Elsa and Anna, Lightning McQueen, Ariel and Prince Eric and, of course, Mickey and Minnie will come alive with the action-packed Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment Thursday, Jan. 19, to Sunday, Jan. 22, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Ensemble skaters Benita Williams and Michaella Bradley shared with SanTan Family Fun their passion for ice skating and described what life is like on the road.
Williams: I did a school report on Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan, who ultimately inspired me to try ice skating when I was 10. After I began weekly lessons—which were not cheap for my family—it quickly became a passion and allowed me to be where I am today.
Bradley: I was 8 years old when I attended an ice skating birthday party for the first time and was swept off my feet. I begged my mom for lessons and she agreed because she thought ice skating was safer than gymnastics. For me, ice skating was a way in which I could express myself.
Williams: I was at the rink so often that I began working there when I was 16. I taught group classes and eventually became a private coach in between my own practice and studying. I also started sewing costumes and editing music for my choreographed performances at competition. After high school, I attended UCLA and received a bachelor’s in physiological science.
Bradley: It got to a point where I had to choose between school and skating. My family and I decided that homeschooling was the best option because it would allow me more time to focus on ice skating and competing. I graduated from Beacon Academy in 2014.
Williams: I auditioned in Bakersfield, California, in 2014. When I learned that I was selected, I was so excited that I ran down to tell my coach and anyone else who would listen! I joined the cast of Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment and toured Western Europe in 2015.
Bradley: I was living in my hometown of Las Vegas when I learned about the audition. I was nervous but I looked at it as an opportunity to showcase my ability. In 2015 I was selected to join the cast and began my career with Disney on Ice Presents Treasure Trove.
Williams: I am part of the pre-show, which is really fun and gets the audience up and moving. I also portray a salsa fish in the “The Little Mermaid” and a citizen of Arendelle throughout the Frozen segment. I really aspire to become a principal performer, something that I hope is achievable.
Bradley: As an ensemble skater, I portray an enemy under the sea in “The Little Mermaid,” a green army soldier in “Toy Story” and a citizen of Arendelle in “Frozen.”
Williams: This tour started in October and will continue through May. We usually have four or five days in each city including time on the ice to practice and get a feel for the venue. The cast is so loving and it’s a really fun environment.
Bradley: It’s a great opportunity to see the world and get to do what I love. I was always intrigued by this show. I hope to someday become a principal performer and portray Jessie from “Toy Story” because I can identify with her—she’s full of energy, positive, wild and bright!
IF YOU GO
What: Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment
When: Various times Thursday, Jan. 19, to Sunday, Jan. 22
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
Cost: Tickets start at $11.25
Information: 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com