SHINGLE SPRINGS — Melanie Hern kept her focus on the prize, her nose to the grindstone and eye on the ball.
Since the age of 6 Hern knew what she wanted, went after it and will now reap the rewards. Currently, the 20 year-old Shingle Springs’ native is in Lakewood, Fla. rehearsing for the upcoming world tour of the Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic show that kicks off next month in San Diego.
The ensemble will feature a variety of Disney characters from its many movies and take Hern to North and South America and Canada.
“I’m super excited,” Hern said several days before her trek to the Sunshine state. ”It’s been my goal since I started skating. I went to the shows and thought, ‘OK, I want to be in the show myself.’”
Hern made the cut after a mid-summer audition in Sun Valley, Idaho where she was one of 30 hopefuls. She signed a one-year contract and one of the stops in November is Sacramento’s Power Balance Pavilion for seven shows.
“I’m looking forward to performing close to my hometown,” Hern said.
She recalls watching a video of her mom. Melissa, ice skate and wanting to give it a try. Hern was hooked the minute she stepped on the ice.
What followed was a lengthy competitive career and daily practices at the Iceland ice rink in North Sacramento, her” home ice.” When that burnt down, she made the trip to Vacaville three days a week. To follow her dream, Hern opted to be home-schooled to allow for the demanding practice schedule.
Her forte has been technical and showcase competitive events. In 2008 she was second in the region and last year won the Spring Review overall competition. Over the years the Democrat has covered Hern’s many accomplishments on the ice.
“I’ve always been into the performing and entertaining aspect (of ice skating) and to make people smile. That’s the route I’ve always wanted to go.”
Hern’s favorite Disney movie is the Lion King, sure to be represented in the Disney ice shows.
Having met her goal, it’s hakuna matata for the talented ice skater right now.