20 Dancing Dogs And Their Partners

Dance like no one (other than your dog) is watching.

Bego Anton has photographed dog owners across the United States who love to dance with their dogs and enter competitions.

Carrie & Lyric, Salem, Connecticut

Carrie and Lyric in their garden after practising their Austin Powers routine. Carrie has been dancing with her five dogs for many years. When she met her boyfriend, she told him her dogs would always come first and that he would be second. Bego Anton

Anton’s photo series Chachacha focuses on the relationship between humans and animals. “I ended up watching a video on YouTube with Carolyn Scott and [her dog] Rocky dancing to a Grease song,” he tells BuzzFeed. “I was captivated and decided to focus exclusively on musical canine freestyle”.

The photographer spent time with each subject to learn more about the canine dancing culture. Through this, he realised how much the owners loved their pets and treated them like members of their family. “I think I’ve found a sport where humans and animals are at the same level,” Anton says. “If [the dance move] can’t be done without the dog in the same way, then it can’t be done without the human.”

Evelyn & Cowboy, Wardensville, West Virginia

Evelyn and Cowboy in their dancing outfits after practising their freestyle routine. Evelyn is a farmer and sheep breeder and even though she has many dogs, she dances only with Cowboy. Doing freestyle has made Cowboy her most special dog. Bego Anton

Kathi & Maisy, Boyce, Virginia

Kathi and Maisy in their garden after practising their “Swinging on a Star” routine. Kathi usually brings a CD player to her garden, where she can train with her two dogs, Maisy and Maggie. Bego Anton

Sandy & Bliss and Jerry & Diva, Queen Creeks, Arizona

Sandy and Jerry have been dancing together with their dogs for two years. They got a Musical Freestyle Novice Pairs title through the World Canine Freestyle Organization doing their “Buffalo Gals” routine. Bego Anton

Ellen & Bailey, West Hartford, Connecticut

Ellen and Bailey in their dancing clothes, performing a move from their “Stars and Stripes Forever” routine. Ellen travels all around the world to attend lessons from the best freestylers. Bego Anton

“One of my favourites parts was when they dance choreography from the beginning to the end so I could record it for the documentary I’m working on,” Anton tells BuzzFeed. “It was so special that they were doing it just for me.”

Barb & Rex, Wardensville, West Virginia

Barbara found Rex in a remote road in the middle of the night while she was driving her car. Not only do they compete in freestyle competitions but they also dance at rescue events and fundraisers. Bego Anton

Nan & Gordon, Washington, DC

Nan and Gordon after a dance training class at the Canine Training Association. Bego Anton

Ann & McGee, Wardensville, West Virginia

Ann and McGee wearing their dancing clothes at a training class. They have only been doing freestyle for a few months. Bego Anton

“It’s a very demanding sport because the training is very long,” says Anton. “You need a lot of time to prepare the choreographies and they practise at their homes, so many of them don’t have enough space and need to practise the choreographies in parts. They train using tricks and sound.”

Laurie & Timber, Willington, Connecticut

Bego Anton

Barb & Rex, Wardensville, West Virginia

Barbara says Rex keeps her company, sleeps in her bed, and goes with her everywhere – but mostly, he is her partner. Bego Anton

Barbara & Rambo, Quakerton, Pennsylvania

Barbara and Rambo on the path that leads to their home. Rambo died a few months after the picture was taken, during a freestyle competition. Some freestylers feel unable to continue practising the sport after their partner dies. Bego Anton

Frances & Candy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Frances has been doing freestyle for many years and is a very high-level freestyler. She lost her last dog in 2014 and it was devastating, but she decided to go on. Bego Anton

Stephanie & Charleston, Phoenix, Arizona

One of Stephanie and Charleston’s moves from their “In the Mood” routine. Stephanie feels a deep love for her English mastiff and even if she is perfectly aware that Charleston is not a human, she loves him as if he were her own child. Bego Anton

Mary Aynn & Garden, Phoenix, Arizona

Mary Aynn and Garden practising some moves in their garden. Mary Aynn has four dogs, all of the same breed. She thinks dogs might have a special connection with God that means they never run out of love. Bego Anton

Julia & Sparkle, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Julia and Sparkle perform the last move of their “The Syncopated Clock” routine. Bego Anton

“One of the most special things about being a photographer is that it gives you the key to enter some amazing worlds,” says Anton. “This was one of these worlds.”

























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Laura Gallant is a staff photographer at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
 
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