BY JANNA BLANTER, SPECIAL TO THE EDITION
This weekend will be a very special kind of homecoming for Alexe Gilles, 2010 Cheyenne Mountain High School graduate and longtime member of the Broadmoor Skating Club. Gilles will return to her former training facility to entertain Colorado Springs residents as Elsa, star of the Disney on Ice show “Dream Big.” Shows will be at 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday at The Broadmoor World Arena.
This show is not based on any one of the individual Disney stories but rather combines characters from many of them, featuring nine princesses — Ariel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Anna, Aurora, Tiana and Jasmine — and one queen, Elsa, from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Gilles will be skating the role of Queen Elsa from the magical kingdom of Arendelle.
Gilles’ skating story began with the Broadmoor Skating Club and at the Broadmoor World Arena Ice Hall. She started training at the facility — designated as the only United States Olympic Committee-official training site for figure skating in the U.S. — in 2001. In 2005, she qualified to compete at the national level, and in 2006 Gilles made her international competitive debut. Her competitive career climaxed when Gilles became the 2008 U.S. Junior Champion. That same year, her international success culminated with a bronze medal in the Junior Grand Prix Final.
In April 2014, Gilles’ longtime coach from the Broadmoor World Arena Ice Hall, Catarina Lindgren, introduced her to the casting director from Disney on Ice while the tour was visiting Colorado Springs. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Gilles has traveled the world since she joined the show in July 2014, and said she has been enthralled by the experience. She said the role has given her the opportunity to use her acting abilities while maintaining her skating skills. Despite the weight of her costume, Gilles has landed triple toes in her program in the venues where the size of the ice was sufficient.
Gilles’ number in the performance includes a spectacular musical sparkles show known as Disney’s Magic. Gilles said she enjoys watching it as she performs because this is the only part of the show she sees the same direction as the audience. However, Gilles said every performance feels unique because the audiences’ reactions are never the same. Gilles is not the only successful skater in her family — her twin sister, Piper, with her partner, Paul Poirier, are 2017 bronze medalists in Ice Dance for Canada and her older brother, Todd, former U.S. Junior Ice Dance Champion, was recently featured on the ABC show “Shall We Dance on Ice.” All were long-term members of Broadmoor Skating Club.
The upcoming Colorado Springs performances of Dream Big will also feature Broadmoor Skating Club alum Nathan Miller, 2005 Novice Pairs Champion, who will perform as Aladdin.