No 6: Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, December 13, 2013
Shed Your Coat!
I had a dream the other night. I was walking forward with a heavy coat of worry and doubt and fear, and I looked up. I saw a great light and felt warmth and just let the coat fall off my shoulders and was free from its weight and the burdens I was carrying.
Take off your coat Yellow Coat on treeUpon awakening, I knew that I had to research the dream and find out what was the message from the dropping of the coat. Shedding your coat is something that happens to animals yearly.  For the winter animals gain a heavy, thick coat to shield them from the weather. In the spring they shed this coat for the hot summer months ahead, and then they shed in preparation for a new coat to appear for the approaching cold.
As the nights grow colder and days shorter, dogs begin preparing for winter. A dog will lose its summer coat to prepare for the coarse winter coat that is needed for protection during the long cold season ahead. Then, the process begins all over again for the summer preparation.
As a dancer, franchisee, and new business owner, I have had to do the same ‘shedding” of my old coat.  In preparation of the demands that would be placed on me spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically, I had to let go of a lot of old habits and thoughts and ways and prepare for the new thoughts to take effect.
New responsibilities have required me not only to shed my old “coat” but to have many new coats to wear and many hats to don. From being the Administrative Assistant, Instructor, Supervisor, Counselor, Manager, Owner and Janitor and Handy-Man! With all these duties, I have realized that the most important people here are first my staff.  They need to know that they are important to me and they come first. If the teachers are happy, well treated, expertly trained, imagine the service that our students will receive from them!
Team Leader Red Man with followers in TriangleIn being a Team Leader, the most important people are those on your team. Make them feel useful, special, and needed.  Then, the service that they give is from the heart and is sincere, full of enthusiasm and sincerity. The service they then offer is phenomenal!
So, how does all this shedding coat talk work with dancing? Well, in dancing, we spend most of our time taking out the bad habits so the natural, free-flowing dancing may manifest itself.  We streamline our bodies, our arm actions, our Cuban motion and frames in smooth. We “shed” the old unneeded affectations that we know and we end up with the pure essence of each dance.  The glory of Waltz, the staccato of Tango, the Cuban Motion of the Rumba, and the pulse of the Cha Cha and Salsa. These simple pure techniques rise to the top as we grow and mature in our dancing.
What is the “coat” that you need to shed? A bad habit. A dance technique that is not working for you. Tardiness to lessons. Lack of preparations for routines. Or just not practicing and preparing enough.  Shed your old bad habit and put on the new coat to get you through the season ahead and prepare for success.
My whole life has prepared me for this moment.  In Woodland Hills Arthur Murray, my office was the Front Desk and what a blessing that was to me then, and invaluable training to me now.  The captain of the ship should always be visible, useful and ready to lead. Now in Santa Monica Arthur Murray, I feel prepared to hoist the sails and sail us to our new future.
Remember to like us on Facebook, Arthur Murray Santa Monica, and visit our web page,. Happy Holidays!
Thank You!
David Earl Woodbury 
Next Week: Dance through the Season!