WANT TO GO?
Disney on Ice presents "Worlds of Fantasy"
WHERE: Charleston Civic Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday.
TICKETS: $13 to $45. Promotional pricing available for some shows.
INFO: 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. --Bryan Santiago said you might not think it, but ice skating is kind of a big deal in sunny California.
The Disney skater, who appears Thursday through Sunday with Disney on Ice's "Worlds of Fantasy" show at the Charleston Civic Center, grew up in Solano County, which has more ice skating rinks than the entire state of West Virginia.
"There are more than a dozen just where I'm from," said Santiago, who got into skating when he was 12 years old.
"My grandmother was working at an ice rink that had just opened," he said. "My cousins and I would go there after school to have fun, and we learned to skate."
Santiago said he was a natural at it because he'd been a dancer for a few years. He had good balance and knew what his body could do. Applying that made skating easy.
Just goofing off with the other kids led to lessons and then to private instruction. By the age of 13, he was competing locally, then regionally, and eventually skating for medals at tournaments in Europe.
"I competed from the age of 13 to around 21," he said.
Santiago joined Disney two years ago, currently skating the role of "Toy Story 3" era Andy.
"It's an easy character for me to relate to," he said. "He's a 17-year-old boy growing up and saying goodbye to his childhood."