Tilton native is skating the dream
TILTON -- At the age of 8, while skating at local ice arenas, Kaitlyn DeRoy left her parents with little choice but to pay for lessons.
"I kept trying to teach myself how to jump," said DeRoy, 27, now in her fifth year as a professional ice skater with Disney On Ice, which just finished a run in Manchester.
"(My parents) got me lessons to keep me from getting hurt," she says.
DeRoy - who grew up in Tilton but moved to Hudson, Mass., to join a local skating team - still calls Tilton home and still has family there.
And it was there she fell in love with skating as a small child.
"I always skated. I actually had baby skates, and my parents would hold me up and scoot me around the pond or the rink," she said last week during a tour stop in Baltimore.
She grew up skating with the Concord Figure Skating Club and later joined the Gate City Figure Skating Club in Nashua.
As a young skater, her idol was Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, and she had dreams about being a high-level professional figure skater, she said. She qualified as a senior-level freestyle skater while at the University of Delaware, where she was president of the college's figure skating team.
"At one point, I was a full-time college student working two part-time jobs so I could pay for skating as well as expenses," she said.
"It was challenging because I needed to strictly manage my time so I could get my school work done around my work and skating schedule."
In 2006, she won a bronze medal at the 2006 Intercollegiate National Championships, which were held at Dartmouth College. That was special, she recalled, because she managed to skate an error-free short program in her home state. "Since I'm from New Hampshire, I had friends and family watching," she said.
She had friends and family watching last weekend, as well, when the Disney on Ice tour took her to Manchester's Verizon Wireless Arena for its "Treasure Trove" show.
DeRoy hopes to keep skating with Disney for many years to come. At the moment, she's playing Foxy, one of the Lost Boys from "Peter Pan," performing five to 10 shows a week at venues across America and around the world.
"I'd like to keep doing this as long as I can," she said.
Then, she'd like to go to graduate school. She already has degrees in English and journalism.
"I think I'd like to try coaching," she said, "probably back in the Tilton area."