Skater from Sacramento area follows her heart in Disney show

The cast of “Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart.”
The cast of “Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart.” Disney

Local skater Justine Lopez won’t travel far to get work next week: She’ll be part of Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart, at the Golden 1 Center.

Lopez, 29, lives in Rancho Cordova. She has been skating since she was little, and attended Natomas Charter School Performing and Fine Arts Academy.

“I was one of those little girls that watched the Winter Olympics, just kind of fell in love with the sport,” Lopez said.

Lopez has performed in previous Disney on Ice shows, including 100 Years of Magic, Worlds of Fantasy and Dare to Dream. Lopez is an ensemble performer skater in Follow Your Heart, in which characters Dory and new pal Hank from Disney & Pixar’s “Finding Dory” set out to find her parents.

Lopez also makes a skating appearance as a citizen in the “Frozen” segment and as a cheerleader in the “Inside Out” segment. Follow Your Heart is the first live show to include “Inside Out” and “Finding Dory.” Characters from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Frozen” and “Toy Story” – as well as Snow White, Tiana, Mulan, Ariel and Rapunzel – all also make appearances.

Lopez likened performing in Sacramento to a homecoming game for a sports team.

“Whether they’re competing or they’re ... doing a show and they’re winning, like you hear that cheer, it’s the same type of cheer I get when I have friends or family in the audience and they just roar because they know that there’s someone in the show that comes from here,” Lopez said.

Following the Sacramento dates, Follow Your Heart will hit cities including Salt Lake City, Wichita, Dubuque and Louisville.

Different locations also means different skating conditions.

“We’ve been doing this for a long period of time now where we get on to the ice and we test it out and we have time where we get to get a feel of our feet underneath us, and in that moment that’s when we’re like ‘OK, this is great, this is how it’s going to be this week, this is how it’s going to happen,’” Lopez said. “No matter what, it’s always going to happen.”

This is Lopez’s fourth time performing in Sacramento as part of Disney on Ice.

“I get paid doing what I love to do, which is not what everybody can say a lot of the times, and I’m really fortunate for that and I get to share my experience with my friends and my family,” Lopez said.

Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart

When: Feb. 15-19

Where: Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento.

Tickets: $11 and higher

Info: golden1center.com