Dogs Can Dance – Recital and Workshops in Los Angeles
Music invigorates; dancing is pleasure; and when my dogs join me it is sheer joy. I play a song and dance; Orson and Xuma strut in with wagging tails. We all do our own moves, stepping and spinning. I pretend to hold a microphone and belt out the lyrics, but because I cannot carry a tune, Xuma jumps up, imploring me to lip-sync, and we carry on until the song ends. Dancing with your dog is great fun, and Judy the founder of Dogs Can Dance makes it even more enjoyable.
Orson and I participated in the Dogs Can Dance freestyle workshop. Judy, a lifelong dancer, excels at recognizing your dog’s talents and then teaches you how to showcase those skills. A small energetic dog that loves to twirl will enjoy a routine with lots of twirls and fast moves. Orson on the other hand, moves at a slow trot, but that trot happens to be in perfect rhythm with the theme song from “Pink Panther.” I enjoy that song and would have never known that it worked so well for Orson, had Judy not suggested it. Orson knew he was trotting in time to the music and was grinning the entire time. We had a simple routine of trotting and circling, which suited us.
Not only is it fun, dancing with your dog provides both physical and mental exercise. Judy will instruct you well on your way to a dance routine, on which you can build and grow, training your dog moves, and steps, memorizing and exercising. Focused on the music and your dog, the positive energy removes any drudgery you may associate with “exercise.” The routine can be as simple or complex as you and your dog are capable. Any dog, senior or young, large or small, can benefit. Orson loves food, so even with the distractions of the other dogs and their people, he paid attention to me, I mean he paid attention to the treats in my hand. I will take Xuma to the workshop this Sunday, it will be interesting to see how she does, as she would probably rather play with the other dogs over everything else. But it does not matter, because I will still learn watching the other students and will work with Xuma as long as she will cooperate. It is a very easy-going and relaxed atmosphere.
Judy started dancing with her dog, Bella, a beautiful Rottweiler diagnosed at an early age with hip dysplasia and later suffering from arthritis. At about six years of age Bella lost weight and her health improved as she began dancing with Judy. Bella is now 14 years old and thrives on her dance routines and co-hosts some of the dance events.
On Saturday, November 5, Dogs Can Dance will hold a fundraising recital for Gone to the Dogs Rescue group, specifically to raise money for Leonardo, who needs orthopedic surgery. The recital will be a good opportunity to see what the dance routines look like. On Sunday, November 6, there are two Dogs Can Dance workshops, one is an introduction and the other will teach creating a routine. You can go here to register. If you are interested, but do not live in Los Angeles or are not available this weekend, check out Judy’s online classes or private instructions via skype. It will be fun for you and your dog.