work hard, train hard, and enjoy great success” “Give back to others and become a mentor to others”.

2014-12-16 21.26.07

My New Year’s Resolution first to take better care of my health, so that I may be of better service to others. Secondly, to watch what enters my mind and thoughts and realize that my thoughts become my realities. Thirdly, to continue studying the great motivational works of others and continue learning leadership from their example. Lastly, to live my life through a life of service and giving back with the great gifts that have been entrusted to me.

2014-12-24 20.04.23

On Christmas Eve, I had an epiphany. I realized that all the many, many masses that I have attended that had blessed me so, that there was an army of volunteers making sure my experience was perfect. There was someone who provided a clean and comfortable place to worship, someone who greeted me at the door and gave me a song sheet and ushered me to a seat. Someone who passed a basket for my offering and then “magically” was a steward of that money. There was a choir, there were musicians, there were lectors and Eucharistic Ministers. Someone (a couple of hundred) had decorated the church. There was a homily given and someone somewhere led me to communion. There was someone at the door to give me an inspirational booklet, a smile, and a special salutation.

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For decades of my life I took all that for granted, and now I am called to serve and be a leader. That calling is not just for worship, but to serve at our Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, lead our fantastic Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica, be the best Guest Director for Arthur Murray Int’l, Inc.! The need to be an example for young people is critical in today’s world. Young people are looking for answers and they need to see leaders who not only have the answers, but are examples of how to live as leaders.

These goals start today. I am calling you to switch from that person sitting in the pew where I sat for years. Stand up, look around, find the leader who is in charge and walk up to them. Say this “May I help out?” and your world will change, this I promise you. Thanks Dan Schwala, my brother!


David Woodbury

Next Week: Have the Greatest Year in Your Life!

Friday the 13th June 2014

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David Earl Woodbury

No 24 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday the 13th! June 2014

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of
courage and true progress.– Nicholas Murray Butler

2014-06-11 16.08.31 Pam O’Connor, Mayor of Santa Monica

Optimism, on Friday the 13th? Why yes! In fact, this has been a glorious week for our Arthur Murray Dance Center. We had a fantastic ball last Sunday, our fantastic coach Jessica Holty on Tuesday, the unforgettable Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner Wednesday, Staff Auditions Thursday, Finale Party today, and our first booth at the Santa Monica Festival all day Saturday the 14th! Wow and yes, optimism.

What’s gone, and what’s past help, Should be past grief.– William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English Playwright

2014-06-11 18.04.18Julia Ladd, Incoming Chair 2014 for Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Congratulations!

At the Fairmont Wednesday for the Santa Monica Chamber, we had so many doors open for us. A project for National Dance Day, a Chamber Mixer at our Studio, New West Symphony connection, and many, many new ideas for 2015. I think these doors are labeled “Service” and we are invited to walk through them. There are so many who need energy, and there are so few who generate that energy. Thank you to Santa Monica Chamber for being the power suppliers in motivating so many people.

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Luke 12:48 KJV

2014-06-11 17.59.53Laurel Rosen, President and CEO of Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. We love you Laurel!

What is our job in life? What are we to do with the talents and gifts that have been given to us? What are we to do with the trust others have placed in us? The answer is to be accountable to give back that which has been given to us. After 38 years with Arthur Murray Dance Centers, my whole life is now giving back to all those who have invested so much time, faith and energy into making my life successful.

So, today is Friday the 13th. I guess I’d better count up 13 blessings to my blessing list. My life is rich and I only hope to have an even clearer vision as opportunities come my way. Just give me the strength and I’ll put in the heart and soul to make it happen!

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Make the Summer a Dancing Summer!







Why Everyone Loves to Dance 6-6-14


2014-04-30 14.28.13

David Earl Woodbury

No 23 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, June 6, 2014

Why everyone loves to dance!

Because I

The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They
believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to
correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.

— Wang Yang-Ming (1472-1529) Chinese Philosopher

Do you ever make a mistake? I do, a lot of them. It seems that for everything I do well, I have failed many times getting to that great victory. For all the great accomplishments, I have met with defeat, loss, and bad decisions. Then, a wondrous success comes my way. Yes, there are mistakes, but the times of doing the right thing well are very rewarding.

Roosevelt Eleanor

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in
which you really stop to look fear in the face.

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

On my fridge is another saying by Eleanor Roosevelt “Do the thing you cannot do”. I leave that phrase up month after month on my fridge, and look at it. We cannot go back, we cannot stay still, we cannot stop change. It’s going to be hard whether we stay the same, make or not make the decision, or if we boldly move forward and take a chance. As is said in Star Trek: “To go boldly where no man has gone before”. I love that part of each Star Trek movie.


When life opens up the door of opportunity, we must go forward for the exit behind us closes and there is only a path ahead. We take a leap of faith, we have courage, we take a chance and truly look fear in the face, then move forward.

Many times just before dancing in a show, my heart begins to race. I cannot breathe. Sometimes my legs grow weak, my knees shake, my hands perspire, my mind goes blank, and a fear worse than death takes me over. Then, I take the floor and place myself with my partner. Then, the magic begins. I see the smiling faces, I hear the music, I hear the applause, I feel the audience, and I relish in the glory of the dance. Suddenly, I have forgotten all my fear and a rush of joy and accomplishment overtakes me. Yes, it was worth it.


Why everyone loves to dance, because it changes you. It reminds you every day of what magic truly is and what miracles are. Dancing gives your spirit a lift, puts a song in your heart, and puts a skip in your step.


Dancing will help you overcome fear. Dancing will give you confidence. Dancing will let the “happy” person inside of you come out. Dancing will truly change your life. Just give it a chance.

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Friday the 13th!











Call Me Arthur 5-30-14

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

No 22 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, May 30, 2014

Call Me Arthur!

Many times I am out and someone comes up to me and says “Hi Arthur”. Also, I receive emails addressed to Arthur. Why, because I am always giving out Guest Cards for Arthur Murray. Someone recently said that I say Arthur Murray too much and give too much credit to our company. But how can I not after 38 years of dancing and living the magical life of a dancer and choreographer and studio owner. Yes, Arthur Murray is “THE PLACE” to be!

2014-05-29 14.09.17

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always
difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are
right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end,
requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has
its victories, but it takes brave men to win them. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet and Essayist

Yes, it takes courage to succeed and grow in life. The challenge that I am facing now is staying the same man full of joy and laughter and not letting challenges change me. Read this story shared with me by my great friend and mentor, Jacques DeBeve:

About George Bernard Shaw:
He was asked by a young reporter, in his later years, “Mr Shaw,
You’ve known so many influential people through the years…Poets,
composers, theologians, politicians, scientists, etc. If you could
bring back anyone, whom you’ve admired from the past, & spend
some time with them, who would it be?”

Mr Shaw said, “I’d like to bring back the man I used to be.”

2014-05-29 14.09.39

How to remain true to ourselves and keep that song in our hearts? Awaken with a purpose and go through the whole day knowing that it will be great. My friend Martin Barthold shared his voice mail message with us “Every day is a perfect day”. He went on to say that if we truly believe that every day is perfect, someday it truly will be perfect. Also, Martin quoted this: “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better”. What a great challenge. When I asked him what I could do to repay him for his kindness to me, he asked me to not be defensive and to always have a heart of gratitude for what I have in my life. This is a payment I have promised to give him!

A life without purpose is a languid, drifting thing; Every day we
ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves: This day let me
make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught! — Thomas A. Kempis

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My life does have purpose and I must always awaken with a heart of gratitude for what has given to me. Yes, I am always proud when someone calls me Arthur. They know I have had the greatest lives with a fantastic organization.

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: The Wright Brothers.