Disney on Ice behind the scenes: an interview with skater Antonia Mitchell

We all love watching Disney on Ice performers twirl and glide through their musical numbers -- but for my daughter, the performance takes on a special significance because she took skating lessons for years, from the time she was in first grade.  She fell in love with skating from the first moment she stepped on the ice, and even though she was slipping and sliding all over the place, she was determined to get better... and she did.  I was so proud of the The Pea for working hard and getting from pre-alpha level to level 2 freestyle!  Unfortunately, she chose to stop taking skating lessons in order to concentrate on her dance lessons, but she still loves to skate.   The performers at Disney on Ice make it all look so easy, but only someone who skates knows the talent and hard work required!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to interview one of the skaters performing with Disney on Ice: Antonia Mitchell from Windsor, CA.  I jumped at the chance to ask her some questions because I thought it would be fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes from an insider's point of view.  She did not disappoint!  Here's a bit more about Antonia:

How old were you when you began skating?

Why did you start skating?
My elementary school took a field trip to our local ice arena, and it turned out I picked it up pretty quickly. My parents asked if I wanted lessons and I said, "sure!

List your interests/hobbies/favorite pastime:
Dancing, cooking, swimming, reading, spending time with family and friends

Who are your role models?
My parents, Michelle Kwan, Kurt Browning, Bobby Flay, Michael Phelps

Personal and professional goals:
With this company, I would love to progress from an ensemble skater to a step out or principal skater. Personally, once I am finished touring, I would like to go back to college and earn a degree.

What do you enjoy about performing?
I love seeing hundreds of little kids all dressed up a various Disney characters and absolutely loving the show!

How would you describe your skating style?

What do you want the audience to get from your performance?
Enjoyment and entertainment

And here's what life is like as a Disney on Ice skater:

How long have you been with Disney on Ice?
I have been skating with Disney on Ice for just over 1 year.

What's it like to audition for a role with Disney on Ice?
Auditioning for Disney on Ice was a very fun experience for me. My first step in the auditioning process to make a video to send to the Disney on Ice. The video was a compilation of clips from past competitions and performances I had skated in, showing my skills and performance level. Then I was invited to do a live audition at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. This was fun because I got to audition with my sister, Carmen, and it was so great to have her with me for moral support!

What role do you play in this performance of Disney on Ice presents Rockin Ever After?
On our show, Rockin' Ever After, I am an ensemble skater, which means I get to perform in all the group numbers and support our princesses and other main characters.

What do you like best about the role?
What I love best about being an ensemble skater is that I get to participate in so much of the show! There are so many fun group numbers on our show and I get to be a part of almost every single one of them. I love the variety and excitement being used in so many different segments of the show.

How many days of the year do you travel with the company?
On our show we are scheduled to travel roughly around 10 months out of the year.

How long do you rehearse for a performance?
At the beginning of our tour we rehearsed for several weeks, learning choreography and polishing what we had learned. Now that we are on tour we mostly just have rehearsals for tuning up and cleaning.

What do you and the other performers do during your free time while on a tour?
On our time off we all have different things we like to do with our free time. I like to go sightseeing and find good local eateries. Some people like to find a yoga studio or art gallery in every city, and others just rest and recover from our rigorous weekend of performing.

What advice do you have for a young skater who dreams of performing with Disney on Ice?
My advice for young skaters who have dreams of joining Disney on ice is to take an acting class or two. Not many people realize how much acting goes into our job. A huge part of what we do is telling stories throughout dialogue scenes, as well as showing emotion/telling stories while we skate. Feeling comfortable while acting would be a useful skill to have before joining tour.

What an inspiration for young skaters out there!

Disney On Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After played at SAP Center in San Jose from February 19-23.  The show is moving to the Oracle Arena in Oakland from February 26-March 2.

About the show
Get ready to rock out with some of the most magical idols of all in a musical showcase that features the hottest tunes and talent from across the kingdom in Disney On Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After! Jam to a Scottish jig as a group of royal contenders from the latest Disney•Pixar film, Brave, competes to win the heart of headstrong, sharp-shooting Merida, making her ice debut! Experience a show-stopping performance as Sebastian breaks out of his shell for one night only to make waves with Ariel. A chorus of harmless hooligans from Tangled unleashes musical mayhem when they get a visit from the sassy and spirited Rapunzel and her charming ally Flynn. And, get your feet moving as the Beast and his castle’s enchanted entourage take center stage in a spectacular show for Belle. It will be a rockin’ remix of royalty when Disney On Ice brings this superstar line-up to your hometown!

Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre‐Show events. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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