Disney on Ice skates in the Xtream Arena in Coralville
Every four years, Olympic skaters dazzle viewers with seemingly impossible jumps, leaps and spins.
Flynn and Rapunzel are flying high in Disney on Ice: Into the Magic,” landing in the Xtream Arena in Coralville from March 3-6. (Feld Entertainment)
Disney on Ice skaters do it at every show.
“It’s our Olympics every day,” said Thomas Lizeul, who left his hometown of Paris and a career in finance for a life on the road with Feld Entertainment in 2013.
He will return to eastern Iowa with “Disney on Ice: Into the Magic” for seven performances March 3-6 at the new Xtream Arena in Coralville.
“We have two former Olympians on this show,” he said by phone from a tour stop in Sioux City. “There are a lot of jumps. This show is really entertaining, with lots of action going on. The opening number is like full energy. It’s like a warm-up number. We do rolls, we do jumps — there’s a lot going on. You will see lots of jumps, spins, lifts and aerial lifts.
Lizeul has been to Iowa and Cedar Rapids with other Disney on Ice adventures, and looks forward to returning to the area during the show’s Midwest swing.
What: Disney on ice: in the magic
Or: Xtream Arena, 200 E. Ninth St., Suite 100, Coralville
When: March 3 to 6, 2022; 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $29 to $64, xtreamarena.com/events/
COVID Protocols: Masks are strongly recommended for anyone who has NOT been vaccinated; details at xtreamarena.com/pages/covid-alert
Since December, he has slipped into the role of Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, in the show’s “Beauty and the Beast” segment. It is not a unique moment. Like the others in the cast, once released from his starring persona, he will join the sets for the other scenes which recreate magical moments from “Coco”, “Tangled”, “Cinderella”, “Rapunzel”, “Frozen” and ” Moana”.
Life on the road not only took him to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Canada and Mexico, but to every US state except Hawaii and Alaska.
In addition to exploring exotic and unfamiliar places, cultures and cuisines, the tours also allowed her to become fluent in English, honing her academic skills with her colleagues. And he watched TV and movies with English subtitles.
“So that’s how I figured it out,” he said, “(adding) more words to my vocabulary.”
spinning on the ice
He has been studying the universal language of skating since he was 4 years old.
“After watching figure skating on TV, I told my mom I wanted to do the same,” he said in his official biography.
He managed this landing, eventually turning on the French junior team and several international competitions. He quit competition at 19 and became an international judge, acting as a specialist technician for three years, playing on his technical skills as an ice dancer.
“In ice dancing, when I was competing and as a judge…I’m trained to bring curves into beautiful lines and to make choreography prettier,” he said. “To me, ice dancers are more about the lines, the beauty of the choreography and making it as pretty as possible.”
His time as a judge coincided with college, where his parents urged him to get a degree so he would have something to fall back on, in case he got hurt.
He continued to train on the ice, earned a degree in finance, and after working as a private financial advisor, began pursuing his dreams by submitting a video and resume to casting director Feld Entertainment. The organization produces and presents live shows around the world, including Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live! and Jurassic World live.
As his parents feared, Lizeul was injured during his first year on tour, when he caught the blade in his suit and dislocated his shoulders. Horrible as it sounds, he bounced back with physical therapy and didn’t need surgery.
The other career stumble came when the pandemic put her dream job on hold for two years. Since he is not a US citizen, travel bans have kept him in Paris. He not only continued to train in this free time, but he also continued to study. Along with his degree in finance, he earned a degree in human resources, giving him even more options to fall back on.
Now 31, he said he’s been able to juggle his college education with his skating career, saying his work with financial clients has given him the confidence he brings to his performances.
Seeing the light in the children’s eyes is a great reward for all his hard work on and off the ice, where he spends as much time as possible in the gym and watches his diet to stay in top shape, especially for the three performance days. .
Pandemic protocols keep cast members in a bubble, but he still hopes to safely explore towns and cafes during tour stops. COVID has also suspended public meet-and-greets, so he looks forward to the day when skaters can once again spend time with their young fans.
It’s the people in the seats that keep him coming back for more.
“Playing in front of an audience is the main thing,” he said. “I really like it, the energy they give us. I really missed it. Getting back on the road with Disney on Ice was a positivity. I enjoy it every day and I’m really grateful.
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Lavish costumes and sets are a hallmark of Disney on Ice, including this “Beauty and the Beast” scene from “Into the Magic,” coming to Xtream Arena in Coralville March 3-6. (Feld Entertainment)
“Moana” will take audiences to the Polynesian islands during Disney on Ice: Into the Magic, taking place at the Xtream Arena in Coralville from March 3-6. (Feld Entertainment)
Even the coach will glide across the ice to carry Cinderella to the ball during Disney on Ice: Into the Magic. The show, spotlighting some of Disney’s most beloved shows and characters, is coming to Xtream Arena in Coralville March 3-6. (Feld Entertainment)
A skating rink seems like a perfectly natural place to find Elsa from “Frozen.” She’ll let him take the spotlight in Disney on Ice: Into the Magic, coming to the Xtream Arena in Coralville from March 3-6. (Feld Entertainment)
Thomas Lizeul, performer, Disney on Ice