On the path to making a difference, these dancing dogs take the lead
The curtains part, the spotlight is on, and the dogs take to the stage. Lithe, elegant, and graceful? Not these entertainers. But with tails wagging and paws tapping, they certainly are charming. Affectionate border collies and energetic Jack Russels share the podium, twirling around and leaping into the air. Their antics are raising the roof – and much-needed funds – to improve the lives of their fellow canines.
Brigitte Reeve-Taylor is the mastermind behind the spectacle. In 2012, she rescued a puppy off the highway and came face to face with the suffering stray dogs experience. An established dancer and choreographer, Reeve-Taylor decided to change their situation by using her skills and contacts in show business. She founded Dancers LOVE Dogs to raise money for animal sterilisation – one of the most vital measures to prevent the increasing number of neglected strays.
With the participation of renowned performers, Reeve-Taylor hosts galas across the country. The dancers are joined on stage by their canine friends – the real stars of the show. “It’s quite a long process to get the dogs to do those tricks,” Reeve-Taylor explains. Trainers work on improving the agility of the animals first. To help them learn the routine, they’re offered treats. “Everyone has so much fun,” Reeve-Taylor says.
With the good times have come even better results. She’s raised R2.8 million through these shows, which has allowed the organisation to sterilise over 12 100 animals. “People don’t realise that their talents can be used for a bigger cause,” Reeve-Taylor says. Whether you have two left feet, or four furry ones, you always have the potential to give back.