Setting the stage –
The saga begins with Judy Gamet, Bachelor of Science in Dance Education from Western Michigan University. Her love of teaching dance along with her interest in kinesiology (the science of human movement) led her to creating Motion Dynamics, a dance and aerobics business in Northern California. Judy authored “The Theory of Motion Dynamics as it applies to Biophysics©” She spent most of her early dance teaching career developing injury free aerobics programs and developed a curriculum of aerobic dance for grades K-12 called “Motion Dynamics in the Schools”.
Cross fade to home location –
Judy has shared her life with rottweilers for over twenty years. Being a responsible dog parent, Judy began studying obedience training and various dog sports. Her goal to move her dance students toward their potential carried over into her life with her dogs
Tragedy strikes –
Many years of dancing had taken its toll on Judy’s body, resulting in a fractured vertebra. Although she rehabilitated to the point of become a strong performer once again, a car accident nearly destroyed her ability to teach dance or to perform.
Enter Bella –
After losing both of her elderly rottweilers, Bella appears, obese, barely able to walk, dysplastic, and with an artificial hip. The two females headed out on a mission to regain their lives and move forward. Bella, as unlikely as it may seem, wanted to dance. Judy, having spent most of her life reconditioning human bodies through dance could certainly do the same for her beloved Bella. Thus, Dogs Can Dance™ was born.
Fast forward to today –
Bella continued to teach side by side with Judy until she passed away at age 14. The rest of Judy’s “family” continue to be her teaching and performing partners. They appear in her programs and manuals. Anabelle appears with Judy in the movie Doggie Boogie, of which Judy served as the Dog Dance Choreographer. Judy continues her coaching worldwide through her workshops and Instructional Manuals, including programs for those who desire to teach the sport of canine freestyle. Today her family and team partners bring you the opportunity to earn titles in a non-competitive setting, for all dogs of all ages through the Dogs Can Dance Challenge®.
Meadowood's Bella Mayhaus, CGC, is my partner in developing Dogs Can Dance. Bella is a 14 year old rottweiler who continues to be my inspiration. Despite crippling physical limitations, Bella proves just how beneficial dance for dogs can be.
Bella began life with a diagnosis of a severe case of hip dysplasia. At 8 months old, Bella had the better of the two hips replaced. At 6-1/2 years old, and over weight, Bella began a diet and light daily exercise. Each day she would walk anywhere from 1/4 or 1/2 of a mile. Her food intake was slightly reduced and broken into 2 meals instead of 1. Bella successfully lost 1.5 pounds per week for a total of over 20 pounds. Despite the weight loss, her skin sagged and she needed toning and strengthening. At 7 1/2 Belle developed painful arthritis in her fore leg causing a limp. At that point, I changed her diet to only fresh human grade food. This allowed her to discontinue all pain medication and begin her new career of dancing.
Dancing several days a week and walking the remaining days allowed Bella to build up her strength and endurance to anywhere from 1 to 1-1/2 mile walks several times a week. At the time this web site was developed, Belle is dancing 2 days a week, warm water swimming several days a week, and walking the remaining days to further increase her muscle tone. From the dancing, Bella's figure has tightened up, she maintains her new weight easily, and looks half her age. It is Bella's "job" at Dogs Can Dance to make the other dogs feel comfortable and to demonstrate all of the moves with me. The combination of Dogs and Dance has opened up a whole new, exciting adventure for both Bella and myself.
The saga of Judy and Bella continues…