Organized by The Kennel Club UK, the annual Crufts Dog Show brings thousands of dogs and their people together to participate in a variety of competitions. The dogs take on agility courses, perform routines set to music, demonstrate their obedience skills, and more.
One particular performance from the 2022 event has people really talking: A Chihuahua from Switzerland danced the most elegant duet with his handler set to Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” in the Heelwork to Music competition.
A Swan Lake Performance To Remember
For the Heelwork to Music (HTM) competition, participants come up with dance routines for their dogs. The routine must include the eight “prescribed heelwork positions” and can last up to four minutes.
For their “Swan Lake” performance, handler Karin Baumann dressed in a white tutu with a tight ballet bun, while Joya the Chihuahua sported his natural brown and white fur color. Perfectly in sync, the duo strutted and pranced around the arena between white and black swan props (the original ballet is about a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse.)
With the passion emotional music like Tchaikovsky’s requires, Joya danced with a wagging tail and climbed onto his handler to pose. Per the rules of the HTM competition, the dog trotted at Baumann’s heels “for at least two-thirds” of the routine and freestyled for the remaining third. Clearly, a lot of work went into this.
Their remarkable choreography could rival any ballet’s performance of “Swan Lake.” At the very least, Joya is the cutest little dancer to pull off the routine.
Watch a snippet of Baumann and Joya’s elegant, evocative dance routine below. You can also learn more about the Heelwork to Music competition here.
Joya’s Moves Go Viral
Sadly, the two didn’t end up winning a medal with their crowd-pleasing “Swan Lake” performance. As a nice consolation, however, Joya and Baumann’s routine has been making the internet rounds.
The dance went viral after user @Ariadne_Reviews tweeted a short clip of it. That tweet ended up racking up over 87,000 likes and 15,600 retweets. It’s one of those wholesome viral videos you didn’t know you needed until you see it.
Fans chimed in to support both Baumann and Joya, despite them being robbed of a win:
“This woman is SO excited and happy that she gets to combine two things she loves, dogs and ballet. Love this for her.” – @DrJessicaLanger via Twitter
“I would have for sure shed a tear if I was in attendance.” – @ScumbagAdjacent via Twitter
“Saw you on Crufts, you had me in tears. I have a little chihuahua myself, they are wonderful dogs.” – Louise Gillam via YouTube
To be fair to the 2022 HTM winners, their dance to “It’s A Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie was pretty darn impressive too.