For The Madera Tribune
Actors portray characters from “Tangled” during a performance of Disney on Ice’s “Dare to Dream” event.
Rachel Nevares started ice skating when she was 8-years-old.
While at a public skating session at her local ice rink in Arlington, Virginia. She took one lap around the rink she was hooked.
Nevares became a competitive ice skater. For 11 years, she competed all over the United States. After pouring her blood, sweat and tears into competitive skating, Nevares decided it was time to try her hand at show skating.
Now 30, Nevares is a performer for the Disney on Ice production Dare to Dream.
Nevares plays Anastasia in the Disney on Ice production Dare to Dream, which is coming to Fresno’s Selland Arena on Thursday and will be showing until Monday.
“Being a part of Disney on Ice is a dream come true,” Nevares said. “I love performing and I love traveling, so merging the two has been a great opportunity.”
Nevares started her career with Disney on Ice in 2013. She started out doing a bit of everything as a cast member but worked her way up to the role of Anastasia, who is one of the evil step sisters from the Cinderella segment of the show.
Despite her years of competitive ice-skating, Nevares said there was a bit of a learning curve when she started show skating.
“There are more variables that go into being a show skater,” said Nevares.
In show skating, performers are in front of a live audience, the ice size is different from competitive skating, there is an array of costumes that vary in size and weight and there’s a lot of numbers in the show where there are multiple performers skating at one time.
“I definitely have learned new skill sets as a show skater,” said Nevares. “It’s been great because even though my competitive career was over that didn’t mean I couldn’t learn more as a show skater.”
Nevares has also had to adapt to the tour schedule that accompanies show skating. She travels eight months out of the year and is in a new city performing every week.
“I’ve traveled to more places than I could have imagined. It’s a lot of fun, but we take our deserved rest time,” said Nevares.
During the domestic tour season, the cast designates Sundays and Mondays as traveling days. Once they have reached their next tour stop, the cast has a few days to explore the city and rest up for their next performance, which usually starts on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
“I love seeing what each city has to offer,” said Nevares. “A lot of time is spent walking around and adventuring, but you have to put in rest time, too.”
When Nevares is not on tour, she is a coach. She works with all ages teaching them how to ice-skate and traveling with them to competitions.
Once her career with Disney on Ice comes to an end, Nevares plans to continue coaching. She is also hoping to work in public relations using her degree in communications from George Mason University.
“The outlet that I’ve really enjoyed the most is radio. I think it would be really cool to look into doing that once I get off the road,” said Nevares.
Nevares is one of 42 cast members. She has had the opportunity to work with people from 11 different countries.
“The cast is a big perk. I get to interact with people on a daily basis from all over the world,” said Nevares. “It’s definitely a lot of fun!”
Dare to Dream has six stories. The show starts out with a special guest appearance, Miguel from Coco. The show then includes Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Tangled, Frozen and, making her debut, Moana.
Throughout the show there is an interactive live host who chats with all the kids and audience members.
“The host brings all the kids into the show, which I think is pretty neat,” said Nevares.
The best place to buy tickets for the show is from disneyonice.com.
Nevares has had the opportunity to work on three other shows over the course of her aiz-year Disney on Ice career.
“I like every show for a different reason, but there is something special about our show Dare to Dream,” said Nevares.