2015-07-19 00.56.16

No 30. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 24, 2015

Impossibilities Vanish!

Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities
vanish.– Jean de la Fontaine

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.– Henry Ford (1863-1947) American Industrialist

At Unique Dance-O-Rama, I was honored to be one of the judges for the event. What an exciting adventure. Standing on the dance floor and being able to watch dancers up close and personal. I could clearly see their choreography, footwork, styling, and character of each dance. So thrilling!

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I watched calm dancers, dancers whose hands were shaking in dance position, dancers who were smiling and dancers whose faces were locked in fear. Some dancers counted their steps, some sang the words to the songs being played, some smiled and laughed as they dance, and then the dancers who were truly having the time of their lives.  It was so fun to watch all the dancers. They looked so alive and in the moment.

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The last night of the competition I was privileged to judge the American Smooth Pro Competition. I just love Smooth. The dancers were so close to me that I could smell the ladies perfume and even say hello to the male dancers. I could feel the air move as the dresses brushed so close to me. I could actually feel their dancing. The elegance of the Waltz, the power of the Tango, the control and smoothness of the Foxtrot, and the unbelievable energy of the exciting Viennese Waltz, my #1 favorite dance of all time.

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Judging this professional competition was very difficult. The dancers were all so committed to excellence and showing the character of each of their dances.  Each couple in the final went through a Quarter and Semi Final, to get to the last 6 in the Final Heat.  The Final Heat is almost a professional show of the best 6 professional couples at the event, all dancing their best at the same time.

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The awards are heart wrenching. The looks as the 6th, 5th and 4th couples are called, then the last 3 remaining couples.  Then the last 2 couples wait, hugging and kissing each other with congratulations.  The pause of the announcement seems to never pass, then the runners up are called and the winners are revealed.  The winning couple is left on the floor, tears and laughter and hugs, then they graciously bow and then walk up to congratulate every other couple and then take their spots as first place for the photos.

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The 6 winners are now a family and they have created a memory of a lifetime. They have sealed their friendships that will last the rest of their lives. They are leave the floor to many, many hugs, congratulations, and pats on the back and more and more Facebook photos.  The night is full of magic.

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I am honored to have danced with Arthur Murray for 39 years, October 15 started my 40th year with our company. I have, God willing, many, many more years of dancing with Arthur Murray ahead for me.  As Bob Long says, “I’m all in” for the rest of my life with Arthur Murray. Can you imagine the joy I feel daily as I know that I will be dancing as long as I live?  I’ll never get enough of the fun, partnership, connection, dancing, shows, exhibitions and opportunities to dance in front of others.

There’s always a bright future ahead for us all with dancing and music.  My mom, J. Clair, always said to me “Keep a little song in your heart”.  I do that while keeping a little dance in my feet as well.

This was fun to write and share with you all.  Keep on dancing. Arthur Murray is the best place to dance world wide. We are the leaders in making dancing dreams come alive for YOU!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

Dance in the Right Direction 5-8-15

2015-04-01 12.04.22

No 19. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dance in the Right Direction

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on
walking.– Buddhist Proverb

How many times have I turned a brand new couple around on the dance floor dancing the wrong direction? Foxtrot and Tango and Waltz going against the Line of Direction. They just did not know. They were gazing in each others eyes, oblivious to everyone around them and the havoc they were creating on the dance floor.

How many times have I been kicked by an advanced couple? The man is leading his partner every Gold school figure he knows while ramming his lady into many other dancers, stepping on many others and whacking fellow dancers in the head. He is in his “Dance Zone”. Nothing matters to him but to leading this poor woman into every step he has ever learned in 120 seconds. The tragedy is that this woman is usually a new lady who has had five or less dance lessons. The guy leaves the dance floor with his head held proud, thinking what a great job he did while the lady goes searching for an ice pack for her scraped ankle.

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Dancing has a skill named “Floor craft”. It is the ability to glide your partner around the dance floor never hitting another couple and never stepping on your own partner. The dancers know how to pause to let another couple pass, or completely stop to avoid a collision. They know the rules of dance and are wonderful to have on the ballroom floor. They are always facing the right direction!

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

Always take the dance floor as if you were driving to the on ramp of the freeway, and then entering the fast moving traffic to your destination. Get a feel for others on the floor. Look out for the dancers who are “Texting” and not paying attention. Make sure your weight is over your feet and your partner is not underneath your feet. Know how to take care of your partner and be a good dancer with others on the floor.

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The force is within you.  Force yourself.– Harrison Ford (1942-) American Actor

It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.– Chinese proverb

How does this translate into life? Force yourself to be accountable to others, and rather than cursing the “bad dancers” of life, be a light and dispel the darkness around you.

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If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.
— David Viscott

Have courage. If you are not facing the right direction in your life, get a mentor who will turn you the right way. Remember, everyone loves dancing with a great dancer who creates magic on the dance floor. Also, remember, people love doing business with people they like. Find your true North in life and move forward and help other along the way.

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Gabriela Young: Footwork 8-19-14

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8-19-14

Tip from Gaby

Footwork:

Toe, ball, flat to heel lead.
Can you guess what dances this footwork applies too?
You guessed it, Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep.
Thank you Hunter Johnson for the wonderful
exercise you shared with us on the 30 Day Dance Challenge.
So, let’s get to practicing!
Your smooth dances will love you for it!

Happy Dancing Everyone.

To Dance is to Live!

Thank You,
Gabriela Young

Dear Gaby 7-22-14 Good Posture

2014-03-25 13.07.44

 

Tip from Gaby

 

Great reasons to develop good posture:

1) Efficiency

Your legs and feet will work better while you dance,

You will have more ease and flow from step to step.

2) Presence

You will look and feel better on and off the dance floor,

in the boardroom, at the gym, or just walking down the street.

People notice other people who have good posture.

 

So let’s put a little Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot into your life. These dances are a must to get you working on your posture.

 

Happy dancing everyone

 

To Dance is to Live!

 

Thank You,

Gabriela Young

Tips for Gentlemen 4-11-14

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Gabriela Young

 

4-11-14

Dear Gaby

An advice column for dancers

Tip of the day: Women love a man who can dance

Despite what you may think, dancing is going to sneak up on you in some sort of social situation whether you like it or not, like at a party. There will be music. There will be dancing. What will you be doing? Well, you should be DANCING, because a man that can dance is more attractive to a woman!

So relax, guys! Dancing is fun! Dancing is exciting! Dancing can show a girl what a great partner you can be in all types of situations.

So guys don’t worry, this is why the dance god’s created the Arthur Murray Dance Studios, so we can help guide you and teach you with those cool moves, like the smoothness of Foxtrot, Waltz and the passionate Tango, adding the romantic Rumba or sexy Salsa or fun Swing.

So what do you say? Don’t be a wallflower!!
Show the ladies that you are not only the calm, cool, and collected man she is looking for, but that you have great dance moves too… shall we dance?

To Dance is to Live

Thank You,
Gabriela Young

2-7-14 Adding Style and Technique to Your Dancing

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

David Earl Woodbury – Franchisee
No 7: Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, November 7, 2014

Adding Style and Exciting Technique to Your Dancing!
After thinking about this all week, I can’t write it…at all. I think and believe this. If you don’t have a full, heart-felt laugh on every dance lesson or practice, it’s not worth it. You just have to let go now and then and laugh until you cry and your sides ache.

Laughter 2-7-14

A merry heart does good like a medicine – Proverbs 17:22

No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether
irreclaimably bad. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Writer

Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon
me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die. — Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and
the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to
know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This
is to have succeeded. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet and Essayist

Laughter is the language of the Gods. — Buddhist saying

When I was a new teacher, then a new advanced teacher, I was very serious and would often scold my students for mistakes. I remember once while dancing an International Gold Waltz with Susan Kelly, Jacques DeBeve swept her away from me and started twirled her around the floor. I was not truly upset until I saw that she was laughing and loving it. He returned her to me and said as he left “Never forget to have fun on your lessons” and he walked away as Susan giggled. I never forgot that moment, and I changed how I taught my dance sessions.

Laugher is the language of the soul 2-7-14Now, 37 years later, a few more miles on me, several surgeries and pounds later, I am a different teacher. Now when my partner’s make a mistake I say, “What was that!” and we begin to laugh hysterically. A boo boo happens and I have learned to smile, laugh, have a chuckle, and give a hug. I love all my lessons all the time now and I fill them with positive words of affirmation and praise at all times. Who am I to point the accusing finger at someone else? Teach with humor!

The laughter has become a part of not just my lessons, but the dancing itself. This blog was supposed to be about technique, but I think now that you have to have heart and passion while dancing. A judge will forgive a foot fault if your moves can cause their hearts to skip a beat, or they have a wow moment watching you, or a tear comes to their eye from the poetry of the steps. (I think I have made judges cry in the past, but it wasn’t from any poetry coming from my feet!)

Laughter is the closest distance between two peopleSell the sizzle of each dance. Let your partner feel the staccato action of Tango, the passion of Bolero, the flowing action of Viennese, the pulsation of Samba, the excitement of Swing, the gliding smoothness of Foxtrot and Waltz, the exhilaration of Rumba and Cha Cha, and the crazy fun of Hustle, Salsa, and Merengue.

Style, you learn how to have it, but you have to earn it for every dance. I’m crazy for anyone who owns their style and technique, but for yourself…create magic and break all the rules. Show your courage and go out there with a cheerful heart and a smile, laughter and love!

Thank You!
David Earl Woodbury
Next Week: Valentine’s Day February 14, 2014