Seven-year-old Vaughn Michael Ramirez came away with the grand prize for the third annual Louisville’s Got Talent presented by CenterStage and Jake Latts. Ramirez preformed a hip-hop dance to “Let Me Clear My Throat” choreographed by Molly Whiting from 360 Dance on Sunday, September 20 at 2 p.m to beat out 19 talented acts in the showcase.
Louisville’s Got Talent raised $7,000 for CenterStage Acting Out, a professional touring children’s theatre that opens minds one act at a time through arts education.
Ramirez’s impressive backflips and break dance moves to his on point facial expressions stole the show and won him first place and the $500 prize.
Ramirez encouraged others to participate in the completion after winning first place, “do it even if you are scared, but you have to work hard if you want to be good at something. This was really fun.”
Ramirez was the reigning 2014-2015 Mr. Petite Dance America and won a 2014 national dance championship in Panama City Beach, Florida. He will play Tiny Tim in the upcoming Actor’s Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol.”
Second place honors were given to Jacob Lyons, who won $250 for his mesmerizing juggling act, “YoYo Tra” to the song “Centuries.” His act was a crowd pleaser with a pop-rock twist.
Third place, with a cash prize of $100, went to Daniel Scofield and Jack Brewer for their energetic, upbeat, self-choreographed tap dance to “Hot Chocolate” from the motion picture Polar Express.
The People’s Choice Award winner, receiving an impressive prize of $300, was Alexandra Duffy-Dries for her soulful performance of Etta James’ “At Last”.
The final round esteemed judges panel included Chad Broskey, stage and screen actor, singer and dancer; Shannon Cogan, WAVE3 news anchor; Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet Artistic Director; Terri Foster, Louisville Youth Choir Artistic/Executive Director; and Pete Lay, choreographer, actor, and past Louisville Ballet company member. This year’s audience served as the fifth judge. They awarded the People’s Choice Award by texting their vote for their favorite act.
More than seventy acts auditioned for this year’s Louisville’s Got Talent. From this initial audition, a panel of judges chose the top twenty acts who competed in Sunday’s finals. This year’s finalists featured performances ranging from Broadway belters to Bollywood dancers, and everything in between.
CenterStage would like to thank Dancensation’s Showbiz Kids and last year’s Louisville’s Got Talent winners, Kylie McGuffey and Caroline Siegrist, for entertaining the audience while the judges’ scores were tabulated. The young performers featured in this year’s final showcase proved that Louisville’s definitely Got Talent. “We are so proud of Jake and all that he has accomplished with Louisville’s Got Talent. What started as a bar mitzvah project based on his passion for the arts and arts education is now part of the very fabric of the JCC and CenterStage. He could not do it without the tremendous support of the fantastic staff that he works with each year,” said Kate Latts.
CenterStage would like to thank their many Louisville’s Got Talent sponsors including Kate & Allan Latts, Max & Ellen Shapira, Dancensation Studios, Terri Bass with Lenihan Sotheby’s Realty, Hall Talent, Heyman Talent, Perelmuter & Goldberg, Kristen Dobrodziej, Jake Latts, Lenae, Jordan & Billie Price, Judy Shapira, The Lapinski Family, Brad, Rebecca, Morgan & Reese Hirsch, Lisa, Daniel & Sophie Latts, Ellen & Richard Miller, as well as all the other sponsors and volunteers whose time and effort made this event possible.