Skating, travel good fit for Vandermissen

Courtesy photo Escanaba native Angie Vandermissen has used her passion for skating to see the world as a performer and choreographer.

ESCANABA — It’s just about everybody’s dream to travel the world and do what they love for a living.

That dream is a reality for Escanaba native Angie Vandermissen. Vandermissen has traveled all over the globe skating on cruise ships as both a performer and a choreographer as well as performing on Broadway on Ice.

“It really is a dream job,” said Vandermissen. “I feel like I haven’t worked.”

Vandermissen, who visited family during the holidays, is living in Miami for another month and then is moving to Atlanta.

Vandermissen has been skating since the age of two. Her mother and siblings were instrumental in getting her interested in skating.

“My mother wanted to skate herself,” said Vandermissen. “She would throw my bottle across the ice. That was at age two so I started skating early.”

Vandermissen skated competitively all the way through college. She attended Northern Michigan University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree.

Vandermissen was the National Collegiate Figure Skating Champion in 2001.

After graduating college, Vandermissen joined Willy Bietak Productions’ Broadway on Ice in 2005 and has been working there ever since.

Willy Bietak Productions is located in Santa Monica, Cal. and produces skating events as well as temporary ice rinks for events.

She skated for five years aboard Royal Caribbean International cruise ships, which partnered with Willy Bietak Productions in 1999, until she suffered an injury in 2011 which sidelined her for six months.

She returned to Broadway on Ice as an Install Choreographer. She also has does some skating since then, including Broadway on Ice in the Middle East as well as Hong Kong.

“I go on the cruise ship and I choreograph the show,” said Vandermissen. “I do that for three weeks and then I leave.”

Other places Vandermissen has visited include the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Scandinavia and Asia.

“I’ve been just about everywhere,” said Vandermissen. “Because I haven’t been to Australia yet, I’m going there in about six days.”

She has also been part of shows in California for three years through Woodstock Productions. These shows were brand new and were based around Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

She also assisted Sarah Kawahara for two years coaching the Miami (OH) synchronized swim team, which is ranked worldwide. Kawahara is a director and choreographer for Broadway on Ice who Vandermissen has previously assisted in shows.

Vandermissen really enjoys what she does and it’s a dream come true for her.

“I enjoy every aspect of it from traveling the world to performing to putting on the makeup to meeting people all over the world,” said Vandermissen. “It’s been an experience of a lifetime.”