An Insider View of Disney on Ice

Originally published December 1, 2017

‘Tis the season for….Disney on Ice!  In our area, the early-winter season often marks the time for the magic of Disney to come to us through these performances.  Families are entertained by favorite characters adorned in costume, singing, and dancing to memorable songs in large-scale arenas.  Several shows are coming to the Philadelphia area in the coming weeks.  “Reach for the Stars” will be in Trenton from December 13-17, 2017 and Atlantic Cityfrom January 18-21, 2018.  “Dare to Dream”will be in Philadelphia from December 22, 2017 – January 1, 2018.

Now – it’s obvious that kids love these shows.  Seeing these characters “in real life” alone is often enough to leave them in awe for weeks!  As parents, we attend for different reasons.  We want our children experience this excitement, so we take them.  There’s an incredible sense of delight in seeing your children so excited and happy.  Plus, we usually love the songs and characters too 😊 But sometimes, we need a “bit more” for ourselves in order to fully appreciate the experience.  That’s what I wanted to uncover.  So I interviewed Stina Martini in order to gain this insight and share it with you.

 Stina Martini is a Disney-lover who has played the role of Anna from Frozen for the last four years.  You’ll see her performing this year in “Reach for the Stars” across the country.  Her impressive resume includes 18 years of performing experience in the competitive and entertainment arenas.  She started at 6 years old and competed at noteworthy high-level European and World events.  While she succeeded competitively, she found greater satisfaction in entertainment.  The pressure to gain points and win over judges was eliminated.  Instead, she could focus on bringing a character to life, bringing joy to an audience, and having fun at what she deems “the best job” she could have.  Not much is better than seeing a child screaming in happiness (often dressed in character themselves!) as the performers skate onto the ice.

For Stina, performing with Disney on Ice is a dream in itself.  As a performer, she told me how you get to travel the world (she’s been all over the USA, South America, and even Asia).  You become extremely close with your colleagues and form a pseudo family.  With a job description like this, it does seem pretty nice!  But this path is not an easy one.  When you’re in a show, you travel with that group for months.  This particular group will be together from about October through May.  Daily practices are rigorous.  It’s essential that performers maintain a high level of physical fitness as well, so time must be devoted to overall wellness training and technical skating development.  There’s also the acting component which takes time, effort, and collaboration.  If a show is newer (for example, “Dare to Dream” this year) additional preparation could take months.  I was impressed to hear about the dedication and work ethic of the performers and crew.  It’s something we easily take for granted as an audience member.

For youth pursuing a career in figure skating, she emphasized the importance of competitive experience and the need to develop toughness in physicality and emotions.  But it’s important to keep pushing yourself and drive towards your goal.  When you finally achieve that goal, nothing could be better.  And it’s also really nice for your parents to see you achieve a dream 😊.

Stina was able to preview what Philadelphia-area audiences will see in our respective shows.  “Reach for the Stars”, in which she will appear, includes: Ariel and Sebastian, a cool light parade, Rapunzel, Beauty & the Beast, and Frozen.  “Dare to Dream” includes Moana and several of the princesses too.  No matter what the show, she noted that the costumes are great, the songs are done well, and the performance is entertaining for all.  I sure am excited to go!

For more information and to buy tickets, visit each show at www.DisneyOnIce.com.  A full description and ticket links for each show can be found here: Reach for the Stars(Trenton & Atlantic City) and Dare to Dream (Philadelphia).