Come dancing and bring your dog too

Angela Richens with Tia and Charlie

Angela Richens with Tia and Charlie Buy this photo

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @EmmaDunnn

A DOG dancing instructor who found fame on Britain’s Got Talent is inviting pooches to try their paws on the dancefloor.

Angela Richens, of Walcot, who runs Swindon Dog Dancing School, is holding workshops for new members next week in the hope of finding more talent.

The 66-year-old found national fame in May 2011 when she and her late dog, Teddy, danced their way into the semi-final of the ITV talent show with a performance to Knees Up Mother Brown.

Angela, who has now started entering competitions with her new poodle, Charlie, said: “It’s fun because your are playing and having a good time with your dog. They love it and it’s a good way to keep fit. We do not usually advertise for new members at this time of year but we do not have that high a number of members, our club rent has increased, and we havenot had any enquiries for demonstrations recently.

“Also, with the current interest in dog dancing in the That Dog Can Dance programme on Boxing Day and Famous Animals, with more dancing dogs, on television last week it seems a perfect time to hold more beginner introduction sessions.”

Potential members are invited to try a free introduction session on January 9 at 3pm, January 11 at 6pm or January 12 at 2pm in St Andrews Church hall in Raleigh Avenue.

People who enjoy the introduction sessions will be invited to take part in the school’s beginner class on Friday evenings.

“Ideally the dogs will already have some basic obedience,” said Angela.

“They need to be happy, well-socialised dogs and the owner needs to be able to keep their dog with them.”

The school teaches people and their dogs how to do a variety of moves, including twists, spins and weaving. Angela said it takes about a year to be ready to compete.

Angela’s dog, Teddy, who died in December 2011, had about 500 rosettes from competitions.

“When we first got him he was just going to be a pet,” she said.

“We did obedience with him mainly trying to get him to walk on a lead and we later started agility classes.

“He started dancing at home when he did a couple of little tricks, little twirls, bits and pieces.”

Swindon Dog Dancing School is featured in a film by an independent film producer, Donna Lipowitz. It will be entered in to as many as 100 film festivals this year.

For more information about the sessions email angela.richens@ntlworld.com.

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