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Culture

Dirty Dancing, Doggie-style

If you suspect that Fido’s got a little boogie in him, you might want to take him down to the city of Tübingen. In Nicole Kamerer’s dog dancing classes he’ll learn how to shake a leg, or four.

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Pep up your dog's dull life with something he's always wanted, dancing lessons.

She can’t promise you Spot will become the next canine John Travolta, but she does promise to get those paws tapping.

Nicole Kamerer, dog trainer in the southern German city of Tübingen, has had people and their four-legged friends literally lining up for places in dog dancing classes ever since she started them.

Dog dancing, for those who don’t know, is a human-animal endeavor. The dog learns some basic moves, heel right-heel left, backing up, circling, twisting, and so on. The moves are choreographed around the person, a little music is added in, and voilà, you’ve got a mixed-species version of Fred and Ginger, moving in perfect harmony.

Pep Up That Puppy

Kamerer says she thinks many dogs are bored at home with their families—eating, sleeping, scratching, sniffing around, it’s a dog’s life. Why not add a little spice to that hum-drum existence? It’s good exercise and fun for both parties, and it teaches your dog discipline and helps him let off steam.

Think you’ve got two left feet? What about the poor dog who might have to deal with four of them? But dog-trainer Kamerer says dog dancing is easy for the canine to pick up.

"A lot of the moves are moves that dogs make anyway, like jumping and giving a paw," she said. "Dogs love jumping and often spin around when they’re playing."

She says she doesn’t force the dogs to do anything, just integrates the way they move to music.

But there’s a little more to it than that. After all, it’s not that often that Rover starts shimmying to "The Macarena" or hoofing it to "New York, New York" on his own.

There are a few steps to be learned.

There’s the "Twist", a slightly more elegant version of "chasing the tail". The "Slalom" has your best friend weaving in and out between your legs. The "Back" has Fluffy moving in reverse, although getting a good Moonwalk down will probably take years of practice.

Dog dancing is gaining adherents the world over. In the US, the World Canine Freestyle Organization has just been officially recognized as an organization holding amateur sports competitions nationally and internationally.

Can the Doggie Dancing Olympics be far away?

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