Novi ice dancer to perform in Disney on Ice in Detroit

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published February 9, 2024

 Anastasia Olson, of Novi, performs as Belle in Disney on Ice.

Anastasia Olson, of Novi, performs as Belle in Disney on Ice.

Photo provided by Disney On Ice

 Anastasia Olson

Anastasia Olson

NOVI — Anastasia Olson, of Novi, will be returning to home ice when she performs as Belle in the Disney on Ice presentation of “Magic in the Stars” at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Feb. 15-18.

“Our show, ‘Magic in the Stars,’ is really a wonderful kind of show that reaches out to everybody, not just kids and families, but I feel that there is something for everyone to see. It really is a wonderful show,” said Olson.

More than 55 characters appear in “Magic in the Stars,” and the performance highlights more than a dozen Disney stories, including both classic and modern films. For the first time, the show will feature “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Frozen II,” as well as the return of Daisy Duck, who hasn’t been seen in the Disney on Ice shows for quite some time, Olson said. She said there are also some acrobatics and aerial aspects to the 100-minute show.

“It’s a very exciting show,” Olson said.

Olson, who is originally from California, started skating at the age of 6. She said she liked going to the ice arena because it offered a way to cool down.

“In the heat of the California sun, I really did enjoy the ice rinks,” she said. “I just really gravitated to it.”

Olson moved to Novi with her parents at age 8 to be near family and started competing primarily through the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Township. The 2010 Novi High School graduate is an 11-time competitor in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, a national junior medalist and an international competitor for Team USA.

“I was so fortunate to grow up in Michigan and get that kind of training, because, yeah, it is a big epicenter for ice skating,” she said.

Jodie Tasich, the skating director at the Detroit Skating Club, has been coaching at the club for more than 30 years and recalled watching Olson skate.

“She was a beautiful skater, very balletic, just kind of dainty and pretty. She basically looked like a ballerina on the ice,” Tasich said.

Tasich’s description seems fitting as Olson comes from a family of ballet dancers. Her mother and sister are ballerinas.

Following her years in competitive ice dancing, Olson performed in Ice Dance International with her last competitive partner and then in Russian Ice Stars before joining the Disney on Ice cast in 2018.

“What I love about Disney on Ice is that you never walk away from the day without feeling some kind of gratitude and happiness for what you did today for so many people, for so many kids and families,” Olson said. “It is such a fulfilling kind of feeling. It’s not that I didn’t have it when I competed, by any means, but it really puts a smile on my face to see a child so happy and loving the show so much.”

Olson said that although she enjoyed competitive figure skating, she really enjoys the performance aspect of Disney. She said that there is some performing in both styles of skating, but said that in competitive skating, one is performing for scores, and it’s an entirely different mindset.

“It’s just a wonderful role (performing as Belle in Disney on Ice). Her character speaks to me so much, and I think she was my favorite princess when I was growing up. So it’s really lovely to play her,” Olson said.

She said this upcoming Detroit show will be only her second time returning to home ice since she joined Disney.

“I’ve played Detroit only once before, and that was a couple years ago right after COVID, and I remember that first feeling performing in Little Caesars and having all my friends and family there. I was like, ‘This is something else.’ Such a great arena. The crowds were awesome. They were wild. Some of the loudest crowds I heard were in Detroit. So I’m very excited to be coming back to play Little Caesars,” Olson said. “I really do think the crowds in Little Caesars just kind of hit home for me.”

She said that one of her most memorable moments with the show happened the last time she was in Detroit. She said that during the show, Belle had a moment to sit down and wave. It was during that moment that a little girl came up to her and was trying to touch her hand and give her a high-five.

“It really was a special moment. I almost cried, she was so genuinely happy to see me, and how could you just not love that,” Olson said. “That was really a special moment. I loved that, and it just happened to be on home ice in Detroit.”

Tasich said she was not surprised to hear that Olson is in Disney on Ice.

“She was always very elegant. So, I think it’s probably a perfect position for her,” Tasich said. “I’m sure she is going to be great.”

Tasich said that she has had several skaters, approximately half a dozen, go on to join Disney on Ice, including Shanda DeWitt, who performed with Disney for a long time and is now behind the scenes, according to Tasich. She said she has also had skaters go on to perform in shows on cruise ships.

“We’ve had quite a few over the years,” Tasich said.

Disney on Ice tickets are on sale now. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the venue.