“Why do we fall?” It’s a heavy question for a young person, especially one whose only expectation for the day was to go ice skating at the David Street Station. Yet it was a question repeated over and over again by a certain caped crusader during David Street Station’s now-annual Princess and Super Hero Skate.

The event took place on Saturday and to say it had a large turnout would be like saying Bruce Wayne has a little bit of rainy day money.

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Dozens upon dozens of super-heroes-and-princesses-to-be gathered at the pavilion for a day of skating, picture taking and life-lesson learning, all socially distanced, of course. The event was originally supposed to be held from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00P.M. but, because of the turnout and social distancing requirements, the actors stayed an extra hour to make sure every kiddo had the opportunity to skate with their heroes and/or take a picture.

“Our job, as heroes or princesses, is to give these kids a memory that, hopefully they’ll hold for a very long time,” said one of the actors (honoring secret identities are a must when dealing with superheroes). “If that means staying a few minutes longer to make sure that a little girl gets to have her moment with Elsa, it’s worth it. That’s something that was instilled in us by our director.”

The director in question is Faith Conaway, a former Casper native who spent the majority of her high school and college career on a stage, before working for the happiest place in the world, Disneyland.

The experiences Conaway learned in school, and in the Magic Kingdom, led her to create Dream Upon a Princess, a multi-purpose party planning theater troupe that brings princesses, superheroes, mermaids, and more to life for the entertainment of little ones. Dream Upon a Princess performs at birthday parties, community events and more. They put on tea parties, manners classes, even royal balls! Because every pretty girl deserves to go to a ball.

And, for the past few years, they have partnered with David Street Station for a variety of events and activities.

“I have been so blessed to be a part of many David Street Station events,” Conaway stated. “Their support has kept me alive as a small business, and these events always bring the community together in such a beautiful and magical way. I can’t wait for the next one, and I know my performers feel the same way.”

They do. While Dream Upon a Princess does pay their actors (which makes this a way cooler job than most people had in high school), the actors don’t typically do it for the money. They do it for the love of performing and, most importantly, for the chance to make memories for the youth of Natrona County.

That part was evident at David Street Station. Heroes and princesses would offer their gloved hands and child after child would grasp it, eager for the chance to skate with Cinderella or Spider-Man.

And yes, some kids (and adults!) fell. But what could have been an embarrassing moment for those who did stumble, became an opportunity to teach an important lesson – one that, hopefully, will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

“I saw a little boy slip and fall on the ice, but he was with his parents, so I didn’t immediately approach him,” Batman (or so he says) revealed. “But after a moment, I saw that he wasn’t getting up. He was lying face down on the ice and his parents were trying to encourage him to get up, but he just wasn’t having it. I’m not sure if he was hurt, or just embarrassed, but he wasn’t moving. So it looked like a job for Batman. I skated over to him, got down on my belly and tapped him on the shoulder. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes. I smiled at him and said, ‘Falling hurts, huh?’ He nodded and I offered him my hand to help him up. He took it, got up, and then skated away.”

Batman, who is definitely not Bruce Wayne, continued, saying that, “Hopefully, that’s something he’ll remember. Hopefully, he’ll remember a superhero telling him that sometimes we fall, and sometimes it hurts.”

We all fall and, yes, sometimes it hurts. That’s okay. As heroes and princesses knew, themselves, falling is all a part of the show that we call life. It’s what we do after the fall that matters most.

“The message I tried to teach that little boy, as well as the other kids who slipped a little bit or fell, was a message that Batman taught me when I was younger,” he said. “I’ve made mistakes in my life.  Sometimes big ones, sometimes small ones. I’ve fallen too many times to count.”

“But,” he continued, “why do we fall?”

“So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

 

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