Skater excited to bring Disney princess to life

Eighteen-year-old skater Mariyah Thurston, from Moreno Valley, appears as Princess Tiana and other characters in Disney on Ice’s “Let’s Celebrate!” closing today at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.

You’ve skated both professionally and competitively. Can you compare the two experiences? They’re different, and you get into different mindsets. You’re much more focused in competition. In shows, there’s a consistency and routine, and you find places where you can play. You even can give high-fives to kids in the audience.

Can you talk a bit about your background? I started skating when I was 5, and competed from ages 7 to 18. I spent all the time at the rink, from 5:30 in the morning until about 2 or 3 in the afternoons. I trained until January 2010, and after I graduated from high school in June, I took two weeks off, and then joined the show.

What’s in your future? The tour is over in May, and I’ll continue school online, working to get my AA degree from Riverside Community College and Mountain San Jacinto Community College. I’ve got my heart set on going to Prairie View A&M University.

So you have career goals outside skating? Yes, I want to be a sports medicine doctor.

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