Whatever you do, do it well. 7-28-16

Team Santa Monica Unique DOR 2016 Logo

No 31 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 29, 2016

Whatever you do, do it well.

Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney

Joel and David Unique 2016 Logo

Talk about living your dreams, been to Disneyland recently? The parks are always expanding, growing, innovating, renewing, re-planning, and maintaining the classics. This success did not come overnight and took 60 years to refine. I think that in today’s world, we want success too quickly. We want “to go viral” overnight, and that’s just not how it usually happens.

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“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”- Leo Jozef Cardinal Suenens (1904 – 1996) Belgian Archbishop

Why doesn’t everyone follow their dreams? Mainly it is when the price of the dream comes into play. The price is not always monetary, it is usually dedication, persistence, and hard work. “Going the extra mile” is a currency that few have in their pocketbooks. Also, the price of a dream is being resilient when the rough times come your way, and most of all, how one acts when success hits. Does it change you? Do you relax? Does the dream fade with success?

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“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?'”- George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) Irish Playwright

Perhaps George Bernard Shaw had courage to dream things that never were. Perhaps he had problems with his hearing when others said “No” to him and he could not accomplish his goals and aspirations.

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“Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.”- Bernard Williams (1929 – 2003) English Philosopher

The human spirit is strong. It is frightening how powerful we all are and can be. We all have superhuman strength that lies deep inside of all of us. The only thing that will keep us from being strong is fear, and yet it is often fear that makes us stronger and makes us take action in our lives.

“When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view.”- Ella Wheeler Wilcox


When we begin to say “why not” we will then begin to crave the view from the mountain. I love to be high and look out. I love Google Earth and Google Maps. I love to see from above. I often travel around the world on my desktop and “see” the world from the top. It takes a long time to climb to the pinnacle in life, but the journey is worth it and it is life changing.

“The greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall.”- Confucius, (551 – 479 BC) Chinese Philosopher

May I encourage you to start your journey to the top. Will you falter? Yes. Will you have trials and failures and discouragements? Yes. Don’t let this stop you and persist with your dreams and keep picking yourself up. We are alive for a purpose and that purpose is to keep on going and moving forward. As you read this, I send you faith, hope and encouragement. You will make it. You will succeed. You will achieve. Keep on!

Keep On Dancing!

David Woodbury

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



Team Santa Monica Unique DOR 2016 Logo

A Cure for Worry 6-17-16

Yesenia Monsour

No 25 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Cure for Worry

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”

– Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931) American Inventor

Julia Ladd

Ever awaken in a funk, a cloud, a depression, a panic, or in a state of confusion? Every morning, when consciousness fills my mind, I began to fill my mind, heart, and soul with light. I do a cleaning of my heart, my mind and my spirit. Then, just before any worries can take over, I get up and get on with my day! With a home, husband, two cats, and a business, there is no lack of work to do from the moment I awaken. I’m the cook, so when I arise, there is bacon to cook, French Press coffee to make, cats to poop and feed, and then a full breakfast to finish, serve and clean up, as well as preparing lunch. There is never sadness, just joy in the work and the process of outwitting worry!

Joel Rieck Chairmen'a Award 6-15-16

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

– Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

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Again, Helen Keller’s quote touches me to the soul. She was blind, deaf, and mute, and she is constantly searching for that special something she can do. Well for me, she always changes my life when I read about her. I’m constantly inspired that she did not let what life handed to her keep her from life’s mission for her. She did not live in despair, she lived in service and in hope.


“He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.”

– Epictetus (55-135 AD) Greek Philosopher

 Lynne Thomas 6-15-16

“Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.”

– Brendan Francis [Behan] (1923-1964) Irish Author

I thought at 60 I’d be free from worry. In a place in my life where I could kick back and just relax. No, that is not for me. I’m destined for greatness and to live to inspire others and to serve others and to give back to others in order to change their lives in some way. No, that’s not going to happen sitting on the sofa (although I do have some good ideas in my easy chair with a cat on my lap and coffee in hand!)


Will there be a day I’m not going to have fears? That day will come at the end, but for today, instead of fears-hopes, instead of doubts-dreams, instead of failure-opportunities. I’m happiest when serving and helping others and I must know that will be enough in the big picture.

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“What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

– Johann von Goethe (1749 – 1832) German Poet and Dramatist

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For now, I will dream, and dream big. I’ll walk in faith and hope and then walk in the visualized dream, then begin again. You can’t take my dreams away from me. I dream of helping 100’s of kids learn to dance and learn how to respect one another, take instruction, learn how to work hard, how to treat one another, how to respect authority, and how to know that trying is not always winning. Perseverance is the key and sometimes trying over and over is the path to greatness. Ballroom dancing is a great way to grow up and learn all about life and how to live peacefully with others, especially if you are in a 6 couple final in smooth or rhythm!

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave – speech to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775.”

– Patrick Henry (1736-1799) American Lawyer, Patriot

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May I ask this of you today…don’t give up.  It will get better, yes, it will, and you’ll make it.

I love you and I believe in you today!

Keep On Dancing!

David Woodbury

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

The Ash Man 4-1-16

David and Paola DSB 3-6-16 with Logo and Text

No 14 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 1, 2016

“The Ash Man”

Dreams. I was having a rough time in my life. My attitude was flawed and I would go to sleep and awaken in the same mood. Just couldn’t shake it. I even got cross with God during Lent. I said “If you’re mad at me, that’s OK. I’m still going to believe”. I was shutting down and not feeling well and my light was dim for a while.

Then a new dream. I dreamt of myself being free of anxiety and not worrying about tomorrow. A voice said “Be happy today, be happy now and don’t worry about the future”. Then, a foul mouthed, angry ‘me’ came up and start speaking. I pushed his hand away and his skin slit open and a gray ash seeped out the tear in his skin. I looked at this person and I realized he was “The Ash Man” and was fully of soot and dirt. He was real and but was not the real me.

He tried to talk to me and as I pushed him away, more ash began to seep from him. The light and water of life washed over me and he was swept away and then I awoke. I was happy, and that joy lasted. I realized that the trees on my street were turning green. The Spring was coming and was aware that Lent was just ending. The man of ash had left me and I saw him for the man of despair that he was, and that I was not that sad or negative person. I was alive and full of hope!

Lesson learned, Live in the Moment. If today is good, don’t worry about tomorrow. If today is rough, know that tomorrow is a fresh, new day, a new start, a new beginning.

“You can have anything you want — if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

My singleness of purpose is to not give up, knowing that life has changes and turns and I must turn with those changes. Also, from the last dream, I have learned to get to my life’s destination ‘all in one piece’.

“The best portion of a good man’s life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” – William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

I want to get to the end of the road of success, but with a giving heart that still practices service and with a heart that has not grown cold. My mom had a philosophy, Build an Empire. She said the moment you met someone, instantly find out what you liked about them, and build an empire on that quality. This has been a wonderful tool in life that I have now learned and I practice this daily. I tell my staff that when I see them doing something wonderful, that I only remember that moment and always see their best every day.

I’ve never before seen the “Ash Man” and the next time I see him, I’ll know what he is made of and know that he has no power over me or the light that I see and experience daily. Do you have an Ash Man? Remember he’s not you and that you are truly wonderful and a miracle of light and life!

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury

Email me if you like my blog: DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer 3-16-16 St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day with Logo

No 12 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 18, 2016

Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.   ~ Harriet Tubman

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I have dreams. Do you? I remember dreams and write them down. I watch visions deep in my sleep. They are just like watching movies. I can hear, feel, smell, and am surrounded by the dream. Many times I arise and write the dream down. Then, I dream the same dream over and over, over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years.

There’s a new dream I’ve had recently. I have just gone through overwhelm in my life and I felt crushed under the duties I had assumed. Even to the point of feeling crushed. While I was dreaming and I saw myself walking down a road and I felt amazingly free. I looked back over my shoulder and saw a truck load of belongings lying in the road.

I could see furniture, suitcases, boxes, books, and all manner of things strewn over the dusty dirt. The heavy, defeating load had fallen off of me. I was carrying nothing and I was free. Then, I awoke and I was strong, angry strong. I said “I’m going to make it” “I haven’t come this far to fail” and I was mad with strength all day.

A day later, nothing had changed in my circumstances, but I felt free! I felt strong! Now, there is a big change in my outlook. I’m not driving the junk truck. I’m not carrying the heavy load. I’m free and free to move forward to success.

Gelson's Grand Opening 3-17-16

“Life’s about friendships, the way you love your partner, the way you care for your children. That is what life is about. Not anything about earning a hundred zillion dollars because you toured America more than anyone else. I want life to be about creativity.” – Joe Strummer Former lead singer for the Clash rock band

Now the creativity is flowing again and the positive energy is not blocked. The imaginative thoughts are flowing and the light of life is shining again. In a daily dream, yes, one I dream each day, I see a funnel of energy flowing to me. It looks like a clear fire hose that a combination of light and water flow from together. I have seen this same “washing” of the light/water flowing over me for a few weeks now and it has been amazing to watch and experience.

This morning I was watching the spot of water/light flowing toward me, and someone from the back right of me said, “This is HOPE”. I was astounded. I was being washed with HOPE daily! I often see the dream of me sitting in a creek of life water. I take out my heart and wash it in the cleaning water. I cleanse my heart from any “black glass” shards (darkness) and clean my heart. Then I wash out my brain in the water (looks like a sponge). My brain washes clean and I replace it and replace my cleansed and healed heart. Then, the waters of life/light continue to flow over me. Now, I know that this is the flow of HOPE over me!

Plaid Party with Logo 3-11-16

“In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.”- John Ruskin (1819-1900) English Art Critic

See light in others. Find out what you like in another person the moment you see them and build an empire on that goodness. You’ll find out that you are never alone and you never know a stranger.

Keep Dreaming!

David Earl Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like this blog)

Make Up Your Mind 6-19-15

2015-06-18 11.51.02

No 25. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 19, 2015

Make Up Your Mind

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work
hard at work worth doing.
— Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th President of the United States

Imagine walking up to Joshua Bell, famous violinist, and say “You are working too hard. Slow down and enjoy life a bit. Don’t practice so much”. Or saying to an Olympic marathoner, swimmer, sprinter, weight lifter “Slow down, you’re going to burn out!”. Would you tell a great brain surgeon “I bet you regret all those 24 hour shifts as an intern”. Would you have gone up to the Golden State Warriors and said “Hey guys, slow down and relax. Don’t take this so seriously”.

I don’t think that any of us would ever say these things to any of the great conductors, composers, athletes, physicians, leaders, mentors, or any champion of today. We know that no greatness is ever achieved without sacrifice and passion and commitment and a 100% focus on the plan and goal we have ahead of us.

You sort of come face to face with your own values at some point,
where you can walk away or do something about it.
— Scott Neeson, who left the presidency of Sony Pictures to found a nonprofit helping very poor children in Cambodia

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Someone recently told me that their goal was too hard, took too much time, and was not what they wanted. My heart sank. I can only thank God for what I am learning every day in my life and for the great opportunities that are coming my way, moment by moment. Yes the road is long, and sometimes hard, but the good times are precious and the rewards are priceless. I welcome the many, many lessons that I am learning today and the opportunities I am given to grow daily.

Matterhorn Catching Joel 5-24-15
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to.  But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.– Sir Douglas Bader was a British fighter pilot who lost both legs in a flying accident, but still fought in World War Two. He was knighted for his work with the disabled, and the quote above is from his talk to a 14-year-old boy who had lost a leg in a car accident.

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The great ballroom dancers of today will tell you the secrets of their success. First, they love to dance. Second, they love to PRACTICE. As Christy Melgoza says, “Practice makes permanent”, and that’s the truth. Champions have an incredible work ethic and great discipline. They do not give up. They take defeats in stride and are stronger as they continue to improve.
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

When we go to a concert and hear the great singers of the world, we never think of the road that got them to that stage. The countless hours of practice, the rejection they have experienced in competitions. The many auditions. The successes, the failures. The rough times. We just purchase our tickets and enjoy the magic that they deliver to their audiences.

It is right to be content with what we have, never with what we are.
— James Mackintosh (1765-1832) Scottish Statesman, Historian

I don’t think I’m ‘there’ in my life yet. So much character building left, so much to learn, so much to experience, so many more leaders and mentors to learn from. Then, I have my dreams as a leader, franchisee, writer, speaker, motivator, friend, husband, team member, and passions to be all that I can be in my life.

Make up your mind, live in greatness and don’t be afraid of a little hard work. See you in the winner’s circle!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury


Turn Your Dreams Into Reality 4-17-15

Arthur Murray on Ship

No 16. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 17, 2015

Turn Your Dancing Dreams into Reality

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the
conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my
talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
— Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American Physicist

Einstein had it right when it came to making dreams come true. Do you think you’re not talented? Do you have ability or rhythm? Did someone tell you you’re a terrible dancer and that you can’t learn. Well, listen to this. First, the body has a natural rhythm. Put your right hand over your heart and feel, “boom, boom – boom boom”. Your heart has a natural rhythm. Notice while you are listening to your heart, you are breathing, “we-hoo, we-hoo, we-hoo, we-hoo.”  You’re a walking, breathing one-man-band! Yes you have rhythm, and ability naturally.

Secondly, did you walk today and not fall down (I don’t always do that)? Did you drive today? Well, if you can drive in LA, you can dance. Give yourself some credit, dancing is natural and you CAN learn how to dance, and have a lot of fun learning!

Don’t give up!

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
— Margaret Thatcher, (1925-2013)  British Prime Minister

I have known dancers who picked up immediately, and lost it immediately. I have seen dancers who can see a step and can execute it perfectly. Then, there’s me! My first dance teacher told me, “David, you’re a slow forgetter”. I have always loved the fact that she told me that. It takes me forever to get something, and I never forget it (hopefully).

This is one of my favorite quotes:

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.

Never ever give up. Never think you day is coming, for it may be coming right now, this day! I tell my staff this, keep on going. You haven’t learned the lesson you were meant to learn for this situation. This is hard for me, I have no patience, ever, yet I have seen this come true in my own life and the lives of others. When God closes a door, He opens a window. Just stay true to your hopes and dreams.

Dancing is such a great skill. It teaches you patience, discipline, structure, organization, and practice and time management skills. Dancing success will not come overnight, but over a period of time, you’ll realize your dreams and you’ll never have to say no to a partner, never have to sit out a dance, and you will be a winner for your skill of dancing with a partner.

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
— Kevin Costner (1955-) American Actor, Producer and Director

Be a real hero and stay true to your dreams and goals.

Happy Dancing!

David Woodbury

Changing Lives Through Dancing 1-23-15

2014-06-11 15.53.26

No 4. Changing Lives Through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 24, 2015

Sustained Motivation

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my
decisions.– Stephen Covey

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.– Ernest Hemingway

All endings are also beginnings; we just don’t know it at the time.– Mitch Albom

LISTEN TO THIS! You have permission to be enthusiastic EVERY DAY! You have

permission to have dreams, be filled with passion for those dreams, and to have the fire in your heart to achieve your dreams. It’s OK to have Sustained Motivation!

It’s easy to feel very alone when you are a dreamer, a risk taker, a forward mover, an innovator, a passion driven person. Everyone wants to “cool you off” and “find balance” in your life. “Don’t go overboard” they say. Learn to rest, balance your life, take time to smell the roses they say.

You don’t have to be alone any more. All around us are self starters and leaders. We don’t always see them because they are always first, always in the front, and they get there before others even begin. I have found my circles of enthusiastic leaders and they are phenomenal people. They innovate, lead, guide, direct, orchestrate, and execute. They are happy to do all this and their goal in life is to help others. They are not just phlegmatic and melancholy people, they are usually sanguine and they have enough choleric in them to make things happen!

I have decided to make my circumstances rather than let someone else have control of my future. I have been destroyed in my past, but never defeated. Yes, I have thought that my endings were it for me, yet only to find that these were new beginnings in my life.

A great dance for this story is the Tango, the Dancer’s Dance. It requires drama, a strong forward drive, a great dance frame, musicality, connection and partnership, special awareness of surroundings and music, a staccato movement with the feet and legs, and an awareness of your partner first and foremost.

Tango is a dance that transforms a male dancer into a dynamic leader, and makes a lady a master of following and styling. Tango has elements of almost every other dance and is danced to many types of music. This is a little bit like life. Dancing the Dance of Life, knowing how to interact with our partners and being aware of those around us so we move in harmony with grace and poise.

Let your motivation out. Be yourself and look around for others who are just like you. You’ll never feel alone again and you will be able to sustain your gift of being a dreamer!


David Woodbury

Next Week: How are your dancing goals for 2015?