November 18th, 2016

A pas de deux

Commenter “IGotBupkis” recommended the following “dance” video, and I was flabbergasted and charmed when I saw it, because this is a genre of pas de deux that had somehow heretofore escaped my notice:

It turns out there’s an entire world of dogdancing competition. Who knew? You can find tons of videos on YouTube, but that’s one of the best. I’m especially impressed with how the dog in that video is not in constant contact with the trainer and can’t even see her at many points in the routine, and yet still hits her marks and makes her moves what looks like perfectly.

Also, dogdancing seems to be good exercise, because they’re all thin. The people, that is; not the dogs.

If you want to learn a little bit about it, here’s some information.

Another thing I didn’t know is that a dancing dog act had won “Britain’s Got Talent” back in 2012, and this made both the dog Pudsey and his teenage trainer Ashleigh celebrities. Here’s Ashleigh speaking:

‘But there’s going to be a point where Pudsey can’t do what he’s doing and I do worry and think, “Oh, what am I going to do when Pudsey can’t dance any more?” I know this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so I’ve just got to enjoy it as much as possible. At the end of the day I’m not a fashion icon or a singer.

‘I’m a girl with a dog — and most people look at the dog.’

Most people look at the dog. Twas ever thus. Interesting article, actually. Ashleigh’s mother trains dogs and early on she realized Pudsey was something special. Ashleigh was a shy girl, not doing well in school, but tenacious when it came to training her dog, as one might imagine.

20 Responses to “A pas de deux”

  1. Vanderleun Says:

    Oh yes that is so so wonderful.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    I was looking at a period musical piece, called Saturday’s Warrior.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–w9bOGpi2s&t=1984s

    There was some limited ballet like dancing in there. Mostly I found it useful to a get glimpse into the Zero growth philosophy back then. Similar to Gaia cult or global warming or zero carbon dioxide or various anti fracking movements.

  3. parker Says:

    Delightful!

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “flabbergasted and charmed” exactly describe it. Who knew indeed?

  5. Nick Says:

    I’m going to have to revise my list of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. I may have to disqualify dog dancing from the list entirely. I mean, it’s crazy impressive, but….

  6. geokstr Says:

    I’ve never seen a dog walk backwards and sideways before. And you’re right, neo, its timing was impressive.

  7. Paul R Says:

    Love it!

  8. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Wouldn’t “paw de deux” be more appropriate?

  9. parker Says:

    geokstr,

    Among her many tricks, our little schipperke can walk backwards on four or hind legs, and walk sideways on command. She is a bright presence in our house, and she keeps our other dog and both cats in line.

  10. OM Says:

    Parker:

    My sister in law had a schipperke who died far far far to young. He was quite a character, liked to keep everything in order.

    The four legged performer in the video looks like a Border Collie. Very intelligent and hard workers.

  11. csimon621 Says:

    Amazing!!! Absolutely amazing!
    I cannot get over it. First of all, it was a rather long piece and the length of the dog’s attention span was… well, amazing.
    Also, the dog did seem to have a real sense of the music and timing. And the “tricks” were varied and truly seemed in response to the woman’s movements and the music as opposed to repetitive series of tricks.
    Most of all, and maybe most important to me, was the feeling that the dog was loving what it was doing, and adored the woman. It really seemed to be a love dance.
    I’m flabbergasted, too.
    And it is one heck of a feel-good video!

  12. parker Says:

    OM,

    Schipperkes are an under appreciated breed. They are highly intelligent, easy to train, great companions, and despite their size rather fierce when it comes to protecting their territory. Our little jewel is 13 and as feisty as she was when a puppy. We hope to have her around for many years.

  13. The Other Chuck Says:

    Amazing! We had a border collie that lived to 18. This brought tears.

  14. eeyore Says:

    The first time I saw anything about this was from an episode of “King of the Hill” where the father danced with his dog against his son and the neighbor’s dog. The man’s dance was basically holding the dog’s paws while the son’s was a jazz group. I checked online and found this was a real thing. This is certainly a very good video showing what they can do.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    OlderandWheezier:

    That’s perfect!

  16. Caedmon Says:

    Being British I am familiar with Pudsey and Ashleigh. That is a dog dancing on a whole new level.

    Over here we have Sheep Dog Trials, where Shepherd and Dog teams compete to round up and pen sheep. All the dogs are Border Collies. Shepherds communicate with the dogs by whistling. I am sure there are examples on You Tube if anybody is curious. There used to be television show that covered the competitions, for National broadcast.

    Also somewhere on You Tube is the tap dancer Eleanor Powell dancing with her dog. She must be the pioneer of all this I presume.

  17. Lorenz Gude Says:

    That is soooo Border Collie. We’ve got Sheep Dog Trials in Australia and New Zealand too. And yeah Border Collies are the go. I’ve owned some great ones including the one I named Lyndon after LBJ got in trouble with the city folks for picking his Beagles up by the ears and talking to them. After I moved to Australia I had another one who was an escape artist. I once buried bricks in the ground under a gate to keep him from digging out and then snuck back in the house to see what he was up to. He dug them out one by one and dragged them out of his way holding them with his front paws and then tunnelled himself out. My ex wife had a real beauty who died after a long life. I sent her the video.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    OlderandWheezier:

    But actually, come to think of it, wouldn’t it be “paw de quatre”?

  19. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Excellent, neo. As usual, you’ve one-upped me.

  20. Esther Says:

    Even the husband enjoyed this! Amazing, Thanks for sharing!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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