The Disney mentality is all about dreaming big and shooting for the stars with your ambitions.
The same ideals certainly apply for skaters striving to become part of the Disney show family and Chemainus’ own Heather Robertson, who got her start with the Fuller Lake Skating Club, is about to become a Disney On Ice performer.
Robertson, 23, is currently in rehearsals that began Oct. 1 in Ellenton, Florida for the ‘Disney On Ice 100 Years Production,’ her first touring show that also starts in Florida.
“I am very excited to be able to have this opportunity,” she enthused.
Robertson was born in Victoria and grew up in Chemainus, graduating from Chemainus Secondary School in 2013. She then attended the University of Victoria, graduating in 2017 at age 21 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish.
Robertson worked for a year after that at a doctor’s office in Victoria.
She first started skating by going to public skating sessions with her dad. After that, Robertson’s parents registered her in CanSkate with the Fuller Lake Skating Club.
Robertson’s mom registered her for her first skating competition in 2006. She was with the Fuller Lake Skating Club for about five years, but ended up receiving coaching in Parksville from Larry and Leslee Rushton.
“I skated in Parksville with their skating club for my last three years of high school,” Robertson indicated. “It actually worked out really well because when I started attending university my coaches had transitioned to Victoria as well, so naturally I registered with the same skating club they went to which is the Juan de Fuca Skating Club.”
Robertson always enjoyed taking part in ice shows with her various skating clubs, whether it was in Chemainus, Parksville or Victoria. That experience clearly helped her in deciding to audition for Disney.
“I hadn’t really given much thought to show skating as I knew that I wanted to go to university,” Robertson pointed out. “Once I got closer to the end of my degree was when my coaches mentioned that show skating was an option I could look into, I became more invested in the possibility of that.”
The audition process began with submitting a video of her skating at the end of May last year.
“I then had a live audition later in the year, and then heard about the opportunity this summer,” Robertson indicated. “Leading up to rehearsals, I tried to train at my home club as much as I could.”
Robertson praised her parents for being such a big influence in her pursuit of skating.
“They were the ones that started and encouraged my skating career, and my coaches also influenced me as they were the ones that introduced me to the idea of ice shows as a possible career.”