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No 30. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 24, 2015

Impossibilities Vanish!

Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities
vanish.– Jean de la Fontaine

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.– Henry Ford (1863-1947) American Industrialist

At Unique Dance-O-Rama, I was honored to be one of the judges for the event. What an exciting adventure. Standing on the dance floor and being able to watch dancers up close and personal. I could clearly see their choreography, footwork, styling, and character of each dance. So thrilling!

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I watched calm dancers, dancers whose hands were shaking in dance position, dancers who were smiling and dancers whose faces were locked in fear. Some dancers counted their steps, some sang the words to the songs being played, some smiled and laughed as they dance, and then the dancers who were truly having the time of their lives.  It was so fun to watch all the dancers. They looked so alive and in the moment.

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The last night of the competition I was privileged to judge the American Smooth Pro Competition. I just love Smooth. The dancers were so close to me that I could smell the ladies perfume and even say hello to the male dancers. I could feel the air move as the dresses brushed so close to me. I could actually feel their dancing. The elegance of the Waltz, the power of the Tango, the control and smoothness of the Foxtrot, and the unbelievable energy of the exciting Viennese Waltz, my #1 favorite dance of all time.

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Judging this professional competition was very difficult. The dancers were all so committed to excellence and showing the character of each of their dances.  Each couple in the final went through a Quarter and Semi Final, to get to the last 6 in the Final Heat.  The Final Heat is almost a professional show of the best 6 professional couples at the event, all dancing their best at the same time.

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The awards are heart wrenching. The looks as the 6th, 5th and 4th couples are called, then the last 3 remaining couples.  Then the last 2 couples wait, hugging and kissing each other with congratulations.  The pause of the announcement seems to never pass, then the runners up are called and the winners are revealed.  The winning couple is left on the floor, tears and laughter and hugs, then they graciously bow and then walk up to congratulate every other couple and then take their spots as first place for the photos.

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The 6 winners are now a family and they have created a memory of a lifetime. They have sealed their friendships that will last the rest of their lives. They are leave the floor to many, many hugs, congratulations, and pats on the back and more and more Facebook photos.  The night is full of magic.

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I am honored to have danced with Arthur Murray for 39 years, October 15 started my 40th year with our company. I have, God willing, many, many more years of dancing with Arthur Murray ahead for me.  As Bob Long says, “I’m all in” for the rest of my life with Arthur Murray. Can you imagine the joy I feel daily as I know that I will be dancing as long as I live?  I’ll never get enough of the fun, partnership, connection, dancing, shows, exhibitions and opportunities to dance in front of others.

There’s always a bright future ahead for us all with dancing and music.  My mom, J. Clair, always said to me “Keep a little song in your heart”.  I do that while keeping a little dance in my feet as well.

This was fun to write and share with you all.  Keep on dancing. Arthur Murray is the best place to dance world wide. We are the leaders in making dancing dreams come alive for YOU!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

Now what….? by Gabriela Young


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

Let Your Light Shine by Gabriela Young 7-13-15


Letting your light shine at Arthur Murray’s Unique Dance-O-Rama 2015

Whether this is your first or your 100th Arthur Murray Dance-O-Rama, there is no better experience than Unique Dance-O-Rama hosted at the beautifully renovated Hotel Irvine. Run by Steve and Georgetta Platt, this event is a “Unique” experience that will always keep you wanting more. From the amazing staff show spectacular, to the beautifully designed ballroom, to the dazzling dresses, and amazing dancing by both our professionals and our students, there is something for everyone at Unique.

Getting ready for a Ballroom competition, the competition itself, and post competition is always an emotional time and that’s okay! Before the competition there is going to be the excitement of meeting new friends, seeing old friends, showing off the routines and freestyles you’ve worked so hard on, and watching the amazing show. There are also the nerves of all the what if’s that could go wrong, which your instructor is already aware of and has a plan for each one (even if you don’t know it) so let them worry, this is a time for YOU to shine and enjoy!

Speaking of shining on the dance floor the one tip that I can give you as a judge is to just have FUN! It may seem silly, because it is a ballroom competition, but your instructor and yourself have worked hard to make sure those tiny details become muscle memory, and a reminder of those little things can help but don’t forget to have fun! As a judge the first thing I see is whether or not the couple dancing is enjoying themselves whether it is; Waltz, Foxtrot, Swing, Cha Cha, Salsa, or even Tango. Smiling is a great way to catch our attention and helps us to enjoy your dancing too because remember you are performing. Having fun allows you to relax more so that your movements aren’t stifled, allows you to feel the timing and character of the music more, and allows you to . . . . have fun! Go out there and have the time of your life, let your light shine, have fun, and remember that Arthur Murray Santa Monica is proud of each and every student, you are already a champion in our eyes! If you don’t know us, say hi, you are already part of our family by being part of Arthur Murray.

Happy Dancing!

Gabriela Young

Dance this Fall and Winter 7-25-14

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Invasion of the British Party! Unique Dance-0-Rama 2014

David Earl Woodbury
No 30 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, July 25th, 2014
Getting Ready to Dance in the Fall and Winter!

Wow, I’m planning out 2015. Those of you who know me are chuckling. Fall and Winter is just around the corner. The fall dance calendar is full of exciting events! We are planning our Tournament of Champions in August and getting ready to dance into 2015!

Someday, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great
temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the
real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being
decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you
shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made
except by a steady, long continued process.
— Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American Bishop

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Miss Vicki Venka, my favorite coach!

We were just asked to submit our Hospitality Service schedule at St. Monica’s through January 2015. It was amazing to me to see that our dance calendar is full until March next year. What a joy and thrill that we have the opportunity to dance, perform, compete, train, and share the magic of dance together.

Trials, temptations, disappointments — all these are helps instead
of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fiber
of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation
represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and
weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than
it was before.– James Buckham

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Georgetta Platt, Amazing and Wonderful friend!

Do you want to get motivated? Go to your PC and print out calendars for August 2014 through December 2015.
Then, write out some goals of what you want to do with your life. Write in goal dates of when you want to take your first dance lesson, perform your first routine, and compete in your first competition. Plan your weight and exercise goals. Do you want to travel, learn a language, run for office, get a promotion, have a needed surgery, get a new job, start school or graduate, or fulfill an lifetime dream? Write it down, make a plan, then inch-by-inch it will be a cinch!

Aim at the sun and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far
higher than if you had aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
— Robert F. Hawes

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Steve Platt, our Area 7 Director!

Do not falter or shrink; But just think out your work, And just work
out your think.
— Nixon Waterman

Last weekend I had the honor of judging Unique Dance-O-Rama in Irvine. The organizers, Steve and Georgetta Platt, put on the largest event in Arthur Murray History, perhaps the largest competition in the US to date! It was an amazing few days. Friday and Saturday, the competition began at 7 AM and finished around 1:30 AM with the ballroom always full and hundreds of dancers at their best taking the floor to compete! I left with such great hope for the young generation of today after seeing the young couples trying to win their heats. The gentlemen were so beautifully dressed with perfect decorum and poise, and the ladies had grace and beauty and elegant charm as they glided across the floor.

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To see such a return to elegance truly blessed my soul. There is hope for today, and a lot of it comes through the discipline and reward of ballroom dancing which is stronger today than ever. Write on your calendar that you are going to call your Arthur Murray Dance Center and start on you new dancing journey. You’ll be glad you did!

We each have all the time there is; our mental and moral status is
determined by what we do with it.– Mary Blake

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: How to be a Champion Dancer!

Dance-O-Rama 7-1-14

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Dear Gaby

Tip from Gaby

With the Unique Dance-O-Rama, just around the corner, many of our Arthur Murray students and teachers are getting ready to show off their dancing, so my advice today is about competition dancing.

Things to remember:

All the hard work is behind you, all you have to do now is just enjoy the fruits of your labor. Competition dancing is about your personal best, so get out there and sell it! Show us why you chose to dance, it’s probably because you love it! One last thing, don’t forget to SMILE!

Happy dancing everyone and good luck!

To Dance is to Live!

Thank You,

Gabriela Young