The Friendship of Arthur Murray

The Friendship of Arthur Murray

Week 38 9-17-21 “The Friendship of Arthur Murray”

Changing Lives Through Dancing – by David Woodbury                                                                          

Arthur Murray Dance Center of Santa Monica, CA


“Many a friendship — long, loyal, and self-sacrificing — rested at first upon no thicker a foundation than a kind word.”

– Frederick William Faber (1814 – 1863)

English Priest and Hymn Writer


This October 15, 2021 marks my 45th year with Arthur Murray Dance Centers. I became a student in Nashville, Tennessee in 1975 and became a dance professional in 1976.


Over all these years I have made friends from that very beginning who are still friends until this very day. In fact, I have many friends who are still with Arthur Murray who I met in 1976 and 1977. They are family to me. We have grown up together.


My whole family has had some contact with Arthur Murray. At Superama in Nashville, my parents were honored by the president of the company and they received a standing ovation for their 50th wedding anniversary. My sister, Debi was an Arthur Murray Professional Dancer and she lived in Europe for a while dancing and competing with Team Denmark.


Arthur Murray has been with me in every step of the way in my life. My loves, my losses, my years competing and being a franchisee all the way to today as we regain our footing after covid hit our school and our world.


“Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious thing.”

– Randolph S. Bourne (1886 – 1918)

American Writer


With the friendships, some have passed away. Some have sadly faded away but are always revived even if we have not seen each other in years. In the beginning of the AIDS crisis, I lost many close friends. During years of life dear friends have passed. Now, during covid, I have lost some of my most treasured friends to the virus.


Yes, friendships are fragile, and I have lost some due to my carelessness. Friendships truly are precious and require a lot of love, thought, and patience. The good thing about lost friendships, is they may often be healed through time and love and caring.


“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

– Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

American Writer


Always amazing to me is that Helen Keller is listed as an American Writer. She is not listed as someone who was deaf, blind and unable to speak. She was known as someone brilliant who has inspired generations of not only the deaf and blind, but for the whole world.


Sometimes a lovely word is all it takes to start a friendship that will last a lifetime. Also, the same is for a harsh word that can kill a friendship. The small tasks of a smile, a kind gesture, or just remembering someone in a special way may lead to a truly great and noble


“He who finds diamonds must grapple in mud and mire because diamonds are not found in polished stones. They are made.”

– Henry B. Wilson (1861 – 1954)

Admiral in the United States Navy


I have friends who are my diamonds. They are perfect in every way. But I have learned to not rely on that perfection for no one can live up to such a high standard. We are all human and we have feet of clay. No matter how much experience, education, money or fame someone may have, they are flawed as I am also flawed.


A diamond is truly created when mud is put under great pressure and heated for a very long time. Also, diamonds do not come out of the earth looking like they are ready to be sold at Tiffany’s. They are usually found in an uncut rock. It takes a master professional to look at the massive stone for a long time. They see that there is not just one diamond, but perhaps a hundred inside the uncut mass.


They carefully mark the uncut stone and then carefully begin to cut knowing that a slight mistake, and they rock could crumble and turn to worthless dust. Then the cut pieces are examined over and over and are cut and they polished and the end result are priceless diamonds. Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat are the 4 “C’s” of a great diamond and the true flawless diamonds are a great rarity.


All these analogies are truly parallel with all relationships and are a good guide to finding the diamond relationships in life.


“There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Darlington Morley (1890 – 1957)

American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet


My mom never knew a stranger. She spent her life her own way. Momma would talk with anyone anywhere and they would leave as friends. She was a true success in the friend department.


“Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.”

– Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)

English Author


Here is a challenge for you.  Smile at someone. Give a kind word to a stranger. Laugh with someone. Share a compliment with a new acquaintance and see what happens. Who knows, you may make a friend for a lifetime.

Keep on Dancing,

David Woodbury