Step Onto the Ice

It’s easy to forget that professional athletes were once novices – especially when you or your child are in the beginning stages of learning their sport. We spoke with seven Disney On Ice skaters who shared their stories of triumph and joy to encourage you to take a step of courage onto the ice!

Hope Alexander

Hope Alexander, who portrays Princess Tiana from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, put on her first pair of skates at the early age of two when her mother took her to the skating rink. She immediately fell in love with the sport.

The greatest challenge she has faced in her professional skating career was sustaining a knee injury, which required her to take a hiatus from the sport for several years.

Skating is a really difficult sport and sometimes it’s easy to feel down,” Alexander commented, “but if you keep pushing forward, the feeling you get when you reach your goals is amazing.” She urges young skaters to never give up on their dreams.

Alex Hope

Anna Bradshaw

Anna Bradshaw portrays the role of Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled and was inspired to skate after seeing professional skating on TV. She already had experience in ballet and running track and thought skating would be a good combination of both athleticism and artistry.

Bradshaw, who trains using the Spanish Web and aerial silks, mentioned, “I love soaring above the crowd and feeling completely weightless. When I’m flying, I feel untouchable and carefree.”

She described her favorite aspect of her job as “being able to inspire people, to take away their cares and worries about everyday life and to show the audience that dreams can still be achieved.”

Her advice to young skaters is: “Keep working on things that you may have difficulty with and take each challenge as it comes.

Anna Bradshaw

Tommy Do

Tommy Do credits Michelle Kwan as a major influence in his decision to start skating – he admired her technical abilities, artistry and confidence on the ice.

Do, who portrays Shang from Disney’s Mulan, said his greatest challenge was “reaching a ceiling” in his technical abilities as a solo skater and developing new skills as an adagio pairs skater.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself on the ice,” Do tells young skaters. “I found a lot of success when I developed my own skating flair and I found that it makes performing that much more rewarding.

Tommy Do

Luis Douglas

Luis Douglas, who portrays the roles of Flynn Rider from Disney’s Tangled and Hans from Disney’s Frozen, took up skating as a child after watching his younger sister practice at the rink. “I took one step on the ice, pushed off and, even with a few falls in between, never looked back,” he said.

One of his greatest challenges was being off the ice for six months while he recovered from a torn adductor muscle.

He advises young skaters to never give up – even if it sounds cliché.

Skating is absolutely one of the most challenging sports out there and you will fall down a lot, but as long as you pick yourself back up and dust yourself off, you’ve succeeded.

Luis Douglas

Brendyn and Jessica Hatfield

Brendyn and Jessica Hatfield are a married couple who met on the road and portray the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine. Both learned how to skate as children in programs at their local rinks.

Their favorite on-ice trick is the “neck spin,” a move where Jessica spins with her feet around Brendyn’s neck, and they let go of their hands.

Brendyn needed complete reconstructive knee surgery after falling on the ice while performing, which they consider the greatest challenge of their skating career. Whether he could continue skating was uncertain, but after daily physical therapy sessions, he was back on the ice within nine months.

Brendyn’s advice for young skaters is:

Stick with it. Skating is a very difficult sport and can be humbling. Practice really does make perfect in figure skating.

Jessica adds:

Come see Disney On Ice shows to know what it is all about. There are real career opportunities here. Some skaters have been with the company for over 20 years!

Brendyn and Jessica Hatfield

Lauren McCabe

Lauren McCabe portrays the role of Ariel. McCabe expressed interest in learning how to skate after watching the movie Ice Princess when she was ten years old; her mother enrolled her in classes and she became hooked after her first lesson.

Her favorite part of being a professional skater is bringing joy to children and adults around the world. Her favorite on-ice trick is performing on the Spanish Web. “There is a long rope that hangs from the ceiling where I perform 37-feet up in the air,” she explained. “It is a unique skill that not many skaters have the opportunity to do.”

McCabe’s advice to young skaters is: “Even if it scares you, just do it!

Lauren McCabe


No two skaters have the same story and we hope the athletes of Disney On Ice have inspired you to take a chance, try something new and Get Out and Skate! We want to see your on-ice story unfold, so capture these moments and share them on with us on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag: #GetOutandSkate.

Adventure awaits!



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