Dance Class

Ideally our interactions with animals is a dance.

When we first learn a dance, our teacher will teach us the steps, perhaps one at a time. “1 and 2 and 3 and… spin! 1 and 2 and 3 and side step to the left!” But eventually, you start to get a feel for it and the teacher doesn’t have to keep telling you what to do next. When he (or she) lifts up his hand, you know to spin underneath it and so on. When he steps to the left, so do you. Then you get more and more advanced – you begin to understand it. You begin to form the correct muscles (and posture that comes along with that) to do even more moves and you can dance for longer amounts of time.

It is like this with animals, too. First I have to remind them what to do. They learn how to move when I move. When to stop moving. As a team, you and your animal become more and more connected and there are moments where you can almost read eachother’s minds! But you’re not – you just know the body of the other so well that they just have to shift their weight and you know what you should do.

I like viewing training as a dance, because it makes it very hard to get frustrated or angry with slow progress. You can’t just get mad at a dance partner! Each of you has to do your part and not get in the way of the other. So if something is going wrong, it makes you look and see if you’re a being a good “dance partner”.

Unknown photographer.

Unknown photographer.

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