📍 Austin, TX
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Uh... in the alleyway behind our apartment, of course! I laced up my first pair of skates when I was 4 years old in an effort to be as cool as my 14 year old roller-blading brother. My skates had curly ribbons, pink plastic wheels and purple text that read "Barbie" on the side. I wasn't very good at rolling in them.
When I was about six years old, I learned what it was like to be in a roller rink. My dad saw an ad in our City's quarterly magazine for roller skating lessons. Selling point: the rink was only a few miles from our house. He signed me up. That was when the real skating started. I went from level one to level two, from group classes to private lessons. Eventually, found myself in the restroom of an unfamiliar rink, putting on a borrowed figure skating dress while organ music echoed between tile lined walls. I had made it to my first roller skating competition. Neither myself nor my dad had any clue what was going on. In fact, when it was my turn to perform, I forgot my routine--a foreshadowing of competitions to come.
...is not what I do. However, to answer a common question: yes, I tried ice skating. I took ice classes just before I started roller skating classes. I only stayed in them for a few months. Here are some reasons I ended up as a roller vs an ice skater.
1) Ice rinks have lame sound systems (seriously, though). I remember the roller rink being soooo loud and exciting. It was like a kid's night club... only sessions were mid-day. And there were way more people at the roller rink than the ice rinks. Roller disco vibes for dayzzzz.
2) Roller skating is cheaper and, at the time, closer to home than the ice... Likely influential aspects on my parents' preferences.
3) In my dad's words: "We didn't take you ice skating with the intention of having you compete. We took you ice skating for skill development. I just thought it was something you should know how to do... [On the other hand,] Rene [my roller skating coach] systematically groomed me and had me signing you up for competitions."
So, there you have it. I'm a roller figure skater. NOT an ice skater. Also, No, I do not do derby and never have... though I have performed in a Derby half-time show.
ATHLETE & PROFESSIONAL LIFE
In sum, I've spent over 23 years roller skating, over 11 years teaching skating and over 8 years making money on my wheels. When I was younger I was an avid session skater, but more importantly I trained endlessly as a figure (or artistic) roller skater. I advanced my skills enough to compete in World Class events and eventually made the World Team, representing the US at three World Championships.
While I competed, I also started teaching skating. I assisted my coach with group classes then later choreographed for her world class skaters. At a different rink, I did so well as a teacher, I designed and lead the whole skate class program that had 5 levels, a competitive club and over a hundred students attending each week.
After my competition years, I began to book jobs as a performer. My first paid skating job was in Paris, France with a skate crew, SkateXpress. I worked in Paris as a pro skater for almost a year, then upon returning to Los Angeles I continued to do skating gigs on the side with local skate groups and on my own.
SKATING FOR ME NOW
These days, there are perhaps two motives behind all that I do with my skates: One is to teach, the other is to create. I truly enjoy sharing what I know with new skaters. Education is a passion of mine. Plus, I feel like teaching is an important step to the mastery of any ability. But what fun would having all this skill be if I never used it? Being an artist at heart, there is oh-so-much to do! So, I am here to collaborate with other creatives, make visions become reality and sprinkle love, happiness, and a dash of magic into the world. Skating has been so good to me in so many ways and I feel deeply compelled to make sure that trend continues.