Dances with Dogs
by Scott Broecker
So you think your dog can dance? Well, with the right training, you and your dog could have the potential to become one of the next great dance teams. Or you will at least have a lot of fun trying.
Up until recently there hasn’t been much talk regarding the sport of Canine Freestyle in our area. Judy Gamet from Vacaville, California is a traveling freestyle teacher who is on a mission to change that.
As founder of Dogs Can Dance, Judy has traveled around the state and country teaching hundreds of people and their furry, four-legged partners the art of Musical Canine Freestyle.
Most recently, Judy was here in Pacific Grove for her once-a-month class at Doggie Day Care on Central Avenue, instructing half a dozen students and their dogs as they took turns working the floor. Not limited by size or age, the dogs in this particular class ranged from a petite Sheltie to two Great Danes spinning into transitions led by a husband and wife team.
The term “freestyle” implies the amount of choices available to participants. Although routines vary greatly in music, dress, and creativity, the common goal of freestyle is to highlight your dog’s grace, training, and athletic ability, and to demonstrate the joyous bond you share with your dog.
Judy started teaching dance at a very young age and has owned several studios. But it was Judy’s Rottweiler Bella who inspired her to get involved in the world of Canine Freestyle. Already six years old when she was adopted by Judy, Bella suffered from hip dysplasia and was extremely overweight. Through a program Judy designed to rehabilitate Bella, Dogs Can Dance was born.
Judy and Bella spent many happy years touring and giving workshops. Bella’s memory continues to motivate Judy while Dogs Can Dance flourishes. Judy was even hired as the dance choreographer for the dogs in the upcoming movie, Doggie Boogie, and her seven-year-old Rottweiler, Anabelle, is in the opening scene!
Judy is currently teaching freestyle classes at Doggie Day Care in Pacific Grove. For more information about Dogs Can Dance, visit wwww.dogscandance.com