2015-07-19 00.56.16

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

Dance in the Right Direction 5-8-15

2015-04-01 12.04.22

No 19. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dance in the Right Direction

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on
walking.– Buddhist Proverb

How many times have I turned a brand new couple around on the dance floor dancing the wrong direction? Foxtrot and Tango and Waltz going against the Line of Direction. They just did not know. They were gazing in each others eyes, oblivious to everyone around them and the havoc they were creating on the dance floor.

How many times have I been kicked by an advanced couple? The man is leading his partner every Gold school figure he knows while ramming his lady into many other dancers, stepping on many others and whacking fellow dancers in the head. He is in his “Dance Zone”. Nothing matters to him but to leading this poor woman into every step he has ever learned in 120 seconds. The tragedy is that this woman is usually a new lady who has had five or less dance lessons. The guy leaves the dance floor with his head held proud, thinking what a great job he did while the lady goes searching for an ice pack for her scraped ankle.

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Dancing has a skill named “Floor craft”. It is the ability to glide your partner around the dance floor never hitting another couple and never stepping on your own partner. The dancers know how to pause to let another couple pass, or completely stop to avoid a collision. They know the rules of dance and are wonderful to have on the ballroom floor. They are always facing the right direction!

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first
or last time.– Betty Smith (1897-1972) German/American Author and Writer

Always take the dance floor as if you were driving to the on ramp of the freeway, and then entering the fast moving traffic to your destination. Get a feel for others on the floor. Look out for the dancers who are “Texting” and not paying attention. Make sure your weight is over your feet and your partner is not underneath your feet. Know how to take care of your partner and be a good dancer with others on the floor.

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The force is within you.  Force yourself.– Harrison Ford (1942-) American Actor

It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.– Chinese proverb

How does this translate into life? Force yourself to be accountable to others, and rather than cursing the “bad dancers” of life, be a light and dispel the darkness around you.

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If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.
— David Viscott

Have courage. If you are not facing the right direction in your life, get a mentor who will turn you the right way. Remember, everyone loves dancing with a great dancer who creates magic on the dance floor. Also, remember, people love doing business with people they like. Find your true North in life and move forward and help other along the way.

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

The Holidays 12-23-14 Gabriela Young

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Tip from Gaby

“The Holidays”

It seems like at this time of year a lot of people start to feel sick maybe even a little tired and overwhelmed by all the things that have to get done, timeout guys!

Dancing this time of year provides good health from over eating so you don’t feel tiered it might even make you feel better when you have the sniffles. Frustrated? Take it out on your “Tango”, need to laugh dance a “Swing” just want to relax maybe a nice

“Rumba” or “Waltz”. If you come in and dance a little, you will take all the holiday frustrations out of your life.

Dancing doesn’t fix everything but it sure makes the world a lot happier and

a better place to be!

Happy Holidays and Happy dancing!

Gabriela Young

More Passion than Problems 11-28-14

2014-11-27 09.15.20

No 47 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 28, 2014

More Passion than Problems

When I am dancing, I am happy and healthy. When I am dancing nothing hurts and there is no pressure in my life. Time stops when I dance, and when I continue to dance, time reverses and I get younger, healthier, and happier. Dancing is magic for me.

We all get report cards in many different ways, but the real
excitement of what you’re doing is in the doing of it. It’s not what
you’re gonna get in the end – it’s not the final curtain – it’s
really in the doing it, and loving what I’m doing.– Designer Ralph Lauren

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Now I dance for the fun of it. Even in competition, I just want to please my partner and the audience. I want them to love the dance as much as we do. The joy of dancing is what fuels me these days. Yes, there have been many, many lessons and shows and competitions to get me to this point, but here I am. Doing it because I love it.

Are you angry? Have you had a bad day, having troubles, fed up? Well, save it all up and come in and dance a Tango. Let it all out on the dance floor. Are you full of passion, come in and dance a Rumba or a Bolero. Dance the dance of love and put your feelings into the rumba motion. Need a lift, dance the Swing, need to relax, do the Waltz. No matter what you need, there is a dance to satisfy you in every way.

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by
deserting our ideals.– Samuel Ullman

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Dancing will keep you young all your life! How many times have we seen young men panting after just a few dances, and on the dance floor is a couple in their 80’s dancing every dance of every set. They can Cha Cha, Waltz, Swing, and Salsa. They never get tired and they are the sweethearts of the dance floor. Young people have to stop from fatigue as they watch the older couple with amazement and envy.

I have danced with many, many older dancers who have the heart and soul of young lions. They have passion, drive, vision, and energy. They can dance many hours in the day and at night they want to dance some more. I have had children of my older students try to get them to quit their lessons. They were afraid their mom’s would go though their inheritance and live forever! Also, I’ve seen children who supported their elderly parents in their dancing, and the parents danced for many, many happy and healthy years. Their inheritance was the joy of seeing their parents so joyous and vigorous in their later years.

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it’s not
going to go away.– Elvis Presley

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You want the truth? Dancing is fun, good for you, and will keep you mobile and in good health for a long time. Get to know someone who dances, then encourage them to dance for the rest of their lives.

David Woodbury

Next Week: Overcome Apathy with Enthusiasm

The Truth About Dancing 11-21-14

2014-11-16 16.36.18

No 46 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 21, 2014

The truth about dancing…It’s good for you!

When I am dancing, I am happy and healthy. When I am dancing nothing hurts and there is no pressure in my life. Time stops when I dance, and when I continue to dance, time reverses and I get younger, healthier, and happier. Dancing is magic for me.

We all get report cards in many different ways, but the real
excitement of what you’re doing is in the doing of it. It’s not what
you’re gonna get in the end – it’s not the final curtain – it’s
really in the doing it, and loving what I’m doing.– Designer Ralph Lauren

2014-11-16 16.35.05       2014-11-16 16.36.28-1      2014-11-16 16.37.46

Now I dance for the fun of it. Even in competition, I just want to please my partner and the audience. I want them to love the dance as much as we do. The joy of dancing is what fuels me these days. Yes, there have been many, many lessons and shows and competitions to get me to this point, but here I am. Doing it because I love it.

Are you angry? Have you had a bad day, having troubles, fed up? Well, save it all up and come in and dance a Tango. Let it all out on the dance floor. Are you full of passion, come in and dance a Rumba or a Bolero. Dance the dance of love and put your feelings into the rumba motion. Need a lift, dance the Swing, need to relax, do the Waltz. No matter what you need, there is a dance to satisfy you in every way.

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by
deserting our ideals.– Samuel Ullman

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Dancing will keep you young all your life! How many times have we seen young men panting after just a few dances, and on the dance floor is a couple in their 80’s dancing every dance of every set. They can Cha Cha, Waltz, Swing, and Salsa. They never get tired and they are the sweethearts of the dance floor. Young people have to stop from fatigue as they watch the older couple with amazement and envy.

I have danced with many, many older dancers who have the heart and soul of young lions. They have passion, drive, vision, and energy. They can dance many hours in the day and at night they want to dance some more. I have had children of my older students try to get them to quit their lessons. They were afraid their mom’s would go though their inheritance and live forever! Also, I’ve seen children who supported their elderly parents in their dancing, and the parents danced for many, many happy and healthy years. Their inheritance was the joy of seeing their parents so joyous and vigorous in their later years.

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it’s not
going to go away.– Elvis Presley

You want the truth? Dancing is fun, good for you, and will keep you mobile and in good health for a long time. Know someone who dances, then encourage them to dance for the rest of their lives.

David Woodbury

Next Week: More Passion than Problems

Recreating Yourself 9-19-14

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No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, September 19, 2014
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
— George Bernard Shaw

How to create a new you? It can be through dancing and dancing can give you the courage to make the changes in your life that are now only dreams. Do you want to overcome shyness? Are you out of shape and need to drop a few pounds? Are you depressed, stressed, overworked? Well then, dance. Angry, dance a Tango (never waste a bad mood!). Need a lift, dance some Samba. Lacking grace and poise, dance a Waltz. Want to be agile, learn Salsa and Swing.

For all of your needs, there is a dance to fix all your problems. So many times, new students enter our doors and they don’t think they can dance. After a wonderful lesson with a professional Arthur Murray Instructor, they are amazed that they CAN dance and how EASY it was. The Arthur Murray way of teaching is Fun, Easy and Quick. All you have to do is give it a try!

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As a new studio owner, I find that I have new challenges every day. Before owning a school again, I thought I knew all the answers to all the questions. Yet, I found out that I did not know all the answers and that sometimes I had a hard time finding any answers at all to what was happening around me. Now, I realize, most of the things that bother me don’t matter anyway. What matters is giving the great Arthur Murray service first to my staff, students, and then to anyone else I come in contact with.

My great friend, Jim Byrd, asked me for a favor many years ago. He only asked me one thing in 16 years of friendship. And that was, “Treat me the same as you treat all your students”. At first I thought that this was an easy request, then I found out how hard that was on a daily basis. Imagine being pleasant in the morning, afternoon, evening, feeling sick, feeling well, good days, bad days. Wow, what a difficult request. I was not always good, but I tried to be my best and I still try to be my best even today.

If you are patient in one moment of anger you will save a thousand
days of sorrow.– Chinese Proverb

I have a quick mouth and a fast response. My tongue is a two-edged sword and my mind and wit are fast and furious. My fuse is short and I can set off in a second. The times that this happens to me are always times I regret. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Matthew 15.11. NLT. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15.1 NIV. These are two verses I try to remember daily. It is better to pause a moment before speaking, especially when angry.

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How does this apply to dancing? First, we learn “floor craft” in competition dancing. We learn that our partners are not ram-rods used to plow through a group of dancers. Out ladies are not battering rams and our job is to protect and present our ladies on the dance floor. We learn to let someone pass in front of us rather than cutting them off or crashing into them. Also, we learn how to say “I’m sorry” for bumping into someone. Many dance events are won by the caliber of elegance and grace of the couple on the floor rather than their bravado.

Also, taking dance lessons teaches you to not be so defensive. We learn to listen to someone criticize our faults, give us the answers to how to fix them, and then give them immediate results. We learn to hear that we are wrong and we learn to like it. I am a defensive person. If you pause, I’ll defend myself. It’s awful. I’m working on it. Martin Barthold from Sherman Oaks is trying to help me out of this. He is a saint and one of the only people in my life who is trying to help me out. Thank God for him. Martin, I’m getting better.

So let us go forward quietly, each on his own path, forever making
for the light.– Vincent Van Gogh

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The solution: DANCE MORE. And yes, I’m dancing more and loving every bit of it. I’m trying to listen more, not go off so fast, and still trying to create a new me to help be of service to others.
Remember God gave us two ears and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak to be successful in life. Thanks Roz DeBeve for those words of wisdom.

Thank you,
David Woodbury

Gabriela Young: Footwork 8-19-14

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8-19-14

Tip from Gaby

Footwork:

Toe, ball, flat to heel lead.
Can you guess what dances this footwork applies too?
You guessed it, Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep.
Thank you Hunter Johnson for the wonderful
exercise you shared with us on the 30 Day Dance Challenge.
So, let’s get to practicing!
Your smooth dances will love you for it!

Happy Dancing Everyone.

To Dance is to Live!

Thank You,
Gabriela Young