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!
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.
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
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.