Laura Stern began skating at the age of seven, following in the footsteps of her mother. She enjoyed a solid amateur career as a singles and pairs figure skater, followed by a year as a member of a gold medal-winning Los Angeles Ice Theater troupe. She retired from the sport to attend college and earn her degree in theater arts, where during her last year, Laura returned to the ice as a skating school teacher. After graduation, realizing she still loved the sport, she accepted an offer from Disney on Ice, enjoying seven fabulous years traveling with her show to over 40 countries. Laura retired from her professional ice skating career in 2018 and is now preparing herself to enter the fast-paced world of real estate sales.
Kirstie Nelson is a native of Western Canada who also enjoyed a rewarding amateur experience in Canada before continuing her education in engineering at the local university in her home province. But she never quite got over the skating bug, and in her early 20’s auditioned for and was accepted by Disney on Ice, joining Laura, now her lifelong friend. The Pandemic put a hold on Kirstie’s time with the ice show, and while she is now returning to the show as it reboots in 2021, she knows that soon she will take off the skates, but with few worries, given her incredible talents in chemical engineering, not to mention a thriving online yoga class she teaches.
Shannon Brakke grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, and like Laura, followed her mom onto the ice. She enjoyed a long amateur career followed by years with Disney on Ice, dazzling in many great roles, most notably a featured role in an excerpt from “Frozen.” Shannon also retired in 2018 and, with her fiance Brian, returned to Rochester last year, where she works for the Mayo Clinic.
Fast friends Laura, Kirstie, and Shannon are impressive young people who share the values they learned from the sport of figure skating that will serve them well as they move forward with their lives.