Archive for November 2010

November 29, 2010 – Day 5 – My Heart Is Open, by Keith Urban

November 30, 2010

by Diane Rocha on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 12:10am

Your note has been created.

Okay, so today’s challenge was to see what I can do adding photography into the mix.  I can’t promise that there will be a photograph every day, but I think it would be good for me to get over my fear of the scary side of the lens, and how better to desensitize than just do it – every day.  At first I found myself dancing for the camera, trying to get a “good” picture – and we all know how difficult that is, given our tendency to scrutinize every possible flaw we can find. And then by some fluke, I somehow programmed the camera to take several pictures in a row, but at intermittent intervals, so I didn’t know when the shutter would actually trip.  I managed to get a couple of decent ones tonight, and I am posting one here that some may think is a bit odd, but I rather like it.  To me, it has that quality that some abstract paintings have – where the subject is not necessarily completely in the frame.

The song was completely new to me; in fact, I had never heard it before dancing to it tonight.  It is from a a album that bought for another song that is on it, but I heard this, loved the lyrics, and decided to go with it.  It is the lyrics that draw me to Keith Urban’s music.  Someimes I really like the melodies and the re=hythms in his music, too, but I have yet to hear a song of his that I do not like because they tell a story, and who doesn’t love a good story?  And in this particular song, I love the whole notion that even after having beaten down by love, it is still possible to open one’s heart one more time.

I danced a cha cha to it, most of the time anyway, and once I got over the notion that there was a camera in the room, I really got into the music.   And then I just got into that zone, where I knew my feet were in time with basic beat, but the rest of me just did what it wanted to do.  I love that feeling – it’s like being in another consciousness – another plane – which, I guess I am when I am dancing.

Here’s the link:


November 28, 2010 – Day 4 – Fantasy Man, by The Swell Season

November 29, 2010

by Diane Rocha on Monday, November 29, 2010 at 10:13pm

Your note has been created.

As Collie and Pat were packing up to leave today, we were chatting about a variety of subjects when I suddenly remembered that  had not danced yet; nor had I danced with Collie.  He agreed to dance with me – but only a waltz.  He began to lead, and I found myself backleading so much, that I finally took over the lead part.  I couldn’t believe that I could lead waltz, and honestly I that is more of a testament to his grea following, than to my leading – although it really does tke tow to tango.  :  )


It was great fun.  I led him all over the room.  I had him doing turns – and that turning thing where he goes, I go, he goes again – and that other thing (sorry, I don’t know the name) where we open up, and I travel across him, open, he crosses me, open, cross and on and on around the floor.  It was wonderful – and collie, you are one terrific follow!


Wonderful piece of music too.  The Swell Season is principally Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova who were in the movie Once – a gem of a movie, and if you haven’t seen it – do yourself a favor and watch it – soon. Brilliant! Hansard was originally in an Irish band called The Frames, and Irglova, who is from Prague, I think, were in a relationship and wrote beautiful music together and played and sang together too.  Love their work.  Some pretty good finger picking on her guitar, too.


Here is the link:



November 27, 2010 – Day 3 – Bad Romance, by Lady Gaga

November 29, 2010
by Diane Rocha on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 11:07pm

The Big Birthday Party.  That was the order of the day.  Collie, Pat, and I spent the day preparing for it.  The house – cleaning and decorating. The food – my take on Julia Child’s white lasagne with spinach and mushrooms, Dorothy’s meatballs and sauce, sourdough baguettes, crusty bread rolls, salad, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and birthday cake – all made from scratch.  Somehow, we managed to get it all together by the start of the party and had a great time; in fact, it was the best birthday – ever!


And then there was the dancing at the party. Oh, my … now that was some dancing – fantastic dancing – amazing dancing.  Thanks to all my wonderful partners: Russell, Dan, Pat, Collie, Peter, Sebastian, and of course,  Jeremy – oh my, Jeremy – what an amazing partner – so easy to follow his lead – and so intuitive – and he lets me play.  I love that! And we must not forget the memorable dance with Sebastian.  I am sure that anyone who saw that dance will not soon forget it!


Jeremy and I danced several memorable dances, but for today’s celebratory dance, I am choosing the cha cha we did to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.  Great song, great beat – and fabulous dance.  Jeremy has the knack of being completely in tune with his partner’s ability.  He starts out with basics and continues adding layers of complexity to the point that his partner has reached his or her current level of expertise – and then he adroitly stays within that approximate zone, which showcases the partner, thus making the couple look fabulous!


I have danced some pretty remarkable dances in my day, but this one was in another realm of dance.  It had everything – technique, creativity, playfulness – putting it in altogether different plane – art.  Thank you Jeremy for being your wonderful self and making me look and feel sooooooo fabulous!


Here’s the link to the song:



November 26, 2010 – Day 2 – ‘Til Summer Comes Around, by Keith Urban

November 29, 2010
by Diane Rocha on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 8:30pm

This has been a crazy weekend.  First, there was that little matter of Thanksgiving and my birthday falling on the same day – and I had houseguests for the whole weekend – my dear friends Collie and Pat, who I have known for 42 years!  All of this is to say I didn’t have time to post about my new Dance a Day Celebration because I was having too much fun celebrating! But, alas, they are gone now, life will go back to normal, and so I now have time to catch up on my blog.

Today’s dance was to one of the best songs I have ever heard – ‘Til Summer Comes Around – a beautiful ballad by Keith Urban.  I love the story of this song – the guy who falls in love – she has to leave – and he waits for her to come back – lovely story.  Patrick was here today, so we danced a nightclub two step – truly improv, since he didn’t know the dance at all.  I showed him the basic timing, and he took it from there.  I love dancing with Patrick.  He is so good – and a quick study. Soon, he had me doing many original moves in addition to the more traditional ones.

Here is the link:

Patrick and Diane Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

November 25, 2010 – Day 1 – Someone Like You, by Van Morrison

November 29, 2010

by Diane Rocha on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 3:51am

On this, my 60th birthday – I know! – I am starting a new adventure.  A few months ago, something happened that changed the way I looked at entering this new decade.  Because of that, I decided to embrace it rather that fear it.  And as it turns out, I am in the best place I have ever been – mentally, emotionally, physically – and that really is something to celebrate.

As my birthday grew closer, I wanted to have a year-long celebration. I wanted to commemorate this noteworthy event in some way.  After much pondering, I decided to combine two of my passions – dance and writing.  So, I stopped the Dance a Day Challenge; it had run its course.  I had learned what I was supposed to learn from that – which was a lot – but I felt I needed to re-shape it.  As a result, I am beginning on this perfect day for new beginnings the Dance a Day Celebration.  I am committing to dance every day for one year – yes, that is every day – one dance – all improv – and – write about it.  I am curious to see what will develop out of this, and I am looking forward to what awaits me on this journey.

I must thank my friend, Mary Pinizzotto, who will be completing her own Dance a Day journey on December 12th. Without her inspiration, none of this would have occurred for me. So thank, you Mary.

My birthday this year fell on Thanksgiving Day. My good friends Collie and Pat came down from LA and are staying with me for the entire weekend.  We had a total of 13 people at our Thanksgiving table this year.  It was fabulous.  Collie outdid himself with the flowers and table decorations, and Pat and I made a great team in the kitchen.

After dinner, I announced that I would be launching this Dance a Day Celebration at that very moment with a very special dance with Russell.  It was totally improv.  Russell had agreed the day before to dance a nightclub two-step, but I did not decide on the music until that afternoon.  So there we were, as everyone was digesting their dinner, dancing a beautiful dance to one of my current favorite songs, “Someone Like You,” by Van Morrison. As we danced, I could feel how my dancing has improved over these past months of the Dance a Day Challenge.  Russell and I have always had a great connection on the dance floor, and tonight’s dance was no exception.  It was lovely.  I look forward to what the next 364 days will unfold for me during this celebratory year.

Here is the link to the song on YouTube: