Dancing Greyhound History (Rev: Jan 2011)
Dancing Greyhound history stretched across many states and several countries. In 1978 it began as the all-breed Panama Canal Kennel Chapter Drill Team in Central America. In 1996 it was reborn as The Dancing Greyhound Drill Team covering North America. In 2003 it became The Dancing Greyhound Comedy Show. In 2007 it became The Singing and Dancing Greyhound Musical Comedy Review, complete with music to dance by. In 2011, it ceased. Whatever it was, it was the only one in the world. The Girls did some obedience moves, free-style dancing, retrieving, leaping and jumps. But, also included and never predictable, were the improvisations they chose on the spur of the moment.
This was a Greyhound show, run by Greyhounds. From the beginning, The Dancing Greyhounds were a full-time, owner-funded, unsponsored, not-for-profit, volunteer effort. It supported Greyhound adoption and all-breed education, with a wide variety of other public services included. The Team accepted invitations September through May. The winter months were spent servicing the Southeast; the summer months, they work campinged in the cool mountains of Colorado to make gas bux. The Greys helped with trail patrol.
Kathleen and Gil Gilley, captives of the Dancing Greyhounds, were native-born Zonians, raised in the Panama Canal Zone. Both were board members of the Club Canino de Panama and the Panama Canal Kennel Chapter. Gil was the Training Director for both clubs. Kathleen was the Registrar for all pure-bred dogs born in that country, a licensed obedience instructor and a judge.
(See http://www.clubcaninopanama.com/cursos de adiestramiento.html
All the dogs at the bottom of the page were ours except for Marlene’s Miniature Schnauzer.)
The Gilleys remained in the Panama Canal Area until the political situation became difficult. Gil retired in 1989 and North America became their new location.
Upon arrival in the United States, they bought a motorhome to look around this huge new continent. In fact, the Gilley Greyhounds never knew any residence other than a motorhome. Gil and Kathleen returned to their involvement with dogs by giving performances and seminars on traveling with canine companions to recreational vehicle groups. For nine years Kathleen wrote a monthly dog column for a major motorhome travel club. The Gilleys developed programs to promote responsible dog ownership for schools and other civic groups in addition to the shows. Greyhounds have been their dedicated breed since 1992.
The Team did therapy dog activities and dog safety programs for libraries and elementary schools. They accepted any kind of invitation as long as it was not anti-racing or animal-radical connected. We did not charge for our mission; it was what we were doing with our retirement. (See the History Page for list of accomplishments.)
The Dancing Greyhounds passed the half-million mile mark. They performed in 32 states, three Canadian provinces and at 17 tracks. There were 16 Grey members over the years. The Team started with three but usually had six performers.