The arrival of a popular ice-skating show in Edmonton is also a homecoming for a local skater.
Melodee Clysdale, an ensemble cast member in Disney on Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party, performed in front of her family for the first time on Thursday night.
“I have 22 people coming to the ice show,” Clysdale said on Wednesday. “They have never seen me skate, never seen me perform, never seen me on the ice in their whole lives. It’s so exciting.”
Clysdale trained at the Royal Glenora her entire skating career but a hectic schedule prevented most of her family from coming to watch her.
“It was always training, training, training.
“Whenever there was a chance to showcase our work, we were travelling to competitions.
“So unless my whole family went with me, they would never see me skate. So, just my mom and dad saw me a lot,” Clysdale explained.
The skater, who has performed with Disney on Ice for more than 20 years, was thrilled when she heard the show was coming to Edmonton.
“It’s going to be an amazing feeling to know that many people in the crowd,” Clysdale said ahead of the show.
“We’ve been waiting a lifetime for Melodee to come to Edmonton and do this,” family friend Wayne Schwab said.
“Everybody is excited. Her whole career started in Edmonton.”
Melodee’s brother Robert told Global News he’d been waiting a long time to see her in action.
“It’s lots of time on the road. It’s an entirely different world.”
For Clysdale, having her family watch her perform was a validating experience.
“My brother kept saying, ‘I’m so proud of you.’
“Now you’ve built an entire career out of what you did every day of your life from eight years old.'”
WATCH: The ‘Dare to Dream’ show is a family fun event at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Jacob Marsh is one of the Disney skaters and chats about what fans can expect.
That Disney magic continues to shine through in her performances.
“It really is a dream come true. The performing was always my favourite aspect of it,” she said.
“To do this every day of my life is a dream.
“I get to dress up in amazing costumes and become iconic Disney characters… and make people happy,” Clysdale explained.
“Everybody turned out for this,” Robert said. “She’s pretty special to us.”