Beginner FAQs About the North Regional Canine Freestyle Competition (Dancing With Dogs)

What is Canine Freestyle Dancing?

Canine freestyle dancing is a choreographed dance routine between an owner and his or her dog. No other sport so beautifully combines artistry, dance, costuming and fuzziness into one amazing package. Each year, dozens of performers assemble at regional competitions for fun-filled competition and camaraderie. Watch this video for more insight.

dog dancingThis is My First Canine Freestyle Competition. Is That Okay?

Anyone is welcome to enter, but let’s be clear that this is an ADVANCED LEVEL competition. If you are new to the sport and you feel like you want to compete side-by-side with such legends as Winfred and Rocko or Carolyn and Rookie, then it’s your funeral.

What Kinds of Tricks Are the Judges Looking for?

Dogs are many things (friends, companions, bitches), but they are not whores. They do not perform tricks in back alleys for $5 and an Altoids mint. As such, canine musical freestyle routines are not filled with tricks, they are filled with CHOREOGRAPHY!

Okay Then, What Kinds of Choreography Are the Judges Looking For?

Whoa, slow down there, partner. As a beginner, choreography is the least of your concerns. There are far more important things that come first before you actually get down to dancing with your dog – LIKE PICKING A COSTUME!

But Isn’t Dancing The Most Important Part? Shouldn’t I Work On That First?

Wow, you really don’t know anything about canine freestyle dancing, do you? First of all, presentation is EXTREMELY important when it comes to musical freestyle competitions. You can’t just throw a top hat on and call it a day. This isn’t some backyard competition. This is the Big Leagues! For God’s sake, three-time all-regional winners Cathy and Prancer are going to be here!! Get with the program!!

Second of all, costuming is just as important as choreography (if not more so). This is because your dance routine will be HEAVILY INFLUENCED by what type of costume you choose to wear. Would you really want to incorporate a Sit Pretty or Back and Follow Me if you and your dog are wearing matching Army fatigues? I THINK NOT!

Fine. Then How Do I Go About Picking a Costume?

You’re going to want a pair of costumes that are not only eye-catching, but also allow you and your dog to move freely. So, while the idea of two mental institute escapees wearing straightjackets may sound like a hilarious idea, it’s probably not the best way to go. Some performers choose to go classy, with tuxedos and a cane. Other popular outfit motifs include cowboys, Renaissance minstrels and gay magicians.

How About Charlie Chaplin? We Could Incorporate the Charleston and Some Slapstick Humor Into the Routine!

Do you really want to STEAL Reginald and Odie’s SIGNATURE LOOK? Sorry, keep thinking.

Okay, What About a Pirate Theme?

Sure, I guess.

Great! Now That I Have My Costume, Can You Tell Me More About Choreography?

No. Look, this is a REGIONAL canine freestyle competition. It’s very prestigious. We’re talking real-time coverage from the World Canine Freestyle Organization (WCFO) and a highly sought after first place prize (a $50 gift certificate to The Gap). I know the rules state anyone can enter, but that’s really just so we can say things like “dozens of performers” in our marketing materials.

Honestly, we can’t just have any uninspired pirate routine ruining an otherwise amazing competition. If you want to come out and cheer on your favorite canine freestyle celebrity, fine. But otherwise, leave your non-purebred mongrel at home and leave the real dog dancing to the pros, okay?

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