‘Follow your dreams’: York skater followed hers to ‘Disney on Ice ‘Frozen’
“Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’” is an ice-skating extravaganza based on the Academy Award-winning 2013 animated feature film that captivated fans the world over and continues to be a favorite among audiences.
“Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’” is presented at 7 p.m., Jan. 17- 19, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Jan. 20 and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Jan. 21, PPL Center, 701 Hamilton St., Allentown.
“Frozen” is the story of Anna and Elsa, two royal sisters. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded.
Anna encounters rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, and the lovable and hilarious snowman, Olaf. The mystical adventure of Anna is a heart-warming story of sisterly love and conquering one’s fears.
Audiences can sing along with the masterpiece “Let it Go,” a song which reached the Top Five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and received the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2014 for its songwriters, husband and wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
In a phone interview with figure skater, Adriene Ott, who plays “The Little Mermaid”’s Princess Ariel and others in the show, says she’s been touring with “Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’” since its inception: “I started with the show when it opened in 2014. This is our fourth year on the road.”
Ott was born and raised in York, York County, and started skating at the age of 10. She volunteered at the Special Olympics at age 12. Ott is a double gold medalist in U.S. Figure Skating “Moves in the Field” and “Freestyle” categories.
Ott met her husband, Will Ott, on the ice, and their nuptials took place in the rink. as well.
“He’s from the Harrisburg area. He was a hockey player,” says Ott. “I was an ice-skating guard working at the York City Ice Arena. He was skating with his friends and I went up and introduced myself because I thought he was cute. And that’s where it all started. He proposed [to me] on the ice.”
Ott tried her hand at ice hockey, playing for a Reading team for two years. Figure skaters perform with no protective equipment, making it the more dangerous venture, in Ott’s opinion.
Ott and her husband are ensemble skaters in “Disney On Ice.” With more than 40 skilled skaters performing in the show, the national tour runs from September through May.
“Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’” directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee say, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace ‘Frozen’ has been the experience of a lifetime. And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Field Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.”
Says Ott, “We have this really great opening where it’s all your favorite Disney characters: Minnie and Mickey, Donald and Goofy, Timon and Pumbaa. There’s lots of [Disney] princes and princesses, so it’s really fun.”
Families will experience trekking up the North Mountain of Arendelle with Anna, Kristoff and Sven. Elsa’s magic is enhanced by state-of-the art special effects. There are dazzling costumes, superb figure skating and beautiful songs.
In the spectacular finale, dozens of Disney characters skate onto the ice, “It’s so much fun. The kids go crazy when they see us come back out.”
“Frozen” the movie is perfectly suited to be replicated and performed on ice, perhaps more so than any other Disney film. Ott believes this allows for the production to be incredibly creative.
“It brings the whole film to life,” says Ott. “It really snows, and transforms the entire arena into a magical kingdom. You actually feel like you’re there. It gives me chills how amazing it is.”
Ott’s fellow performers are as enthusiastic as she is. “Everyone here is so passionate about what they do,” Ott says.
She enjoys hearing the audience sing along to the music and seeing the children dressed as “Frozen” characters.
In her free time, Ott enjoys yoga and spending time outdoors. Hiking in areas around different cities allows her to explore while on tour.
Ott has advice to children who want to skate for fun or professionally.
“I would say, follow your dreams,” says Ott. “When I was [young,] I used to work at the Hershey Arena, the Giant Center. I worked in one of the food stands. I would sneak out and watch some of the ‘Disney on Ice’ shows. I always knew that was something that I wanted to do.
“My best advice would be, whatever it is that you have a passion for, follow it.”
And Ott has no desire to leave the ice, “We love it. We’ll probably do this as long as we’re healthy and happy to do it.”
“It gives you a sense of pride being involved in something that’s so magical.”
Tickets: PPL Center box office; PPLCenter.com; 610-347-TIXX