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Friday, November 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Family

Disney on Ice acrobat: ‘We’re doing it for the kids’

Adam Kezele tumbled into his job with Disney on Ice.

He’s one of a half-dozen acrobats who perform in “Mickey’s Search Party” at the Spokane Arena this weekend.

In the show, the hunt is on for Tinker Bell, who’s missing after Captain Hook tried to steal her magic. That search winds through several Disney stories, including “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Moana,” “Toy Story” and “Coco.”

There’s a lot that’s different about this show than previous Disney on Ice shows, Kezele said. The addition of acrobats is one, and it’s the first time that “Coco” has been part of the storyline. Plus, this show is far more interactive, he said.

“The shows typically break the fourth wall, but this one, we cross it. We’re in the audience, we’re interacting with people,” Kezele said.

Two hosts will be in the audience, on mic, getting help from kids for the show. And some lucky kids will even make it onto the ice.

During “The Little Mermaid” scene, “They get to sit in the little submarine and get pushed around the ice, so they’re literally in the middle of the production number,” he said.

Kezele, 31, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but now calls Los Angeles home. After studying theater in college, he moved to New York. While there, he went to circus school, where he learned his acrobatic skills. The skill he didn’t have before starting with Disney on Ice? Skating.

That’s changed, though for the most part he doesn’t skate during the show. Instead, he’s tumbling, climbing ropes or Chinese poles or jumping on the teeterboard.

His favorite part of the show is the “Coco” segment.

“We have these beautiful, beautiful costumes and masks that the skaters come out in, and they basically do authentic dancing on the ice,” he said. “Then the sway polers come out and the black lights come on, and it’s this really, really cool, almost sensory overload of a production number.”

Kezele is one of the people on top of those sway poles – strapped into a saddle on top of an 18-foot fiberglass pole. The poles bend and swing, sending the performers out over the audience. In some venues, he gets close enough to give high fives to kids.

“That is the most fun for me because that’s when I actually get to interact with the crowd.”

And that for him is the whole point of the show.

“We’re doing it for the kids. So when we see or hear the kids reacting to something that we’re doing, that’s what drives us,” he said.

“We basically live off the energy we get from the audience.”

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