And here is Team Switzerland’s introduction:



First there’s nothing
But a slow glowing dream…

Well, I hear the music
I close my eyes, feel the rhythm wrap around, and take a hold of my heart…

What a feeling,
Being is believing I can have it all,
Now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion and make it happen
Pictures come alive
You can dance right through your life.

(from “What a Feeling”, Flashdance)

These expressive and unforgettable song-verses could stand as the credo for all handlers dancing with their beloved and talented dogs, could it not? It certainly is the credo of DDI (Dog Dance International), the umbrella organization of which Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and Italy are members, and by which we have been selected to compete at the this year’s OEC in Burgum.

We – the OEC-team-members – are all honoured, proud and thrilled to bits to represent Switzerland at the Open European Championship 2013, this memorable HTM and Freestyle-event hosted by our dear Dutch friends. We also like to thank them for the organization of the event and provision of the venue, which is a hugh workload for all involved. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you!

We are all looking forward to seeing all the crème-de-la-crème handlers with their dogs from all Europe performing life :

What a feeling: wonderful pictures come alive!

We wish our fellow team members and all OEC competitors good luck and a wonderful and unforgetable time in Burgum!!!

Let’s take our passion and make it happen, Let’s dance right through our life!!


Marianne Rensch (Team leader)


My name ist Marianne Rensch, and the dog I am starting with in the OEC freestyle competition is called Yellow, breeding name “Mose di Villa Federici a Lagotto Romagnolo”. He is 7 years old.

Yellow was my very first dog. I had always dreamt of having a Lagotto, and then one day Yellow unexpectedly popped into my life, at the age of 1 year. At the beginning, he was an oversensitive and shy boy, but thanks to our regular training sessions he soon gained confidence and self-esteem. We gradually built up the training and started competing in HTM/Freestyle. Now, we are both addicted to this sport!

I share my life with another Lagotto named Oli (“Beyaz del tesoro d’oro”), 2.5 years old. Oli is the complete opposite to Yellow: hyperactive at work and – mildly put – somewhat challenging in daily dealings. However, after hard work and a lot of patience, he’s now been quite successful competing in the beginners freestyle class: So Oli is quite a promising fellow!

Last year Yellow and I had the honour to be selected as the reserve team for the OEC 2012 in Prague, freestyle competition. I’m thrilled and excited to have qualified this year to be an actively participating member of the Swiss Team for the OEC in Holland. Yellow and I will be competing in freestyle. Moreover, I was selected to be the team leader, which is a great honour, and responsability.

I’m looking forward to an amazing event in Burgum and hope you all will have a great time preparing and performing your routines!

Being is believing I can have it all, 
Now I’m dancing for my life

Katharina von Dach (INDIVIDUAL HTM)


My name is Katharina von Dach. Together with my Border Collie bitch Pyla, I have the honour to represent Switzerland at this year’s Open European Championship in Burgum. We’ll start at the HTM competition.

Pyla is a rescue dog and I adopted her at the age of 4 years. She was immediately crazy about HTM/Freestyle!

I also have 2 other dogs. Lucky, my Border Collie dog is 15 years old. He taught Pyla a lot about dancing, positions and tricks, on which she immediately and enthusiastically picked up. Pyla, for her part, functions as a modell for Luni, my youngest Border Collie bitch, 2 years old. She has just started HTM/Freestyle training and loves it to bits.

Since 2002, Pyla and I have competed at many national and international championships, and dancing together is still our passion, either in the ring or during our training sessions.

Next to working together, my dogs and I love to romp around on beaches or sand-dunes and have a dip, if it’s not too cold.

Looking forward to meeting you all at the end of September and good luck to all handlers and dogs!!

What a feeling,
Being is believing I can have it all!

Monika Ballerini (Freestyle)

monika1 monika2

I live with my husband Rico and dear family – 3 children, 4 dogs and 2 cats – in the center of Switzerland.

I run a dog training center and love teaching a variety of training seminars and workshops. With my 4 dogs I train and compete – quite successfully – in the disciplines search and rescue dog, companion dog, obedience and HTM/freestyle.

Cassy – my Border Collie bitch – is a fun dog to be with: she’s good-hearted, charming and always high spirited. Although beeing a “Grey Panther” of 10 1/2 years, she’s still got the enthusiasm of a puppy! I’m really looking forward to dancing and competing with her in Burgum. One just has to love her! Cassy is an exceptionally talented dog who has won many awards on the highest level: gold at the Swiss Championship in obedience 2 years ago and before that the 5th place at the World Championship in obedience in Salzburg. She has also competed with very good results at other World Championships in obedience and national and international HTM/freestyle events.

Cassy and her mate Amari (a Papillon dog) are truely dream dancing partners. As a trio, we have danced together through quite a few competitions and shows and the public loved our trio performances to bits: My dogs really make you laugh!

But our small Amari is also a big solo dancer, and I have the honour to performe with him as well in Burgum. On his breeding certificate it is clearly stated that he is a Papillon, 7 years old. However, in my eyes he’s got a Border Collie’s mind and soul. He loves it to be at the center of attention, self-confident and proud. But then, all of a sudden, like a light feather in a puff of wind, he hoveres away, his head in the clouds – and you have trouble to catch his attention again. Having said that, he is the top Papillon at the moment: This little chap is the first Papillon ever so far to have qualified for two World Championships in obedience: in 2011 in Paris and 2012 in Salzburg. These were for me very emotional moments, full of pride!

Now I’m full of excited anticipation for Burgum and can’t wait to see all these wonderful performanes and to get to know new teams – it’s a dream come true!

I wish all participating teams good luck!! We from the Swiss team will give our best in order to touch/delight Burgum’s hearts, just as the Dutch tulips touch/delight the hearts of so many people around the world.

Take your passion and make it happen!

Yvonne Belin (Freestyle)


My name is Yvonne Belin, born in Stockholm 19 ….. 😉 However, I have been living in Lucerne, Switzerland for many years. I’m still a Swedish citizen, so in my chest 2 hearts beat , one for Sweden and one for Switzerland.

Along with my “assistant” Alice, I work – as an university teacher in Lugano (southern part of Switzerland), where we have our second home. I am married to Kazuto Kagiyama (Japanese citizen) who has also become incurably infected with the freestyle bacillus. He supports us wherever he can and serves as our coach, photographer and moral assistance 😉

Alice Jewel del Mulino Prudenza Brains ‘n Beauty (5 years old bitch) and I started training canine freestyle 3 years ago, to start with to improve our mutual collaboration and communication (in one word = obedience 😉 ). I myself have always loved music and jazz-dance, so this type of sport suited me very well. We both soon became real enthusiasts about this type of training with a twist. For the handler just as much as for the dog it is a competitive sport, but with so much fun! Once you have discovered the creative side of this trendy sport you become addicted to HTM/freestyle. My dog and I got a kick out of it very soon, and Alice turned out to be a real talent. After only one year training we scored very well at different national and international championships.

Moreover, we have a 17 months old border collie bitch named Lisa. Although she is from the same breed (“Brains ‘n Beauty”), she is the pure opposite of Alice. She is wild, impatient, rubust, overconfident, strong willed, a bundle of fun and….. a source of regular nervous breakdowns ….. At these nerve cracking moments, we call her “Pokémon” 😉 However, she is incredibly intelligent and charming: she’ll twist you round her finger and you won’t know it!!

I have only just started to train freestyle with her and she’s already showing great enthusiasm for the sport and a promising talent.

To me canine freestyle is a sport which creates a wonderful partnership and strong bond between the handler and his dog. It’s a unique combination of music, dance, stage performance and dog training. It’s just magical moment when you realise that your dog all of a sudden understands what you want him to do, when you notice that your both’s movements are coordinate, harmonious and pleasing to watch: That’s the moment when true communication between two distinct beeings becomes visible.

I close my eyes, feel the rhythm wrap around,
And take a hold of my heart…

Yvonne Reinli (Reserve Freestyle)


Joyce, my Sheltie bitch, is 7 years old and the oldest of a pack of 6. HTM/Freestyle and agility are our passions. Everyday Joyce reveals herself as a real challenge, bliss and little bundle of fun during our daily work sessions. In agility we have competed quite successfully so far and last year we achieved our greatest success in Denmark where we won the Danjacup for Switzerland. But we were also part of the winning teams at the International Sheltie-Championship in Austria in and 2011 and in Italy in 2012.

HTM/Freestyle gives us a change: Here we can live up and enjoy harmony and precision work, in contrast to speed, balance and hectic pace in agility .

Everyday I look forward to working with my wonderful and beloved dogs who charm me everyday anew with their kind and warm characters.

We are looking forward to the trip to Holland and we are going to give our best to representing Switzerland as the reserve team.

Good look to all handlers!!!

Let’s Flashdance!!

*** The Swiss team regrets very much the death of Yoyce, the beloved dog of Yvonne Reinli. We are all very touched that Yoyce died unexpectedly in August. Yoyce was a wonderful ,cheerful dog and a very enthusiastic dancer.


Christine Szakacs

chrois2 chris1

(OEC 2012 and 2013 Swiss-team-coach, artistic supervisor and dog trainer, our moral support and always superbly elegant guardian angel)

As Christine puts it, HTM/freestyle is for her a feeling of sheer bliss: The perfect blend of harmonie between the handler and his dog and artistic expression to music.

We love Dog Dance!


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