WHAT WE DO
Member-Only FB Group
The original drill team
A Bit of Club History
Even before Dancing Paws of Maine officially became a club, the group’s activities were evolving and changing in response to the members’ interests and needs.
In the beginning there was a lot of exploration and research into what it would take to bring freestyle to Maine, and we met on a regular basis for training and separately for discussion and planning.
At that time only one member had actually competed in freestyle, and when we discovered the newly minted sport of Rally-FrEe, we realized its potential to help us develop the behaviors and skills we would need to pursue freestyle. So we held some workshops to share training techniques and then began to participate in video competitions, sharing the cost of ring space in a number of different locations and videoing each other’s runs.
And we did several demonstrations.
We lost a couple of members who moved away or whose dogs retired from the sport. We added a few new ones. By the time we had agreed to form a club we had moved our training location to Mainely Agility in Raymond.
Because not all of our members were still interested in Rally-FrEe, we changed our mode of operation to what it is today, with our (mostly) monthly rental time dedicated to a short educational component, a business meeting if needed, and the balance of time used for open training in which handler/dog teams work on training whatever they choose. Input is available from the more experienced members if requested, with the understanding that they too are paying for training time and wish to train their own dogs. Members network among themselves when they need to video for competition, arranging independently to rent space, and sharing filming and music so everyone can try for a competition grade performance.
In addition to our more “routine” operations, and thanks to the generosity of many donors, Dancing Paws has hosted several live and online workshops, and one live competition (with a second scheduled live event changed to a video one with embellishments due to the pandemic). The workshops have included some well-known names in the North American freestyle community.