Every girl dreams of being a Disney character, but for 21-year-old Utah native BreAnn Brown, the dream comes true every time she takes the stage in "Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy."
Brown, who graduated from Jordan High School in 2007, has spent the past two years touring with Disney on Ice as Tinker Bell and said portraying the iconic fairy was an unexpected twist in her career.
"I sent in some videos when I heard they were casting and didn't hear back," Brown said. "Then I got a call asking if I would be willing to quickly fly to Florida to try out."
Brown said she had been skating since she was 7 years old, and prior to taking the ice as Tinker Bell, she worked with Disney as a skating stunt double in the movie "Go Figure."
"I still see it on TV sometimes," she said. "It's funny."
Brown said that small role with Disney helped her eventually land an audition for Disney on Ice. Although she said she originally went in hoping to get even a small role, she was surprised with the outcome.
"The audition was literally 20 minutes, and then they asked if I wanted the role of Tinker Bell," she said. "Two days later, I was working on the show. I mean I just went home, packed and that was it."
After saying goodbye to her family and friends, Brown said she packed up her belongings and headed to Florida for an intense six weeks of training.
"We were there for 12-14 hours day working on all of this, and it came together," she said. "I got more comfortable as I went on."
Her father, Jeff Brown, traveled to Florida for the show's opening and said seeing her perform was payoff for years of hard work.
"It was really cool," he said. "It was even better because it was the first showing and they had just released the movie about Tinker Bell and friends so it was exciting."
The first time taking the ice as Tinker Bell, BreAnn Brown said, was a surreal experience.
"It was amazing seeing an audience instead of a panel of judges and friends," she said. "You get used to doing so many shows; it's fun to interact and see everyone out there."
The interaction between audience and performers has turned out to be her favorite part of performing with Disney on Ice.
"I didn't think I would be able to interact so much," BreAnn Brown said. "At first I was nervous, but now I go up to people in the first two rows and sometimes the little kids will get really into it. "
BreAnn Brown said her character goes through every emotion on the ice as she struggles to find her special talent.
"Tinker Bell gets her name because she invents things, but she sees all her friends' talents and that's her struggle," BreAnn Brown said. "She's frustrated she can't master the abilities of her friends."
Audience connection, Brown said, is what makes Disney on Ice a memorable experience.
"It's so fun to have the kids cheering and sympathizing," she said. "There is one time when she cries, and I get kids who come up and say, 'Its OK, Tinker Bell, don't cry.' "
BreAnn Brown said even the boys, who normally reserve their excitement for the "Cars" portion of the show, appreciate Tinker Bell's antics.
"We'll see 'em laughing," she said. "They can't hold it in forever."
BreAnn Brown said the show also features segments based on Disney classics such as "Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King."
"People come on dates; anything from teenagers to older people come, and everybody seems to enjoy it," she said. "The skating is absolutely enjoyable; anybody should come see the show."
She said the Disney experience has not only given her an opportunity to travel and do what she loves, it has improved her skating.
"When I first was going to try out, I had no real intention of being a principal role, but it has improved my skating tremendously," she said. "Just being able to be with experienced skaters and having free ice time helps advance my skating."
Jeff Brown said he has flown to several locations to see his daughter perform and has enjoyed seeing her progress as a skater.4 comments on this story
"I go see as many as I can," he said. "It's been fun to see her get better as she goes."
Disney on Ice comes to Salt Lake City March 10-14, and BreAnn Brown said she's excited to skate in front of those who have supported her throughout the years.
"This is the first time the show is in Salt Lake," she said, "so I have a lot of family and friends coming. I'm very excited."
If you go...
What: "Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy"
When: March 10-14, times vary
Where: EnergySolutions Arena
How much: $13-$52