Natalie Wegenka has seen a lot more of the world than your typical 21-year-old.
The professional ice skater has been touring with Disney on Ice the last few years, and it’s given her a chance to do a lot of traveling.
“This is my fourth tour with Disney,” Wegenka said. “Last year we did the Asia tour, and my second year we were in Europe.”
This time around, Wegenka is in the United States, traveling with the “Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic” skating show that comes for seven performances this week at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Shows run Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 15-18.
Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Wegenka’s parents moved her to Dana Point, California, when she was in high school so she could pursue her ice skating and dance dreams.
“Those are my two passions — skating and dancing,” she said.
Wegenka has also done quite a bit of acting.
Three years ago, after posting an audition video on YouTube, Wegenka contacted Disney on Ice.
“They took a look at my video, and I was fortunate enough to be picked up,” she said. “It’s been a whirlwind. Disney on Ice is so unique. I get to travel every week, and I really wanted to travel and do what I love.”
With Disney on Ice, Wegenka is getting plenty of opportunities to skate and travel. For example, the show flew into Salt Lake earlier this week, but the first show isn’t until Thursday evening. Wegenka, who is visiting Utah for the first time in her life, went to Park City on Tuesday. A friend of hers who lives here planned to take her to Antelope Island on Wednesday.
In the show, Wegenka skates in a number of supporting roles. One of the characters she plays is Dory, the forgetful blue tang fish from “Finding Nemo.”
“I portray many different roles with the ensemble, but my favorite is Dory,” Wegenka said. “I love the storyline. And I’m a bit goofy myself, so I love to play it up and make fun facial expressions.”
Disney on Ice currently has nine shows traveling the world, with each presenting different Disney stories, according to Wegenka. The show appearing in Salt Lake City mixes both modern and classic stories from the Disney archives. More recent films like “Frozen” and “Tangled” are included, along with older movies like “Pinocchio” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
And Wegenka says there’ll be plenty of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in the show.
“But my favorite in Disney on Ice is ‘The Lion King,’” Wegenka said. “I think it’s a beautiful story, and I love the costumes. And it’s such a crowd-pleaser at the end when Rafiki (the mandrill) comes out.”
Last week, “Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic” was in Bakersfield, California, for a run of shows. Wegenka says she’d never performed in California before, “so it was nice to be able to invite all my friends out to see the show.”
And next week? The Disney skaters move on to Des Moines, Iowa.
“Iowa,” Wegenka says. “That’s another place I’ve never been.”