Hens on ice
Two UD figure skaters sign to perform with touring ice shows
10:11 a.m., Sept. 19, 2013--Two University of Delaware figure skating alumnae have taken their talents to the next level by signing on with the world’s top touring ice extravaganzas.
Julianne DiMura, a psychology major with a minor in business administration who graduated in May 2013, has joined the cast of Platinum, the 70th anniversary show of Stage Entertainment’s Holiday on Ice.
Inside a superstorm
The tour runs though May 2014, with performances in the Netherlands, Germany and France.
Megan Marschall, a 2013 graduate who earned a degree in English with a concentration in professional writing, will skate in Princesses and Heroes, a Feld Entertainment Disney on Ice presentation. With performances slated for the U.S. and Canada, the show runs from September to late May 2014.
Four-year skating veterans at UD, DiMura and Marschall were members of the University’s Collegiate Figure Skating teams that took national championships in 2011 and 2013.
For DiMura, nothing beats the thrill of performing for a live audience and getting a positive reaction.
“What I enjoy the most is being constantly challenged and pushed to the limits,” DiMura said. “There is always a new element to learn and master, so I am constantly setting and working toward new goals.”
A rigorous rehearsal schedule means that skaters will be on the ice most of the day, DiMura said.
“Once the show premieres, we will basically be in a different city every week,” DiMura said. “I am particularly excited to be spending more than two weeks in Paris. It’s the experience of a lifetime.”
Touring with Disney on Ice tour represents a childhood dream come true, Marschall said.
“I have talked about skating with Disney on Ice since I was a little girl, and now it has become a reality,” Marschall said. “I couldn’t be happier than to be working for such a well-known company that promotes such a positive image.”
Skaters will practice for eight hours daily during the two-week period leading up to opening night, Marschall said.
“We will perform as many as three shows daily once the show opens, with each show running about two hours,” she said. “The tour also is scheduled to perform in Dubai and several cities in Qatar following the North American dates.”
Building on UD experience
Skating since age 6, DiMura was president of the UD figure skating club team during its journey to the national championship last year and previously served as team secretary.
“Figure skating is such an individual sport, so having the opportunity to be on a team and work collectively with others toward a common goal was such a rewarding experience,” DiMura said. “Without a doubt, this was the highlight of my undergraduate college career.”
Marschall, whose interest in the sport was piqued by watching her grandmother skate recreationally at gallerias in Houston, Texas, said serving as team vice president last season taught her the importance of time management and commitment.
“I had to be very disciplined with my skating, studies, and work schedule in order to be successful at everything,” Marschall said. “However, I enjoyed it so much that it was worth all the stress and enormous time commitment.”
Joel McKeever, UD freeskating, pairs and moves coach, credits DiMura and Marschall with being very strong leaders, on and off the ice.
“They were both very organized, and it’s hard for an ice skating team to win without having a good organization,” McKeever said. “Both skaters placed very well in freestyle and dance, which helped the team competitively. They were also strong in academics.”
Scott Gregory, ice dancing coach, noted that DiMura and Marschall served as role models who were looked up to by freshmen members of the team.
“They both competed in different events while having a full load of academics and what is really special is that they maintained their commitment to skating over the four years they were here,” Gregory said. “Having facilities here at UD where skaters can practice at all times is really important to students with a full schedule. I think it’s so cool that they are getting the chance to tour as professionals.”
With full performances set through next spring, DiMura and Marschall are eager for their professional skating adventures to begin.
“I am elated to be traveling to the Middle East, and I feel like it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Marschall said. “I feel truly grateful to be able to do what I love every day and call it my career.”
“I’m thrilled and grateful to have been given this opportunity to perform in Europe,” DiMura said. “Holiday on Ice is a major touring production and I am just so excited to be able to perform for European audiences and to face the challenges and new experiences that will come with life on the tour.”
Article by Jerry Rhodes