Disney On Ice: Jessie Innes speaks with cast of musical
Jessie Innes, from Blackpool, has been skating since she was just six years old. Something “just clicked” when she started having lessons as a little girl and she’s “loved it ever since”.
“There are so many things I love about skating,” Jessie says. “It’s never felt like a chore, it’s still excites me even though I’ve been doing it for so long.
“There’s always something new to do. Once you’ve mastered one skill, there’s a new one to learn. I’m always working towards something, so it never gets boring.”
Now the teenager, whose love for ice skating took off even more after Express.co.uk sent her to review Disney on Ice in 2018, is about to turn pro herself.
“I’m going to be part of a travelling circus, so we’ll be moving around France from December-April. It’s a long time away from home, but I know that it’ll be an amazing experience,” added Jessie. “I’ll be travelling around a new country, doing the thing I love most. I feel so lucky.”
Jessie’s mum, Sarah, remembers trying every activity but nothing stuck until Jessie took to the ice. “Straightaway she loved it, it just felt natural. She’s had the same coach since she started, everything seemed to click perfectly.”
Disney on Ice is back at the AO Arena.
That’s not to say becoming a professional skater has been easy. “I’d be at the rink at 6am to skate for a few hours before school, then after school I’d go back to the rink for more training,” Jessie explained.
“When you really love something, you just find the time to do it no matter what.”
Jessie Innes returns to Disney on Ice
Now that Jessie is joining her first show, she has left college to pursue her skating dream.
“It was a big decision for both me and my parents because they’ve always said how important school is. But this is my dream and I know that skating is what I want to do.”
Her mum feels the same way, adding: “We had to really think about it as a family, whether it was the right thing to do. But there was no way I could stop her – it will be so magical. Even though I’ll miss her desperately, I’m so excited for her.”
Jessie speaks to the cast who inspired her to become a professional skater
Sarah is always in awe when watching her daughter skate: “It really is amazing. You can see that it truly is her dream. The atmosphere during shows is always lovely, we as parents love it as much as the skaters do.”
Of course, Jessie’s favourite show is still Disney on Ice and – when we sent her back to meet the cast that originally inspired her at Manchester Arena, where this year’s show is getting underway – she said she still dreams of “one day being a part of the magic”.
Disney on Ice Little Mermaid performance.
“When watching the Disney on Ice cast members practice and perform, you can see how much they love skating. Knowing that they’re enjoying the show as much as us (the audience) creates such a happy and positive atmosphere.
“Both children and adults get so excited when watching the skaters perform. It feels like a show for everyone.”
Talking to the skaters proved to be an eye-opening experience for Jessie. “Every skater’s story is different. It was amazing to speak to cast members and hear about how they got there,” she said.
“The cast is like a family, and everyone is so close. You can tell when they perform big group numbers that they’re just having so much fun.
Frozen is the show-stopping finale.
“One cast member told me he never wants to leave Disney and I can see why.”
Mum Sarah was amazed by what the ice-skaters can get involved in beyond the rink. “The opportunities they have are incredible; they’re able to learn about wigs, costumes and all-sorts behind-the-scenes. It really gave Jessie a nudge of confidence that there’s so much more to learn.
“Watching Jessie speak to the ice-skaters was great. They were so encouraging and really made her day. I think it made her all the more excited to start on her own show.”
So what does the future hold for Jessie?
“I’m still dreaming of Disney on Ice,” she says. “I’d love to be one of the princesses, but just being in it would be incredible.”
“I honestly can’t imagine myself not skating. I’d love to be a coach one day too. As long as I’m skating, I’ll be happy.”
Useful information if you’re thinking of watching Disney on Ice…
Find Your Hero is running in Manchester, at the AO Arena, until November 7.
The Disney on Ice show runs for approximately 2 hours, with a 15-minute interval.
For ticket availability, click here.
The UK tour then travels to Exeter, Aberdeen, Belfast, Newcastle, Sheffield and London.