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

Where is Your Light? 5-9-14

2014-04-22 13.10.11

David Earl Woodbury
No 19 Changing Lives through Dancing

Friday, May 9, 2014

Where’s Your Light?

Swiss Army Knife

Today I was using my Swiss Army Knife that I bought in Paris over 10 years ago. It is red, small, useful, and I use it often. As I was using it, I touched the emblem on the side and a light shone from the end. It was the flashlight feature! After all these years, I had never seen that light, never pushed the button, never noticed the light, never discovered what I had in my hands all the time.

Ever have the lights go out and you can’t find a flashlight (I just found mine in my top drawer!), can’t find candles or matches, and it’s dark inside and you can’t see a thing. Then, in a moment, someone pulls out their phone and turns on the flashlight feature and you find your torch in your own top drawer, hidden by the darkness.

What do we use for our lights? Go to Disneyland and look out at the crowd before the fireworks and you see an ocean of bright blue phone screens. Or go to the theater and everyone is using their torch feature from their phones to light their path. I’ve walked home using my phone to guide my feet, and who knew 10 years ago that our mobile phones would light up the night!

Often our light goes out and we have the ability to illuminate our way and guide others, and we don’t know how to turn the light on. We don’t know that we have a light and we don’t know where it is. Just like my Swiss knife, it was in my hands for a decade, and it still worked!


It took Edison 10,000 tries to find what worked for the light bulb. He was asked if he became discouraged and he responded that he knew eventually he would run out of things that did not work! He had vision and persistence. Also, he had to have the dream of how to power the light that he created and to deliver that power to people to use and then have lamps that used the new bulbs.

Light Switch 5-8-14

Light is available to us all if we can just remember how to turn it on and if we are plugged into the source of power that makes the light glow. All of us have light if we will just find out how let it shine and how to keep our batteries charged! There is a lot of darkness out there, yet we can be a light to others and brighten the day!

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: International Dance Festival 2014!

“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!