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Posts Tagged ‘Moshi’

caesars-palace

 

It started as many adventures do at a certain point in life: with a Bucket List.

“I promised myself that one day I’d spend a week as a showgirl in Las Vegas,” says TSB author, motivational speaker, dressage coach, and former Olympic dressage alternate Jane Savoie. “I’d kick my legs like nobody’s business and wear a plume on my head instead of a helmet.”

A wild, pie-in-the-sky, pipe dream of a Bucket List item for some, perhaps, but Jane has developed a vast network of contacts via her popular Dressage Mentor site (www.DressageMentor.com). And one such connection offered her the chance of a lifetime: to don that fairytale plume and kick her heels up (instead of insisting they stay down) at Caesars Palace, a glittering resort known for hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment.

“And on top of that,” says Jane, “someone one-upped my showgirl goals and planted an even crazier idea in my head—I should (of course!) be on Dancing with the Stars! I don’t know whether it made things better or worse that I again knew someone through my Dressage Mentor network who made this new ‘goal’ actually remotely possible!

“It was about this time—between daydreaming about Caesars Palace and imagining myself on Prime Time Television—that I figured I better learn how to dance.”

 

TSB author Jane Savoie takes lessons at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in West Palm Beach, Florida.

TSB author Jane Savoie takes lessons at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

So about a year ago, Jane, long a fan of ballet and Broadway, started taking ballroom dancing lessons at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in West Palm Beach, Florida (www.fredastairewpb.com). And it just so happened that “Dance Instructor Clifton” was the perfect fit for a Dressage-Queen-cum-Dancing-Queen like Jane.

“I became totally obsessed with dancing, and found myself in complete wonder over the parallels I was discovering between dressage and ballroom,” admits Jane. “Not only was it fun to do both, but one activity made me better at the other: Dancing improved my riding, and my history of riding toward very specific goals made applying myself to not just learning dance steps, but to becoming a REALLY GOOD DANCER, feasible.”

Well, hello Tom Bergeron! And viva Las Vegas!

“When you spend 40 years perfecting a 20-meter circle, focusing on the minutia that makes up serious dancing seems only natural,” Jane explains.  “Clifton will tell me that when you are getting ready to take a step in the waltz, for example, your power isn’t coming from the pointing leg—as most people might think—but from the standing leg. This is exactly like knowing when and how you can influence the power of the horse: not in the leg when it is in stride, but in the leg on the ground just before it takes a stride.

“The precision required in ballroom dancing, the layers of knowledge and strength, how you engage which muscle to go from one position to another, it is intricate, just like dressage.

“Plus, when dancing, you are working with a partner, just like when you are riding—it is a partnership that demands contact and connection. Your contact with your dance partner can start too strong, just like with a horse—then it might be inconsistent. The goal, as in dressage, is to establish and maintain a light, alive, consistent contact/connection so you and your partner look and move like a single unit. Again, this the same ideal we aim for in the dressage arena: whether we are floating as one across a dance floor or an indoor, ultimately, we are looking for a delicacy of sensation, an established sensitivity to the needs and movements of another, and communication that is so subtle it is almost intuitive.”

 

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So what’s in store for Jane Savoie, the ballroom dancer? She’s preparing for a competition the first week of December and a showcase performance in February. The latter is a recital-type event that gives her a chance to channel her inner diva in a sizzling hot number called “Be Italian” from the musical Nine.

“Dressage has given me good core strength and the ability to hold a frame on the dance floor, but you might say I have an FEI topline and Training Level feet!” says Jane with a laugh. “I have some serious work to do to get ready, especially after a summer where a number of injuries interfered with my conditioning.”

And what about riding? Unfortunately, Jane’s injuries prevented her from riding her Grand Prix horse Menno PM (“Moshi”), and so he was out of normal work for much of the summer.

“Our winter project is muscle-building and getting back into condition together,” says Jane, unsurprisingly still smiling. Jane always seems to ascend that much higher when faced with an additional challenge, so we think it is a pretty safe bet that she (and Moshi) will come back in better shape than ever.

And will we see Jane at Caesars Palace someday soon?

We’re definitely willing to put money on it.

 

Jane Savoie is the author of many bestselling books and DVDs. Check out these popular titles available from the TSB online bookstore where shipping in the US is always FREE:

JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101

THAT WINNING FEELING!

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS

THE HALF-HALT DEMYSTIFIED DVDS

RIDING IN YOUR MIND’S EYE DVDS

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TSB caught up with international dressage star, trainer, motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur Jane Savoie this month as we celebrate the release of her new book JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101 (on sale all this month at the TSB bookstore!) We got to talk about what’s new with her line of Eq-Equisense “sensor-enhanced” tack, which made a splash with international audiences at WEG in 2010. Plus, we got to find out what’s in her refrigerator…or rather, what’s not.

TSB: You always manage to have a multitude of interesting projects going at once. For example, your Eq-Equisense “sensor-enhanced” tack seems to offer riders a legitimate way to “measure” their body position and correct it in real time. What’s up with Equisense in 2011? Are there new developments or special promotions we should know about in the months ahead?

JS: We are opening Training Centers throughout the country. The first one is opening this month (May) at Mistover Farm in Pawling, New York.

TSB: You have established a distinct online presence over the last few years, and much of your work is particularly well-suited to digital forums. What role do you see social media such as Facebook playing in the development of the horse industry in coming years?

JS: Our country is huge, and Social Media allows us to connect with riders not only in this country but all over the world. Yesterday, I heard from three of my Dressage Mentor members (from South Africa, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, respectively) about the success they’ve had using the techniques they’re learning about on my membership site.

TSB author Jane Savoie on her Grand Prix horse Moshi. "He's amazing!" she says.

TSB: What are your personal riding goals for 2011 and beyond?

JS: Continuing to ride Moshi at Grand Prix. He gets better all the time. We’ve finally mastered the one-tempi’s and he does piaffe, passage, and the transitions between the two on a thought. He’s amazing!

TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?

JS: Probably a Friesian because they’re so affectionate. Moshi is like a black lab in a horse suit. If I took a horse book it would be Complete Training of Horse and Rider by Alois Podhajsky, and if I took a “fun” book I’d choose Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux.

TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?

JS: It’s usually pretty empty. (And I’ve gone as long as two years without an oven!) Don’t cook. Don’t miss it.

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

JS: Patting my dog, Indiana Jones Savoie.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.

JS: I was eight. I rode a 26-year-old horse named “Old Lady.”

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.

JS: My third ride. I got run away with on a trail ride. All I remember is the trees going by really fast as I hung on my horse’s neck—until I couldn’t hang on any more.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?

JS: Loyalty.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?

JS:  Good work ethic.

TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?

JS: Ride in the 2012 London Olympics.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

JS: Lobster and a baked potato.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

JS: I haven’t been on one for so long, I really have to think about this. Maybe visit places that fascinate me—Italy, Hawaii, England, France, Africa.

TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

JS: Tony Robbins.

TSB: What is your motto?

JS: “Those who say it can’t be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it.”— Chinese Proverb

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