NJ couple skates as Jasmine and Aladdin in Disney on Ice


WHAT: Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart.

WHEN: Wednesday through Sunday.

WHERE: Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette St., Newark, prucenter,.

HOW MUCH: $42 to $138.

FOR MORE INFO: disneyonice/follow-your-heart.

It was another show, another day on the continuous road trip that is Disney on Ice, and Jessica Hatfield, who plays Jasmine in “Follow Your Heart,” was a little tired, not feeling her best. Then she spotted a girl in the crowd holding a Jasmine doll.

“I waved to her and the way she looked at her mom … that‘s such a great feeling,” said Hatfield, of Morris Plains.

The girl‘s excitement changed Hatfield‘s day and re-energized her performance. It is one of the times she thinks about when the training and skating can start to feel overwhelming.

“Follow Your Heart,” which comes to Newark‘s Prudential Center beginning Wednesday, will not only give Disney fans Jasmine and Aladdin, it also will tell the story of Dory and Hank in search of her parents and, for the first time on ice, the emotions of “Inside Out” appear, helping Riley during a hockey game. There will be scenes (and songs and skating) from “Frozen” and “Toy Story,” and Cinderella, Rapunzel and Ariel will be there, too.

Hatfield, whose husband Brendyn is Aladdin, graduated from William Paterson University in 2008 with a degree in nursing and got a job at St. Claire‘s Hospital Boonton campus. Two days into her new career, she said, she was offered a job in an ice show doing a tour through Europe and South America.

The ice and the call of the road won. Hatfield chose her “fantasy job” over nursing and has been doing it ever since. In “Follow Your Heart,” she and Brendyn get the chance to separate themselves a bit from the rest of Disney‘s royal cast.

“It‘s an acrobatic number, a little different from the other prince and princess ones,” she said of the routine to “A Whole New World.” “My costume doesn‘t hold us back.”

Spouses working together can be difficult, but the two manage to keep their professional and private lives separate, Jessica said.

“We‘ve been doing ice shows for eight years,” she said. “We still have a few more in us. We still want to travel.”

Doing years of ice shows is not an easy life. The physically demanding job sometimes has performers doing up to three shows a day. There is pressure, but it‘s different from the world of competitive skating, where many of these skaters began, because there is always an arena full of encouragement instead of the critical eyes of the judges.

“We have an audience there supporting us,” she said.

And when the days get too long and the skates feel heavy, there‘s always a girl with a Jasmine doll somewhere in the crowd, just waiting for Hatfield to wave in her direction.