Figure skating and travelling are ice performer Freddie Allain’s two passions in life
From Oct. 6 to 10, it will be time for kids along with moms and dads to grab their Mickey Mouse ears for a few hours of non-stop fun when 50 of their favourite Disney friends come to life on ice skates during Disney on Ice’s Let’s Celebrate show at Place Bell.
For generations of children and kids at heart who grew up with images of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other timeless Disney creations, the show will be an opportunity to see live characters from Disney stories that include Snow White, Pinocchio, Frozen, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Mulan and Finding Dory.
In all, 14 classic as well as more recent Disney storylines are included in the one hour and forty-minute show (there is also a 15-minute intermission), with none other than Mickey Mouse serving as master of ceremonies. But the Disney characters are only the beginning.
Former competition skater
The skating is performed by a cast of some of the world’s most accomplished figure skating professionals – including former Canadian competitive figure skater Freddie Allain.
In the “Tangled” segment of Let’s Celebrate, he plays Flynn Rider, a character from the Disney animated movie based loosely on the German fairy tale Rapunzel.
He is also part of the ensemble and can be found in many other numbers. This is the 13th year Freddie Allain has been touring with Disney on Ice, and by all accounts he loves it.
Two passions in life
“I have two passions in life,” he said in an interview with The Laval News. “Figure skating and traveling. And I’m lucky enough that I found a job that I get to do both of those things and get paid for it. So yeah, I’m good. I’m pretty happy.
“We’re a ton of skaters, so we all have that in common. So, when I tour on a show, I get to like kind of build a second family. So, I have friends that I’ve made all over the world, which is great. So, when you get to tour with these people and get to see the world and get to sightsee wherever you want, like it’s a really a great experience.”
He loves the job
Originally from New Brunswick, after completing high-school he lived in Montreal for six years while engaging in competitive figure skating. When he retired from that, some skating colleagues told Allain about the work they were doing with Disney on Ice. He told himself he’d try it for a year, although he’s still with the company well over a decade later.
During his competitive skating career, Allain, now 36, made it onto Canada’s junior national team and did a couple of international competitions. For novice skaters who might be contemplating eventually pursuing skating as a career, he said opportunities for professional figure skaters are out there to be had.
‘Figure skating is such a beautiful sport and you can do so much with it,’ says figure skating pro Freddie Allain
Career in figure skating
“I was lucky to get a job right away when I auditioned,” said Allain, adding that usually it’s a little bit easier for boys because there aren’t as many male figure skaters. “They hire figure skaters for shows including Disney on Ice, of course. But there are different shows in Europe. Like Cirque du Soleil currently has a show with figure skaters. There’s lots of opportunity.”
For those who are old enough to remember, at one time two professional ice shows dominated the North American market: Ice Capades and Ice Follies. While the former went out of business in the mid-1990s, Ice Follies was purchased in 1979 by the U.S.-based Feld Entertainment which own Disney on Ice.
Allain, who is currently training to become an ice-show choreographer once he retires from performing, maintains that professional figure skating remains a strong draw in the live entertainment business because of its family-oriented nature and ongoing appeal to children as well as adults.
“I think like, at the end of the day, families and people in general are always wanting to be entertained,” he said. “And figure skating is such a beautiful sport and you can do so much with it.
Bringing joy to families
“So yeah, there are like tons of tons of shows happening all over the world. I also find since COVID that people are just so happy to get out of the house again and then see live entertainment. So that’s always been good to just, like, bring joy to families all over the world.” Performances of Disney on Ice’s Let’s Celebrate are available in English and French. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.ca. Place Bell address: 1950, Claude-Gagné St. in Laval.