Macomb provided soft landing for Disney on Ice star
It couldn’t teach him how to control a jump with his toe pick, but Macomb did make it possible for Daniel Palmeri to triple axel his way around full time-work, school and Olympic-level training as he entered figure skating competitions following six tours with Disney on Ice.
“It worked into my already crazy schedule,” said Palmeri, who continues to train every day but Tuesday and works full time as the skating director at Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester Hills, averaging 10 to 15 hours a day on the ice. “Everyone at Macomb has been so supportive.”
This spring, Palmeri was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in Colorado and earned his second gold medal in the Adult Figure Skating Championship – master’s junior/senior men’s division. Prior to the two golds, the 2015 Macomb graduate won a bronze and silver, respectively, in the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships.
“It all started when I was six and my parents took us to see Disney on Ice,” relates Palmeri. “I was a big Disney kid growing up and that was our first Disney experience. I didn’t know much about figure skating, I just wanted to be in Disney on Ice.”
And, indeed, he has, performing roles as Pinocchio, Buzz Lightyear, Prince Frog and Jack Skeleton on tours that have taken him to Europe, Asia, and Australia, and across the U.S. Following two months of training and preparation, each tour averaged 12 shows a week and nearly the same number of rehearsals, “to keep the numbers clean.”
“When I got time to do anything touristy, I did,” said Palmeri, who rates Mount Fuji and Seattle among his favorite places. “I’ve gotten to see so many things and do something I love at the same time.”
Palmeri is now attending Wayne State University, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public relations, minor in broadcast, preparing for his second career.
But, the 27-year-old said, “I’ll skate until my body doesn’t let me any more.”