Excitement is in the air as Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream in Oakland and other parts of the Bay Area. Be entertained with unparalleled royal proportions when Tiana, Rapunzel, and Cinderella star in this spectacular Disney Princess event. Just imagine yourself dancing to the beat of the bayou with Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana; embarking on a hysterical journey (Tangled) with Rapunzel, Flynn and Maximus; and feeling the romance between Cinderella and her Prince Charming. This definitely is the right prescription for fun and adventure.
Four-year-old Lola Olsen of Moraga cannot stop talking about the princesses. Her eyes just light up as her mother, Tira, tells me that the whole family cannot wait to see the show. Caroline Balban of Orinda will take her 75-year-old mother to the event for her mom’s birthday. After all, it is an event for all ages.
I had the pleasure of talking with two of the principal cast members over a phone interview — Vicky and James Black, who are a married couple in real life. Together, they play Cinderella and Prince Charming in the show.
James and Vicky have been married for almost 5½ years. They met in 1997 when they were competing for the British National Skating Team. James hails from Lincolnshire, England, and Vicky is a native of Northern Ireland.
To break the ice, we had some fun playing the wedding game before the interview. Vicky got the correct answer for James’ favorite vegetable — any vegetable salad. Unfortunately, James did not get it right for Vicky’s favorite fruit. James thought it was pineapple. Correct answer is raspberries.
Beau: Do you think there’s an advantage of projecting the characters of Cinderella and Prince Charming more successfully being husband and wife in real life?
James: I feel that as a married couple, we can project our love for each other, when we are portraying the roles. In that special moment, when our eyes meet, we definitely are sharing our off-ice romance to everyone.
Vicky: As a married couple, we know each other so well that it does not then become so overwhelming.
Beau: Let’s face it. We all have our off-days. How do confront this stressful tension between the two of you during performance. After all, we are only human.
James: We don’t fight very often or don’t have that much disagreement. When we go on ice, we also remind ourselves that if there were any off-days, they should not affect our professionalism and performance in general.
Beau: Take us behind the scenes of Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream. How often do you rehearse?
Vicky: Before the show, James and I do a warm-up performance with the director to go over any last-minute details. Afterwards, the whole cast will do a warm-up performance as a group.
James: We do not really have many rehearsals. We usually just do them right before we open the first show.
Beau: If there were any other profession that you would like to try, what would that be?
James: It is hard for us to imagine trying any other profession. We have been skating for so long, and we feel a tremendous amount of appreciation for the entertainment industry. I could see us coaching young skaters and entertainers someday.
Vicky: In addition, I would like to be a yoga instructor and develop a program that would help prepare ice skaters for the pursuit of excellence in their lives both on and off the ice.
Beau: What words of advice or wisdom do you have for aspiring young skaters in the world?
James: Keep on working. It’s not just as easy as wanting it. You have to put in the hard work and the sacrifice to get where you want to be. If you desire it enough though, you can achieve great things.
Vicky: If you fall, get up. Try and try again. Put your heart and soul into it.
Beau: Vicky, this sounds like the message of “Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream” to me. Is that right?
Vicky: That is correct. The show resonates with this message. Dare to dream and do not give up. Look at Cinderella finding her Prince Charming.
Beau: Or, if I may say so, ‘Look at Vicky finding her Prince Charming in James.’ Thank you both again for your time. I am sure a lot of people, young and old alike, can hardly wait for the show to open in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream
Oracle Arena, Oakland: Feb. 27-March 3.
For more information, visit the website DisneyOnIce.com