100 Years of Magic


From Brazil’s Hot Forest to the Ice Rinks of the World


By Iride Aparicio
Pictures Courtesy of Disney on Ice

Mario Castro

SAN JOSÉ, CA --MARIO CASTRO is a “Character Skater” (a skater who plays many roles) in PASSPORT to ADVENTURE, the new touring show of  Disney on Ice. With the company, and for many years, MARIO  had ice-skated all over the world and in every State of the United States of America.  But to learn his sport and become professional in it, was not easy for MARIO. It  took him many years of  study, hard work, determination, and as he describes in his own words: “a passion” for ice-skating.

MARIO CASTRO was Born in Luz, a small town of Mina Gerais, the third largest City in Brazil. He began acting as a kid. He studied theatre in High School and began his career in show business very young, working as an actor in Brazil, playing roles in Tele-novelas, radio dramas and  doing commercials. He enjoyed learning different things. He tells CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL that his father, who was an engineer, shaped his passion for learning when he told him as a kid: “I want you to learn, Mario,  and the way to learn, is that  first, you learn by the book, and if you have any questions, (after reading the book)  you  ask the teacher.” He learned to play the piano that way.

“But, before I could learn something,”  MARIO tells us  I have to love it, and when I engage in something that I really love,  I learn it. I love everything in my life  that I do. I learned to skate, because  I love  Ice skating.”  

C.W.B.  How could you learn to ice-skate in Brazil that has no snow?

M. C. “One day when I was 28 years old, I  went to the shopping mall and I saw an ice skating ring, so I decided to skate. I liked it. The more I skate the more I noticed that I have a passion for skating, so I decided to do it again and again. It was very hard for me because we do not have coaches to teach ice skating  in Brazil, so two years later I moved to the United States to learn Ice Skating and to learn English. So, from l992 to l994 I was living in the United States  but going back and forth to Brazil.

C.W.B. How did you get to skate in Disney On Ice?

M.C. When I was in Miami, in l993, I saw BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Miami’s Arena. I was enthrall with the show so I bought the program for the show and in the back, on the last page of the program it has an invitation: “If you are an skater or have affection for skating send us your resume and apply for an audition, and that’s what I did.”

M.C.  “When I first auditioned for Disney on Ice I was good in my presentation, but I needed to improve my technique;  but I think that they (those who auditioned him) were so impressed with my talent as an actor and mi passion for skating that they encouraged me to work:  “Get a coach and learn” they told me “Because you have the potential to skate in our show.” That’s what I did. I hired a coach for one year and started doing the basic stuff for a show.  It took me another year to learn It.  I had my second audition for ALADIN in l994, and this time, I was ready. They called me to work for the show.”

The l995, CBS special in Egypt for Walt Disney’s World on Ice presents. ALADIN. television’s show, gave MARIO what he considers his greatest achievement, which was performing in the same ice rink  with KURT BROWNING and KRISTI YAMAGUCHI  his heroes, the two skaters he watched on TV all the time to observe their technique, when he was hoping  to learn to ice-skate. “

Disney on Ice Poster 

C.W.B.  You will be skating in the Bay Area in two weeks, with PASSPORT to ADVENTURE, do you have any message for us?

M.C. During all my years skating, the most exciting thing for me has been to see all around the rink these  families in the audience together. See their smiles, and see that they are having a time of their lives watching the show.  So my message to the families in the Bay Area  is to come and see the show with your children. It is a fun show that will transport you (vicariously) to magical worlds that you had never experienced before.”