No 45 11-10-17 Nothing is ever lost by courtesy

No 45 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy

“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.”

– Erastus Wiman (1834 – 1904)

Canadian journalist and businessman

Growing up, my dad always said to my mom “Be sweet Miz Woodbury”. Why, she had a direct option on people and situations. I’m just the same. I’m quick to speak and fast to react. My weakness is that my buttons get pushed so fast that I can’t get them under control and bam, there goes my big mouth!

What’s the answer? This courtesy quote is excellent. The answer is wait a moment before speaking and reacting. Now at 61, finally I take a moment before saying the first thing that pops into my mouth. I have learned to take a breath, pause, and listen to the other person finish their sentence. My dear friend, Roz DeBeve, always said that God had perfect mathematics when He gave us two ears and one mouth. Roz said to be successful, listen twice as much as you speak!

For another aspect of courtesy, I have learned from my great friend, Linda Greenberg, to say “I’m sorry”. Perhaps there is a disagreement between two people, and you are caught in the middle of it and you did nothing wrong to either party. To be the peacemaker, just say “I’m sorry” that happened and just take out the fight and be the calming factor. I’ve seen many fires put out with this simple act of courtesy.

Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson said during a homily a few years ago that he had gone through a major change in his life. He said he would get angry and be “in the right” in arguments. He stood before us, hands behind his back, and he said, “Now I just say, I’m sorry” and I don’t fight. His message had a profound effect on me. Does it matter if I am right? It matters if I am a great peacemaker and am able to help, console, guide, and repair situations in a positive way.

“We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens.”

– Brooks Atkinson (1894 – 1984)

American theatre critic

The biggest part of courtesy for me is laughter. Of the four personality types, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholy, and Choleric, I am a Chosen Sanguine and a retired Choleric. That means that I was a jerk for a long time and did not laugh enough. I was way too strong and made others see that I was always right. Guess what readers, this was not good for my heart and I almost had a heart attack over this.

Now, I find that courtesy through laughter is a true medicine. When I am dancing and we make a mistake, we look at each other and say “what was that?” and we laugh and give each other a hug a move on. What a great approach to teaching and this keeps my students happy, and they do learn how to dance beautifully loving each and every moment.

Yes, I’m quick just like my mom J. Clair was, yet she was also a very polite and gracious woman. My dad always had a great laugh and he smiled at all who were around him. I’m so blessed to and honored to be their son and have their Southern characteristics in my personality.

Courtesy: try this. Just go out and give a smile and share a laugh with someone. Tell them how great they look today and how happy you are to see them. Ask them how they are and say you are looking forward to seeing them again. Remember, the smile we see in other’s faces is our own smile we are giving to them. From our quote today,

“It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing and conveys much”.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!










Laughter is a Medicine! 5-20-16


No 21 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 20, 2016

Laughter is a Medicine!

“Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.”

– Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist


This Sunday is the first inaugural Sand and Sea Ball! We are raising money for the ballroom and music classes of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Our gala at the beautiful Loews Hotel includes complimentary valet parking and wine bar. We have cocktails, sit down dinner, music from the youth quartet, SAMOHI Jazz Band, and the Gold Medal youth winners dancing during dinner. We will end the evening with a two hour Arthur Murray Dance Party!

“No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.” – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)


Well, today I have a smile and a laugh in my heart and a spring in my step. (My right knee just went out yesterday. Couldn’t walk on it a day ago. I’m still dancing and it’s getting better. It’s heck getting older. Knee or no knee, the show must go on!) I have done my work and kept faith and hope, all brought on by the vision and dream of dancing for kids.

“Happiness is like a cat. If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you. It will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing up against your legs and jumping into your lap.”

– Dr. William J. Bennett (1943) American Author and Educator

My Co-chair, Beth Hansler, and the executive director of the SMMEF, Linda Greenberg, have been my heroes. They have keep the fire burning and hope for our event alive. We began without a single sponsor, and changed the date twice! Beth is my dream maker and director of the Sand and Sea Ball.


Happiness has not been in my vocabulary for a year. It has been vision, belief, focus, hard work, working together, and faith. Fulfillment has been a better state of mind for me. I would not trade a single moment of this adventure to our first Sand and Sea Ball. I have learned a lot about people, non-profit, and myself. I have learned that I can’t do it all. It takes a great team, and we had a very small team of dedicated volunteers.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!” – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) Albanian Missionary

My last few years of my life has been many dreams realized. And yes, there has been a great price to pay. There have been many ups and downs, and still challenges ahead. But the fulfillment of following a dream has been wonderful. And Yes, I have laughed a lot in the past year (did I mentions the sleepless nights as well?).

“No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.” – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Writer

Give this a try. If you are not happy, grab a hold of a dream, a vision a hope, and make it come alive in your life.  Throw caution to the wind and move forward with a good team around you. They’ll keep your feet firmly grounded and make sure you stay on track. Keep a smile on your face, hope in your heart, and have a good laugh several times a day!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury (email me if you like my blogs!)