The upcoming performances of Disney On Ice presents Live Your Dreams scheduled from 12 – 22 March 2020, at Singapore Indoor Stadium, have been cancelled due to the growing global threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the public health concerns associated with it and increased travel restrictions in the region. For more information, please visit https://www.sportshub.com.sg/DOI2020
Our Parenting World – OPW Media team has earlier interviewed the fabulous cast of Disney On Ice presents Live Your Dreams, Kelsey Blake and Rachel Nevares to share more about their career and the roles they play. Kelsey Blake plays the role of Cinderella’s stepmother. Her hometown is in Yorktown, VA, she started skating because her mom was taking skating lessons as well. While having these lessons, some of her coaches were actually former Disney On Ice performers. She wanted to be a Disney On Ice skater after watching the show live (Disney On Ice presents Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo). She would also like to pursue a degree in Journalism.
Rachel Nevares plays the role of Anastasia, Cinderella’s stepsister. Her hometown is in Arlington, VA, she started skating at 8 years old and prior to joining Disney On Ice in 2013, she graduated with a communications degree from George Mason University. She was also a competitive skater for 11 years.
Exclusive Interviews with Kelsey Blake and Rachel Nevares
1. Please share with us more about your background, when did you start skating and decide to develop a career as a professional ice skater?
Kelsey Blake: I am a figure skater from Yorktown, Virginia. I began skating when I was 4 years old, and haven’t stopped since! I set my sights on becoming a professional skater quite young, as all of the coaches I have worked with over the years are former show skaters.
Rachel Nevares: I started skating when I was eight and half and started taking lessons when I was nine. Iwas a competitive figure skater for over ten years and always enjoyed pushing myself to learn new things within the sport. I would also participate in many local shows around the country and absolutely loved performing for audiences. I just knew I wanted to become a show skater! Around the time I was 22 is when I switched gears and worked on becoming a professional ice skater.
2 i) How did you become a skater for Disney On Ice and how did you get the role of Cinderella’s stepmother?
Kelsey Blake: I saw my first Disney on Ice show when I was about 6 or 7. From then on, I had it in my head that I wanted to be in such an iconic show too, so years and years of skating, training, and competing all ultimately made up my journey of getting to Disney on Ice. I auditioned during my senior year of high school in 2016, and joined the show 2 months after graduation. Cinderella’s stepmother, Lady Tremaine, has been one of the roles I perform for almost 4 years now. We are casted based on height, look, and show need- so, it was kind of just “right place right time” that they needed a Stepmother the year I joined.
2 ii) How did you become a skater for Disney On Ice and how did you get the role of Anastasia, Cinderella’s stepsister?
Rachel Nevares: After stepping away from competing, and completing my college degree in Communication, I knew it was time to make my dreams a reality. I love traveling as much as I love performing so I knew becoming a skater for Disney On Ice was a must. I worked with many ice skating coaches, acting coaches and dance teachers to prepare. I trained really hard on the ice, as well as off the ice. I then sent in an audition video, was emailed for a live audition and was lucky enough to secure a spot in Disney On Ice in January of 2013. I got the role of Anastia in 2015 as I proved myself to be a very comedic, spontaneous, and quirky performer. I showcased my ability to make audiences laugh and was gifted with my absolute favorite role!
3. Can you share with us more about your role and how do you prepare for it?
Kelsey Blake: Portraying the role of Cinderella’s stepmother is so much fun! It’s such a unique experience to bring a villain to life on the ice. Skating as Lady Tremaine is second nature now, but when I first joined Disney on Ice in 2016 I did a lot of character studying by watching the movies. I also had to get used to skating in the costume at first, and worked hard on transforming my skating and performance style into that of such a well-known villain! I am an ensemble skater, so in addition to Cinderella’s stepmother I am also in many production numbers throughout the show. Each of these numbers require lots of on ice hours rehearsing as well!
Rachel Nevares: My role as Anastasia is so much fun! Although the stepsisters are seen as evil characters, I like to think of them as more misunderstood comedic characters. I definitely take every opportunity to make people laugh and enjoy a playful “boo” from the audience every now and then. Anastasia is the younger of the step sisters and is a bit awkward. I prepare for the role by really trying to encompass her character traits and utilize the amazing costume to help me along the way!
4. What are the challenges that you faced in your role and how do you overcome them?
Kelsey Blake: The biggest challenge in portraying a villain, is trying to be wicked without being too scary for the audience! I overcome this with the help of Anastasia and Drizella, who help add comedy to the scene.
Rachel Nevares: A challenge that I have faced in the role is adjusting to the size of the dress. Not only is figure skating hard enough, but as a performer you have to adjust to skating in all different types of costumes. Like anything, I practiced a lot and adjusted to performing in this costume.
5. How has Disney On Ice played a role in your life and how do you think Disney On Ice can inspire audiences around the world?
Kelsey Blake: Disney on Ice has shaped my life in so many ways. I think that since I wanted to be part of the show from such a young age, I grew up with the drive and dedication to make it happen. I always looked forward to the show coming to town as a child, and it really gave me focus and a clear path for where I wanted to go with skating and what I needed to accomplish to get there. Disney on Ice inspires audiences by bringing a little magic all over the world. The stories that we bring to life on the ice are so well known and well loved, and a lesson can be learned from each one. In Disney on Ice presents “Live Your Dreams” we focus on being the hero in your own story, and inspire the audience to go after their dreams and goals.
Rachel Nevares: Disney on Ice has been the center of my life for the past seven years. I have been lucky enough to travel to over 30 different countries and meet people from all walks of life! It has taught me so much about perseverance, overcoming obstacles, hard work, loving what you do, time management, and how to enjoy every moment. I think Disney on Ice can inspire audiences by these amazing stories we get to bring to life. What’s so great about Disney, and why it remains timeless, is the lessons that people can learn from every story. It can inspire audiences to go and live their dreams, which is the fantastic tagline of our show!
6. Do you have any advice for children who aspire to become a professional ice skater and to perform for Disney On Ice?
Kelsey Blake: My advice for young skaters who want to perform with Disney on Ice is to never give up! It can seem like a long road to becoming a professional skater, so work hard and always remember to have fun! The best way to be a good performer, is to let your love of skating show in everything that you do. I would tell them to remember that the technical elements (jumps, spins) are important, but the fun “tricks” and ability to act and perform are just as important too.
Rachel Nevares: My biggest piece of advice would be to work hard, be yourself, and find your niche. We all have something special and the trick is to find what that is and run with it. Figure skating is a very hard and demanding sport so being determined and maintaining a good attitude is very important. You never know when an opportunity may come your way so you must always keep your head up and push forward!
7. What’s your daily work schedule like?
Kelsey Blake: Our work week starts with the whole cast coming in early on opening night in each city, for us to all skate and warm up together. We do warm up drills, edge exercises, and rehearse pieces from the show to get a feel for the ice and be prepared for the shows we have that week. Once shows have started for the week, we do up to three shows a day! In addition to shows, we may have more rehearsals and we also skate on “open ice” either early in the morning or late at night to keep up our own individual skating skills.
Rachel Nevares: Our days vary depending on how many shows we have. We can have anywhere from one to three shows in one day! If it’s an opening night in a city I will get up and have breakfast, get a light workout in, go through some emails and messages and then make my way to the venue. Once at the venue I will set up my makeup spot, unpack my costumes and get on the ice for a mandatory cast edge class. During this time we all get on the ice to work through skating patterns and last minute rehearsals of our production numbers. After this I will usually have some food, put my makeup on and then we will have our opening night meeting where the staff update us with information. After this we will all warm up off ice as a cast and get ready to perform! On a three show day my day will definitely look a bit different as we have to pace ourselves more to get through the three shows.
8. Lastly, what can audience look forward to in this year’s show especially in the Cinderella segment? (Update: The show in Singapore 2020 has been cancelled due to growing global threat of novel coronavirus )
Kelsey Blake: There is so much to look forward to in Disney on Ice presents “Live Your Dreams”! In addition to Cinderella, you’ll see Belle, Rapunzel, Anna and Elsa, Moana, and for the first time- Miguel from Coco. Each segment presents fun and exciting production numbers to well-loved songs, and showcases spectacular figure skating elements as well. In the Cinderella segment of the show, the audience can look forward to some magic from the Fairy Godmother, a breath-taking routine from Cinderella and Prince Charming, and of course- Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella!
Rachel Nevares: First off, we have over 30 of your favorite Disney characters out there on the ice! We have a fantastic Winnie the Pooh and Tigger pre show that you can’t miss that then transitions us into our energy pumping opening number. Our show is incredibly interactive as we have two hosts who weave us in and out of all the stories and ask for audience participation! Our show goes through six amazing stories of various heroes who show us just how far believing in your dreams and never giving up can go. A huge highlight of our show is our aerial silk act where Flynn and Rapunzel from Tangled fly 20+ feet above the ice on Rapunzel’s hair! This action packed and suitable for any age show is something you don’t want to miss!
Thank you Kelsey Blake and Rachel Nevares for taking our interview!
Disney On Ice will be back in Singapore next year. Do look out for it! For more information and to stay updated, please visit its website at https://www.disneyonice.com/