The annual Crufts Dog Show, hosted by The Kennel Club UK, attracts thousands of dogs and their owners to compete in a variety of events. The dogs compete in agility courses, perform choreographed routines, show off their obedience skills, and more.
People are talking about a Chihuahua from Switzerland who danced the most graceful duet with his handler set to Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” in the Heelwork to Music competition at the 2022 event.
Participants in the Heelwork to Music (HTM) competition create dancing routines for their dogs. The program can last up to four minutes and must contain the eight “approved heelwork positions.”
Karin Baumann wore a white tutu with a tight ballerina bun for their “Swan Lake” performance, while Joya the Chihuahua wore his natural brown and white fur color. The duet strutted and pranced across the arena, perfectly in time, between white and black swan props (the original ballet is about a princess cursed into a swan by an evil sorcerer).
Joya danced with a wagging tail and climbed onto his handler to pose with the passion and emotion that Tchaikovsky’s music demands. The dog trotted at Baumann’s heels “for at least two-thirds” of the performance, then freestyled for the final third, according to HTM guidelines. There was a lot of effort put into this.
Their incredible choreography rivals any “Swan Lake” performance by a ballet company. Joya is, at the very least, the cutest young dancer to perform the routine.
Below is a video of Baumann and Joya doing a beautiful and emotive dance routine.