No 37 9-14-17 “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 15, 1956

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

– George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

Do you ever say any of these things? Someday I’ll make it!  I can’t wait until my ship comes in! I’ll try again. Has that opportunity passed me by? I wonder what might have been? Well, I have thought of this a million times. What my life would have been had I made different decisions and taken different paths.

What if I had just stayed with my parents and taken over my dad’s business? What if I had chosen another great field? What if I had stayed in certain relationships, finished a different degree, walked a different path? What would have happened?

What I have learned today, is that everything I have, am, and will become is from all the experiences of my life and decisions I made. Also, I realize that I would not be who I am today without going down the paths I chose in life.

Do you feel like you’ve missed the boat? That it’s too late for you? That you missed your calling and that you are trapped in the current life you are living?

Well, you’re not trapped. Listen to this truth, you have lived your perfect life and you are perfect just as you are. You are wonderful, special, unique, and a great success at just being you! You are meant to be the perfect person you are today and you have a lot to give to others and the world.

The truth here is that it’s never too late to live your perfect dream. Where does all the hope and knowledge come from in my life?  Well, I finally found out that my life is just not about getting all the time. It’s about giving of my gifts to others. These are the only times when I’m truly happy. When I am able to help, inspire, mentor, or guide someone else, I’m truly happy. When I’m just trying to raise my bottom line, I’m not truly fulfilled.

Does this mean I don’t believer in success and prosperity? I believe that we must be successful to have the resources to help others and to be effective in our local and global communities.

It’s not too late for you.  Write your book, become a competition ballroom dancer, run a marathon, become a great cook, get married, study and graduate, open your dream business, get in shape, become a fundraising guru, or just find any dream you have and share it with others and get busy and make it happen.

Will I have it all in the end? I think I have it all right now. I think that during the hustle and bustle and confusion of the day, I try to take a quiet moment and realized how blessed my life truly is and I have hope, God willing, for all the many coming years in my life.

When I turned 60, I did not know how I’d feel. To my great astonishment, on that day, I set a 20-year goal. To be just like my great dance mentors who are 20 years older that I am. They are vibrant, surrounded by young people, in great demand, and are always helping and guiding others.

I want to be that handsome 70-year-old guy, perfectly dressed, in great health, and on the dance floor all night with energy to spare. At 80, I want to be the guy in demand on the dance floor and the guy who is elegant, poised, graceful, and strong. I can see my 80-year-old slender, healthy, happy self on the floor dancing the night away, full of laughter, love, and surrounded by friends.

Perhaps having this dream keeps me going. I remember my lovely mother, J. Clair Woodbury always said to me, “Keep a little song in your heart”. Yes, I try to do that every day. Put a smile on your face and see your reflection in the faces of others.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

No 15 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 14, 2017

Things to Ponder!

These two questions were sent to me by Mr. Jacques DeBeve.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.

Here are the two sets of questions.

First Set:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor &  actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.

These are no second-rate achievers.

They are the best in their fields.

But the applause dies.

Awards tarnish.

Achievements are forgotten.

Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s the second quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. Think of a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
The lessons learned:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the
most credentials, the most money…or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most!

This wonderful test was sent to me by one my best friends in the whole world, Mr. Jacques DeBeve. Jacques contacts me weekly and many, many of his emails leave me in tears from their deep emotional impact and powerful messages.

As Steve Platt says, “Life changes more when we help others to make their own lives better”. This is so true in life.

This Easter Sunday, I am a part of a team of several hundred, serving a total of 11 masses on Easter Sunday, welcoming over 12 thousand visitors to St. Monica Parish. I am honored to be serving three of these great masses with an amazing team of leaders and mentors. Many of my friends are serving 5 or 6 masses that day. Of the 11, we have three masses at the same time at 9:30 and 11:15 in three different venues on our campus.

Last Easter, I walked outside as Team Leader and listened to the music from the three 9:30 masses, in the church, the Grand Pavilion, and the Gym, all being celebrated at the same time. We had about 3 thousand guest on the campus and more arriving. The music sounded like angels to my ears.  After all three masses let out, many more were guests were entering for the next three 11:15 masses. I felt a wonderful blessing seeing so many hundreds of happy people all celebrating the season together. What great energy!

So, for Points to Ponder, I give you a challenge. Become the mentor that others will remember, the leader that others want to spend time with, the teacher who will guide others, the friend who is there in a rough time, and the one who will make others feel appreciated, loved, and special. Be unforgettable and be the person who will make a difference in the lives of others.

Feeling a bit low? Are you lonely and out of sorts? Are you lacking direction? Try this, find a place you can give back. Work at a shelter, clean the beach, offer your time to a sick friend or visit a shut-in. Find a group that gives back and ask them if they need some help. You’ll be shocked at their reaction and the huge “Yes” that you will hear from them.

It’s hard to be sad when you are helping others and it’s even harder to be down in the dumps when you are busy guiding, inspiring, and giving time to a great and worthy cause.

My mom, J. Clair, always said, “Keep a little song in your heart”. The key is to share and get others to sing along with you!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

Achievement vs Success 12-4-15

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No 49. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 4, 2015

Achievement vs. Success

“My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is within you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.”- Helen Hayes 1900-1993) American Stage/Film Actress

All my life I have wanted to be a success. A star. The best of the bunch. The leader in every area. I wanted to have be most, be the most and be at the top of the ladder. Success was all I strived to do.

“The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” – Baron de Coubertin, The Olympic Creed

Yes, now in my life I still want to be the winner, and I love being a winner. At 59 I also know the value of taking part and fighting the game and fighting well.

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“Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.”- Earl Douglas Haig (1861-1928) British General and Commander of the Expeditionary Force in World War I

As we strive for our winning position in life, perhaps we meet with challenges that test the core of our being. We set up our “perfect life” and then the walls of Jericho come tumbling down around us. Have you ever been just sure that everything was right, then suddenly everything around you changed? Have you experienced everything in your life going right, everything going wrong? I hate to tell you this, but that’s normal life. Change is the one true thing we may depend on in our lives.

“It doesn’t matter how often you get knocked down; what matters is how often you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970)American Football Coach

How do I cope with all the changes that come my way? Humor has been a been factor for me in these post years. Don’t think I don’t have my share of tears. I’m good for a cry daily. But I am laughing more every day. It’s a medicine for the soul. It makes me look on the bright side of life.

“Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him.” – Romain Gary (1914-1980) French Writer

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My life now consists of constantly thinking about the many, many opportunities that I have in my life. To serve at St. Monica Church, to write motivational material and to speak to uplift others. How to raise money for kids through dance and music? Supporting our Chamber and local businesses. Keeping a great home and a beautiful love life. Honoring my family and friends. Being a mentor and guiding others to be the best in their lives. Mistakes are now met with a huge laugh and then moving on. I need all my energy to be positive for the great things in my life. Oh by the way, all this is full of great Arthur Murray Dancing!

What I think of comes to pass in my life. I watch the thoughts that enter and have border control for my mind. You must have a purpose to enter and a reason to stay if you are a thought coming through my brain. I don’t want the negative thoughts and I have seen how this behavior destroy others. Remember anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It’s not worth it. Just let go and move on!

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind.” – William James (1842 – 1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist

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Have a bit of courage in your life. Take a chance. Have a mentor or two check your actions and remember to ask lots of questions along the way. Make sure you only ask champions and friends of light and hope to help guide your way. And remember to GIVE BACK after you receive. Blessings are like produce, if you don’t share them they will perish and spoil. Be of a good heart and do as my mother always said, “Keep a little song in your heart!”

David Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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