Freestyle dance is a recent dog sport that mixes obedience, rally and other canine movements with tricks and is choreographed to music. Basic freestyle techniques - heeling, back-ups, front work, pivots and distance work - can be found in both obedience and rally training. Unlike obedience, the freestyle team develops its own interpretation of the music that shows off the dog and the team's relationship.
Does the handler have to dance?
No! Freestyle is a canine sport, and as a dog performance sport, teamwork is essential. Since a dog's movements are more limited than humans, you will not dance the same as with a human partner. Freestyle dance is about showcasing your dog and demonstrating your partnership.
What are the classes like?
The Novice building is set up with gates that define a working space for each team to use during class. If your dog is not ready to work off leash, you can still join the freestyle class. Your team will have its own defined area to practice and play without the worry of interfering with the other teams.
You can bring your own music. We rotate though the CDs brought by the students. This offers you the opportunity to see what style of music best fits your dog.
We have breaks in the lessons to have discussions and demos before going back to work (or play) with our dogs.
But I don't want to compete in another dog sport!
While there are organizations that offer competitive freestyle with trials and titles, we are currently offering exhibition freestyle. This is an anything goes format designed to experience musical freestyle dance. As a new class in a very new dog sport, we are learning the basic moves and developing our relationship to our dogs.
Sounds like fun, but what if I want to compete?
That would be wonderful! We will be happy to help you select music, develop a routine, and assist you in submitting your routine to the titling organization of your choice. All the titling organizations offer video competitions.
Please see The Barker for the latest class schedule and instructors.
We meet on Sundays in the Novice building. This is a small class so everyone has sufficient space to train. We ask that students bring lots of delicious, motivating treats, plenty of water for both team members (dancing is a LOT of work), music if desired, and a willingness to have fun.