No 28 7-13-18 “The Greatest Test of Courage”

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”             – R.G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899) American lawyer

Do you like the rough times in life? I don’t. I can barely handle the great times in life with all their abundance and joy, much less loss, illness, and unexpected changes in life. The rough times are hard for me and they take their tole on me. I must have a lot of courage for I am truly able to bear defeat and much more somehow without losing heart. Perhaps it’s my mom, J. Clair, looking down on me from heaven. Perhaps it is the hand of my father that I often feel on my shoulder, giving me strength from the world above. No matter how it happens, somehow, I have the will to go on and not give up.

“People tend to think of happiness as a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.”                                                  – Elizabeth Gilbert (1969) American author

We all want to be happy. I’m way beyond thinking that happiness is from luck or similar to the great weather we have in Santa Monica. At one time I did fight and strive and insist on happiness in my life. Is just did not come. I was not happy. I was not satisfied. Then the light went off in my life. I realized that Happiness was truly spelled, Service. The moment I quit looking for happiness, and began to serve, I finally relaxed in my heart and felt a little bit of peace.

I was tired of always trying to do the best thing for just me. Now, I looked outside my own life to others and realized the great need for leadership, service, and mentoring. There was and still is a wide-open field for anyone who has the calling to give to others.

“I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.”                                                  – Pete Egoscue (1945) Founder of Physical Therapy Method The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion

Is this an easy path, the life of service? No, it is not, but it is worth it and rewarding. I’ll never get high enough on the ladder of success. I’ll never have enough stuff, money, or time to spend it. But, I’ll always have time to volunteer for an event, a fundraiser, a dance competition that supports kids, or just give some time to someone in need. I do now know the only secret of happiness and I’m sticking with it.

Thanks for reading to all my lovely readers!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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No 51 12-22-17 “I Love the Holidays”

No 51 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 22, 2017

I Love the Holidays!

We put up our Christmas tree Thanksgiving Day. Sent out our cards the next day. We knew that we would dance almost every day from then to Christmas Eve. Guess what? The days have been glorious. We have danced at many Arthur Murray Balls with hundreds of guest in attendance. We have participated in competitions, shows, graduations, dinners, celebrations and even our staff Marathon Day and staff party.

Our school has just won first place in our division for the international Tournament of Champions. Many months of preparation, many weeks of great lessons, groups, parties and events. We came out first place thanks to our great staff and wonderful students.

As for music, I have listened to hours and hours of Christmas music. I discovered the YouTube Christmas channels and my heart is in a constant state of singing. Music is life to me and these holidays have been full of all the classics, and even some new tunes! My mom, J. Clair, always said “Keep a little song in your heart!”

As for dancing, a lot of people have a very hard time during the holidays. With Arthur Murray I have the privilege of dancing through the entire season. It is an elixir to the blues, depression, loneliness, heartache, and stress. Now for 42 years I have danced through to the year’s end with great joy and happiness. I am the luckiest guy on the planet!

As for presents, Joel and I have a tradition. We serve at Christmas instead of giving presents. That means we are Hospitality Ministers at St. Monica Parish in Santa Monica. This year, because it is Sunday, we have 11 masses on the 24th. We will be serving the 7:30 AM, then return for the 6, 8, and 10 PM masses. It is glorious. We are Team Leaders for two of the four we are serving. We help organize our teams and say “Merry Christmas” hundreds of time to many, many smiling faces. We walk to and from mass and it is a magical experience from beginning to end.

It’s almost that special day of Christmas, and I have been happy the whole season. No time for the blues or feeling down. Just enough time to get to the next event, rest and eat a bit in front of the Christmas tree with Joel and the kitties, and lots and lots of dancing to make the holidays merry and bright. In my “spare” time, I am preparing for 2018 and planning a dream year of success for the upcoming year.

Love the holidays. Volunteer somewhere. Send some unexpected thank you notes. Visit an ill neighbor. Call someone you have not spoken to in a while. Take a friend some food. Reach out and the joy you will receive back will put you over the top.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

No 12 “What is Happiness?” 3-24-17

No 12 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 24, 2017

“What is Happiness?”

“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.”– William H. Sheldon (1898 – 1977)American psychologist and numismatist

“Will and I could hardly wait for the morning to come to get at something that interested us. That’s happiness.”– Orville Wright (1871 – 1948) co-inventor of the airplane

Happiness, we are all looking for it. William H. Sheldon mentioned having wholeheartedness without regret or reservation. The Wright Brothers could not wait to greet happiness every morning. What was this all so easy for them? What are people so unhappy today. We are all carrying around little plastic disks that have more computing power than the first manned mission to the moon. These cell phones do not make us any happier. In fact, we tend to curse them as the beep and vibrate in our hands.

I’ll be honest with you, happiness for me is based on my thoughts and my mental state. I struggle with keeping a positive mental attitude every day. Yesterday I was walking to Career Day at SAMOHI and I was saying, “Count all your blessings and focus on them” and a dear friend walked up beside me and as we continued together, she told me about how she completely beat cancer. The good thoughts flooded over us and through us. Good thoughts attract good energy.

“To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself, it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that discipline – training – is about.”– James Clavell, in his novel Shogun (1924 – 1994)British novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war

When my negative talk overtakes my mind, I say my daily mantra:

I am perfect as I am. Everything in my life is working towards my ultimate good. I am loved and I am love. I have perfect health, wealth, faith, and weight. I am free from fear, anger, depression, resentment and unforgiveness. I walk in light; I live in peace.

Sometimes I have to repeat this many times. Then, I surround myself with the healing waters of light and let the positive healing take over my mind and body. It always works for me.

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”– R.G. Ingersoll (1833 – 1899) American lawyer

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can be aroused by two things: first, an idea which takes the imagination by storm; and second, a definite, intelligible plan for carrying that idea into action.”– Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)

The lack of passion and commitment keeps me from being happy always. I see so apathy around me, especially in the times we live in. There is little initiative and the spark of life is hard to find in others. It seems as if our salt has lost its savor. I love to meet anyone who is passionate and on fire in their lives. They lift me up and inspire me. They have the imagination and the plan and they are taking action to make it happen.

To finish up this message on happiness, I want to share something from J. Clair, my mom. She always said “Keep a little song in your heart”. Momma would always laugh with me and we just enjoyed being silly having a chuckle together. If growing up means giving up that youthful attitude, I don’t want to group at all.

“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.”  – Mencius Chinese philosopher (372-289 B.C.)

“A childlike man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle aged habit and convention.” – Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963) English writer

I hope you loved the quotes in this blog!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!


Bonus Quotes Just For You!

“There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lie happiness.”

– Gelett Burgess (1866 – 1951) American Author


“Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled.”

– Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903 – 1998) American pediatrician


“Happiness is something you get as a by-product in the process of making something else.”

– Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963) English Novelist


“Continuity of purpose is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness in the long run, and for most men this comes chiefly through their work.”

– Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) – English Mathematician and Philosopher


“I’m not happy, I’m cheerful. There’s a difference. A happy woman has no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to deal with them.”

– Beverly Sills (1929 – 2007) American Opera Singer


“I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work each day, enthusiasm for your work, a substantial share of good health, a couple of real friends and a wife and children to share life’s beauty with you.” – J. Kenfield Morley (1838 – 1923) a British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor


“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.” – William H. Sheldon (1898 – 1977) American psychologist and numismatist


“I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work each day, enthusiasm for your work, a substantial share of good health, a couple of real friends and a wife and children to share life’s beauty with you.” – J. Kenfield Morley (1838 – 1923) a British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor


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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

Choose the Bolder Path! Blog 6-5-15

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No 23. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 5, 2015

Choose the Bolder Path!

When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced
courses of action you should take – choose the bolder.– W.J. Slim

My life has never been the easy life. I’ve always lived with some type of turmoil around me and have always had challenges. When I grew up, my mom was sick with cancer for years and I still remember my fantastic “J.Clair” mom before medication and surgery robbed her of her strength.

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It seemed that life was tough in my early and late teens. The day magic entered my life was the day I walked into an Arthur Murray Dance Center and my new life began. I found a new family and new calling in my life. Later in years, both of my parents danced and my wonderful mother, who had overcome cancer, finally fulfilled her dream and took lessons with me in Phoenix. She was amazing and a natural dancer. She said her dancing was one of the best experiences of her life.

In Phoenix, I experienced a decade of working in the “Camelot” school for Arthur Murray. We were the #1 Arthur Murray in the country. It was magic. I had my big career as a champion teacher and I also became a marathoner and cyclist. Being a runner opened up the door for me to find my first great love and then move to Santa Monica, CA.

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Here in Los Angeles, I learned many lessons. Managing and owning my own school. My life was perfect in every respect. My parents were my heroes and I was happy in my home life. Then, within two years my parents died and my partner of 16 years died in my arms from cancer. I sold my school and was lost for a while.

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As the dark night of the soul began to fill with light, I found myself coaching and teaching and coming alive again. After many years of transition, my life had come around. Today, I am married to my best friend, I am a Franchisee again with Arthur Murray, and my life is full of hopes and dreams every day.

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet and Essayist

I want it to be said about me “I was happy to serve”. Today, I hope that my life is an example to others that you can come back and live your dreams and dream big in life. I want to encourage others to fulfill all their goals in their lives. Arthur Murray has been a wonderful life for me for 39 years and I look forward to many, many more years of dancing with a company that I love and respect.

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Live your life so others hear you by your actions. Let your actions be your words. Don’t be afraid. It will get better.

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury