Elsa on ice is half- Korean

Sophia Adams as Elsa (far left, with Stina Martini as Anna), says she can now recite every single line from the movie Frozen.
Sophia Adams as Elsa (far left, with Stina Martini as Anna), says she can now recite every single line from the movie Frozen.PHOTO: FELD ENTERTAINMENT

Ice skater Sophia Adams, who plays the queen from Disney hit Frozen in the ice production, is the only child of a Korean mother and American father

With her fresh-faced looks and credentials as a two-time competitor in the United States National Championships, ice skater Sophia Adams is well-placed to be playing one of the most popular princesses in film, Elsa from the 2013 Disney hit Frozen.

But she says she was surprised when she got the role in 2014.

"I'm half-Asian. I don't look like Elsa off the ice," says Adams, 22, who has a Korean mother and an American father.

Personality-wise, Adams likens herself to Anna, the wide-eyed and adventurous younger sister of Elsa, who is more poised and restrained.

Adams has the same enthusiasm for life as Anna - she left her hometown of Orange County, California, at age 20 to travel the world after clinching the role of the princess- turned-queen Elsa in the Feld Entertainment show, Disney On Ice Presents Magical Ice Festival.

The ice show came to town last weekend and continues running from Thursday to Sunday this week at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The two-hour show includes iconic Disney characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as beloved characters from Disney fairy tales such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Belle and the Beast from Beauty And The Beast and Rapunzel from the movie Tangled, alongside other characters from these shows.

Expect the cast of more than 40 to skate, twirl, leap and perform stunts on the ice to the soundtrack of beloved hits such as Let It Go from Frozen. There will also be special effects including fireworks and aerial stunts.

The Frozen segment, which takes place last, is a new addition to the Disney On Ice show and perhaps the most fitting - Elsa in the movie has special powers that allow her to manipulate ice and snow.

Adams is thrilled to be part of the Frozen storyline, not least because it has proven to be the most popular part of the show - with children in the audience, as well as adults, knowing the lyrics to the songs and screaming the characters' names when they first appear.

"When I first got the part, I had maybe watched the movie only once. Now I can recite every single line from the movie," she says with a glint in her eye.

An only child, she has been skating since she was five. Her Seoul-born mother was a "hardcore Asian mum" who would drive her to practice after school. Her mother now works in a property management company and her father works in electronics.

Despite having been on tour for about two years, with some breaks in between, Adams says that the experience remains exciting, especially as the songs change in language, depending on where the show is being staged.

For example, the songs were converted to Mandarin in China and Vietnamese in Vietnam.

The performers memorise the lyrics so that they can lip-sync the songs in the different languages. The songs will be performed in English here. After Singapore, the show will travel to Penang and Bangkok.

Though Let It Go is now her favourite song in the show, Adams admits it was not the case initially because it was quite overplayed at the height of Frozen's popularity.

"Once I started hearing it in another language, I heard the background music - especially being there on the ice - and the music really draws you in. I've learnt to really appreciate it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Elsa on ice is half- Korean'. Print Edition | Subscribe