“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” 12-11-15

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No 50. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 11, 2015

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin) (1622 – 1673) French Playwright

Is life just hard for you sometimes? Do you get thrown a curve now and then? What do you do, what do you say?

I don’t like the rough times. They make me sick. Last night I was up ALL night from illness due to a crucial conversation. I had to be up by 6 AM, so being sick as a dog and then having an 18-hour day afterwards is a challenge.

So, what did I do to overcome this “obstacle” that made me so ill. First, since I was Team Leader for mass this morning, I just went right to the alter and prayed and turned it all over to the Lord, and still prayed some more. Then, I served. I got busy and helped others and pulled myself up through serving the needs of others. After that I was busy all day.

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“The force is within you. Force yourself.” – Harrison Ford (1942-) American Actor

Get this, to make things even more interesting for today, I cycled to work, cycled to and from a Chamber event, and I’m seeing my Santa Monica Breeze rental bike outside ready to take me home tonight. Nothing will help you get over a trial than some fresh air and exercise. Before I knew it, and after a few blessed emails, the day had changed into a glorious day in my life.

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“The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities, and to make the most of one’s resources.” – Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues(1715 – 1747) French Essayist

I forgot to mention that today I also had the honor of mentoring a Chamber member and just releasing all the best knowledge that I could conceive of, hoping to change her life for the better. Just that on its own made my day a blessed day.

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“Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash (1915 – 2001) American Businesswoman, founder Mary Kay Cosmetics

If you look at me you don’t think I can dance, much less ride a bike all over town. To be a motivator, you would never know that I have overcome so many emotional trials in my life. Today, I stand on the shoulders of the service given and motivation of others. I think this, if I can make it, anyone can make it. How could I ever throw the first stone and judge someone else? How could I hold grudges? I just let go. Remember, being angry at someone is just like you drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Anger does not make any sense to me.

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Do you try to avoid troubles and sometimes cocoon yourself into a safety zone? Do you miss opportunities because they might be hard? Remember that gold is refined by fire for purity, and diamonds are created through unspeakable pressure and heat. By successfully getting through the trials of life, we are refined and purified. We are made into life’s heroes.

“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

Stand up and face your trials. It’s frightening and will scare the bones out of you, but do it anyway. Stand up and face your challenges. When someone asks for help, raise your hand and say, “I’ll do it”. Be the first to take a chance and be the leader. Make it a life habit and you’ll find that you are always in the front row as a leader, a mentor, a guiding light to others. And guess what, your life will be great!

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury


Keep on Dancing!

Believe in Someone! 5-1-15

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No 18. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 1, 2015

Believe in Someone!

If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.
— David Viscott

Most Loved 2015 Arthur Murray Santa Monica

Sometimes, we have to be the courage that helps someone else begin. This is how it is in dancing. First, we ask our partner to dance with us. We extend a hand and a smile. We allow our partner to take her dance position and then we begin to move with the music. We guide the steps we have learned in perfect order, giving the best lead and using our floorcraft to safely guide us around the dance floor. At the end, we thank our partner and wish for the next moment where we may dance again together.

In life, not everyone is a leader. A leader’s responsibility in life is to lend a hand to others who might need a little extra care to help them along their way in life.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly
smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration
that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him
and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet and Essayist

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Once, I was at mile 13 of the San Francisco Marathon 1986. For some reason, I was not having a good run. I was sick and felt tired and just wanted to start walking, perhaps even not finish the race. Behind me I began to hear laughter and a couple of male voices gleefully chatting together. As they passed me, I noticed their T-shirts, “Achilles’ Track Club” and I saw one man had his right hand on his partner’s shoulder. He was blind running a marathon with his pacer.

I was humiliated. Here I was, sighted, and I was complaining that I was not feeling well. As the blind runner and his pacer passed me and ran on, I gave myself a little talking to. I straightened up, started running faster, and I put my bad attitude to rest. I ran a great next 13 miles, and I did see the blind Achille’s runner at the finish line, he had run much faster and beat me.

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What does it mean to become a better man? A great man?    A great man
is largely forgotten by the public. He doesn’t stand on top of a
mountain waving a flag saying, “Look at me悠’m a great man.” A great
man often disappears into the ether. Hardly anyone notices that he
was even there, apart from his family and close friends. He was
reliable. He showed up. He was there. He was useful where he could
be. He made mistakes. Tried to make better of those mistakes. Doesn’t
mean you have to cure cancer or understand the theory of relativity.
It’s not necessarily as rock-and-roll or as cool as you might think.
Part of being a great man is accepting that. To dare to be average
and normal is actually a pathway to becoming a great man. To have
more humility. To accept responsibility more. To just get on with
what’s in front of your face.
— Tom Hardy, Actor, interview with Details magazine

I want to be a great man. Now I know that means I must help others realize their own greatness and help others achieve their goals. Guess what? That’s so fulfilling and so much fun and so easy. Imagine living a life just to see others grow and realize their full potentials in their lives.

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Get out on the dance floor and reach out a hand and say “May I have this dance?” Try it in life as well. Reach out a hand to someone and believe in them!

Thank you,

David Woodbury

The Legend of the Noble Bamboo 4-10-15

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No 15. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Legend of the Noble Bamboo

The Thais have a wonderful legend about the bamboo plant. In the beginning, the Bamboo was the most beautiful plant of all. But in the corners of the garden, there were dry beds. A spring in the center of the gardens could not reach to the dry earth.

The Master of the garden called the great Bamboo to be used for a special purpose. The Master cut down the Bamboo and hacked off its branches and stripped it of its leaves, cleaved him into and then cut out his heart. The Master laid one end of the Bamboo at the spring and then laid out the Bamboo’s torn open body end to end, as a channel for water reaching to the dry ground, flowing to the edges of the garden. The now watered ground yielded a great harvest.

The once glorious Bamboo became even more glorious in his brokenness and humility. It is clear to me that I can have everything I want in my life if I am willing to help get others what they want in life. Also, for me to be the leader I want to become, I must become a servant to all, learning how to give to others.

We have high hopes and dreams. We are the greatest and most beautiful plant in the garden of life, and then we are called into service. We are cut down, stripped, cleaved into and our hearts are cut out. If you don’t believe this, you haven’t lived long enough. Life will test us and call us into service at some point.

Do you want to be a dance champion? Be ready for all the practice, and the practice, and the practice. The many, many lessons. The physical grooming and changes in diet and exercise, meditation and time management. The commitment that must be made to another person, to your dancing, to your coach. Being able to get through four rounds to get to a final and still be at your best, trying to win the competition.

For an amateur dancer, you find your dream Arthur Murray Dance Center, your best Arthur Murray Pro Partner. You master the closed patterns and technique in your level and then you perfect your open category and scholarship dancing. For the Arthur Murray Professional, you master your dancing skills, certify through the highest levels, compete professionally, achieve the highest levels in the Arthur Murray world, and you mentor other dancers. It is not a job, or a career, it is a lifestyle!

The great coaches in the world are sometimes great with years. You see someone in their 70’s walk in and they are your coach. You begin dancing with them, and suddenly your coach is once again young and they can out dance you. They have amazing style, technique, poise, and grace. You feel your dancing go up to a new level and at the end, you have found a new dancing mentor.

Remember the great Bamboo and what he experienced first being the most glorious plant in the garden, to becoming the most humble and useful plant in the garden. Be ready to let the water of life flow through you to nurture others and to help them yield a great harvest.

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

3-7-14 The Arthur Murray Lifestyle

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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?

Our Grand Opening in Santa Monica! 1-10-14

No 3: Changing Lives through Dancing

DEW Good Photo 11-7-By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Grand Opening in Santa Monica!

What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius power and magic in it.
— Johann von Goethe (1749-1832) German Poet and Dramatist

A good sweat, with the blood pounding through my body, makes me feel
alive, revitalized. I gain a sense of mastery and assurance. I feel
good about myself. Then I can feel good about others.
— Arthur Dobrin (1943-) American Ethicist and Writer


Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done
without hope and confidence.
— Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer


We are Happy Face 1-10-14living, working, and realizing our dream! Our studio came from just a thought, a dream, a collaboration, a step forward.  We dreamed big, and then we took action with boldness. It has been a lot of great work, yet so fulfilling. Optimism has been flowing through our veins and courage has fueled us.


We have our Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Friday, January 17th at 2 PM with the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and then our great party on Sunday. It is a celebration that dreams really do come true. It demonstrates that a thought followed up with action and positive thinking is a dream that can be realized.


Our theme in our school is Hospitality. We welcome everyone and we encourage all to learn to dance.  When a new guest visits us, we know that giving a warm welcome is the most important part of our day. For our active students, Hospitality is providing a fun and happy environment to learn and to dance.


For you, what is your dream? Do you dance? Are you happy? Are you living your dream in the here and now? Do you spend your day being your best, stimulating your mind, soul, and spirit towards greatness? Are you giving service to others? Are you practicing your skills and sharing your success with others? So many questions, but good questions!


Ok, after you make all your grand designs and set your goals, be strong.  You will be tested. The moment you make a change in your life, you will feel it from every angle.  You become the catalyst, the leader, the motivator, the decision maker, the glue that will hold everything together as you take your new journey in life.


One Person with Courage Has Success, Others Afraid FailTake a moment and learn to dance. If you are new, call and take that first courageous step and try a first lesson. If you are rusty, come in and oil up your dancing joints.  If you are advanced, try a new dance, perfect a new routine, and participate in a challenging competition. Just move forward and enjoy the thrills that life has to offer.


Benefits…well, you’ll sleep well at night. You’ll laugh more, cry a little, share more hugs, feel more accomplishment and self confidence, and you’ll be able to get through the rough days easier, and truly appreciate the great days in your life. Don’t be afraid, it will be hard, but it will be fulfilling. Step forward and make a change in your life.


Wishing you all a courageous and prosperous January!

Thank You!

David Earl Woodbury 

Next Week: How to Plan a Great Dancing Year!