Last night at Rally FrEe class we worked on pivots. We used the pivot platforms, and Tessa certainly adores her pivot platforms! Case in point - our Dogs Can Dance Nutcracker Challenge submission from this past December, featuring Tessa's pivot platform!
Although she is very proficient at pivoting around in center position, she does not yet pivot in heel or side position, and she does not pivot in center with her feet on the floor. She will need to do both of these things for Rally FrEe, and I really want her to have those skills to use in Freestyle, so we worked toward those two goals last night.
We started with some pivots, just as we did in the video above, with her in center with feet on the platform. After warming up with some of those, I started giving her the opportunity to offer a pivot toward heel or side, giving her a c/t for any effort. She actually worked up to doing a bit of pivoting - on the platform - in one of the positions! The other was a bit weaker but we are definitely working toward both skills!
At the end of her training time, I tried having her do the pivot in center with feet on the floor, and she did it! I was thrilled!! She is clearly starting to get the idea of pivoting!
While Dean is the Pivot King, we actually haven't done much work with the pivot platform and he wasn't terribly impressed with it. He seemed to think we were playing 101 Ways to Flop Feet Off the Platform!! But I did get him to do some pivoting. He just needs to get exactly what we are doing into his head.
I have to give a shout out to Dean Dog, though. Once again he worked on the floor while other dogs were out there working, and he wasn't the least bit bothered by the commotion! That is so, so good for him!
After taking a good amount of time to work on pivots, our instructor set up three signs, married together - Free Choice to Center; 3 Steps Back in Center; Single Leg Weave to Heel. We worked them twice, starting on the left the first time and the right the second time. Those went well. Tessa got a little distracted by a stink beetle on the floor, but did a great job otherwise. Dean really enjoys the sign work, so he was pleased to do the exercise.
Next session we are going to do some work with regular platforms. I am very much looking forward to that. Both of them have been trained on the platform, but I haven't actually completed the training with either of them. This is going to be very fun!