NEW GLASGOW – Rarefied air is what Brandon Bent is breathing these days.
The local figure skater is on the cusp of joining Disney on Ice, a place where Pictou County skaters have been previously recruited.
Disney on Ice is a series of touring ice shows featuring costumed figure skaters in shows whose prime audience is children.
Bent received confirmation last weekend that he was being recruited for the famed entertainment showcase after supplying material and following up with an exchange of emails.
“I’ve been checking if they wanted something else for me to do,” he said. “I’d be thrilled to go.”
Bent is graduating from North Nova Education Centre. His classes are done but he had to go back to school on Monday to alter the script regarding his future plans after he graduates, now that he’s learned about his recruitment.
For Bent, it’s one more dream to follow those he had to compete at the Canada Games or the Olympic Games.
He did represent Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games in 2015 in Prince George, B.C. He placed 28th in individual men’s figure skating, but he achieved greater rewards.
“Personally, I did very well,” he said. “I went out not to compete but for the experience and being with the team. I was 28th overall, and I was very happy with that.”
Now 18, Bent was seven when he started figure skating under the coaching of Angela Coady. He has enormous respect for her.
“Even before this, Angie has been one of the biggest supporters in my whole life,” he said. “She has done anything and everything for me.”
Bent said Disney on Ice gives him a chance to perform and entertain without competing.
“I never want to stop skating but I want to step back from competition,” he said. “That’s what I want to do. I told Angie that I want to do this and she said that’s a wonderful idea.”
Bent also cited the work of Penny Baker in helping him choose the path toward Disney on Ice. She and Bent worked together for two weeks in May.
“I showed her different things and she said, ‘You would be good for Disney.’ After that, I worked on everything – portfolio, photos and resume – to get judged on my abilities. I’m there to entertain, make people happy and be part of an amazing group of people.”
Bent could join the troupe in Florida in July to prepare for a tour next year.
“If not in July, I’ll try again,” he said.
Bent has a Plan B if Disney does not happen this time: college and carpentry.
“I always liked building – I would have gone to college and be a carpenter, but I’m so happy this has happened,” he said. “Carpentry will be there, but now is the time to be in the moment.”
Brandon Bent stands beside the sculpture at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. (Goodwin photo)