“Courage is Grace Under Pressure”

“Courage is Grace Under Pressure”

Our motto this year at Arthur Murray Santa Monica is:

“See Clearly in 2020. Make all your dancing dreams come true!”

No.10 3-6-2020 “Courage is Grace Under Pressure”

Our above quote today is from Ernest Hemingway. I remember when I was an Arthur Murray dance student in 1975. I was 18 came as a guest of a friend. I enrolled on a Bronze Program and my teacher gave me a Benefit of Dance Sheet. One of the benefits was listed as: More Poise, Carriage, Grace and Composure. Somehow those words resounded in my heart and I have referred to them for 43 years.

Poise is a state of being and Carriage is moving with that Poise. Grace is also a state of being and Composure is moving with Grace. What I did not realize until now is that all for of the elements require courage and practice.

Unfortunately, in my early life, and even sometimes now, I have been known to have a short fuse and a quick wit. There was no filter from my mind to my mouth. After beginning my professional ballroom lessons with great champions, I learned how to take instruction and listen. Still working on this as a lifetime project. When taking a dance lesson, you truly do learn to take instruction and receive it gracefully. (Not easy)

Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had
wonderful things happen to you.

— Mary Tyler Moore (1937-) American Actress

As life has continued and I have experienced loss and many trials, I have found that my courage has grown. Today I am not afraid to speak in front of hundreds of people, or walk just one person across a busy Santa Monica intersection (it’s very scary!). I am able to dance in front of several hundred people with joy and happiness in my heart, loving every moment of the dancing!

Failure is only postponed success as long as courage “coaches”
ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.

— Herbert Kaufman

Many times, my courage has seemingly disappeared from what I considered my failing. Making a wrong decision, not achieving the goals I had. Having to move on to a new path in my life when I did not want to. At times seemingly losing all ambition due to a failure that devastated me. Then the habit of persistence took over and I would experience the victor I so longed for.

Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.

— Bernard Williams (1929-) English Philosopher

Have you ever felt your spirit was not resilient? Perhaps after a great loss, or a metaphorical or real tornado tearing through your life? Ever felt that you just could not get up? Have you just not gotten up? If so, please remember these great words “It will get better”, and it will!

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in
the small ones.

— Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American Bishop

It is said that whoever is too big for the small jobs is too small for the big jobs. A new student came in the other night and I was cleaning the coffee cart and picking up the studio. He asked me, Do you dance?  I replied, Well, I take out the trash, pick up the floor, replenish the TP and hand towels and soap and I clean the ballroom. He replied, Oh, you’re the owner! We had such a good laugh after that. Yes, every time I clean a bathroom, I realize that I am sharpening my character through the small things that will develop my courage which will teach me more grace in my life.

Thanks for reading,


Keep on Dancing!