Make Tomorrow Better Than Today! 9-26-14

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No 38 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 26, 2014

Make Tomorrow Better Than Today!

You have to ask (what can you do that) will make tomorrow better than
today?– Clothing Designer Yuki Katsuta


Every morning when I awaken, I take a moment before opening my eyes and visualize. I see light and that I am completely whole and perfect. There is a serene time of peace and hope, rest and joy. It takes a second to find that perfect place, yet it is always there waiting for me. Light, Health, Hope, Joy, Peace…I say these over and over and then open my eyes to begin a great day.


This new day is a clean slate. No matter what happened the day, week, month, or even year before, I have a fresh day, a new beginning to make magic. This awakening helps me overcome any negative feelings in the morning and gives me a bright look to the wonderful day ahead.

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I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn
how to do it.– Pablo Picasso

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Is the day ahead always cherry and full of hope and joy, well, no. Some days are a loss to me, out of control and I am sick by dinner. The evening gets even worse and I return home exhausted. Yuck! I hate those days, yet they are mercifully few and far between. Then, when that wonderful day where everything is working out well comes, I surely do appreciate it in every way!

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
are the ones who do.– Apple’s “Think Different” Commercial, 1997

Can we change the world? I think yes. I still think that when I arrived at the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica that I can change the lives of my partners, staff, and our wonderful current and new students. I still have a dream that everyone who walks in through our doors will be magically transported into a world of dance, fun, friendships, and hospitality. The thought that success will stream over us as a cascade of one accomplishment after the other still fills my mind and I am full of hope.

My question to you is this.  Do you have what it takes to make it to the end? Do you have enough patience, hope, will, vision, direction, and passion to make your dreams come true? I do and the more I say it the more I see us inching along the road of accomplishment to making all our dreams a reality.

In dancing, change takes time. We must learn a new muscle memory, a new habit, a new order of moving, a new way of connecting and partnering. Dancing causes us to be in a place where we have to take instruction and actually make changes in ourselves.  It is said, never be with someone expecting them to change. That’s bunk. I hope we are all always changing and trying to become our better person. In dancing, we partner with someone on the sole basis that through time, practice, patience, vision and hard work, we will change and become strong and polished in our movements.

Don’t give the people what they want, give them something better.
— Entertainment pioneer Sam Rothafel

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Be unforgettable and be different. Be the example of success in your circle of friends. Always have hope, volunteer for the hardest tasks. Dream the most difficult dreams. Tackle the hardest assignments and see them accomplished. You will find that in the end, you will always give your best and you will be in the front line as a leader to others.


Thank you,

David Woodbury


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?

1-24-14 “Starting without a Paper Clip”.

DEW Good Photo 11-7-David Earl Woodbury

No 5: Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, January 24, 2014

“Starting without a Paper Clip”.

2013-09-20 09.47.52When we signed our lease for the Arthur Murray Santa Monica Dance Center on September 16, 2013, I returned to the studio and sat on a rickety bench and a card table with a netbook and a cell phone, and that was it. We had the power turned on and we had water, but no phone, internet, or dance floor!

As I began to build our dream, I would reach for a note pad to write on, a stapler, a Sharpie, and then a paper clip, and I realized that we were starting from scratch, from our hopes, our vision, our dreams.

As the days followed I became a mobile office, bringing in several bags that had extension cords and chargers. Another bag had office supplies, and yes, paper clips, pens, papers and notebooks. Without having a sign, a dance floor, not a stroke of new paint or any new electrical of plumbing, we were experiencing a lot of new students walking in. Since we are a Guest School at heart, I created a Guest Book and we began collecting names to call when the floor was finished.

2013-10-16 11.22.01As the floor boards were being set, I began to dance on the newly laid wood. I could not wait to experience the thrill and joy of dancing in our new studio. Then, as the last piece of wood was laid, we all took a moment for the photo shoot and celebrated. Then, the magic of dancing began and we taught our first training session that very day, on our new floor!
Our first student lesson was November 7th and it was a joyous day for us all!



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Now, I’m2014-01-19 16.44.16 in a beautiful front room that we call the Dream Maker Room. This is where we turn dancing plans into reality and our students begin the great journey of Dance through the Arthur Murray Medalist System. Also, we create magic in the front office by planning our events and competitions for our students and staff. It is an exciting room with a wall of glass that brings in light, life, and hope and energy.

As I am composing this reflection in a nice chair, working on a glass table, typing on a state of the art PC and yes, I have paper clips right next to me. Everything in our studio came from our vision, hard work, and persistence. We have in essence built a new home for ourselves, our Arthur Murray Home, and it is beautiful. Everyone who walks in our doors says how welcome they feel and that the feel the good vibes in the studio! Our studio them is Hospitality, all are welcome in this place!

What is the magic for me? First, it is my amazing partners, Gabriela Young, the Queen of Salsa and she is a master coach. Joel Rieck, my partner and a brilliant Arthur Murray Man! He can do anything and accomplish every dream he has. Then our great staff who I focus on the most. They are so full of enthusiasm, hope and the love of dance and teaching dance! Then, our fantastic students who make this all possible through their participation and presence in the school. The Arthur Murray Students make my day a joy and they truly bless me and I love and appreciate them.

The rest of the magic for me is the fact that I am living in my dream come true! Starting just from a chat, a thought, a concept, we are now changing thousands of lives through dance. We offer courage, confidence, growth, self-esteem, and transformation to all our staff and students and we are giving them a place to live the life they have dreamed of.

The rest of the magic is now I am truly a consummate Arthur Murray Man! I live, worship, and work all in a mile radius, and I am walking the walk, and talking the talk. I want to me know at the Arthur Murray Man of Santa Monica. When people talk about dance, I want them to say, “Oh yes, you have to go to Arthur Murray, they are the best!” We are the dance beacons dancing in Santa Monica and we enthusiastically want to give back to our great city.

Live your dream…make it happen…dance today!

Thank You!
David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Polish Your Dancing Skills – The Medalist System