The dazzling “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream,” ignited more than just a spark of magic in hearts across the Bay at San Jose’s HP Pavilion opening night, this spectacular ice show of talents touched thousands of hearts of all ages, sparking in folks dreams they likely forgot they had. With messages sent through popular songs such as “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” to the absolutely incredible talents of the skaters – all who did nothing short of impress the audience in skating, dancing and through some of the most amazing moves that went far beyond your typical ice skating show.
And it wasn't just about the messages sent throughout the entire performance; this three special fairytale mix, “Cinderella,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Rapunzel” were not all just about wishes and dreams or the differences noted between the desires and needs (with the hidden message that some not realizing that when needs change, sometimes desires take a back seat; much like the unanswered prayer often being a blessing in disguise the dream, or wish, granted is based on need). But that through a story, and through extreme talent, there are no boundaries in what a heart can convey, and in what story can be told. Similar to the messages being sent, and similar to the way a heart grows, and the way people grow, in life and in love.
This magical fairytale noir – with the belief in dreams of old, new and those yet to be discovered; the magic in the eyes of children, a magic grownups fail to see clearly or often enough, was written all over their faces (and felt in mine) as I watched my granddaughter (age two) – her eyes, smile, constant clapping, excitement, laughing, ear-to-ear smiling, singing, waving – said it all. As I glanced around, no different were the majority of the other youngsters around us. I found myself wondering, if that kind of magic could come from all of this, imagine what their minds must be thinking; what their little beating hearts must be feeling? Such impressions truly do have an impact on our youth, and what a perfect event to share with them (imagine the conversations in the car ride home; or for days or even weeks to come?). Truly a special evening and I was glad to share this with my granddaughter and her uncle. Amazing to see that such talents could do such amazing things. Truly impressive.
“Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream” – truly is a must-see with absolutely amazing performance by all skaters and dancers; not one I wanted to single out, but there were a few I must mention (since every child is going to automatically love Minnie, Mickey, the characters, etc.) but with all being outstanding, I would mention them all if I could. So let's start with Rapunzel (Kendra Moyle) and Flynn Rider (Joseph Jacobsen) – and not just because I watch that movie with my granddaughter at least 10 times each time she visits.
The amazing talents of Moyle and Jacobsen were nothing short of outstanding – with not only their spectacular skating and dancing moves, as if “one” in some movements, but also in the moves that one might expect out of Cirque du Soleil dancers – truly mesmerizing. When Moyle first grabbed the ribbon dangling in the center (which we thought to be décor), we were amazed; and then when Jacobsen grabbed on and he did more amazing stunts; and then they together did their amazing talents – everyone truly was in awe. A pin could have dropped, and then cheers and claps, gasps and smiles – not one person in that room was not excited. It truly was amazing.
With youth clapping, the gasps, eyes staring in amazement – smiles and white teeth filling a warm but icy arena – with uncle Mikey stating a few times in awe, “They make it look so easy!” – I knew that he, too, felt the excitement my granddaughter felt. The skaters were clearly far more talented than imagined, and for that I gave the last star. One skater may have fallen but to the quick pickup and to the no-skip-of-a-beat – again, amazing comeback and finish. I mention only because dreams are what you make them. When everything is made to look easy, with ease being the one true blessing in their talent. The story they wanted to tell came through in every detail – and who would have thought such stories could have been told on ice? That kind of talent far extends beyond the skaters to more behind the scenes, from costumes to design to choreography and music – to all the talents that make up such a wonderful performance – we noticed.
The realization that "Disney On Ice" does more than reach children, but parents through their children; and that if only adults saw more through the eyes of a child and how they viewed the world – as if everything were an adventure – how different would life be? From all that parents teach, and from all that children teach their parents – this was one of those "aha" moments. It all does come full circle, every single day. And "Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream" produced by Kenneth Feld, Nicole Feld and Juliette Feld has managed to become a part of that. So don't miss a moment of this chance to see some magic in the center of your busy world with your child; take your precious child to see "Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream" today! (And if you don’t have a child, niece or nephew, borrow a neighbor’s child and take them to see the show; you'll be glad you did.
Remember, every moment is a memorable one – and a teachable one. Don’t break the cycle, let your child teach you a forgotten magic at “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream” through their eyes – the entire family will enjoy through February 24, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
And speaking of dreams, since I heard some of the children in the parking lost ask, “How did the skaters get to where they are now?” – I have a special treat for those little ones wanting to be a professional ice skater; those wanting to know where some of the principal skaters of Feld Entertainment /Disney On Ice came from, and where they hope to be someday after retiring as a professional skater. Below is a little background and history on a few of your favorite skaters. Remember, if you can dream it, you can be it! (More skater information below, in the "additional information" section; also, be sure to check out the slide show for photos and more on “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream.”)
"Dare to Dream" and you, too, can become a professional ice skater:
Joseph Jacobsen – Originally from Lake Arrowhead, California, Jacobsen plays the role of Flynn Rider and has been skating since the age of seven; first interested in hockey his parents encouraged figure skating, stating it was "easier" – and according to Jacobsen, it “took off from there.” With multiple awards and medals under his belt, in his spare time he enjoys surfing, skateboarding and sailing and hopes to buy a sailboat to someday circle the world in. For the time being, however, Jacobsen is enjoying the tour with Feld Entertainment professionally. “My goal is to give the most I can in every performance,” said Jacobsen, adding that when he is incapable of doing that, he wants to get into show directing, He hopes the audience is impressed with his tricks and the story he tries to tell.
Kendra Moyle – Originally from Chelsea, Michigan, principal skater amd role as Rapunzel, Moyle has been ice skating since age four, inheriting a love for skating from her father, a skating enthusiast. With multiple awards and medals under her belt, she joined Feld Entertainment in 2011, currently with “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream.” Moyle said she loves being able to transform into someone else entirely and strives to convey the storyline through her skating, hoping the audience feels what she feels. When Moyle is not skating, she loves to bake and spend time on Lake Michigan with family. Her future plans in clued returning to school and eventually earning her master’s degree in counseling.
(more on the performers below...)
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“Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream” promises to be an incredible evening with dazzle, sparkle and a “lighting” experience for all ages. Tickets: Range from $18 to $92.50; available at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. If you happen to miss Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream in San Jose, you can still catch them in Oakland at the Oracle on February 27. (See the schedule for further details.)
The HP Pavilion is located at 525 West Santa Clara Street in San Jose. Parking tip: The best parking is obviously at the arena, with parking only $15 (which is pretty good especially for a family and maybe ride share with another family who is going). There are options, of course, but keeping in mind that it is about the experience and having a "memorable" great time, not about fighting traffic, carrying little ones across major busy "unsafe" streets, etc.
Continued from above: More on "Dare to Dream" and you, too, can become a professional ice skater:
Johnny Harris – Originally from Dallas, TX, as a principal skater Harris first stepped onto the ice at age 11; with multiple awards and medals he joined Feld Entertainment after 10 years of coaching skating, gymnastics and cheerleading. With an autistic niece, autism awareness is something he is “very passionate about.” Harris said he loves to travel and see new places and is a huge pro-wrestling fan; and if he were to compete in another world he would want to be on WrestleMania being a huge pro-wrestling fan. In the future, he hopes to become a firefighter and open a yoga studio with his fiance, Moriah, also a performer in Dare to Dream.
Moriah Tabon – from Los Angeles, CA, Tabon’s first production with Feld Entertainment was “Dare to Dream,” taking to the ice at age four when her mother enrolled her in a skating lesson. It was then she decided she didn’t want to do anything but skate. From singles skating to transitioning to ice-dancing after a back injury, with multiple awards and medals she describes her skating style as modern yet powerful, and uses yoga, Pilates and off-ice dance to improve her grace and elegance on the ice. She believes kids should explore performing in any discipline, not just on the ice. Tabon would love to someday return to school to be in ministry.
Theron James – Middletown, Connecticut, as a principal skater James started skating at age 11 when his mom won skating lessons for him in a raffle; the rest, he said, “is history.” Joining Feld Entertainment in 2008 as part of the ensemble cast in “Disney On Ice presents a Disneyland Adventure. Now skating the role of Dr. Facilier, the voodoo man from “The Princess and the Frog” in “Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream,” James continues to hope to inspire and excite audience members.
Jonathan Nuss – Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nuss started out as a hockey player but switched to ice skating at age eight; with multiple awards and medals, he said someday he’d like to go to college to study criminal justice and ultimately join the police force.
Soniah Spence – Originally from Springfield, Tennessee, as a principal performer, Spence skated her way to four first-place finishes and a host of second, third and fourth-place outings as a competitive skater. With multiple awards and medals under her belt, Spence currently tours with “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream” and is enjoying the crowds and spotlight, hoping the audience “feels the story she tells through her skating.”
Deryck Szathkowski – Originally from Oak Park, Michigan, Szathkowski tried ice skating at age seven as a way to burn off excess energy; since then he’s achieved success as a multiple award and medal winner and also performing in theater. Szathkowski joined Feld Entertainment in 2010 and said his favorite part of performing is “the element of self-expression and the process of hard work coming together to create a beautiful form of physically, emotionally and mentally stimulating art.” He hopes audiences feel his passion and are left with a smile and sense of happiness. Someday he hopes to become a performance director.
Vicky Black – Originally from Bangor, Northern Ireland, as a principal performer Vicky started her career when seven years old, when a neighbor invited her to the local ice rink where she took to it “like a duck to water.” With numerous awards and medals under her belt, joining Feld Entertainment in 2003 Vicky now skates alongside her pairs partner and husband, James. She hopes to continue bringing joy and magic to audiences worldwide.
James Black – Originally from Lincolnshire, UK, as a principal performer James first stepped onto the ice at a birthday party at age 10; joining Feld Entertainment in 2005 he skates alongside his pairs partner and wife, Vicky, and tells fans “It’s not just as easy as wanting it,” said James. “You have to put in the hard work and the sacrifices to get where you want to be. If you desire it enough though, you can achieve great things.” said James, adding that someday he wants to become a skate coach or choreographer.
So little ones (and anyone, really)...dare to dream, dare to be whatever you'd like to be in life. You are in control of your destiny. "Don't ever be anything less than what you are capable of being." –Unknown
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