Park City High School graduate enjoying her time with ‘Disney on Ice’
Park City residents can see a familiar face during the "Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’" run at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City this weekend.
Park City High School graduate Emerson Alvarez, who is also a founding member of the Figure Skating Club of Park City, is in the touring company and happy to be performing for a hometown audience.
"I feel so blessed every day to be able to make it so far in my skating career," Alvarez told The Park Record during a break from skiing earlier this week. "I never dreamed that I could do this for a living."
"Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’" is the live portrayal of the Academy Award-winning Disney movie, according to Alvarez.
"It includes all of the characters that are in the movie and follows the storyline very closely," she said. "We don’t just have Anna and Elsa on the ice, but also Olaf and a full-sized Sven. Kristoff and Hans are there, so it’s really a full family experience and it’s great for boys."
Alvarez skates in the ensemble and that gives her the opportunity to be on the ice during a variety of numbers.
"That’s really exciting and keeps it nice and fresh," she said.
Alvarez, who has skated at the Park City Ice Arena since it opened in 2006, joined Disney on Ice a year ago, during a period of reflection after she graduated in 2014.
"I looked at [colleges] but wasn’t sure what I really wanted," she said. "I leaned more to getting out of the competitive world of skating, because I wanted to do more shows."
The decision wasn’t spurred by any negative experience Alvarez had while skating.
"Instead, it had to do with growing older and deciding whether or not I wanted to coach skating or if I was going to move towards a more professional route for a while," she explained. "I have always loved to perform and remember every year the Figure Skating Club of Park City did our spring show at the Park City Ice Arena. So, I decided to try it in the real world."
Last March, Alvarez auditioned for Disney.
"I was lucky enough to land a role in the biggest show in the world," she said.
This is Alvarez’s first professional show, which also proved a bit daunting at first.
"The rehearsal process was really fast," she said. "We had a 10-day rehearsal schedule in July and then took off for Mexico."
The company performed for most of the month in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, before embarking on its West Coast tour.
"It took some getting used to and pulling up of the boot straps, but I’m glad for every minute," she said.
Alvarez credited the cast for helping her adjust to the grueling schedule.
"There are people in the show who have been in the business for a year and others who have been doing this for 20 years," she said. "It’s been inspiring and surprising to be on the road with a show that is so family [oriented] and to be surrounded by people who are so supportive and encouraging."
The skater also said growing up in Park City was the secret to her acclimating to the physical demands of the show.
"My father was born and raised in Park City and skied all of his life," Alvarez said. "I grew up skiing, but when I found skating, it was nice to find something that was unique for myself."
She also said her coaches were instrumental in developing her work ethic.
"They supported me wonderfully and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help," Alvarez said.
During the past few days, while Disney on Ice has been in Utah, Alvarez has spent a lot of time back at the Park City Ice Arena.
"It’s inspiring to see all of these young skaters who are coming up in the programs we have there," she said. "It’s growing as a club and as a community and I think it’s important to encourage them to stick with it and follow their dreams and to not doubt themselves."
After Alvarez and the Disney on Ice cast wraps up the Salt Lake City run, they will tour the East Coast through May.
"Hopefully I’ll stay with the show through next year when it goes to places overseas, which will be really exciting," she said.
However, there is always a part of Alvarez that will remain in Park City.
"I plan to keep auditioning for shows, but I would also like to get back to my roots and come back and coach in Park City at some point in my life. It’s hard not to miss a place like Park City."
"Disney on Ice Presents ‘Frozen’" will run through Sunday, March 6, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, 301 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City. Tickets available by visiting http://www.vivintarena.com.
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