Disney on Ice features Spokane skater

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by WHITNEY WARD & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 9:00 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--Disney on Ice is coming to Spokane much to the delight of local children.

A Spokane woman will be hitting the ice as one of the key characters of the show.

“I love the feeling of skating. I love being on the ice,” said native Spokane woman Kristen Cowan.

Cowan has spend her life on the ice. She was born and raised in Spokane and grew up in skates. She competed and practiced at places like the Ice Palace and Eagles Ice Arena.

The Spokane girl gets to return to her hometown ice playing Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

“I think I'm a little bit nervous to be out in front of friends and family. I haven't been able to do that before,” said Cowan.

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Performing runs in Cowan’s blood. Her mom, Robin Briley, is also an accomplished figure skater. She toured with the Ice Capades in the 1970s.

“Looking back at it today, you take the first steps. You try to get them to go by themselves. At age three, that's pretty young to do,” said Briley.

Cowan said she is thankful her mom passed on the skates to her.

“She put me out there young. And I thought it was very cold, at age three. But I grew to love it,” said Cowan.

Cowan skated all through high school and graduated from Lewis and Clark. She went on to college in Santa Clara. Cowan said she did not skate much in college because she did not have a car. She said she missed ice skating and wanted to come back to it.

She ended up touring through Europe for almost five years with Holiday Ice before joining Disney two years ago.

“I did four years, she's done seven. She skates as a pair. She's a principal. So she's really gone beyond what I did when I was in my 20's,” said Briley.

Briley said she is proud of her daughter’s accomplishments.

“I'm so proud it's hard to put into words,” said Briley.

Cowan’s father is equally proud. Rich Cowan is a longtime Spokane public figure and business owner. He remembers countless practices at the local ice rink.

“It was many years of getting up at 4:30 in the morning and driving up to the ice rink,” said Rich Cowan.

His daughter makes skating look easy. Her grace on the ice is what has brought her this far.

“She's a beautiful skater, she always was, even when she was little,” said Rich Cowan.

Kristen said she always tries to remember what a privilege it is to be a professional skater.

“It's really fun to do something you love as your job. To get paid to travel and skate is a dream,” said Cowan.

Dreams really can come true as any Disney princess knows.
   
Kristen said one of the best parts of skating in Spokane again is that her grandparents will finally be able to see her skate as a professional.
 

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