LAKELAND, Fla. - Imagine, after years of hard work and dedication, the joy that would be felt after finally achieving a lifelong goal. It's a safe bet that the sense of accomplishment and excitement would be overwhelming.
Now imagine how that feeling - that satisfaction - would grow if you had managed to accomplish that goal right alongside your best friend.
Could it get any better?
ALEXIS DARROW AND JAYLYN ORWIG
It was that dream situation in which Jamestown Skating Club members Alexis Darrow and Jaylyn Orwig found themselves recently when they were informed that not one, but both, had been selected to become the newest members of the esteemed touring ice show, "Disney on Ice."
"It's been a dream of theirs since they were younger and since they saw (other Jamestown Skating Club members like Ryan Coombs and Carl Linamen) join Disney on Ice," Jamestown Skating Club president, and mother of Alexis, Ellen Darrow said. "It'll be a great experience for them."
The duo, each of them longtime members of the JSC, are now professional figure skaters and under year-long contract to perform in this year's show, called "Disney on Ice: Rockin' Ever After."
The first show, which features characters and stories from Disney classics like "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid," and also from more recent successes like "Tangled" and "Brave," is set for Aug. 31 in Lakeland, Fla., at the Jenkins Arena-Lakeland Center, where Darrow and Orwig will be performing in front of some 10,000 fans.
It was, it seems, just a matter of time before the pair would have the opportunity to perform on ice professionally.
Both Darrow and Orwig are accomplished skaters. Each is a two-time U.S. Figure Skating Association gold medalists who has been competing, performing and entertaining since they first signed up for the JSC's Learn to Skate program at six years old. In addition to taking part in numerous "Excellence on Ice" shows locally in Jamestown, both have been regular competitors at the national level. Just last year, in fact, they took part in the U.S. Figure Skating National Showcase (a competition in theatrical skating) in Strongsville, Ohio.
Given those past successes, the process in being selected for "Disney on Ice" went quite smoothly.
"They just sent in a demo tape and a resume," Ellen Darrow explained. "They had an on-ice audition and a few weeks later were notified by e-mail that they had been chosen."
Darrow and Orwig left for Florida two weeks ago, and since have been taking part in a month-long training program to ready themselves for the upcoming shows.
"It's always hard leaving home," Ellen Darrow said, "but it was a lot easier going with your best friend."
From Lakeland the pair, along with the rest of their castmates, will travel and perform at places such as Orlando, Fla.; Providence, RI; Richmond, VA; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Philadelphia - just to name a very few - before the whirlwind tour comes to an end at Reliant Stadium, a 71,054-seat stadium home to the Houston Texans, in late April of 2013.