Friday, October 28, 2016
Suffering for your 'art'
Many readers probably don't know anything about my background in dog dance. For several years I coached and choreographed in the (then new) sport of dog dancing. It has subsequently been 'professionalized' and is divided into several categories of competition. Heelwork to Music is exactly what it sounds like. Freestyle gives the competitors much more freedom to tell a story and do innovative moves.
One of the reasons I left the sport is that I thought many really bad decisions were being made, and rewarded by the judges. There was too much emphasis on costume and the human part of the pair and too little on good dog training. That has changed over the years but I still wince when I watch the world championships. Yes, there are some beautiful routines which bring tears to my eyes. But there are also some performances which are in incredibly bad taste. On the bright side, the dog training has improved immensely.
The routine below is not to my liking but I giggled when I got to 3:30 and what follows. There is someone who suffered for her 'art'. The hours of training that went into that element of the routine must have left the handler bruised and covered in slime.