One member’s story of realizing how Rally-FrEe makes for Flowing Freestyle!
“So, before I start, let me tell you I have not done Freestyle….yet. I’m working on my first routine with my 3.5 year old Malinois, Holly. But what I wanted to talk about is how I started my training with Rally-FrEe.”
“I saw a live event about 2 years ago, and was enthralled with watching the human/canine interaction to music. Both looked like they were having so much fun! I saw both Freestyle and Rally-FrEe events that day. I came back the next day. I think I was hooked at that point.
I started with the Rally-FrEe Skills Test. I had no idea how to approach doing Freestyle, but teaching a single skill was doable and allowed focus. As I started teaching the skills test signs, I realized I was teaching pieces that I had seen in the Freestyle routines.
Everything was still very disjointed in my mind. I still could not see how to string things together in a routine. I entered the Skills Test and was successful. I then entered a Rally-FrEe titling event, and immediately was nervous. The map came and there were signs on the course that I was not super comfortable with. Deep breath, work on those skills, pieces at a time. My goal in entering was to try it and enjoy my time with my dog. So, we made games out of the signs we didn’t know as well, and guess what? She qualified! Woohoo!
Now for the epiphany.
I have been working with Julie Flanery. As we started picking music and going through the process of choreographing our first routine, everything was still feeling disjointed and I was struggling to see how this all works (I’m a visual learner; I can read the words but doing things makes more sense). I kept hearing about ‘flow’ and that the signs were designed for ‘flow’. Ok, whatever, not sure what that means yet.
As Julie was suggesting adding a move, it dawned on me what ‘flow’ was referring to. The individual signs have skills on them that allow the dog to continue their movement or ‘flow’ to the next movement. Other sports have sits and pivots that require the dog to halt all forward motion, interrupting the ‘flow’.
The skills I learned in Rally-FrEe have set me and Holly up for success to move from one skill to another in a Musical Freestyle routine!
By learning one skill and not having to focus on the entire routine, I now have a pocket full of skills ready to use that allow my dog to continue her forward motion, creating a fluid routine!”
This is a fabulous epiphany and a huge reason that Rally-FrEe exists! After reading about this, we asked Teresa for a few more tidbits.
Tell us about Holly!
Holly is a 3.5 year old Belgian Malinois. Her favorite reward is almost any food, and running! She loves to run in big laps! She is my only dog currently and we have been working on strengthening our relationship. She is cuddly, independent, curious, and full of adventure!
Any updates since you last wrote this?
I just finished filming my second entry for Rally-FrEe. Pieces are starting to come together. Having previously competed in AKC obedience and rally where all order and movement is designed by the judge, the free choice signs were very foreign to me. My first entry, I chose free choice skills that I was confident we could do. This time, I thought about the signs before and after and how the skill would flow between them. It looked more fluid.
If you could give others who are thinking about or just starting their own first routines any advice, what would it be?
- Have fun!
- Enjoy the process (I’m still in the process).
- Learn all the skills, one at a time.