Something to be Enthusiastic About!

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No 41. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 9, 2015

Something to Be Enthusiastic About!

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. – Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

Most people will tell you that they just want to be happy in their lives. As Arthur Murray dancers, we love to be happy while teaching dance, learning dance, and performing dances. Dancing makes us feel good and we are blessed to uplift others through music and movement.

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Sometimes, I run into someone who wants comfort and luxury at the main ingredients in their lives to make them feel good daily. They want that special Starbucks caramel macchiato, their perfect car, the stylish clothes and all the accessories worn over the perfect body. They are one of the beautiful people. Yet, are they happy?

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Who do I find that is happy around me? It is the person and the people who have dreams and they are motivated by helping others achieve their dreams and goals in their lives. They are not frustrated (OK, sometimes, but usually while they are organizing a fundraiser!) they are not sad, they are not depressed. They don’t have time for such luxuries.

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It’s funny that the people who give in life consider being in a bad mood and being unmotivated a “luxury” that they cannot afford. Amazing how that works! I am surrounded by event organizers, people who support the arts, volunteers for events that raise money from cancer to helping kids. They are always on a mission to make the next event work so that they can help someone else. These are amazing people.

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As I sit in organizational meetings for fundraiser and events, I feel the camaraderie that all the attendees have to be their best and deliver their best performance as volunteers. You leave one of these meetings feeling motivated, full of the ‘can do’ attitude, and your to do list is full of great things to do and experience.

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All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and
have an idea that is obviously impossible.
— Dr. Frank Richards (1875-1961) English Writer

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I do believe that I can accomplish my goals. This is the same feeling as walking on the dance floor to perform a dance presentation. Your tummy turns on you before you go on the floor and you have a moment where you can’t breathe. Your mouth is dry. Your hands and body sweat. You and your partner are both feeling adrenalin going through you a million miles an hour.

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Boom, you take the floor. Everyone is cheering for you. Then, the glorious music begins. Your muscle memory takes over and then you begin to move to the music together. You feel the wonderful energy of the audience and suddenly you are not dancing, but creating magic! You hear cheering and clapping and suddenly it’s over. You’re done. You leave the floor to a thunderous applause and you hug each other. You made it and you did it.

If you’re not enthusiastic or happy, I’ll share with you what my mom, J. Clair, would always say: “Keep a little song in your heart.” I try to do this every day. Sometimes I have to make sure it is a happy song and not a funeral dirge, but I do my best to keep humming along and singing in my heart a song of joy and praise. Out sing the blues. Drown out their tunes with your happy songs and find something to be enthusiastic about in your life.

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury




Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer 7-17-15

Beth and David 6-10-15

No 29. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, July 17, 2015

Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. –Harriet Tubman

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A very dear, new friend sent this saying to me. We are at the footsteps of a project for Arthur Murray Santa Monica that will benefit our city and change many lives.  It is all a dream that is coming true, supported by a team of Dream Makers.

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What is it like to work on this project?  I am alive every day. I am excited every moment of every day.  I am becoming friends with the most amazing leaders, innovators, volunteers, thinkers, and all around great people.  Being surrounded by such a host of exciting people is truly rewarding every day.

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The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of
immortality.– John Quincy Adams

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and
lifting people up.– John Andrew Holmes

If a man hasn’t discovered something that he would die for, he isn’t
fit to live. (from a speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963).– Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American Civil Rights Leader

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As I get older, I am becoming more and more driven to raise money for kids. To educate kids and get the magic of music and dance to kids.  To give them direction, purpose, hope, discipline, and a dream for the future.

Is all this easy. I say not!  Many challenges meet us daily. It’s like pushing a rock up a hill said one of my sponsors. But it is a good rock and it’s worth the push! I don’t want an easy way to go. My life has never been easy and I have always chosen the harder path. I think I’m a stronger person for my persistence.

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

Each of us, if we would grow, must be committed to excellence and to
victory, even though we know complete victory cannot be obtained, it
must be pursued with all one’s might. The championships, the money,
the color; all of these things linger only in the memory.  It is the
spirit, the will to excel, the will to win; these are the things that
endure.– Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) American Football Coach

Are you happy today? Are you fulfilled? Do you have a 100 fears that are holding you back? Try this; listen to what others need. Listen to the 100 yeses that others say to you each day and give great service to others.  Help make others dreams come true. Live a life of service to help other find their own dreams and fulfill those dreams.

Be committed to excellence. I’ll bet you, you’ll be happy every day!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

12-26-14 New Year’s Resolutions – David Woodbury

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No 52 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Year’s Arthur Murray Resolutions!

My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She
said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and
worked hard and done the best that is within you.  Success is being
praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying.
Always aim for achievement and forget about success.– Helen Hayes (b. Brown) (1900-1993) American Stage/Film Actress

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage
unless you’re scared.– Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) American Aviator and Business Executive

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.
Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a
section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.– Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) Military Commander and 34th US President

What do I want in 2015? I want to be a better person and be able to help others achieve their goals. I have been given to ability to train, teach, write, motivate, dance, organize and generally have so much energy that I think sometimes I’m going to burst!

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I know how to set goals and make them come true. These 39 wonderful years with Arthur Murray I have been surrounded by the best dancers, instructors, franchisees, and overall mentors that call our company home. Now, my circle of mentors are all the greatest leaders, advisers, and motivators in the world. All I have to do is look around in a circle and I am surrounded by those who say “Yes, you can realized your dreams” Believe and your will achieve your goals” “Work hard, train hard, and enjoy great success” “Give back to others and become a mentor to others”.

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My New Year’s Resolution first to take better care of my health, so that I may be of better service to others. Secondly, to watch what enters my mind and thoughts and realize that my thoughts become my realities. Thirdly, to continue studying the great motivational works of others and continue learning leadership from their example. Lastly, to live my life through a life of service and giving back with the great gifts that have been entrusted to me.

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On Christmas Eve, I had an epiphany. I realized that all the many, many masses that I have attended that had blessed me so, that there was an army of volunteers making sure my experience was perfect. There was someone who provided a clean and comfortable place to worship, someone who greeted me at the door and gave me a song sheet and ushered me to a seat. Someone who passed a basket for my offering and then “magically” was a steward of that money. There was a choir, there were musicians, there were lectors and Eucharistic Ministers. Someone (a couple of hundred) had decorated the church. There was a homily given and someone somewhere led me to communion. There was someone at the door to give me an inspirational booklet, a smile, and a special salutation.

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For decades of my life I took all that for granted, and now I am called to serve and be a leader. That calling is not just for worship, but to serve at our Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, lead our fantastic Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica, be the best Guest Director for Arthur Murray Int’l, Inc.! The need to be an example for young people is critical in today’s world. Young people are looking for answers and they need to see leaders who not only have the answers, but are examples of how to live as leaders.

These goals start today. I am calling you to switch from that person sitting in the pew where I sat for years. Stand up, look around, find the leader who is in charge and walk up to them. Say this “May I help out?” and your world will change, this I promise you. Thanks Dan Schwala, my brother!


David Woodbury

Next Week: Have the Greatest Year in Your Life!