An Interview With Disney On Ice “Dare To Dream” Mulan- Justine Lopez
This week will mark a homecoming when Disney On Ice “Dare To Dream” skates into Northern California as Sacramento resident Justine Lopez takes to the ice with the company in the role of Mulan. Now entering her 8th year with the Feld organization and Disney On Ice, Justine is truly living out her childhood dreams. I had the chance to sit down and talk to Justine a few days ago and it was apparent from the first moment that this is a young lady truly living out her childhood dreams.
Like so many girls, Justine first fell in love with skating when she saw the Olympics on television.
“ I remember watching the Olympics when I was 7 years old and knowing right then and there, that’s what I had to do with my life. As my mom tells the story, I went and found the phone book, found the closest skating rink to our house and made my parents take me there. I’ve been skating ever since.”
Justine was an accomplished competition skater rapidly rising among the ranks over the years as well as coaching up and coming figure skaters before joining Disney On Ice in 2008. Over the years, being a part of the company has given her the opportunity to travel the world as part of the international cast but this week finally sees her coming home to her roots. And no one will be cheering louder for her than her parents who have been her biggest supporters throughout her career.
“ None of this would have been possible without the support and love of my parents. They supported me unconditionally in following my dreams, were at my side when times were difficult, picked up my spirits during many of the early mornings when maybe I might have been too tired to do it myself and always, always made sure that they were behind me 100%.”
And now that she’s been with the company for so long, she can still find something new and exciting about each and every performance.
“Even on the most difficult of days, all I have to do is look around and remind myself that this is what I get to do for a living. I am living out every dream I had growing up. How many people ever get to say that? Each and every show brings to it a new ‘favorite’ aspect and if that weren’t enough, the faces of the children and their parents reminds me how truly blessed I am. A while back I was going through some boxes at home and I came across my very first Disney On Ice program and I remember what that show meant to me. To be able to give even a small piece of that back to someone in the audience, it just doesn’t get any better than that”
When not skating, you’ll find this ambitious young skater who was a double major in math and English before joining the company, is now working on completing her degree in Business and Marketing through online courses and hopes one day, when the time may come to retire her skates, to be able to put that degree to work somewhere with the Disney company. When I asked if she wasn’t on the ice, what her dream job would be with Feld, she quickly replied that she saw herself working in the costuming and makeup departments, a long time fascination of hers.
But luckily for us, beginning Wednesday night, we will be able to see the joy in Justine’s face as she skates into our hearts as part of the cast of “Dare To Dream”. The world is waiting for you Justine-we can’t wait to see where your own dreams will take you in the future.
“I get joy out of taking the time of an audience member’s day and being able to take them on a journey while they watch the show. At the end of the finale when I can look out and see the smiles on their faces, and hear the laughter, I know I have done my job”
Don’t miss Feld Entertainment’s Disney On Ice “Dare To Dream” opening this week at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.