Optimism is Essential – February 26, 2016

2016-02-06 21.02.09

No 9 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, February 27, 2016

Optimism is Essential…

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

Everywhere around us we are met with challenges. Even those who seem to ‘have it all’ have obstacles that they must overcome. Never envy the other person, or you might have to walk in their shoes. Some days my ‘opportunities’ seem never-ending and courage seems to flee from me, yet time marches on and I make it through my encounters. Perhaps optimism is just us going on and doing our best every day. Perhaps the prize goes to the brave souls who go the whole distance.

“Give us, O give us, the man who sings at his work! Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time — he will do it better, he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches (dances) to music.” – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Writer

All my over 40 years with Arthur Murray, I have seen the best workers in the world. Dancers who just love every aspect of their lives. An unparalleled work ethic that is humbling to the average person. Dancers who come in early, practice late, get a day’s worth of choreography done in an hour. They are too busy to feel fatigue and the joy of dancing replenishes their spirits. What is truly amazing are my teachers who have had the same work ethic for many, many decades and continue strong after a half century of devotion to dance. They are unstoppable.

“I don’t like work… but I like what is in work — the chance to find yourself. Your own reality — for yourself, not for others — which no other man can ever know.” – Joseph Conrad

Perhaps no one truly loves working a 12 to 14-hour day, week in and week out, but no one ever thinks of their doctor working 3 day shifts, your accountant sleeping 2-3 hours a night in April, the driver who is guiding your tour bus overnight, or the pilot who is flying you across the world on a 14-hour flight. It must be the reward of the job well done, the feeling of accomplishment, or the fact that they truly find their best selves in their works each day. They truly know their champion selves for they see the fruits of their well-earned labor weekly, sometimes daily.

Optimism is not a gift, it is a habit gained through actions, positive actions. We’ll never understand a sunrise until we have gone through a dark night. We’ll never truly appreciate a rest until we have spent our energies in a longtime endeavor. I chose to have optimism. I chose to be positive. I chose to not give up.

Just like ballroom dancing, we get out of it what we put into it. The practice, perseverance, preparation, and patience are habits that make us champions. Any champion who is at the top has overcome failure, disappointment, and defeat. The reason they are superstars is that every setback only made them better and stronger. Live in the moment and remember “it will get better”.

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like this blog)

Now what….? by Gabriela Young

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Now what….?

Your sore feet, the glitter you will find for the next 3 weeks, and the memories of dancing fun and new friends are proof of the hard work, dedication and fun from Unique Dance-O-Rama 2015. The videos, awards, plaques, and score sheets that you will receive are all great tools to help remember the fun and excitement of the competition and to also help plan the future of your dancing. So now what?

Now is the time to set your goals for the next competition, whether it is Superama in Las Vegas, World Dance O Rama in New Orleans, or your next local event, now we review and move forward to the next part of your dancing. At competition there are a few tools we use to plan what to work on next. Pictures and videos are a great way to see how you looked in your dancing, as well as how the other people in your heat looked for a good comparison. We can use these to pinpoint specific things to work on, such as timing, footwork, frame/posture, or character of the dance, so that next event you will be that much more prepared. The heat sheets with your open and closed scores are also great tools to use to see how you compared with those in your category as well as to see how you compared to the standard of each dance. Using these scores will allow you to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie so that you and your instructor can create a game plan on what to work on for the future.

Your placement at an event isn’t what is important, what’s important is working efficiently to better yourself so that you feel more comfortable and confident. We never stop growing in our dancing, whether you’ve been dancing 6 months or 60 years, there is always more that we can learn and experience. Remember that dancing takes practice, patience, and more practice to be able to have good technique and to really show the joy you feel on the inside. Never forget the way dancing makes you feel and why it is you decided to take lessons and go to an event. From overcoming shyness, to physical fitness, or meeting new people, dancing is about how many times you smiled, and how many smiles you got in return.

Happy Dancing

Gabriela Young

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality 4-17-15

Arthur Murray on Ship

No 16. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 17, 2015

Turn Your Dancing Dreams into Reality

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the
conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my
talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
— Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American Physicist

Einstein had it right when it came to making dreams come true. Do you think you’re not talented? Do you have ability or rhythm? Did someone tell you you’re a terrible dancer and that you can’t learn. Well, listen to this. First, the body has a natural rhythm. Put your right hand over your heart and feel, “boom, boom – boom boom”. Your heart has a natural rhythm. Notice while you are listening to your heart, you are breathing, “we-hoo, we-hoo, we-hoo, we-hoo.”  You’re a walking, breathing one-man-band! Yes you have rhythm, and ability naturally.

Secondly, did you walk today and not fall down (I don’t always do that)? Did you drive today? Well, if you can drive in LA, you can dance. Give yourself some credit, dancing is natural and you CAN learn how to dance, and have a lot of fun learning!

Don’t give up!

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
— Margaret Thatcher, (1925-2013)  British Prime Minister

I have known dancers who picked up immediately, and lost it immediately. I have seen dancers who can see a step and can execute it perfectly. Then, there’s me! My first dance teacher told me, “David, you’re a slow forgetter”. I have always loved the fact that she told me that. It takes me forever to get something, and I never forget it (hopefully).

This is one of my favorite quotes:

Persistence, by Calvin Coolidge

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is filled with educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination are alone omnipotent.

“Press On!” has been and always will be the answer to every human problem.

Never ever give up. Never think you day is coming, for it may be coming right now, this day! I tell my staff this, keep on going. You haven’t learned the lesson you were meant to learn for this situation. This is hard for me, I have no patience, ever, yet I have seen this come true in my own life and the lives of others. When God closes a door, He opens a window. Just stay true to your hopes and dreams.

Dancing is such a great skill. It teaches you patience, discipline, structure, organization, and practice and time management skills. Dancing success will not come overnight, but over a period of time, you’ll realize your dreams and you’ll never have to say no to a partner, never have to sit out a dance, and you will be a winner for your skill of dancing with a partner.

Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in
the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and
commitments.
— Kevin Costner (1955-) American Actor, Producer and Director

Be a real hero and stay true to your dreams and goals.

Happy Dancing!

David Woodbury

Make Tomorrow Better Than Today! 9-26-14

2014-09-23 21.03.34

 

No 38 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 26, 2014

Make Tomorrow Better Than Today!

You have to ask (what can you do that) will make tomorrow better than
today?– Clothing Designer Yuki Katsuta

 

Every morning when I awaken, I take a moment before opening my eyes and visualize. I see light and that I am completely whole and perfect. There is a serene time of peace and hope, rest and joy. It takes a second to find that perfect place, yet it is always there waiting for me. Light, Health, Hope, Joy, Peace…I say these over and over and then open my eyes to begin a great day.

 

This new day is a clean slate. No matter what happened the day, week, month, or even year before, I have a fresh day, a new beginning to make magic. This awakening helps me overcome any negative feelings in the morning and gives me a bright look to the wonderful day ahead.

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I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn
how to do it.– Pablo Picasso

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Is the day ahead always cherry and full of hope and joy, well, no. Some days are a loss to me, out of control and I am sick by dinner. The evening gets even worse and I return home exhausted. Yuck! I hate those days, yet they are mercifully few and far between. Then, when that wonderful day where everything is working out well comes, I surely do appreciate it in every way!

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
are the ones who do.– Apple’s “Think Different” Commercial, 1997

Can we change the world? I think yes. I still think that when I arrived at the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica that I can change the lives of my partners, staff, and our wonderful current and new students. I still have a dream that everyone who walks in through our doors will be magically transported into a world of dance, fun, friendships, and hospitality. The thought that success will stream over us as a cascade of one accomplishment after the other still fills my mind and I am full of hope.

My question to you is this.  Do you have what it takes to make it to the end? Do you have enough patience, hope, will, vision, direction, and passion to make your dreams come true? I do and the more I say it the more I see us inching along the road of accomplishment to making all our dreams a reality.

In dancing, change takes time. We must learn a new muscle memory, a new habit, a new order of moving, a new way of connecting and partnering. Dancing causes us to be in a place where we have to take instruction and actually make changes in ourselves.  It is said, never be with someone expecting them to change. That’s bunk. I hope we are all always changing and trying to become our better person. In dancing, we partner with someone on the sole basis that through time, practice, patience, vision and hard work, we will change and become strong and polished in our movements.

Don’t give the people what they want, give them something better.
— Entertainment pioneer Sam Rothafel

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Be unforgettable and be different. Be the example of success in your circle of friends. Always have hope, volunteer for the hardest tasks. Dream the most difficult dreams. Tackle the hardest assignments and see them accomplished. You will find that in the end, you will always give your best and you will be in the front line as a leader to others.

 

Thank you,

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Back to Weight Watchers Santa Monica” March 28, 2014

DEW Good Photo 11-7-
No 14 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, March 28, 2014

“Back to Weight Watchers”

One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of
possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world —
making the most of one’s best.– Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) American Protestant Minister

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have begun my physical. I gained about 30 pounds in building out the studio and starting the new Arthur Murray Franchise. This is a result of lots of long days, hours, and many, many Jersey Mike’s sammies and not enough dancing!

So, now I have been examined, given blood, had an ultra sound, am getting a stress test, and have to see a dermatologist and get new glasses. So, it’s time to bite the bullet and get into shape!

2014-03-22 07.20.22Life, you are amazing. Who walks into Arthur Murray Santa Monica a while ago, and is now one of our best guest getters, Amy Brunell from Weight Watchers, my former leader at WW. Well, last week Amy had “the talk” with me and I woke up. Joel and I walked into WW of Santa Monica last Saturday and rejoined.

Thank you Amy for following through with me for many, many months of patience, post cards, visits, and becoming an Arthur Murray Student. I applaud your belief in what you do to help others. You have helped change my life! You are a lady of class and you believe in what you do.

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

Well, now I’m almost half way done with my physical, stress test soon and heart sonogram coming up, eye test and then the results. Truly, our health is our wealth! Our health must come first and we must keep moving to stay in great shape! Yes, I am altering my thoughts which will results in a new reality in the now.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his
life simply by altering his attitude of mind.– William James (1842-1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist

2014-03-25 13.23.25Do you have someone in your life like Amy who will give you that push forward to make a change? Do you have someone who is not afraid to tell you the truth and to give you a kick in the butt when needed? If not, here it is…move forward and move your body to health and fitness and success.

Are you sitting? Well, get up and shake it. Dance, exercise, eat well, rest, manage stress, retain great thoughts and surround yourself with people you like and do what makes you happy. Don’t live another day unhappy and say au revoir to the past and run toward a bright future.

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: The Time Machine!