Diane was born in Santa Barbara, California with an imaginative soul and deep somatic knowing. She grew up in the idyllic, richly multicultural community of Riverside, Ca with politically active, musically enlightened parents and a grandmother who was a Ziegfeld Follies hoofer. The confluence of these early guiding factors together with her coming of age in the tumultuous late 60’s, has allowed her to develop a keen sense of the relationship between American popular culture as reflected in music, dance, fiction, and film, and the socio-political undercurrents shaping the myth of The American Dream. This perspective has been the driving force influencing her choreographic work.
She began her serious training as a dance artist and educator at the University of California, Riverside. After graduating with Honors from the Program in Modern Dance in 1979 she joined the teaching staff at UCR and continued her lifelong passion for exploring the expressive capacities of the human body.
She continued her career in Reno at TMCC, UNR, Lassen College, Washoe County School’s Artist in Residence Program and throughout the Northern Nevada community, teaching Modern and Jazz Technique, Creative Movement and Composition, 20th Century Dance History, Dance in World Culture, and Musical Theater Movement. Diane has served as Dance Education Consultant for both the NV Dept. of Education and Nevada Arts Council and is delighted and proud to have been instrumental in the development of the dance program at Truckee Meadows Community College.
Her 25 year relationship with Martina Young has evolved from mentor/ student, through colleague and collaborator, to unofficial reader and sounding board for Martina’s scholarly work, and all has been infused with deep friendship. Most recently, Young’s work on Swan: a poetical inquiry in dance, text, and memoir has served to further enlighten, clarify, and refine Diane’ s understanding of her life as an artist. Perhaps more telling, it is through the process of assisting in the creation of Swan II: Rubedo, with its entry into the rarefied air of Young’s ‘poetic field’, that Rugg is able to negotiate the hard concrete and endless chaotic buzzing of 21st Century America.
Finally, Diane’s ongoing 12 year job as a gardener at the May Arboretum has immersed her in the glorious mysteries of the natural world and its creative processes, and serves as muse for her own creative work and continuing exploration of the somatic, imaginal, and natural realms.