“…gain strength, courage, and confidence…”

“…gain strength, courage, and confidence…”

Week 12 3-18-22  “…gain strength, courage, and confidence…

Changing Lives through Dancing by David Woodbury


“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)

the longest serving First Lady of the United States


How many times have we looked fear in the face? I can say at almost 66 years old that I have experienced this many times in my life. During the first covid lockdown (we’ve had 2) I had many moments of great fear. I saw many dancers, my mentors, and friends pass away and there was no vaccine or treatment at that time. Keeping our business open in California while most of the country had no restrictions was very confusing and fearful.


The past losses of my partner and both parents and my only brother filled my life with fear and grief. I have experienced the angel of death and lived through that. My fear at that time turned into a glorious moment in my life and I have been filled with a strong spiritual strength, courage of faith, and confidence that comes through experience.


“In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.”

– John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)

English Art Critic


I believe in this quote. I believe that every time I see or meet someone, and they irritate me, that I am truly seeing my own qualities that I don’t like about myself in them. Many have challenged me on this, but I don’t care. When I see someone cross, I say, Oh boy, that’s me. Gotta change that in me! When I see anger, resentment, or a quick mouth in someone else, I quickly realize that life is just showing me all the work that I must do to myself to be a better person.


My mother, J. Clair Woodbury, has a philosophy “Build and Empire”. She taught me that the moment you meet someone, immediately find something you like in them and acknowledge it. “What a great handshake” “Love your energy and smile” “What a great color you’re wearing today” “Love your positive words and expression of joy”

This practice has changed my life and I have made this a party of my daily life. Plus, I’ve made some great life-long friends through these interactions. It takes a lot of training to put others first in every way when meeting them not just the first time, but for all times. Try it sometime and see how wonderful the results are “Build an Empire”.


“Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.”

– Earl Douglas Haig (1861 – 1928)

British General and Commander of the Expeditionary Force in World War I


This is a time of great stress and truly there is no retirement. I do feel as if I my back is against the wall and I know that I must fight to the end to regain what has been taken away from me, and all of us in the past two years. I will not give up and I’ll continue not just the end, but to a new beginning.


Thanks for reading. Keep on Dancing. Don’t give up. It will get better.


David Woodbury – Arthur Murray Santa Monica, CA


Love you all,

David Woodbury