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Now 26, Chavez – who spent 10 years skating competitively – will soon be in the spotlight portraying the adventurous island teenager Moana when Disney on Ice presents Dream Big starts its six-show run at the Wright State University Nutter Center on Nov. 1. It's a dream gig for the California native.
“When you see the excitement on everyone’s faces and you know you had a part in putting that smile there, it’s so amazing,” Chavez said. “You know you’re making dreams come true.”
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Chavez didn’t always dream of a career in skating, in fact, she has a bachelor’s degree in criminal psychology. But after taking some time off — after retiring from the competitive ranks at 18 — she realized just how much she missed the ice.
“After a while, all I could think about was skating,” she said. “I thought I’d try show skating for a year and, six years later, I’m still here.”
Moana is a newcomer to the Disney ice shows and will be joined by her favorite demigod Maui in the Dream Big show that highlights courage and adventure. The audience will also explore the Land of the Dead as Miguel from “Coco” brings the festivities of Dia de los Muertos to life on the ice. Rapunzel will also be on hand in a quest to see the floating lights. Fan favorites Anna, Elsa and Olaf will transport “Frozen” fans to the kingdom of Arendelle while princesses Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Belle and Cinderella will also share their familiar stories with fans of all ages.
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The on-ice magic takes plenty of off-ice work. But it’s the kind of homework Chavez enjoys.
“I watch the movies — a lot — and try to get a sense of the character’s movements and personality,” she said. “Moana is very independent, strong and confident.”
Chavez, who has also portrayed Belle and Anna in previous tours, is excited to bring this spirited character to life.
“She’s not afraid of anything and she is powerful, I try to portray that when I skate.”
WANT TO GO?
What: Disney on Ice presents Dream Big
When: Nov. 1 – 7 p.m.; Nov. 2 – 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Nov. 3 – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Where: Wright State University's Nutter Center
Tickets: Start at $15, purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Nutter Center box office.
Test your Disney Knowledge: Dream Big Trivia
1. Fill in the blanks, Maui sings, “What can I say except ‘you’re welcome’ For the _____, the _____, the _____.”
2. Who is Aladdin’s best friend and partner in crime?
3. What does Ariel use to brush her hair when she becomes human?
4. What item does Gramma Tala give Moana?
5. Finish this line: “Be our guest, be our guest…”
6. What is Rapunzel’s pet’s name?
7. What type of pet does Maleficent have?
8. Which of Cinderella’s stepsisters wears the green dress?
9. When Olaf says, “Who’s the funky looking donkey over there” who is he referring to?
10. What is the name of Miguel’s dog?
Answers: 1. Tide, sun, sky; 2. Abu; 3. Fork; 4. Her necklace; 5. “Put our service to the test”; 6. Pascal; 7. Crow; 8. Drizella; 9. Kristoff; 10. Dante