Canberra’s ‘ice princess’ can live out her dream

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Ice skater Tanisha Jory… “I like to say I’m pretty good at competing, but there’s always more to learn.” Photo: Lily Pass

Few live out their childhood dreams, but Canberra ice skater Tanisha Jory’s life has become her own fairy tale, as her dreams come true.

The 22-year-old from Gungahlin, who has been ice-skating since the age of five, has scored a role on the Australian tour of “Fairytales on Ice”.

“I’m living the dream I had when I was little, it’s so crazy and I’m still shocked that it’s something I can do,” she says.

Tanisha’s dream came true when she was five years old, when her parents took her to see “Disney on Ice.”

“I told my parents afterwards that I wanted to be an ice princess when I grew up, and that’s what I took with me,” says Tanisha.

“That’s why I started and that’s why I continue.”

Tanisha has also been skating competitively since the age of six and has represented the ACT four times at the Australian Figure Skating Championships.

“I like to say I’m pretty good at competing, but there’s always more to learn,” she said.

Earlier this year, Tanisha saw a casting call on Facebook that piqued her interest.

“‘Fairytales on Ice’ was looking for Australian skaters and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me, so I went for it,” she says.

“I wasn’t really expecting to come in, but I thought I’d give it a try, see if I was what they were looking for and, it turns out I was.

“I feel like it was made just for me and figure skating will be a very different experience from competitive skating.”

But of course, she says, it hasn’t always been easy.

“When I was younger, I didn’t have a backup plan, because that’s all I ever wanted to do,” she says.

“As I got older and left school I found it was very competitive, and especially when COVID-19 came around I wasn’t skating at all and I needed to figure out what to do with my life if I couldn’t skate.

“So I went to CIT and studied fitness, and I realized that I wanted to do group fitness classes eventually, and also started my coaching qualifications for skating.”

Sometimes it takes a long time to master a spin or a jump, and that’s what affects Tanisha the most, she says.

“But I don’t know what I would do without skating, it’s a good challenge even when it gets difficult. I just think today is not good but tomorrow will be better.

Once she finishes performance skating, Tanisha says she wants to continue coaching skating and helping others achieve their own goals.

“After ‘Fairytales on Ice,’ I think I’ll know if that’s really what I want to do for years to come,” she says.

The “Fairytales on Ice” tour, which features characters from “The Little Mermaid”, “Cinderella”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Little Red Riding Hood”, starts in Queensland before going to NSW, Canberra and SA.

“I don’t think I’m naturally gifted. I’ve worked very hard on everything I’ve achieved, sometimes it comes easier but I’ve worked hard on all the jumps and spins I have.

“Fairytales on Ice”, Canberra Theatre, October 9.

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