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'The coolest job ever': Behind the scenes with Disney on Ice in Birmingham

By Megan Archer | Features | Published:

Snow White, Prince Charming, The Little Mermaid – talented dancers are travelling all over the world to bring joy to young children with the magical show Disney on Ice.

They are thousands of miles away from home and their families, but for these passionate skaters it's worth it to have "the coolest job ever".

Each night on the ice they dress up as their chosen Disney character, whether that's Mulan, Nemo, or the Beast, and take to the ice to dazzle youngsters (and some Disney-mad adults) with their beaming smiles, smooth skating, and stunning dancing.

The show has just had an incredible run at Arena Birmingham, and is not continuing it's travels around the country and the world.

Ice dancer Madeleine Gallagher is 21-years-old and was born in Bay City, Michigan.

Madeleine Gallagher

She plays Snow White, and is enjoying her fourth year on tour. She spoke to the Express & Star about how proud she felt to be part of Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic for 2019.

"It's an absolute honour portraying the oldest Disney character, Snow White," she said. "We all try to work all the roles we can but because of my skating abilities – I have been doing it so many years – means I landed the role of Snow White.

"When you go out there and see a little kid dressed as Snow White, I do get a bit emotional. I think 'this is the coolest job ever!' I love it when the kids scream 'Snow White!'.

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"I do get a bit emotional when my family are there too. I can hear my mom screaming in the crowd. It's amazing performing for thousands of people but when you're family are there it's a whole different experience."

Other dancers include 22-year-old Denika McDonald from Canada, who plays Dory's mother Jenny from Finding Dory. She had to wear a blue full body suit with a 'backpack' type addition on her front and back to make up the fins and the head of the fish.

Louise Hains, aged 23, also from Canada played the Little Mermaid Ariel, while 32-year-old Lloyd Jones from closer to home Cardiff played Belle's Prince in Beauty and the Beast.

All had been dancing since they were just young children.

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Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Madeleine added: "Some of the challenges though, you wouldn't expect, like we have to make sure we know the song in every language so we can lip sync it correctly.

"So we could be in France, so we'll have to lip sync along to all the songs in French."

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic sees a cast of more than 50 characters take to the ice for a magical show across the world.

Featuring The Lion King, Toy Story, Aladdin and more, the show celebrates Disney's 100 year anniversary.

Visit disney.co.uk/shows/disney-on-ice-100-years-of-magic-tickets to find a show near you.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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