‘Disney on Ice’ duo skate the world
Husband and wife come home as heroes
AS A child, Konrad Giering was obsessed with Disney movies.
He spent most of his free time glued to the television, watching his favourite animated heroes.
But while Disney has produced a number of animated classics, there was one that stood out for Giering: The Lion King.
“As a South African, the movie really spoke to me. I was fascinated by the characters and the storyline.”
Giering didn’t think twice when he was offered the opportunity to play a character from the movie.
The Benoni- born figure skater plays Scar, the jealous younger brother of Mufasa in the internationally acclaimed production, The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice, which heads to South Africa in three weeks.
“I spent many of my childhood years idolising the characters from Lion King, so to be able to bring the character to life on ice has truly been a dream come true,” said Giering, who has played the character for eight years.
A former figure skater who represented South Africa in several international competitions, Giering now travels the world. He is part of a large international cast who bring to life some of Disney’s most loved characters.
While Giering has performed in just about every country around the world, his performances in South Africa later this month will be a first.
He will also play Kristoff, from the popular Disney movie Frozen.
“It is only my mom who has seen me perform, so to have all my friends and the rest of my family see me live does make me a little nervous.”
It’s the sixth time Disney on Ice performs in South Africa. Each year, a new production is created.
“This year the show includes scenes from classic films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as more modern favourites like Finding Dory, The Lion King and Frozen.”
Dressing up and being on the ice is his dream job. And it doesn’t hurt that he does so with his childhood sweetheart, who is part of the cast, too.
His wife Yolande is an ensemble skater who performs with him on the ice.
“I get to see the world with my wife and perform with her too. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Yolande plays various animated characters in the production.
The 29-year-old, who grew up in Pretoria, said auditioning for Disney on Ice had been the best move the couple could have made.
“After watching a theatre production at Montecasino a few years ago, we decided to audition. It’s changed our lives.
“It’s been a wonderful jour- ney. We are about 40 skaters and 15 crew members who travel the world. We have become one big family on tour. We work together, eat together, shop together. We do everything together.”
While the couple admitted they are living the dream, the glamorous job does come with a few downsides.
“The worst thing is having to live out of a suitcase for months at a time and moving from one hotel to another. However, we’ve become used to the lifestyle,” Yolande said.
But the reward of seeing thousands of cheerful kids is worth it, the couple said.
“I get goosebumps when I hear the cheers from the kids. For those two hours during the show we become heroes and that’s a feeling that never gets old.”
Konrad Giering as Scar with hyenas in Disney on Ice.