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from the CFF Regulations for Freestyle Competition

Canine Freestyle is a choreographed performance with music, illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team.

The objective of Freestyle is to present the dog to his best advantage in a creative and artistic manner. A Freestyle presentation is always accompanied by music selected to suit the rhythms of the dog. Freestyle should demonstrate, with appropriate music, the grace, beauty and intelligence of the dog working in harmony with the handler. A Freestyle presentation should clearly show the dog's athleticism, attentiveness, flexibility and training. All handler movements should complement and enhance the dog's movements. Teamwork is essential.

Structure of a Freestyle Performance
The structure of a Freestyle performance is a balance of technical and artistic/choreographic elements presented in a creative manner.

The foundations for the technical aspects of a Freestyle presentation are heel and front positions. All other movements are relative to these two positions. However, Freestyle should not look like an obedience heeling pattern which has been extended and set to music.

The foundations for the artistic aspects of a Freestyle presentation are movement, rhythm, space and direction. The power of choreography is in the combination of movements and how those movements are developed with the music to create a design in space which is visually pleasing.

The Definition of Freestyle is a guide in developing movement phrases that become the basis for choreography. Phrases are combinations of movements. Words such as athleticism, bond and flexibility provide the incentive or motivation to develop phrases which will maximize the dog's strengths and minimize his weaknesses. A movement phrase is like a sentence. Develop phrases like a paragraph containing one theme. The themes unite into the final product, which in Freestyle is the total choreographic design. Allow the structure of the music to guide the development of movement, phrases and themes.

The bond between the dog and handler should be clearly apparent. Both the dog and handler should be attentive and willing partners, intangibly linked whether working together or apart. The dog should always demonstrate enthusiasm, joy, willingness and rapport with the handler. The handler's movement should be smooth, natural and enhance the dog's movement. The total picture should be one of harmonious balance.

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