After 43 years with Arthur Murray Dance Centers, I can finally say what Arthur Murray means to us all. It is a safe place. It is a place where we are free from judgment, fear, failure, exclusivity, and danger. Our schools are a place for us to fit in and feel at home away from the chaos of the outside world.
Many of Arthur Murray staff are truly shy people. Some are even timid if asked to speak in front of crowds. Others do not feel comfortable in an office job. But on the dance floor, they are champions, warriors, winners. They love, love, love to dance and to perform and a whole new side of them appears every time they step on the dance floor.
How many students would not come into an Arthur Murray Dance Center due to fear and doubt? How many have tried over and over to get the courage to call, schedule an appointment, then bravely walk through the front door?
After coming in, most students will tell you that their lives were forever changed. They found their voice. They found confidence and self esteem and self-worth. The shy students became celebrities on the dance floor, and some became dance champions on the competitive floor.
So many students found that they had a hidden talent and passion for dancing and competing. Lots of students have fallen in love with the Arthur Murray system of the personal sessions coupled with the group classes and the practice dance parties.
They great joy that all have found are the life-long friendships they have experienced at Arthur Murray. They have created their own dance families. The nonsocial students suddenly found a social arena where there were comfortable and quite welcome. They have had the opportunity to see and meet some of the best professional dance couples, judges, and amateur dancers in the world.
I have seen staff and students regain their health, recover from illness and surgeries. Many have come out of the dark night of the soul from loss and grief. Others have overcome depression and even thoughts of suicide. How many times have I heard a student say to me that dancing at Arthur Murray truly saved their life? I have seen students on the dance floor who have lost up to 100 pounds and they were able to realize their fitness goals.
For me, I have not worked a day in 43 years. I have been honored and privileged to do what I have loved most of my life. I have never had to worry about money, and I have job security for the rest of my life. Even at 63, there is a place for an old-timer like me in the Arthur Murray world. I guess some of all that experience is valuable to someone!
Now, I look forward to the rest of my life involved with the Arthur Murray dance world. As God continues to give me good health, and I maintain that health, I will continue to dance, dance, dance. I want to give back to my community not just in the dance world, but in all areas of my great city of Santa Monica.
I hope you enjoyed this little love note from me to Arthur Murray. I am a lucky guy and I love my life and my company, Arthur Murray!
Thank you for reading,
Keep on Dancing!
David Earl Woodbury