We recently had the opportunity to interview skater Maria Starr who will be in El Paso from October 4 – October 8, 2017 performing at Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart. Speaking with Maria was such a joy! She gave us the inside scoop about this new show and shared lots of fun details that we can’t wait to share with you. We hope you enjoy the interview.
Can you tell me a little about what families can expect from this particular show?
This is a new show and the first time it’s coming to El Paso. It’s the only show with Inside Out, who will be taking us through the stories with Riley. There will be Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Fantasia, and new princesses like Elsa and Anna from Frozen. I play Elsa, so I have a soft spot for her. The show is about bravery, adventure, and empowers little girls. Letting them know they’re more than just pretty princesses looking for princes.
What makes Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart special?
There are two separate aerial acts by Ariel and Rapunzel which are very impressive, especially on skates.
I have to say that I’m most excited for the Inside Out segment, can you give us some hints about that?
The Emotions walk you through the first half and carry the story. For example, when Anger shows Beast comes out and it highlights that that’s not all he is, he’s misunderstood. It goes through emotions of the other Disney characters, too, and then comes back to showing you need all of your emotions to make these stories happen. That life is full of all of these emotions and they’re all important.
They also show Riley throughout the segment, playing hockey, showing the emotions of being a part of a team.
The second half with Finding Dory and Toy Story are also fun.
Are there any surprises we should look out for?
There’s pyrotechnics and some snow drifts into the audience. The first half is fast paced, with longer stories in the second half. There’s something for everyone. There’s so many characters, that you’re sure to see someone you like. There’s one part where Anger actually jumps over one of the memory balls that’s entertaining, that’s something you might miss.
What do you feel is the best thing about being a part of Disney on Ice?
This is my 8th tour and I would say it’s still magical and that’s what’s crazy. Living out of suitcases isn’t glamorous, but I love the skating and love performing. Once when every kid was singing along to Let It Go, I actually cried. They believe, we believe, and there’s nothing like it. Eight years later and I’m not sick of it at all.
This show is focused on following your heart, was ice skating something you followed your heart to do?
Yeah, it’s interesting. I was fortunate. My parents had me try everything growing up: soccer, softball, basketball, tennis, but as soon as I skated in the winter, I didn’t want to leave the ice. I had an immediate draw to it and fell in love. I went from doing it a few times a week, to everyday for hours, now training and I still never want to leave the ice. Right out of high school, I knew that was it for me.
What do you hope the kids attending the show take home with them?
I always feel like I’m looking at the people, genuinely looking around. I hope they go home knowing we care about our performances. If I could chat with every kid, I would. I want them to feel like they are a part of the performance.
And because the kids like to know, who is your favorite Disney character and why?
Pocahontas, she wasn’t scared of anything and always went on adventures.
Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart will be in El Paso from October 4 – 8, 2017 at the El Paso County Coliseum. You can buy your tickets here.