Finding fun ways to stay healthy and warm in the middle of a Minnesota winter can be a challenge. But St. Louis Park’s Roller Garden offers a good time for all ages and skill levels—from beginners who have never skated before to advanced skaters (kids and adults) who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Diane Brown, one of seven instructors at the Roller Garden, has been teaching there for 35 years. She says current group instruction is called the Star Program and has four levels, working skaters from he most basic skills to the fourth star, where they begin freestyle training in jumps, turns and spins.
“Freestyle is what most kids love to do,” Brown says. “It’s what they see when they watch the Olympics. Adults are typically more drawn to the dance style of skating, Brown says, where they learn patterned dances like the waltz or tango, set to organ music.
The Roller Garden offers private lessons for skaters who want to continue to sharpen their skills and work toward proficiency testing and competition skating. Also available is a competition club that’s produced many national skaters and some gold medalists.
All group lessons are on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings and are $7 per half-hour. “We have the best owners and managers around to support this program,” Brown said. “They’re really great to work with.”