Be One of the Happy People!

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No 37. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 11, 2015

Be One of the Happy People!

The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored
people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing.
— William Ralph Inge (1860-1954 ) English Theologian

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How do you become a happy person? Beverly Sills, the great American coloratura said it this way: A happy woman is one who has no cares at all; a cheerful woman is one who has cares but doesn’t let them get her down.”

Anne Frank quoted this for happiness: “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

What is going to take to make you happy? Money, fame, education, achievement, awards, the perfect body, perfect health, a great family, established faith?

My question is this, what will make you happy after you “have it all?” What will you do then? What will you do if you don’t “get it all?”

I have been happy in my life and sad at other times. I’ve been rich and I’ve been broke. I’ve had ultimate happiness and the deepest sorrow. There have been times I have had a lot of time, and times I live from moment to moment. When was I the happiest?

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I’m happy right now. In the midst of what others would say is chaos, I find peace and tranquility. As problems seem to mount up, I find hope and I’m eager to grow from all of my experiences. The only chink in my armor is my mouth. When thing get tough, I get colorful sometimes. Oh well, I’d rather feel life that be numb from boredom!

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As I get older, I find happiness from helping other grow and achieve their goals. God willing, I have a career from the rest of my life just from the 40 years of experience I have with dancing. I can pretty much fix any dance step or polish any dance sequence. I love seeing others grow and find that the rare person that is passionate about life, that is focused and willing to work hard for what they want in life, the person who is willing to give of themselves to help others achieve their goals. This is the gem of a person that I love to help and mentor. They make life worthwhile as a coach.

Perhaps if you are not happy today, you need to volunteer for something to help others. If you are a dancer and bored, get involved in the dance competition and help out. You’ll find out that your services are greatly needed. Need some motivation, offer your services to lead a group, help others who cannot pay you back, or just find someone that needs a good word and give them your ear and some time to talk.

A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
— Charles Gordy

Many a friendship — long, loyal, and self-sacrificing — rested at
first upon no thicker a foundation than a kind word.
— Frederick William Faber (1814-1863) English Priest and Hymn Writer

Exercise: My mom had a philosophy of life. She said that when you met someone, you should find what you like about them instantly, and build an empire on that like. It might be their voice, smile, their choice of words, laughter, clothing, their perfume, but find it in the first moment of greeting and say something about it. Let the first words that come out of your mouth be something wonderful about THEM and make them feel special. You’ll find that your smile and kind word will not only make them happy, but will ultimately make you happy as well!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

 

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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

4-4-14 “The Time Machine”

DEW Good Photo 11-7-David Earl Woodbury

No 15 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, April 4, 2014
The Time Machine

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most
deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice
which says, “This is the real me,” and when you have found that
attitude, follow it. — William James (1842-1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist

Time Machine

When I dance I believe that time stands still, and we do not age. We are in the eternal dream of endless youth and vitality. Then, I believe that the longer we dance, we become younger and the hands of time reverse. Therein is the magic of dancing, we remain young at heart forever always with a song in our hearts, and a spring in our steps.

Want to feel wonderful, dance a Swing. Want to feel elegant…Waltz, dramatic…Tango, exciting…Mambo, romantic…Rumba. You can live all your life’s emotions through dancing, and even create new experiences through dancing.

Health is Wealth

Now that I’m 57, I am usually the oldest person in a staff formation or at a dance camp. More mature students seem feel comfortable with me. I’m like that vintage Cadillac that becomes a classic as the years roll on. But inside, when I dance, I am fierce, young, vital and youthful. Dancing seems to wipe away injuries, illness, age, and doubt. The moments I spend dancing are fun-filled and joyous.

The biggest change for me in dancing has always been making mistakes. Yet, every lesson has a whole lot of great laughter, enough to water your eyes and giggle your sides. Now, when we make a mistake, I just look at my student and say “What was that?” and we just roar with laughter together. It makes them unafraid of venturing into something new, and we realize that there are no limitations to movement. We laugh together and give each other a hug. Try learning this way and you’ll do it better the next time, and you’ll both have a twinkle of joy in your eyes.

As for health, it’s our wealth. As you know, I’m back to Weight Watcher in Santa Monica with Amy Brunell and she is a saint. She brought me back to a healthy way of thinking and got the good gears moving again. I’m midway through my physical. Just had my heart echo today and my treadmill stress test with good results.

Get this, when I heard the heart echo scan today, and heard my heart beating through the speakers, I was amazed. This is what I heard, “Ka-wish, kawoosh kawoosh” or “Sh-wee, shumm, shumm” or “Chi-cka, kachu kachu” as I heard the actual sound of each part of my heart beating. I said to the technician “My heart is keeping beat to the music of life”. I was amazed at the musical rhythm I heard as she did her procedure. At the end, I told her that everyone who has a heartbeat has rhythm and the echo test proved that theory!

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What we do with that rhythmical music of life is what determines the outcome of who we are. My cardiologist said, lose weight and get your heart rate up to 135 three times a week and you’ll be fine for the rest of your life. Move, eat well, and take care of myself.

Have you used your Time Machine? Well, come to the Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Center. Our theme is “Hospitality” so we know that you will feel welcome. Our plan is simple and we have a course for everyone. Take a lesson, experience a group and a party. Invite a guest and have them join with us. Take a leap of faith and see what it’s like to have time stop, or even reverse for you. You’ll be younger in heart and feel great!

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Entrepreneur, Manager, Technician?

3-7-14 The Arthur Murray Lifestyle

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

David Earl Woodbury

No 11 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, March 7, 2014

The Arthur Murray Lifestyle!

This week we observed Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. How does my Arthur Murray Lifestyle apply to Lent? Well, today I was Team Leader for the 8 AM Mass for ashes, and who do I see, my students, my staff, and the Arthur Murray Dancers of St. Monica’s. We are the dancers for Dancing With Our Stars, a fundraiser for the Arts Department of St. Monica’s Schools March 7, 2014.

Arthur Murray ManAs I am guiding our wonderful Hospitality Team Members into their spots, I see the faculty around me who are participating in the upcoming event. I say hello to my very own student who is just finishing the 6:30 AM Mass. I see the principal of both schools and realize that I am truly living the Arthur Murray Lifestyle.

You see, I have the unique experience of living, worshiping, and working with my friends and neighbors in my Santa Monica community.  This is a great responsibility, for I must live the life of a true Arthur Murray man, a man of character and grace and poise, while remaining a leader and mentor to others. I see our students at mass, at the market, walking to the beach, shopping, and generally all over the city of Santa Monica.

Arthur and Kathryn Two PhotosThis is a challenge in many ways for I am a human full of faults and flaws. I get tired and grumpy and sometimes lose my smile. Here’s a lesson I have learned. When I am dancing, greeting others, serving others in any way, a genuine smile creates a magical environment.  A smile comforts others and opens up the doors of trust, communication, and connection.

For you see, being an Arthur Murray Man means being the leader that others are looking up to. I do not have the luxury of a bad day, a grumpy mood, a sour attitude. I must leave the negative behind and carry light so others may see.  Today I read a story of a teenager who created a flashlight that operated from the heat of the human hand. This could potentially change the lifestyle of many, many people who do not have electricity. We have to be that light for others, generated by the heat of our passion for life and service.

Arthur Murray on ShipThus, the reason for Lent. I am giving up my anger, my doubts, my grumpy moods, my darkness. What am I doing for Lent, sharing laughter, light, and life with others. Cleaning up my mouth from negative talk (and worrdie dirdies) and filling my voice with words of hope and affirmation. It will be a 40 day journey and I have taken the first step. Want to go with me?

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: When will all this hard work pay off?