Seen & Heard: Rochester skaters ready to Buzz with Disney

shannon brakke mug century track 2013

They've been skating together ever since they were mini.

Now, Lane Nicolay and Shannon Brakke are about to skate with Minnie. They just left to join the cast of Disney on Ice.

Nicolay, a 2013 Lourdes High School graduate, will spend two weeks rehearsing in Fort Meyers, Fla., and her opening show will be Sept. 13 in Orlando, part of the "Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes" tour.

Brakke, a 2013 Century graduate, will have two weeks of rehearsals in Rockford, Ill., with her opening night to come Sept. 11 in Chicago, where she'll join the "Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic" tour.

The two Rochester girls have been skating together for practically their whole lives. They have been skating since they were 3 or 4 years old and were involved with the Rochester Figure Skating Club.


I spoke with them just a few days before they had to pack their lives into a few suitcases and hit the road.

"The contract is about a school year's length — it's from September til May/June," said Nicolay. "We have two weeks of rehearsal to learn everything. We are joining as new members, but almost everyone else there already knows the show, so the first two weeks are pretty intense — rehearsals are eight-hour days every day for two weeks straight."

Brakke then said: "After the rehearsals, we will have opening night, and we just go from there. We will be doing five to seven shows a week and in a different place each week."

Both auditioned at the Xcel Energy Center last December but didn't find out until May that they were accepted.

"We were hired as ensemble positions," but both have the potential to become understudies, which is kind of rare for the first year, Nicolay said.

"We don't know our roles yet — that will be finalized at rehearsals," Brakke said. "They encourage trying out for different roles and parts because they want you to be a well-rounded skater. A lot of the time, you are incorporated throughout the entire show."

Break a leg, girls!

By design


Professional designer Lee Green had the winning design, selected from 600 individual entries, for the new Rochester Public Schools logo. I spoke with him a few hours after the unveiling.

"It's been a great day," Green said. "Hearing that I won was quite an honor, and I was very appreciative."

The school district advertised the logo campaign on Facebook, weeded through submissions and narrowed the field to three finalists in July. Online voting determined the winner. The winning logo — Green's entry — was revealed on Monday.

Green is a designer for the Professional Skaters Association, an organization for figure skating coaches.

"I do Web development, media stuff and graphic design," Green said. "We've got things like bi-monthly magazines, publications, books, brochures, that sort of stuff. … So that's what I do during the day.

"When I'm not at work, I have two daughters (one a sophomore at Minnesota State University–Mankato and one a sophomore at John Marshall High School) and a lovely wife, Jodi. I'm also trying to get more into golf and woodworking. I try to stay pretty active."

Megan Kennedy is a longtime midday radio personality on KROC-FM. Seen & Heard highlights local people with interesting stories. Send tips to


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