Decide on what you think is right, and stick to it! 10-28-16


No 44 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 28, 2016

“Decide on what you think is right, and stick to it.”– George Eliot (1819 – 1880) English Novelist

Have you ever had an acquaintance who could not make up their mind and who could not commit to something? Someone who thought they knew what they wanted to do, committed to doing it, and then decided it was not for them. I know a person like that. Very frustrating and very devastating in some respects in life. Making a commitment today is the hardest thing to do. My friend is so bad off that they cannot even make the decision to change paths without help. It is sad. It is a mystery. It is a tragedy.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley (1864-1963) English Novelist

My friend is someone of the “Universe”. Yet they cannot find the “white hot burning desire” to make a decision and stick to it. They give up when the job gets “too tiring” or “too hard”.

This has been a learning experience for me. My circle of mentors are all “take action” leaders who push me to success every moment in my life. I have no patience for those who cannot stick to a commitment. This whole experience has shaken me and has purged my own faults and has put my own work ethic to the test of fire. I have had to realize that I need to work harder and not give in to hard times and the tests that come my way.

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, — but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 – 1894) American Writer

I have set my sails and am trying to sail with the wind, even when it is against me. I try to not drift and keep my anchor up until I come to the ports in my life where I briefly touch dry land. When I am around someone who does not set sail, who does not strive for the highest goals, who does not dream, and then live the dream, it hurts my soul.

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” —Maya Angelou

Sorry for the above language, but I agree with Maya Angelou, you just have to go for it in life and look forward and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and see your dreams come true. If you know someone in your life, as I know in mine, who cannot “set sail”, be aware. They will try to bring you to their level and destroy your dreams, kill your soul, and darken your life’s mission. They will crush the life out of your heart and lead you down a road of sorrow.  You will want to help them desperately, but you cannot help someone whose heart has forgotten how to dream the dream of life.

My encounter with my friend has caused me great heartache, grief, sadness, and has created a sense of loss. It is just the way it is. This will probably not change for them. My answer is that time is the best doctor for all things.

What to do now? For me, it is to move on and hold on to my own hopes and dreams, and continue until I see the light at the end of the “dark night of the soul”.  My friend’s own emotional turmoil has actually taken me into the dark night, but yet, I do see light coming my way.

The old saying is this, “Surround yourself with people you want to become like”. But what do you do when someone close in your live is dragging you down, and you love them, and you want to help them and yet all attempts to help are in vain? What do you do when you have made a commitment to a dream killer and you realize that it was a mistake? What is the answer? What happens now?

“A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English Poet

The answer is this. There are two types of people in the world, victims and then those that are accountable.  I am accountable for my actions, decisions, and commitments. I am not a victim, I am accountable. Now, I’m using this experience to become stronger, purge the darkness that is in my own life, and move forward and still love the person who has decided not to take the journey forward. I am learning forgiveness (it’s hard) and learning how to still love them (even harder). I’m moving on. Moving on to new dreams and finding that my joy of live is still there and that there is still a song in my heart.

Do you have someone like this in your life?  Or, are you that dark person in someone else’s life? Do you see this happening with a good friend in their life? What do you do? How can you help? Continue being the great person that you and don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t lose hope in others and don’t lose faith in others and in helping others.

One of my circle of leaders and mentors just had a stroke. He’s in bed two months now and is just about to get up to walk. He is a leader. He is a man of vision and he has served hundreds and hundreds of people in his many years of leadership. His only goal right now is just getting up and start walking again. I pray power prayers for him daily. His illness has awakened me to what’s truly important in life, and what truly matters in life.  I am now counting my blessings and not crying over those who threw an away opportunity in their life. We do not know what tomorrow may hold. I know that I will be able to say, I fought for my dreams and strived to achieve my goals. Go for it, live your life and something good will happen to you today!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Hospitality 9-17-16


Hospitality Summit 9-17-16 at St. Monica Parish Community.


Last weekend, Joel Rieck and I were facilitators at a Hospitality Summit. This was an all-day training for leaders from many different ministries. Our privilege was to lead our table of leaders and help focus on what Hospitality means and how to live the life of Hospitality. All around the ballroom were posters with quotes and I would love to share these with you in this blog.


There is no hospitality like understanding.


Understanding is accepting people just as they are and letting them know that “All are welcome”. You may look different, dress different, believe different and come from a completely different background, but you are welcome just as you are.


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Have you ever left a place and not felt welcome? Did they exclude you, judge you, or say to you that you will be accepted when you change and become just like they are?

Has you ever left had an interaction with someone that left them feeling badly about themselves? Hospitality is making others feel that they are welcome and will be accepted for who they are at that time.


Hospitality is love in action. It is the flesh and muscle on the bones of love.


It’s OK to say to someone “I love you”, it’s another thing to say to them “How may I help you?”. Hospitality is a verb and it means giving of ourselves to others in the “flesh and bones” of action.


Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to

participate in God’s actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.

Letty M. Russell

In the world of dance, there are great differences. Smooth, Ballroom, Latin, Standard,

Rhythm, Theater Arts, the world of Tango and Swing. How do we unite the worlds of partnership dancing? They are united on respect for the dance, respect for the partner, respect for the other dancers, and respect for the judges. If the world acted more like the competitive dance world, we would have a great period of partnership and connection in the world. Justice and healing on the dance floor is always based on honoring the dance and the music and moving harmoniously with our partner surrounded by other couples.

The Heart of Hospitality is creating space for someone to feel seen and

heard and loved.


At a dance competition final, with six finalists, there is a major component that the couples must show in order to place. That is floor craft. We must not bump into, impede, hit, obstruct, or disrupt another couple’s dancing. This is a learned skill and is what makes watching a dancing final so exciting. Each couple is trying for first place, dancing their best, exhibiting dancing that has taken years to learn with hours of practice, while all the time giving all the other couples to space to do the same. This is a great lesson for life.


Hospitality is one form of worship.

Jewish Proverb

For me, Hospitality saved my life. I walked up to a man, Dan Schwala, 14 years ago and asked “May I help you?” and he put me to work and he taught me how to show and live the life of Hospitality.  As I was on my last thread, and I have been several times since then, the giving life of Hospitality has always given me a reason to live and go on. Serving other led me out of the “Dark Night of the Soul” and opened my eyes to how to be happy in my life.


Hospitality is simply an opportunity to show love and care.


Want to have a great day? Just ask someone if you may help them. Ask them if they would like to talk with you. Do they need some help in their life? Do they need a friend? Do they just need to talk? Show someone else that you love and care how they are and you will find that life will bring these “opportunities” to you daily.

In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.

Kobayashi Issa

My mother, J. Clair Woodbury, did not know a stranger. Yes, she had Southern opinions about a lot of people, but they were always her friends. Daddy and I would leave mother sitting in a mall as we went to shop, and we would come back to find a group of people around her listening and enjoying stories about Louisiana. J. Clair truly did not know a stranger.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.


Unfortunately, I spent a great deal of my life trying to “find myself”. I was often unhappy, lost and unfulfilled. I was always looking for that magic that would make me feel completed. It was not until I learned the magic of helping others that truly became “Free” in my life. This Hospitality Summit has opened my eyes to the joy of helping others in every area of life. I can’t wait to use more of this in my Arthur Murray Dance life and in all other areas of living.

Hope you enjoyed this little view into the wonderful world of Hospitality and serving others!

Thank you,

David Woodbury

Keep on Dancing

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F.A.I.L. 1-15-16

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No 03. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 15, 2016


If you Fail, never give up

Because F.A.I.L. means

“First attempt in learning”

End is not the end, In fact,

E.N.D. means “Effort never Dies”

If you get No as an answer,

Remember N.O. means

Next Opportunity, so let’s

Be Positive!

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound. Rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”                           – Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) American Motivational Speaker

If I had to have the right time, the right feeling, the right mojo to do things, nothing would get done in my life. Every day I see a FAIL sign ahead and I take always take the ‘Next Opportunity’ route to my destination. Life is just not going to go easy for any of us, so we must adjust and put a little song in our hearts and keep going, knowing that our efforts are going to pay off.

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

Have you a dream that you want to fulfill? Do you have a quest, a mission, a calling, a vision of what you want to do in life? Well, it will not be easy to attain, but it will be fulfilling. And if this truly is your dream, you’ll love every step of the journey, including the bad and the good.

How to you make a FAIL a SUCCESS? First, you must engage others in your vision. You have to make them feel that you are sure of your goal, and that you have enough passion to get you to the end!

People will forget what you say, They forget what you do, But they never forget how you made them feel! – Maya Angelou

Make people feel good around you and make them feel as if they are in a “happy zone” when they are around you! Have your wits about you and always remember how to treat others.

“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.” – Ann Landers, born 1918

As for having class, I have learned a secret. The other day I offended someone so badly that they called me and just let me have it over the phone. They were offended by something that I do with a good heart daily and have done a million times, but that was not what they wanted and they were hot at me. Guess what I said after my reprimand, “I’m sorry”. I said it sincerely four times and they did hear me and then truly thanked me for my position and how I received the message. Was it class? I think it was just being nice to someone and just truly making someone else happy.

“Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.”                                                                  – Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) English Author

Doing the right thing truly will take courage in your life. It will mean saying “Sorry” many times, even when you have done nothing wrong. Yet you will come out the best in the end for truly taking the opportunity to be humble and contrite.

Think you can do these things? I believe you can. Read on about the little bumblebee and go make a Buzzzz in life!

“Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”                                                                                         – Mary Kay Ash (1915 – 2001) American Businesswoman, founder Mary Kay Cosmetics

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

Dreams 10-3-14

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No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 3, 2014


Some people say that dreaming gets you nowhere in life. But I say you
can’t get anywhere in life without dreaming.– Rose Zadra

Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations, says Wikipedia. I dream all day. I day dream, I dream in my sleep. I have pleasant dream, nightmares, dreams of warnings, dreams that wake me up with answers to my questions, dreams where I am visited by those who have past, dreams that I remember and write about.

Sometimes at lunch, I run home and put my feet up for 10 minutes. I immediately fall into a deep sleep and dream. My dreams take me on journeys and I have many repeat dreams that have lasted and repeated my whole life.

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Today, I am sitting in a dream come true, The Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Center. We started this school with a big dream and three small keys.  Now, we have a

growing and active dance center.

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can transform one million
realities.– Maya Angelou

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What does it take to make a dream come true? Well I think, first having the dream and remembering the magic you felt while under its spell. Then writing down the memory of the dream, telling others about it and taking action on the message sent to you in the dream.

When you reach the end of your life, do you want to be one of the
people who are glad they did, or one of the people who wish they had? -Unknown

Am I succeeding? Am I making it? Yes, I’m living the dream. Through rough times and good times. Trials and successes. Am I disappointed some times, do others let me down, do I let others down? What is important is that we have hope and vision and we are going the distance and we are making it happen!

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.– B.J. Marshall


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Your imagination is the preview to life’s coming attractions.– Albert Einstein

Dream it, live it, hope it, love it, go for it!

Thank you,

David Woodbury