No 27 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 7, 2017

“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 ant to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”  – Walt Disney

It seems I have begun over and over many times. My life does not seem like the normal life to me. Others seems to have an easier way. They set a goal, find a path, stay on the path and glide down the road that follows success.

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein (1954 ) American actor

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

– Lao Tzu (5BCE – 531 BCE) Chinese philosopher

I’ve had a lot of people define my life and what I have and haven’t done. Others have even tried to guide my life by their definition of what I am doing and what I should be doing. I get “should” on quite a lot sometimes.

I use to believe that I had all the keys to success. Then the locks changed, the keys were no longer effective, and eventually the doors were not even there. I though success was “permanent”. Boy, that is a myth. I found out to my great surprise later in my life, that success is now “service” and must be maintained on a daily basis.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

– Walt Disney (1901 – 1966) American Animator and Film Maker

 

“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

My eyes see life for the first time more and more often now. Many times, I do think I’m doing the impossible. It seems, more and more, I am conquering tasks that in the past I would have never attempted. By the way, on this road of the impossible, I have met the most incredible people I have ever known. These heroes on my service road are the most inspiring friends I have ever met. They encourage me and lift me up. And together, yes, they make doing the impossible fun.

I truly don’t know what the future will bring. I only know that through a life of service am I truly happy and fulfilled. It’s hard to have the blues when you are completely spent from giving from your passions and talents. Live in the moment and plan for a great future, learn from the past. Embrace the impossible and surround yourself with heroes and superstars!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

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)

A Short Memory… 3-4-16

No 10 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 4, 2016

Paola Exit to Solo Foxtrot 3-6-16 with Text and Logo

“I’m at a time in my life where I realize that those who can’t forget are worse off than those who can’t remember! Secret to happiness is Good Health and a Short Memory!” -Rita Davenport

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

A while ago, I realized that someone with whom I had held a grudge for a long time, did not even know that they were making my life miserable and unhappy. They did not know that they had wronged me so many years ago, and that they had, in my mind, “done me wrong”. All that pain and misery was wasted because I had not told that person what they had “done to my life” and I was angry about it.

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I typed a letter and poured out all the pain and said exactly what they had done to me. I got it all out, every little bit of anger and resentment, and then I burned the letter. As the paper burned, I realized that I had only hurt myself all those years and that I was drinking poison and was waiting for the other person to die.

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The proof of the pudding was that I saw that person recently, and they were lovely to me and supportive and loving. I drank it all in and enjoyed the reunion because I had let go of the hurt. I guess I have now forgotten and began to enjoy my new Short Memory! What a shame that I had let that anger get the best of me for so very long.

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“Never neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening. It may be — usually is, in fact — a false alarm that leads to nothing, but it may on the other hand be the clue provided by fate to lead you to some important advance.”- Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), British microbioligist who discovered penicillin.

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Perhaps this truly was fate and was opening my mind and heart to a new possibility of happiness in my life.

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“A life without purpose is a languid, drifting thing; Every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves: This day let me make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught!”- Thomas a Kempis

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What is now my daily purpose? Realizing that my life is truly now about service and what I can give back to others. There’s just not enough “stuff” to make me happy any more. Perhaps giving back “stuff” to others is the only formula for constant happiness for me now. I never feel bad after donating time, effort, or funds to helping others or helping a great cause.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) American First Lady and Political Activist

Some advice, choosing the path of giving back is not easy. You have trouble finding the right people to understand your calling, and when you meet them, they encourage you to always grow to your potential, and that’s a good thing. You must seek out the givers and then convince them that you are real deal and then get on the giving path in life.

Look fear in the face and move forward. At some point in life, we are all going to have to stare fear in the face. Perhaps for those of us who have practiced this monthly, weekly, or daily, this task may be easier than for others who avoid doing things that scare them.

“If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire better than another, it is a brave man, — it is the man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.” – James A. Garfield

Look at what frightens you, dare to look at that fear, then call it what it truly is, a devil and be brave. You’ll have a short memory, forgetting the bad and only remembering the good.

Be Strong!

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury

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

Excellence for its own sake! 1-29-16

No 5. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 29, 2016

2016-01-28 18.53.35

Excellence for its own sake!

“Those who turn good (organizations) into great (organizations) are motivated by a deep creative urge and an inner compulsion for sheer unadulterated excellence for its own sake.” – Jim Collins

Have you ever felt that you are in a renaissance? I feel it right now. I know that all the hard work from the past two years is finally paying off and that we are truly seeing success at our Arthur Murray Dance Center. Have you ever started a business, in a new location and new city, from scratch? No staff and no students and no one knows that you are even there? We have.

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A great thanks to the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce for putting Arthur Murray Santa Monica on the map. Also, to St. Monica Parish for their support and putting the word out that we are here, teaching the West Side to dance!

“Aspire, break bounds. Endeavor to be good, and better still, best.”- Robert Browning (1812 – 1889) English poet

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Now that we are in our third year of business, I am humbled. We knew what we were getting into when we opened a brand new location. We love people, we love dancing, and we are good at what we do, and we knew of seven day work weeks, and 18 hour days, yet it is all worth it. The challenge has made us strong and I feel like a new, more alive person every day. My old crabby person is slowing fading away to the new strong grateful person (my staff and husband would not agree!).

“In doing your work in the great world, it is a safe plan to follow a rule I once heard on the football field: Don’t flinch, don’t fall; hit the line hard.”- Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) 26th President of the United States

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Do you have dreams. A bit of advice “Don’t burn your bridges until you get to them.” Dreams are fueled by hard work, determination, and nerves of steel. If you can’t handle problems, can’t handle facing yourself at your worst, and can handle the truth, you won’t make it. And for being angry at others, anger is like you drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It does no good.

“To know a truth well, one must have fought it out.”- Novalis (Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg)  (1772-1801) German Poet

Yes, you will have wonderful times ahead, trials ahead, triumph and tragedies, but you will know your own truth if you don’t give up. I have faced my own truth and have lived through that realization.

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“Yours is not the less noble because no drum beats before you when you go out into your daily battlefields, and no crowds shout about your coming when you return from your daily victory or defeat.” – Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894) Scottish Novelist

We don’t always know what the day ahead will bring. In dancing, as well as owning a dance center, we may plan a day that will go well, or be a challenge, but the magic that makes everything work is the dancing itself! I remember Roz DeBeve always saying to me “Go back to dancing”. It makes everything right again.

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) American Civil Rights Leader

Live a life of excellence and live to your best potential!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Four Cornerstones of Character 11-13-15

2015-11-08 16.02.54

No 45. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Four Cornerstones of Character

“The four cornerstones of character on which this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.”- Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 – 1973) American Aviator and Business Executive

Why do we go through so many tests? It seems that from the moment we awaken, to the moment get to sleep we have problems. The toilet breaks. The insurance payment did not go through. The dryer breaks. You have a leak over your office at work. You have a flat and you’re late to an appointment. Why Why Why?

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For me, it’s all a test of character. I’m impatient and I have a very short fuse. Life is always throwing me under the bus and I seem to always meet those who are pushing my “go off on you button”. And you know what? I don’t go off. I don’t get upset. I don’t say the foolish words that first come to my mind. I breathe and think before speaking. Getting older and wiser I bet!

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Initiative: Be a self-starter. Be the first one to raise your hand and say “Yes, I’ll do that for you”. Be the one in the front row and volunteer for that job that you know nothing about and become an expert in a new field. Read a book about a problem and give a talk on it. Write an article on something you know little about and study until you are wise in that area. Be the first, be the best. Step up. Raise that hand high and speak up and say “Here I am…Use me!”

 

Imagination: Yes, you can do what you’re dreaming about. Yes, you can fulfill your hopes and desires. Yes, you can start a new life, begin to dance, sing, and perform in front of hundreds of people. Dream and act on your vision in life. Become deaf to those who are telling you can’t do something just about the time you are completing your task.

 

Individuality: Well, I just want to be unforgettable. I’m a handful and what comes out of my mouth sometimes stops other in their tracks, but usually we are all laughing so hard that I’m forgiven being so brash. Be who you have to be, without hurting anyone else, and go make a difference in the world. For me, you love me or you don’t. You’ll remember me one way or the other. Even your enemies can become good friends at some point in your life.

 

Independence: I don’t need anybody, yet I need everybody. I don’t want anyone’s help, but I need help all the time. I’m on my own, yet surrounded by guides and mentors. I can get the job done by myself and don’t need you to get me through, yet I’m helpless without some collaboration. Don’t be afraid of being independent. There are so few leaders, you’ll always feel a little lonely at the top, but go there anyway. If you are waiting for that phone to ring and the opportunity of a lifetime to be offered to you, you are dreaming my friend. Go out there and make that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity happen on your own. Knock on doors and don’t take no for an answer until you conquer your world.

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“Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances — it was somebody’s name, or he happened to be there at the time, or it was so then, and another day would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

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“I have fought: that is much. Victory is in the hands of fate. Be that as it may with me, at least future ages will not deny of me, be the victor who it may – that I did not fear to die, yielded to none of my fellows in constancy, and preferred a spirited death to a cowardly life. (These were the final words of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), an Italian philosopher who refused to recant his beliefs when being tried by the Inquisition.)”- Giordano Bruno

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“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind. 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.”- Sir Douglas Bader (1910 – 1982) British Aviator

David Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Happy Dancing!

David Woodbury

How many days to Christmas? 10-17-14

2014-10-15 21.00.15

No 41 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 17, 2014

When’s Christmas and Hanukkah?

Christmas is in 70 days and Hanukkah is in 64 days. I send out my Christmas cards November 28th and my Christmas tree goes up that weekend. I’m working weekly on my cards (which I make) and my mailing list. Time to purchase the gifts I send to those far away, and start planning the kitties’ stockings. The holidays are almost here!

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Why in the world am I writing about this now? Because 2015 will be here before we know it and January is one of the biggest months in our Arthur Murray calendar! We begin ‘Dancing With Our Stars’ benefit in January at St. Monica’s and January is also our biggest guest promotion month of the new year.

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Another reason is that I am passionate for the holidays is the music of the seasons. I love the familiar tunes and the classic music that I grew up with. I love the decorations at Disneyland and the “snow” that falls each night on Disney’s Main Street. I love sending out cards and messages to so many that I love and miss, and receiving cards from so many friends.

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I especially love the Arthur Murray calendar at this time of year. We have the Tournament of Champions, six weeks of great parties and activities. November is Graduation Medal Ball, December is the event of the year “Holiday Ball” and our new “Mistletoe Ball”.

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Sometimes the holidays are rough on us, but dancing with Arthur Murray makes the holidays a joy and a pleasure to experience. Then, January is a fantastic month to kick start the new year! Yes, Arthur Murray is the place to be October through December and into the New Year!

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived
the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well.– Diane Ackerman

One of the many things I love about Arthur Murray is having some many things to look forward to! As the above quote says, I want to ‘do it all’ in my life. After 38 years of the Arthur Murray professional life (October 15, 1976), I still feel as if there is much, much more for me to experience and do. There will never be enough years of dancing for me!

Remember, the magnitude of your life is directly proportional to the magnitude of your thoughts – Dodinsky

How to make all this a reality in our lives? Read below!

Do what you love to do, and do it so well that those who come to see
you do it will bring others to watch you do it again and again.– Mark Victor Hansen

My goal is to have the friendliest, happiest, most active, and most hospitable Arthur Murray school in the world! This can only be achieved by living the dream. Being a good planner and being a master at follow through!

The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and
believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your life. It is the only
thing that will ever truly be yours.– Tiffany Loren Rowe

Enjoy the holidays. Come dance with us and dance away the blues and dance in the joy. Laugh, feel good, and become that happy person that lives life in joy and eager anticipation of the coming day

Love you all,

David Woodbury