Local skater follows her dreams with spot in Disney show
Twenty-five years ago Kaitlyn DeRoy was a toddler in a puffy pink snowsuit, shuffling around the pond at White Park. Tonight she’ll be gliding on the ice in a glittering dress at the Verizon Wireless Arena, entertaining hundreds of Disney fans with her jumps and twirls and dance routines. DeRoy, who grew up in Tilton, is a performer in the Disney on Ice Treasure Trove show, playing tonight through Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said DeRoy, 27, who’s been touring with Disney on Ice for about five years. “It’s really fun to see the kids react to their favorite characters.”
DeRoy was the age of the youngest audience members who ooh and ah over the show when she began her skating career.
She remembers her parents taking her skating at Everett Arena and at White Park. “I actually had skates when I could barely walk,” she said. “I used to watch figure skating on TV, and I remember trying to do the jumps. I wanted to wear the dresses too. . . . My mom said, ‘You should start taking lessons. Otherwise you’re going to get hurt.’ ”
DeRoy began taking lessons when she was about 8 and entered her first competition when she was 9. “I took to it pretty naturally. I just started learning the jumps pretty quickly,” she said. “I kept improving. I skated at different levels and moved up to different competitions. I just always enjoyed the challenge of it, and I didn’t mind the hard work that went into it. The aches and pains didn’t really bother me.”
After graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in journalism, DeRoy took an ordinary job with Fidelity Investments. But skating was in her blood, so she decided to send an audition tape to Disney on Ice. In 2008, she was hired as a performer with the Worlds of Fantasy tour. After that, she joined Treasure Trove.
DeRoy has several roles in the show. She plays Foxy, one of the Lost Boys, in the Peter Pan segment and also performs in a Lion King segment and a Princess and the Frog segment, in which she wears a purple and gold gown that would have thrilled her younger self.
“One of the challenges was learning the choreography,” DeRoy said. “It was a new show when I was learning it. There was a lot of work that went into learning the steps.”
Along with the on-ice excitement, DeRoy enjoys the off-ice thrills of traveling the globe. Between the two shows she’s visited Mexico, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, Peru, Ecuador and Australia.
The schedule can be grueling, keeping the performers on the road for months at a time. But DeRoy – who’s learned, among many other things, to pack light – doesn’t mind the pace. She wants to keep performing as long as she’s physically able. After that, she hopes perhaps to coach a little girl like the one who got her start on the duck pond at White Park, dreaming of twirling and jumping in a fancy dress.
Disney on Ice Treasure Trove plays tonight through Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Arena. For tickets and information, visit verizon