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Written by Gaea Mitchel

The team of Itchie and Elaine is a joy to watch, and exemplifies the harmony and image of one so treasured by CFF. Elaine’s fluid interpretation of the music, and Itchie’s absolute attention and responsiveness, have again raised the bar in our sport.

From the day in 1996 when Elaine found a ragged, feral pup under the portable classroom at her school, the bond has grown and flourished. I met Itchie (Japanese for Number One) in 2002, when Elaine organized the first CFF seminar in Florida. Beautifully trained and obviously eager to work with her handler, she nonetheless had a painful reluctance to interact with any of the other participants, seeming to be constantly wary of some danger. Over the years that our guild has grown, so has Itchie’s confidence blossomed, the music and the dance building a presence that makes her glow.  Through Elaine’s many classes and demos Itchie has become free to express herself, and she stands tall now as she greets her friends, demanding their attention and adoration. The transformation has been a joy to watch, as they continue to delight us with their growth along their creative path.


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