RA610: Creating a Musical Freestyle Routine

Instructor: Julie Flanery

Course Details

This course is designed for those who have never created a freestyle routine or who struggle with putting a routine together. We’ll go over music selection, sequencing behaviors, musicality, use of transitions, handler interpretation, creating meaningful verbal cues, show attire, freestyle vs heelwork to music, what judges are looking for and more!  There are several organizations that convey musical freestyle titles, and this course will help you be successful in any of them! 

Some may choose to use the course as a catalyst to create a routine with a single piece of music through out the six weeks. Others may choose to create short sequences with different pieces of music and explore the possibilities!  Either way, you are sure to be inspired no matter what level you register for!


There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

Registration will start at 12:00noon PDT.


This syllabus is a general outline. Some topics will cover multiple weeks or over-lap with other week's curriuculum. Creating a musical freestyle routine is a creative process and is not always linear. Flexibility is an asset and change is a constant in the creation of a one-of-a-kind freestyle routine.


Wk 1:

Considerations and an Overview of the Process

Assessing transition behaviors

Freestyle or Heelwork?

Choosing Music


Wk 2:

Choreography: Getting Started

Getting it on Paper

Musicality and Sequencing

Opening and Closing Poses


Wk 3 and 4:


Punctuation Points!

Transitions and Flow

Mapping it out

Costume Considerations

Integrating Props

Scoring Considerations


Wk 5:

Handler Interpretation

Timing of cues

Over-lapping sequences

Choreography Cues


Wk 6:

Training, Practice, or Rehearsal?

Back Chaining

Ring Preparation

Reinforcement vs Stamina

Prerequisites and Equipment

RA550 Transitions and Flow (at any level) is a pre-requisite for gold level dog and handler teams. Teams should be able to perform primary transition behaviors of spins, circles and passing through the handler's legs. Gold level teams should also have a few addtional behaviors they may want to incorporate into a routine. These do not need to be complex or difficult behaviors, but they should be fairly fluent and the dog should be responsive to the cues.  Verbal cues are preferred but it's fine if the dog needs some aid with slight hand cues or body prompts.  

With little exception, this course is not about teaching new moves and behaviors, but using existing behaviors or behaviors that are far enough along in the training process that they can be included in the choreography, or sequenced together with other behaviors.

Students will need access to a music player with speakers or the ability to project sound (The instructor and fellow students need to hear the music. Players that only use earbuds will not be appropriate unless connected to speakers). Students will also be presenting possible music choices so should have access to either an online music library, or personal CD music library.

While it is not always necessary to have a large working area, at least a room sized area will be needed to be able to work sequences. Larger areas will be beneficial. Working areas may be indoors or outdoors.  

Gold level students will need the ability to video their exercises and upload to YouTube, to be able to submit video for coaching.


Course Testimonials

Brand New Course June 2016

Please refer to the instructor bio pages for sample testimonials from other courses they have taught.