No 32 8-11-17 What is Creativity?


Photo is my lovely mom, J. Clair Woodbury.

No 32 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 4, 2017

What is Creativity?

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”- Mary Lou Cook (1918) American educator

Are you a risk taker? I never thought I was. I liked the sure way and the clear way. I only wanted to move forward when I could clearly know the outcome and what would happen at the end of my efforts. Study, take test, pass, accomplish, and do the proven thing.

Now in my life, it seems that everything I do is a gamble and a risk. I’m forced to do my best, even when I don’t feel like it. Even when I feel old, tired, and useless and irrelevant, I move forward. The spark of creativity is always the great energy recharger for me. I’m always breaking my rules, doing things in a new way that I swore I would never do. I make a ton on mistakes, but yes, I do have some fun! And I have lots of laughter in my life.

“Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.” – Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

There is a day when you want to call your parents for advice, money, love, food, a visit, or just a quick hello, and they are no longer there. There is a time you will want to call your old best friend and just have a quick hello, a little cry, or a hearty laugh, and they too are gone. You are now your own parent and confidant and mentor. You’re forced to work and to produce your best. This pressure does breed a strong will and will bring out greatness inside of you that you never knew existed!

“Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best.” – David O. McKay (1873 – 1970) American Religious Leader

I have found my purpose in life. It challenges every fiber of my soul and being every day. I guess you want to know what it is! My purpose is to help, guide, inspire, and motivate others in their lives. I thoroughly know that the riches of this world will not make me happy and will not save me on the last day. I came in with nothing and I will take nothing with me when I leave. I will only leave behind the legacy of how I lived my life and what service I give to others. I don’t mind a good roof over my head, safe transportation, a good business life, yet all the possessions and money in the world will not buy me happiness. Now that I can afford to eat and drink anything I want, my doctor tells me I can’t! The only cure for the blues for me has been helping others through service. It is long, tough, hard, challenging and tiring, but the fulfillment of that service is immeasurable.

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) American Presbyterian Minister

My task in life now is to be ready. Be ready for that person who comes up to me on their last thread. The couple, man or woman, who comes to me in tears and tells me of their life and what is happening to them. I have a gift. I always have a good word for them. A word that stays with them and heals them. A word that sends love, forgiveness, power, and hope. As the years go on, I want to continue my work as a dancer for the rest of my life, but the deep river that runs through that work is to transform lives, through dancing and through service. This is tough life mission, but a mission I have accepted.

“Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”- A.W. Pinero (1855 – 1934) English actor

Yes, I love strongly and deeply. I’ve always been lucky in the love department. Perhaps that’s why, even at almost 61, I still do what my mom, J. Clair, always said, “Keep a little song in your heart!”. Keep on singing and believing!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!



Breaking the Rules 10-15-15

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No 42. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 16, 2015

Breaking the Rules!

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

– Mary Lou Cook

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It’s easy to get into a comfort zone. Building up a wall of security and routine that no one and nothing can break through. Setting a pattern that stifles the creative spirit. As I grow older, I find that my “comfort zone” becomes more of a fence around me making me feel that I cannot stretch and take risks any more. “Oh, you’re too old to jeopardize so much now. That’s only for younger people”. The cold hard facts are this, if we don’t use it, we will lose it! We can live the more careful, healthy life only to have it snatched away from us by accident or illness. We must live life to the fullest every day and keep on dreaming!

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live a life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.- Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) American Philosopher and Writer

It is easy to think, “My big day is coming in my life”. The truth is that TODAY is your big day. You’re living your Big Day. Every little thing we do day in and day out is a part of our total impact in life. “I’m waiting for my big break”. It was said that Beverly Sills, great American Soprano, was an overnight sensation at the Metropolitan Opera after her debut there. No one mentioned that she was the reigning star of City Opera across the street 20 years before her big MET opening night. She had become an “overnight sensation” after decades of paying her dues and working her way up to the top.

The dreamer inside of me does always thing my big “debut” is just ahead for me, yet I have many opening night all the time. So many opportunities come my way. But these are also peppered with the many days of working hard and doing my daily tasks with my whole heart. If there is yet that great opening night ahead for me, I will be ready for it and I’ll welcome it with many, many years of diligent preparation and practice. Any time someone needs and emcee, I throw my hand up. Any time someone needs an organizer, planner, speaker, trainer, I jump to the occasion. The experience is invaluable and when I am needed, I can fill any shoes with joy and happiness and confidence.

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. – Bishop W.C. Magee (1821-1891)

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We take a risk always running forward in life. I have many opportunities and I try to take them all. On top of my schedule, I keep my laptop waiting working on my two books as much as I can. I just have a lot to share about life and I want to get my thoughts in print. As for mistakes, yep, I make them. I’m not a good proof reader, not just on paper, but in life in general. Sometimes I go in the out door and out the in door. I have the tendency to cross my “i’s” and dot my “t’s”. It’s just who I am. I depend on mentors who are my life proof readers and they help keep me on track.

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To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun? – Katharine Graham (1917 – 2001) American, Chairman of Washington Post

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Today, 10-15-15, starts my 40th year of dancing with Arthur Murray. I was a student in early 1975. I then turned pro in October of that year. I always tell anyone who will listed that I have not worked a day in these past 40 years. I love what I do. I love typing this blog. I love meeting new students, working with staff, being a franchisee, and just dancing period! My life has been a very lucky one for I do what I love every day of my life. Happy Anniversary to my Arthur Murray years of dancing!

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David Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!