'Magical Journey' with Disney
Skating with Disney's "Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey" has also been a magical journey for Jennifer Atkinson of Cottage Grove.
Atkinson, who has been on the road skating in Disney productions for two years, will get her chance to play to a hometown crowd when the show comes to the Xcel Energy Center Dec. 11 to 14.
Like others who aspire to skate professionally, Atkinson started at an early age. At 5, she saw skating for the first time during one of her brother's hockey games, she said in a telephone interview, Nov. 12.
Skating in a show was something she always wanted to do.
She describes her skating style as "smooth, flowing and graceful," and enjoys the variety of feelings her skating evokes from audiences ranging from excitement to happiness.
Atkinson enjoys skating so much that, if she could be an athlete in any other sport, it would be hockey.
With the show, she has traveled to South America and southeast Asia. She is looking forward to going to Europe next year. "I wanted to see the world, and I'm taking advantage of the opportunity," she said.
Audiences are different in other countries, she said. In South America, skating fans are very loud and boisterous. In Asia, they are quiet, but appreciative.
She enjoyed South American food but gets cravings for American fast food.
Atkinson gets along well with other members of the troop "Everyone gets along," she said.
She met her boyfriend on tour. He is a member of the supporting crew.
During the past two years she has learned to be more easygoing because it makes it easier to navigate through various stages of traveling including planes, buses and taxis.
In her spare time, she goes to the gym with other skaters and goes sightseeing to relax.
Atkinson graduated from Park High School and from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. Her field of study included business administration. She hopes to go on and get a master's degree in the same area, she said.
Judy Spooner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.