Updated: December 01, 2019 10:06 AM
Minnesota native Stacie Hopper has been skating since she was 11 years old. She grew up in Maple Grove and is excited to bring Disney on Ice: World of Enchantment to the Twin Cities next week. The fun-filled, magical show will be at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul from Dec. 5-8.
How did your skating career get started?
I started skating at 11 years old at a local rink in Maple Grove. I competed for a few years, and then I heard about the audition with Disney On Ice through some friends, so I decided to audition during my first year of college. I've been with Disney On Ice for four years.
What can the audience expect in this Disney On Ice: World of Enchantment?
This show is unique because in the "Toy Story 3" segment, we have Barbie and Ken, which no other show has. You'll get to see your favorites like The Little Mermaid, Olaf, Elsa and Anna, too. It's a fun family show, and I hope people can feel the magic as I perform.
What characters do you portray?
I'm an ensemble skater, so I get to do a bunch of different numbers throughout the show. There are four segments: In "Toy Story 3," I get to portray a green army soldier; in "The Little Mermaid" "Under the Sea" production, I get to portray a mermaid. The second half has Disney "Cars," where you'll see Lightning McQueen and Madder, all your favorites. Then we have "Frozen," which everyone loves.
How do you prepare for such different roles?
We get to learn all the different numbers and then have two weeks of rehearsal in Florida before we head out on tour, so we get lots of practice time. Before every show, we do a warm-up as a group.
What is your favorite part of the show?
The "Under the Sea" number in "The Little Mermaid" is my favorite. There are bubbles that float down from the ceiling, and it's so fun. You really feel like you're in Ariel's underwater world.
What are you most excited to do while back in the Twin Cities?
Everyone always loves it when they get to skate at home and have our friends and family there. My first year with the show, I was able to play in Minneapolis, so that was really exciting. I'm most excited to see my dog Kona. He's a Siberian husky.
Do you have any favorite places to show castmates while you're home?
Lots of people are looking forward to going to the Mall of America. They've heard about the amusement park inside, and they're really excited to see it. We have a ton of people from all over the world on this tour, so it's fun to explore both St. Paul and Minneapolis. My favorite restaurant in downtown Minneapolis is Hell's Kitchen. I also really enjoy going to the trapeze school in St. Paul that I'm hoping to take my friends to.
What's one of the most challenging parts of life on the road?
Living out of two suitcases and being on the road eight to 10 months out of the year. It's hard to pack everything, but it's fun.
Who were your mentors?
My skating coach, Mandy Pirich, was definitely someone I looked up to and helped me grow in skating and character development. She is someone I always wanted to be like.
What advice would you give to a young skater?
Work hard and go after what you want. Do your best in everything, and always keep trying.
Staci is one of three Minnesotans who are part of this year's Disney On Ice: World of Enchantment. She is joined by Rachel Wegfahrt of Faribault and Mitchel Markkanen from Spicer. The magic runs through Dec. 8
Updated: December 01, 2019 10:06 AM
Published: November 29, 2019 12:00 AM
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