No 37 9-14-17 “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 15, 1956

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

– George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

Do you ever say any of these things? Someday I’ll make it!  I can’t wait until my ship comes in! I’ll try again. Has that opportunity passed me by? I wonder what might have been? Well, I have thought of this a million times. What my life would have been had I made different decisions and taken different paths.

What if I had just stayed with my parents and taken over my dad’s business? What if I had chosen another great field? What if I had stayed in certain relationships, finished a different degree, walked a different path? What would have happened?

What I have learned today, is that everything I have, am, and will become is from all the experiences of my life and decisions I made. Also, I realize that I would not be who I am today without going down the paths I chose in life.

Do you feel like you’ve missed the boat? That it’s too late for you? That you missed your calling and that you are trapped in the current life you are living?

Well, you’re not trapped. Listen to this truth, you have lived your perfect life and you are perfect just as you are. You are wonderful, special, unique, and a great success at just being you! You are meant to be the perfect person you are today and you have a lot to give to others and the world.

The truth here is that it’s never too late to live your perfect dream. Where does all the hope and knowledge come from in my life?  Well, I finally found out that my life is just not about getting all the time. It’s about giving of my gifts to others. These are the only times when I’m truly happy. When I am able to help, inspire, mentor, or guide someone else, I’m truly happy. When I’m just trying to raise my bottom line, I’m not truly fulfilled.

Does this mean I don’t believer in success and prosperity? I believe that we must be successful to have the resources to help others and to be effective in our local and global communities.

It’s not too late for you.  Write your book, become a competition ballroom dancer, run a marathon, become a great cook, get married, study and graduate, open your dream business, get in shape, become a fundraising guru, or just find any dream you have and share it with others and get busy and make it happen.

Will I have it all in the end? I think I have it all right now. I think that during the hustle and bustle and confusion of the day, I try to take a quiet moment and realized how blessed my life truly is and I have hope, God willing, for all the many coming years in my life.

When I turned 60, I did not know how I’d feel. To my great astonishment, on that day, I set a 20-year goal. To be just like my great dance mentors who are 20 years older that I am. They are vibrant, surrounded by young people, in great demand, and are always helping and guiding others.

I want to be that handsome 70-year-old guy, perfectly dressed, in great health, and on the dance floor all night with energy to spare. At 80, I want to be the guy in demand on the dance floor and the guy who is elegant, poised, graceful, and strong. I can see my 80-year-old slender, healthy, happy self on the floor dancing the night away, full of laughter, love, and surrounded by friends.

Perhaps having this dream keeps me going. I remember my lovely mother, J. Clair Woodbury always said to me, “Keep a little song in your heart”. Yes, I try to do that every day. Put a smile on your face and see your reflection in the faces of others.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!



Never Give Up 2-27-15

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No 9. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 27, 2015

David Woodbury

Never Give Up!

Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what
makes it permanent.– Marilyn vos Savant  1946-NA

There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head-on the
hard truths and saying, “We will never give up. We will never
capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to
prevail.”– Jim Collins, from his book, Good to Great

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.– Babe Ruth

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.– Florence Nightingale

2015-02-24 20.10.17

The day after we signed our lease for the Arthur Murray Dance Center of Santa Monica,

I had 10 workmen in the studio at 8 AM the next morning.

The electricians were working in the back of the new studio. At 8:15 I was startled as Carlos came running up to the front yelling in Spanish and dripping wet from head to toe. I ran to the back and Carlos had cut through the building’s water main and the space was flooding!

We were all yelling and the men began pulling out ceiling tiles and looking for the cut off valves. We turned every valve we could find off and finally the water stopped.  The back of our now ballroom was flooded, the walls were ruined, and carpet was damaged, and water was flowing into the building’s basement.

Being my mother’s son, I stopped everyone and paused. “Is everyone OK?” I asked.

They all said yes. The plumber began his assessment to fix the pipe. I said “Let’s thank God we are all OK and continue our work.”

That was in the first 15 minutes of the build out.  In 33 days, we were done with paint, plumbing, electrical, flooring, music and furniture and we opened Arthur Murray in Santa Monica.

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Did I give up?  NO! Was I shaken, YES.  Have I felt defeated at times? I think that with so much responsibility, we all feel defeated every once in a while. But I did find a way to prevail and make it happen.

Has the studio grown? Why YES! We are 100% better this year over our startup year. Has it been fast enough for me? I plead the 5th on that question.

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This is my reality. I am accountable and not a victim.  Everything in my life has led to this moment in time for me.  The good, the bad. The challenges and the victories, all have made me the successful man that I am today. I do not have excuses, I have opportunities and open doors wherever I look. It seems that every day I enter the studio, something wonderful happens each day to make our studio even more fantastic than it already was.  My great partners, our incredible staff, and our beautiful students.

Life is short. We are breathing; we have food, a place to sleep, faith, family, friends. We are all so blessed. No, I will not give up, today, tomorrow, or in the future.

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Never give up, never give in. Be a lighthouse for those around you. Be the leader and mentor that others are looking for. Become a hero for someone who needs a boost and a friend to someone who needs guidance.

Never give up.

David Woodbury

Happy Independence Day 7-4-14

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

No 27 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

 American Flag and Fireworks

There is in every true person’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which
lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles
up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
— Washington Irving (1783-1859) American Writer

This Independence Day, we have our freedom based on the countless lives that were sacrificed for our American way of life. Our country is the greatest in the world and we have the liberty to live where we want, pursue education and work in any field we want. We can truly live “The American Dream” and build a life based on our hopes and dreams.

Today, I am composing this message sitting in our Dream Room in our beautiful Arthur Murray Dance Center in the heart of Santa Monica, CA. This is our dream come true, our hopes fulfilled, our vision realized. We are given the ability to work, grow, create, serve, and be a part of the great city of Santa Monica. Our dream is that soon, everyone on the West Side of LA will know that Arthur Murray is Back on Broadway!

American Flag and Fireworks
Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain
of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can
be done if we are always doing – advising his daughter Martha, 1787.
— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States

Do we work hard, yes! Are we happy in our work, absolutely! In our work, we have the chance to find ourselves. We realize our own realities, not just for ourselves, but for others as well.

Our greatest happiness in life does not depend on the condition of
life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of good
conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just
pursuits.– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States

Perhaps you are not feeling so very free this Independence Day. Or, you station in life is not what you dreamed and your are not living your vision. Happiness will come from knowing that we have hope of the future, the possibility of having good health, and the freedom to do what we want in life.

If you are not living your dream, take a new step forward in a new direction to get your life moving and changing. Ask someone to mentor you, increase your spiritual and meditation life and seek help from a higher power. Read positive articles and books. Exercise more and get your body moving. Seek out a new adventure. Write down your “Dream” goals and then write out all the steps to make that dream happen. Then, TAKE THE FIRST STEP and make it happen

Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them
master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.
— Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

To this day, when I read a quote from Helen Keller, my heart leaps with joy. Helen Keller truly overcame her deficiencies and let the great mind she possessed come forward and she used the skills she possessed to make a change in the world. How many lives have been blessed reading about her life and the hope and joy she gave to others!

He can do more for others who has done most with himself.
– S.D. Gordon (1859-1936) American Devotional Speaker and Writer

Bob Long, a great Arthur Murray friend, says “I’m all in”. Yes, I am all in as well. I’m 100% an Arthur Murray man. I am thankful for my home, my life, my career, my friends and those who love me. Yes, this is a great Independence Day for me and for Arthur Murray Santa Monica!

“God Bless America, my home sweet home.”

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: How to be strong of heart and strong in dancing!








Friday the 13th June 2014

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David Earl Woodbury

No 24 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday the 13th! June 2014

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of
courage and true progress.– Nicholas Murray Butler

2014-06-11 16.08.31 Pam O’Connor, Mayor of Santa Monica

Optimism, on Friday the 13th? Why yes! In fact, this has been a glorious week for our Arthur Murray Dance Center. We had a fantastic ball last Sunday, our fantastic coach Jessica Holty on Tuesday, the unforgettable Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner Wednesday, Staff Auditions Thursday, Finale Party today, and our first booth at the Santa Monica Festival all day Saturday the 14th! Wow and yes, optimism.

What’s gone, and what’s past help, Should be past grief.– William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English Playwright

2014-06-11 18.04.18Julia Ladd, Incoming Chair 2014 for Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Congratulations!

At the Fairmont Wednesday for the Santa Monica Chamber, we had so many doors open for us. A project for National Dance Day, a Chamber Mixer at our Studio, New West Symphony connection, and many, many new ideas for 2015. I think these doors are labeled “Service” and we are invited to walk through them. There are so many who need energy, and there are so few who generate that energy. Thank you to Santa Monica Chamber for being the power suppliers in motivating so many people.

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Luke 12:48 KJV

2014-06-11 17.59.53Laurel Rosen, President and CEO of Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. We love you Laurel!

What is our job in life? What are we to do with the talents and gifts that have been given to us? What are we to do with the trust others have placed in us? The answer is to be accountable to give back that which has been given to us. After 38 years with Arthur Murray Dance Centers, my whole life is now giving back to all those who have invested so much time, faith and energy into making my life successful.

So, today is Friday the 13th. I guess I’d better count up 13 blessings to my blessing list. My life is rich and I only hope to have an even clearer vision as opportunities come my way. Just give me the strength and I’ll put in the heart and soul to make it happen!

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: Make the Summer a Dancing Summer!







How to Plan a Great Dancing Year!

No 4: Changing Lives through Dancing

DEW Good Photo 11-7-By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 17, 2014   (Today is our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!)

There are not secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.
— Colin Powell (1937-) American Military Leader and Diplomat


The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all,
the world needs dreamers who do.
— Sarah Ban Breathnack


Dream to Create the Future Victor Hugo 1-17-14 How to plan a great dancing year, prepare with hard work based on the knowledge we have gained from our past mistakes and successes.  Then Dream, but Dream and Do!


I have had a big dream, and I have taken big action.  Yes, a dream is a wonderful thing to have, but without the work behind it, it is like the morning mist that slowly fades away into past memories and is a thing of the past.


Have you ever had an idea and said “That’s brilliant!” and then promptly forgot it?  I have these life changing thoughts all the time, in fact, I have life changing dreams when I sleep. Now, I have paper and a pen close by.  Write down that amazing thought, that ground-breaking dream, that life-altering message that comes to you from above…then ACT on it.


How am I planning a great dancing year? Well, first I have spoken my goals to large groups of people, and today I spoke my goals to a large room full of my peers, and they were writing down my goals as I spoke, and our team leader is going to follow through with our words!  Wow, that’s a goal that has come alive and is now in the full light of day.


Then, I have a plan.  I must confess, that I am the biggest pain in the butt at the studio.  I am constantly speaking our goals…all day…all night…day after day…week after week.  And get this, I’m seeing our goals turn into reality.  Perhaps not as fast as I want, but I see the reality taking form from these great dreams. Just like Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird, we are rising from the ashes into a new golden bird of dreams come true.


Take your calendar and write in your next dance event. A private lesson, a group, a party, bringing a Guest, dancing in a competition, going to a Showcase, graduating from a dance, or just coming in to practice your favorite dance or perfecting your weakest dance.


Take someone with you. Let your teacher know what you want to do. Tell another dancer what you are planning. Make an announcement at a party that you are now competing and then perform a spotlight of what you are goinDream of Success Winston Churchill 1-17-14g to perform. Write a blog, post it on Facebook, just let someone know what you are doing and come out of your shell.


Now, get on the dance floor and make it happen. Chose your best song, put together your best moves, then dance, dance, dance and live your dream.


I’m not going to rust out, and I’m not going to wear out (I hope). I’m not going to sit on my derrier and wait for the sunset of my life to arrive.  I’m going out with a fight, dancing a jig, with a song in my heart.  Yes, plan a great dancing year and I’ll see you on the dance floor!

Thank You!

David Earl Woodbury 

Next Week: Polish Your Dancing Skills With The Medalist System