It’s a dream come true worthy of Disney itself: Four young skaters from Tacoma, Yelm and Puyallup totter onto the ice as preschoolers, train hard all the way through school, and win the audition to skate with touring blockbuster Disney On Ice. But unlike “Cinderella” or “Rapunzel,” this tale is actually true, and those four local skaters will perform for their hometown crowd when Disney On Ice’s “Dare to Dream” show brings its skating fairy tales to Kent’s Showare Center next week.
“It’s so exciting, it’s like a dream come true,” said Jennifer Rubin, a Tacoma native who is one of the four Sprinker-trained skaters involved with the tour, including Yelm brothers Alexander and Jared Moss and Puyallup skater Ashley Mandapat, who skate in the show’s ensemble. Now tour coordinator, Rubin joined the Disney show as a skater in 2004 and still skates on occasion. She’s hoping to make a guest appearance for the Kent show that her family and club members will attend.
“You grow up skating and see these shows and think, ‘That’s something that I’d love to do,’ but you don’t know if you ever can,” Rubin recalls.
It turns out you can – but it takes hard work. Rubin began skating at age 4 when her parents bought her lessons as a Christmas present. She competed through high school, training up to two hours a day, five days a week, and finally auditioned for the touring show she’d always dreamed of.
“You need a lot of dedication, a lot of dreaming, a lot of hard work,” she said.
Now, for Rubin and her Sprinker colleagues, the hard work is paying off.
“I’m still loving it,” said Rubin, who has spent eight years touring internationally year-round. “We just did Mexico. I’ve been to Japan, Australia, South America. It’s taken me everywhere, and I’ve learned a lot of cultures from the international principals in the cast.”
Alexander Moss agrees. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to tour the world and make friends from all over,” he said.
Even the 50-weeks-a-year touring never gets stale, Moss said. “When you’re in entertainment, there’s nothing like it. It’s hard to call it a job; it’s more like a paid vacation. And the four of us are all skating together – it’s so much fun.”
Moss, who started skating with his younger brother Jared as soon as they could walk, initially learned hockey and speed skating but soon got into ice dancing and figure skating, with Jared doing more leaps and jumps. There was a bit of rivalry, but now they’re a team on the Disney tour.
This show is the first time the four skaters will perform in their home region. The Disney show, which just closed at Everett’s Comcast Arena, moves to the ShoWare Center in Kent next week, and all the family, friends and club members are planning to come.
“It’s nice to get a little taste of home before we go off again,” Rubin said.
Based on Disney’s “Cinderella,” “Tangled” and “The Princess and the Frog,” the show focuses on the princess experience, but Moss points out that there are some high energy numbers, too, like his favorite: the bar scene from the dive bar The Snuggly Duckling.
“It’s not just for little girls,” Rubin said. “It’s really action-packed.”
Rubin hopes there’ll be some younger skaters from the Lakewood Winter Club who’ll see the show and begin their own dreams.
“I hope they watch the show and have the same feelings as I did (once),” she said.
Disney on Ice
What: Four local skaters are performing in the “Dare to Dream” ice skating show.
Where: ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7-9; 10 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11
Cost: $18-$70 ($12 kids’ tickets for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8, 11:30 a.m. Nov. 10 and 11, and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11)blog.thenewstribune.com/arts