Jane Savoie and Clifton Sepulveda. Photo by Phelps Media Group.
Wellington, Fla. – March 6, 2017 – American Equestrians Got Talent (AEGT) Week IX, sponsored by On Course Consignment, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at the Grande Ballroom at 12150 Forest Hill Boulevard, directly behind the town hall. Week IX will include a number of dance performances, including ballroom, ballet, tap and precision dance teams.
Jane Savoie has been a member of the United States Dressage Team and competed internationally. She was the reserve rider for the Bronze medal winning Olympic Dressage Team in Barcelona, Spain and has won nine Horse of the Year awards and three National Freestyle Championships. Savoie was the 1996 and 2004 dressage coach for the Canadian Eventing Team at the Atlanta and Athens Games. She also coached several top dressage and eventing riders in their preparations for the 2000 Games and helped rider Susan Blinks secure a bronze medal for the U.S. Dressage Team. Savoie is also a best-selling author.
Ballroom dancing and dressage have similarities. Both pursuits require athleticism and precision Savoie began ballroom dancing five years ago and now competes. She says that each dance has a particular character and that it is like acting. “Waltz is very dreamy, and foxtrot is kind of cheeky, and rhumba is very sexy and sensual,” she said. “Every dance has a character, so you not only have to connect with your partner but you have to connect with the audience while showing the character of the dance with your attitude and your face.”
The AEGT audience will get a treat as Savoie and her partner and other dance acts vie for a spot at the AEGT Finale scheduled for March 19 at the Global Dressage stadium. That talented contestant will earn the grand prize of $10,000. Robert Dover, chef d’equipe of the U.S. Dressage Team, created AEGT as a way to raise funds for U.S. Equestrian High Performance Programs. AEGT showcases the talents of anyone associated with the equestrian community in South Florida and raises much-needed funds for the international equestrian disciplines. This will be the final AEGT audition event and all the finalists will be announced, including Dover’s two wild card picks.
“This night of dance will make your heart feel good and your toes start tapping,” Dover said.
For AEGT Week IX, sponsored by On Course Consignment, the celebrity judges include Ben Schultz, Sherry Tautiva, Chris and Rob Desino and P. J. Rizvi.
Ben Schultz is a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the world’s most important contemporary dance company. Martha Graham and her company forever altered the scope of the art form and inspired generations of choreographers. Schultz joined the Company in 2009 and dances leading roles including King Hades in Clytemnestra and Jason in Cave of the Heart. He premiered Martha Graham’s work in Russia performing Errand into the Maze with prima ballerina Diana Vishneva. Earlier dance credits include the Tony Award® winning Blast, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, and Hannah Kahn Contemporary Dance. Schultz has served as faculty and resident choreographer for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Schultz recently starred in the world premiere of AXE, a work created by Mats Ek for the Company.
Sherry Tautiva is a ballroom dancer, coach and choreographer. Tautiva won a number of dance competitions, including the Eastern United States, the Middle United States, and the California Star Ball Championships and the title of Ohio Star Ball Champion (of PBS television’s Championship Ballroom Series). She reached the finals of both the USBC (US Open to the World Dancesport Championships) and La Classique du Quebec (Canadian Open Championships). Culminating her career, she won the title of North American Latin Dance Champion. She also performed as lead dancer for Kenny Vance Videos shown on MTV.
Tautiva coached and choreographed for Olympic and World Figure Skaters, including the National Champions of France, Poland, Russia and the United States, to name a few. Many of her dance students have gone on to perform on Broadway, TV and to compete and teach all over the world.
Chris and Rob Desino are real estate professionals and founders of Ocala Horse Properties and Wellington Equestrian Realty. They competed in the hunters and rowing during their youth and were U.S. National Rowing champions and members of the U.S. National Rowing Team. They owned a successful chain of restaurants in New York and later pursued their passion of riding and horse property real estate in Florida. The Desino twins compete in the jumpers and are notable sponsors of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Adequan® Global Dressage Festival and other shows around the country.
P. J. Rizvi is a Grand Prix dressage rider and AEGT’s honorary chair.
Contestants contact Robert Dover at Rdover2@aol.com for your moment in the spotlight.