Professional ice skater Scott Smith always wanted to perform with Cirque du Soleil, but wasn’t exactly the tumbling type.
However, when he heard the Canadian entertainment company was creating an ice show, Crystal, he applied immediately.
“I always thought it would be cool if they did an ice show,” Smith says. “I didn’t think I would actually have an opportunity to really work for them.”
Initially, he didn’t hear from them. Last November, they called and hired him.
“I immediately contacted the people I needed to contact to make that happen and two days later I was on a flight,” Smith says.
The 42nd Cirque du Soleil production, Crystal features ice skaters and acrobats who embark on an “exhilarating tale of self-discovery.”
“The stage is ice and, obviously, there are skaters in it,” he says. “The acrobats are wearing a special kind of shoe so they can do tricks on the ice without having skates on. People are flying through the air while we’re skating on the ice.”
There are some nerve-wracking parts for Smith, however.
“I do a couple triple jumps throughout and there’s always a risk,” Smith says. “I have to focus right before that part. I have to do a couple back flips as well. One of them is over somebody. I have to stay focused for that part as well.”
The 36-year-old is an accomplished skater. He was born in Florida, but grew up in Baltimore. He trained at the University of Delaware and the Skating Club of Boston before heading to Salt Lake City. Professionally, he won three senior international medals—silver at the 2003 Nebelhorn Trophy and 2003 Karl Schäfer Memorial, gold at the 2005 Ondrej Nepela Memorial—and placed fifth at the 2005 Four Continents Championships. Ice performance was a logical next step in his career, which he says he loves.
“Skating is a sport and a performance entertainment,” he says. “When I finished with the sports side of skating, I delved into performance. I want the performance part to last as long as possible.”
Cirque du Soleil: Crystal, Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 800.745.3000, ticketmaster.com, various times Thursday, March 8, to Sunday, March 11, $44.