No 7: Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, December 20, 2013
Dancing Through the Holidays!
Dancing Mr and Mrs Santa ClauseA time of grace, rebirth, faith, hope and renewal. What a wonderful time of year, my favorite of all seasons. The gleam in everyone’s eye, the wonderful greetings, the giving attitudes, everyone is at their best at this time of year.
For Arthur Murray, this is our most glorious season.  Gradation Ball, Holiday Ball, Festival, Grand Parties, Showcases, it’s non-stop excitement and fun. Every Arthur Murray studio is packed with happy students and motivated staff who are all making the season bright through the Gift of Dance.
For our new studio, we are full of grace and gratitude for the season. Our many blessings, the doors that have opened for us, and the strength that we have been giving to accomplish the tasks and goals that have been set before us.  What an honor to have been given the dream to start a new venture and the wisdom that has been bestowed upon us to manage our new dancing home.
Let’s also remember that this is not always a joyous season for all. Some have illness, some are experiencing loss, some are alone, and some are angry with all the commercialism. During all the Christmas Masses, I am always looking for the soul that needs that special smile, that warm greeting, and that moment of encouragement that may turn them around.  The privilege of having the opportunity to serve others during this time is also full of the responsibility to give a blessing to others with each salutation.
The beauty of dancing and Ballroom Dancing at Arthur Murray is that it is a great place to be if you are alone, away from your family, recovering from health issues, or walking through the dark night of the soul in grief. The warm atmosphere, the happiness, the joy, the power of the music and the magic combination with the dancing will transform gloom into glee, a frown into a smile, a tear into a laugh!
Through all my 37+ years with Arthur Murray Dance Centers, I have learned to think with positive hope, and always try to be the best I can be in every way. Ballroom dancing pulls out all the great qualities in a person and the dancing raises one to a new standard in life.  I’m so grateful for all my dance mentors and dancing friends.  They are all happy, successful, and constantly striving to change the world and change lives, one dance step at a time.
Here’s an exercise for you and for me:  Go out and for a day give smiles.  Look for others who seem lost, hurt, angry, and alone and just give them a great greeting.  Shake their hands, give them a hug, tell them that they are special and a gift of life.  Take a moment to thank someone and let them know that they have changed your life for the better. Pause with a friend and put your arm on their shoulder and say a blessing out loud for them. Shed a tear, laugh a laugh, and make this a mission for the rest of the holidays, not just for one day.
Dancing Santas 3 in the photoNext blog we wrap up the year and prepare for 2014.  I can’t wait for the challenges, the successes, the wonderful dance work ahead. Let me at it, give me the challenges and the strength to achieve my goals.  I have faith that I’m going to make it. I won’t give up so easily this time. I will look adversity in the face and say, “I am strong, I have joy in my heart, I have laughter, I have faith…Fear, get behind me!” This time, I’m going to make it and make it big.  I won’t give up.  I won’t fail. I won’t turn back.
And get this, I am taking others with me on the road to success.  I will not travel alone, I will move forward and lead the way to great successes.  Hope, Faith, Perseverance, Strength…I have all these and I’m moving forward. 
Have a blessed holiday season and we’ll see you next week to set our Dancing Goals for 2014
Thank You!
David Earl Woodbury 
Next Week: Let’s Get Up and Dance in 2014!