The highlight of my Christmas break this year was giving the brand new Cyber Rally-O Dance Divisions a try with both Dean Dog and Tessa. When I first saw samples of this new Freestyle venue, I knew it was going to be right up Dean's alley! But since I was filming, I decided to go ahead and let Tessa try out the Preliminary level, along with Dean.
The Cyber Rally-O Dance Divisions consist of fixed pattern dances. There is no choreography involved. You look up the pattern maps on the website, memorize the patterns, and then film! There are three at the Preliminary level and all three must be successfully completed for the title.
One peculiarity of this type of Freestyle is that you do not submit your performance to the music that was playing when the pattern was performed. In order to avoid copyright issues, you overlay a soundtrack from Youtube. Honestly, I did not think this was something that I was going to like, but in the end I actually had a lot of fun with it.
Dean, Tessa, and I started out with the pattern that I thought would be the easiest, the Preliminary Figure 8 Waltz, which is a ginormous Figure 8 that takes up the entire ring. Both of the dogs thought this was great fun.
We practiced at one training session and then were off and running filming for real at the next one. Just a few takes for each dog - got a good one for each.
Once the videos were uploaded, I picked music for each. Dean's music has a bit of sentimental value - it was Tchaikovsky, Waltz of the Flowers. He watched Speedy and me dance to that many times and I even have a video somewhere of the two of them doodling to it together!
Of course the video was actually taken with Dean moving to one of his favorite songs - Smooth by Santana!
Here is Tessa's Preliminary Figure 8 Waltz. This was actually not the music that I had on it for submission. I found this later and just thought it too perfect not to use on this video!
It was a solid Q.
Here is Dean's Figure 8. Although this was the music that I put on this video, I did cut out the ring setup from the video.
Like I said - this was made for Dean Dog! This was also a Q for us.
Full speed ahead, we went on in our next training session to video the Scenic Route Tango, also at the Preliminary level. This was a much, much more difficult pattern to complete. It was longer and much more technical.
Dean and I ran into a series of mishaps. First, he disengaged and stopped to sniff on every one of the 270 degree turns. We stopped that take before we were even 1/4 of the way through it! Then, he was going strong and when we went to do the 180 halfway through the pattern, he sat! Ooops! Another strong attempt, and I noticed one of my hair clips had fallen out and was sitting in the ring. I had no idea if that would NQ us (turns out it would not have), I stopped and started over.
After a short break, Dean and I went in and nailed it!
Dean's Scenic Route Tango:
This pattern was much tougher with Tessa. She tends to lag on outside turns, so I knew she was going to need some "jollying along" for this one.
Even our best take wasn't quite as nice as I would have liked. I'm also not crazy about my music choice on this one, but it is what I submitted.
We did qualify, although one of the three judges did vote "NQ". You need two of the three judges to vote for "Q", and two did, so we earned the "Q"! I was relieved because at that point I had run out of opportunities to film!
Finally, we did the 90 Degree Foxtrot. Of all the patterns, this was the most difficult for me to remember. Dean did very well with it, and got it after just a few tries, and Tessa did a pretty nice job with it, too.
Dean's 90 Degree Foxtrot:
It was a Q!
And Miss Tessa's . . .
Also a Q!
So, that earned the Preliminary Cyber Rally-O Dance Division title for both Dean Dog and Tessa. We got some pretty ribbons, too!!
Tessa with her title medal . . .
Dean Dog with his three Q ribbons and title medal, hanging on our "ribbon tree" behind him.
Bandit didn't really understand all the bru-ha-ha! Clearly HIS toys were way more fun than ours!
The thing that surprised me the most about this was seeing how excited Dean got about performing in a pattern. The first time we would go through, he was like, "OK, we are doing this". The second time, he was like, "I'm getting it!" And by the third time, he was an old pro, very much looking forward to every move and turn because he knew what was coming and he was excited to make it happen!
Who knew that Dean would thrive on patterns?
Looking forward to doing more of this with Dean. We are already training hard for the pre-bronze level! I am hoping to be able to get video this coming spring.