THERE’S nothing Katie Stainsby loves more than taking to the ice.
The 31-year-old, who became a household name after she partnered Vanilla Ice in the last series of Dancing on Ice, will be back doing what she loves best, in the place she loves best, when the famous Pleasure Beach Hot Ice show opens again on Wednesday.
She has spent weeks and weeks in rehearsals for the production, which will feature 28 of the very best performers from around the world taking to the ice.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Katie.
After starring in Hot ice in 2010, she went on to appear on Dancing on Ice, the hit ITV1 show, then the Dancing on Ice tour, before taking part in Jeff Brazier’s Tekkers ice skating school.
And she went straight from that into rehearsals at the Pleasure Beach Arena.
She said: “It has really been just skate, skate, skate. But I love it.
“Skating is what I wanted to do ever since my mum first took me to see Hot Ice as a child.
“I don’t want to do anything else, so it’s been perfect for me. It’s just how I wanted things.
“I never really rest, I like to be busy and keep occupied.
“Even if I do take a day off or a day to rest, I don’t sit still for long – I don’t like to feel lazy.
“The way I would relax would be to take my golden retriever for a walk on the beach, or in the Lakes hiking. And I love to go to art galleries. I’m really quite quiet and reserved when I’m not performing.”
Katie, who lives in South Shore, said Dancing on Ice was a “brilliant experience”, which she really enjoyed being part of.
“It was nice too because I was able to get more into coaching.
“Most of the other professionals had coaches with them, but when I flew out to Miami to train with Rob (Vanilla Ice), it was just me and him.
“So I got to do a lot of coaching. I really enjoyed it and was able to hone my skills more.
“That’s definitely something I want to do more of in the future.
“I took part in the skating academy with Jeff Brazier and will be doing the summer skating school at the Pleasure Beach with Dan Whiston.”
And the TV show gave her chance to make a new friend – a pretty ‘cool’ one at that, Vanilla Ice, real name Rob Van Winkle.
She said: “Rob and I have stayed in touch since the show. He’s been really busy, but we email each other and he is hoping to come to the UK in October and hoping to come to Blackpool.
“It’s not 100 per cent, and things could change, but if he can, he would love to come and take part in Kyran Bracken’s Ice Party. He really has caught the skating bug, he loves it.”
But while Katie has enjoyed starring on national TV and touring, she is glad to be back in Blackpool. And she can’t wait to perform in Hot Ice, which once again promises mesmerising music, state-of-the-art lighting and explosive pyrotechnic fire effects.
She added: “It’s brilliant to fly the flag for Blackpool. Hot Ice is a great show and people always enjoy it, from the moment they take their seats to the grand finale.
“Hot Ice always has costumes which are second-to-none. Out of all the countries in the world I have performed in, the outfits in Hot Ice are the best.
“There’s a real family feel to the whole production. Amanda Thompson, the director and producer, is motherly to me – to everyone. She brings out the best in everyone.
“Of course, my own family will be watching, my mum will be in the front row, clapping and whistling. She’s always loved the show. She took my to see it as a child.
“My mum has just got over breast cancer, she was having chemotherapy, but she’s much better now.
“She hasn’t had the all-clear, but she is getting there, which is great.”
It promises to be another busy year for Katie. After Hot Ice, she will be taking part in Kyran Bracken’s Ice Party in October and looks set for another series of Dancing of Ice in the winter.
And Katie insists her new-found fame will not change her.
“I’ll never change – I’m just Katie from Blackpool. Blackpool is my home, it always will be and I just love it.”