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The Arizona Canine Musical Freestylers treated 2008 Cynosport World Games participants and spectators to demonstrations and fun matches. By Brenna Fender


Anyone with a desire to dance with dogs could have had their wishes fulfilled at this year's Cynosport World Games.  The Arizona Canine Musical Freestylers provided a comprehensive program to jumpstart competitors into this sport.  Experienced freestylers were on hand to teach freestyle skills, select music, provide props, and choreograph a routine so that handlers could go from complete inexperience to match-ready in just a few days (or hours!). 

Patty Wiedeman of Jump Start Dog Sports in Yorba Linda, California, and Teah Anders, owner of Gentle Touch Pet Training in Arroyo Grande, California, coached a variety of dogs and handlers at the Games.  Both trainers teach Canine Freestyle at their facilities and are very experienced in the sport and in dog training in general.   

Deborah Davidson Harpur, a choreographer who has helped many musical freestyle competitors earn top honors in national titling competitions, was on hand to help new freestylers show off their best moves.

Teah Anders works with one dog/handler team while two other teams practice.

Experienced freestylers and novices shared the spotlight in the main ring over the weekend, providing demonstrations for spectators.  The group also held three matches over the weekend. Winners took home lovely rosettes.

The Arizona Canine Musical Freestylers did not charge for any of their events or services during the Games.  These folks truly seem to love their sport and did a great job promoting it to the public and to competitors in other sports during their stay in Scottsdale at the 2008 Cynosport World Games.

The youngest freestyler, eleven-year-old Dusty Berthold, poses with her Chihuahuas, Casino and Chopper, and her blue ribbon.

Participants:

Junior handler Dusty Berthold of Arizona performed to "Jump and Jive" with her two Chihuahuas, Casino and Chopper. 

Debbie Harrie and her Australian Shepherd, Bella, also from Arizona, danced to "Good Old Summertime."

Instructor Teah Anders and her Pug, Hally, boogied to "I'm a Believer."

David Dodge and Suzanne Douglas, from Arizona, danced to "Puppy Love" with their Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens, Clouseau and Cosi.

Music expert Patty Wiedeman, left, and freestyle event co-chair Cindy Hicks, far right, congratulate blue ribbon winners Suzanne Douglas and David Dodge with Clouseau and Cosi, and Noriko Kobetto with Rurl.

Another Arizona resident, event co-chair Cindy Hicks and her Lab mix, Gibson, performed to the tune of "Break My Stride."

Christy Powers, also from Arizona and instrumental in this event, freestyled with her Standard Poodle Higgins to "In the Good Old Summertime" and with her Whippet mix, Lacy, to "Sweet Old Fashioned Girl."

And the winner of the Top Freestyler trophy went to Noriko Kobetto from Japan.  Kobetto and her Shetland Sheepdog, Rurl, danced to "Music" by Madonna.

Noriko Kobetto and Rurl traveled 20 hours from Japan to compete in agility and enjoy musical freestyle at the Games. 

For more information please contact Christy Powers at cpowerspak@gmail.com.

Brenna Fender is the editor for the USDAA's subscriber services portion of the website.  She is also a freelance writer, wife, and parent of two dogs and two children.  Please contact Brenna at BrennaFender@gmail.com with comments, questions, or submissions.

All photos provided by Christy Powers.  Thank you, Christy, for your assistance with this article.

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