No 14 Can Dancing Protect Your Brain From Aging?

No 14 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 7, 2017

Can Dancing Protect Your Brain From Aging?

Our Arthur Murray Santa Monica student, Diana Ungerleider, brought in an article that said there may be something unique about learning a social dance. The demands dancing places on the mind and body could make it unusually potent at slowing some of the changes inside our skulls that come with aging. Neuroscientists and those in middle age or beyond know that brains alter as slow as we grow older. Dancing seems to accelerate the processing speed of how rapidly our brains can absorb, assess and respond to new information.

Any dancer who has attended a dance competition with two solos, 20+ Open and 20+ Closed entries, and an All Around Championship will tell you that their brains are buzzing with information. They feel more alive than they have felt in years. I remember my competition years where I had several hundred entries all floating around in my head at the same time, all ready to be danced. As I look back, I remember how happy those times were for me and how free and alive that I felt at the competitions!

“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 (1958) American business consultant

Perhaps facing the hard truths through the skill of dancing gives us a sense of direction and we never surrender or give up. Over so many years I have had many students who were racked with illness and they dance through the illness, pain, and depression. They become whole through their dancing and overcome and prevail with joy succeed in their quest to become good dancers.

“As the body needs physical exercise in order to remain in fit condition, man’s spirit also requires the spiritual exercise derived when he confronts his problems and combats life’s vicissitudes.” – William Sahakian and Mabel Lewis Sahakian, describing the philosophy of Epictetus (1922 – 1986)

I spent many years with physical exercise, and now I am in a time of my life practicing spiritual exercise. I once thought that I “had it all together” in my life. I knew the magic of work and collaboration and success. Now, I think that I know very little and I have a world of knowledge to learn all over again. I feel like a novice and a beginner. Thanks goodness for the dancing, for when I’m dancing, I feel young, thin, alive, happy, healthy, fulfilled, at one with life, and full of energy.

“Unswerving loyalty to duty, constant devotion to truth, and a clear conscience will overcome every discouragement and surely lead the way to usefulness and high achievement.” – Grover Cleveland

“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 (1958) American business consultant

In my past I think that gave up too early with problems. Now, I only want to be useful to help others reach their high achievements. I’m ready to face the hard truths. I’ll never give up. I’ll prevail to the end and I’ll find a way to make it in life.

Keep on dancing. Get your body moving. Shake off the dust and move on. As Jim Byrd always said “It will get better”, and it does!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!






Happy Independence Day 7-4-14

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

No 27 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

 American Flag and Fireworks

There is in every true person’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which
lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles
up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
— Washington Irving (1783-1859) American Writer

This Independence Day, we have our freedom based on the countless lives that were sacrificed for our American way of life. Our country is the greatest in the world and we have the liberty to live where we want, pursue education and work in any field we want. We can truly live “The American Dream” and build a life based on our hopes and dreams.

Today, I am composing this message sitting in our Dream Room in our beautiful Arthur Murray Dance Center in the heart of Santa Monica, CA. This is our dream come true, our hopes fulfilled, our vision realized. We are given the ability to work, grow, create, serve, and be a part of the great city of Santa Monica. Our dream is that soon, everyone on the West Side of LA will know that Arthur Murray is Back on Broadway!

American Flag and Fireworks
Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain
of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can
be done if we are always doing – advising his daughter Martha, 1787.
— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States

Do we work hard, yes! Are we happy in our work, absolutely! In our work, we have the chance to find ourselves. We realize our own realities, not just for ourselves, but for others as well.

Our greatest happiness in life does not depend on the condition of
life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of good
conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just
pursuits.– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States

Perhaps you are not feeling so very free this Independence Day. Or, you station in life is not what you dreamed and your are not living your vision. Happiness will come from knowing that we have hope of the future, the possibility of having good health, and the freedom to do what we want in life.

If you are not living your dream, take a new step forward in a new direction to get your life moving and changing. Ask someone to mentor you, increase your spiritual and meditation life and seek help from a higher power. Read positive articles and books. Exercise more and get your body moving. Seek out a new adventure. Write down your “Dream” goals and then write out all the steps to make that dream happen. Then, TAKE THE FIRST STEP and make it happen

Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them
master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.
— Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

To this day, when I read a quote from Helen Keller, my heart leaps with joy. Helen Keller truly overcame her deficiencies and let the great mind she possessed come forward and she used the skills she possessed to make a change in the world. How many lives have been blessed reading about her life and the hope and joy she gave to others!

He can do more for others who has done most with himself.
– S.D. Gordon (1859-1936) American Devotional Speaker and Writer

Bob Long, a great Arthur Murray friend, says “I’m all in”. Yes, I am all in as well. I’m 100% an Arthur Murray man. I am thankful for my home, my life, my career, my friends and those who love me. Yes, this is a great Independence Day for me and for Arthur Murray Santa Monica!

“God Bless America, my home sweet home.”

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: How to be strong of heart and strong in dancing!