No 33 “Patience is passion tamed.” 8-18-17

Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde 

No 33 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 18, 2017

“Patience is passion tamed.”

– Lyman Abbott (1835 – 1922) American Congregationalist theologian

For many years I never had patience. I was a ‘millennial’ in the 70’s. I wanted everything in my dancing to come to me on the first try and I wanted my technique to be perfect and natural from the first try. I had the passion and the talent, but not the patience to practice to perfection. Many others could just see a step and do it the first time. That skill I did not possess (I still can’t do this).

Then, I watched how others taught the steps that I was learning. They were fast and impatient with their students, and they lost patience with those that did not learn as fast as they had learned. They even became harsh with others when the step was not executed to their standard.

One of my teachers told me a wonderful key that has stayed with me for decades. She said “David, you’re a slow forgetter!” I just thought I was dumb sometimes when I could not get a pattern. But when I learned the step and the technique, I had it for a lifetime.

On the teaching end, since I was a “slow forgetter”, I was very patient with my students. I learned that the two key ingredients in teaching were laughter and praise. Later I learned that people did not remember what you said to them, they remembered how you made them feel. I learned that teaching could be a wonderful confidence building experience for the students who were learning.

“Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.”

– Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) British Scientist

Over the years I have had teachers who brought me to tears, made me hate and resent them, and teachers who tore me down. Then, there were the master teachers who made me feel as if I could learn and perform anything in my life. They made learning fun and made me feel confident and talented. They are still the heroes in my dancing life. Although some of the mean teachers taught me some greatly needed lessons, I still remember the emotional floggings they gave me.

Now, when I am teaching and someone makes a mistake, I pause, smile and say “What was that?”  We begin to laugh and share a hug, a giggle, and then we fix the step. Those students seem to love their lessons. They are the ones who smile on the floor and draw all eyes to their great smiles and beautiful technique and styling in their dancing.

Perhaps the best part of ballroom dancing is that we learn respect. Respect for our partner, other couples on the floor, the audience, the choreography and the music, the judges, and the wonderful audience for whom we are performing. Ballroom teaching discipline and how to present the other person with grace and elegance. Perhaps if we could just get all the leaders of the world together at the United Nations and teach them ballroom technique and the etiquette it teaches, we might have better world peace!

“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”

– Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco (1897-1945) English Writer

As I write to you today, the words flow from my heart to my fingers to the page. I give this love and support to you not remembering the effort of writing, and I take back the blessings I receive from sharing this love with you, never forgetting the experience.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!



The Ideal that you Enthrone in your Heart 8-21-15

2015-08-19 17.12.45anging L

No 34. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 21, 2015

The Ideal that you enthrone in your heart.

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone
in your heart – this you will build your life by, and this you will
become. — James Lane Allen (1849-1925) American Author

Do you have dreams in your life? Do they haunt you daily? Do you think of them all the time? What are your first thoughts when you are going to sleep? What are your first thoughts upon awakening? Do you have regrets about what you are doing in your life? Are you living your life dream?

Patience is passion tamed.
— Lyman Abbott

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I am not a patient person. I want everything now and I feel as if I have paid my dues and that I am entitled to success in every area of my life. Oh my goodness, I’m 59 and I’m thinking as a millennial! What has happened to me? Why do I always think that everything that I touch will be a great success? Why do I think that all my dreams are going to come true? Why, because I believe in passion. I am willing to pay the price for success and that vision has truly enthroned in my heart.

There are some old sayings, “Become the person you want to be with” “Surround yourself with people you want to become like”. If you want to find that perfect person in your life, successful, charismatic, rich, powerful, smart, creative, then become that person in every aspect. Like will attract like. Look around you at all your friends. Look at where they are in their lives, what they have, do, give, how they think, live, and interact with others. Guess what? You will become just like the circle of friends you surround yourself with each and every day.

When you find a champion ballroom dancing couple, you can bet and win that their immediate friends are successful dancers, champions who are now judges, successful dance school owners, and fantastic people. Their families support them, their friends are all accomplished in their lives, and they themselves are “living the dream” after many, many years of practice, preparation, and perseverance.

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Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing
things as they ought to be done.– Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) American Novelist

My business partner, Gabriela Young, recently commented to me about the use of common sense. To be successful today, along with doing all the right things, it helps to have a lot of common sense and to use that knowledge. Do the right thing the first time.

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in
the past.– Tyron Edwards

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As it is said “Hindsight is 20/20”. Think before speaking and think before taking action. I love to use MailChimp. After all your preparation of your email, art, content, and proofreading it over and over, then you read to send your precious message to 300 of your favorite friends. Just before sending your email, an animated chimp is poised to press the send button, and sweat is dripping from his face. The longer you wait the more he sweats and the more you doubt yourself, and eventually, you cancel your send and proofread again. This has saved me from sending a unedited email many, many times. You want to be sure you have not made a mistake.

Many ideas have enthroned my heart. They all seem so hard in the beginning. “Oh my, how am I going to get all this done?” And now, I think, “I could be doing a lot more”. You get into “Dream Shape” and you are able to get more done to live and realize your dreams. Remember, the thoughts you have today will be your realities of tomorrow.

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Live your dreams, Become your dreams!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury