One of the Oaks’ newest skaters, Ryan Salek was introduced to skating in October 2012 when he, and fiancé Vicky, came to a Friday afternoon Open Skate Session in pursuit of some fun and exercise. The two had no knowledge or experience with artistic roller skating, but had a great time rolling around the rink and soon were looking for how to spend more time on wheels. They discovered the Thursday night Adult Dance Class, and being an adventurous and fun-loving couple, decided to give it a try.
Over the course of just four months, Ryan progressed from learning to stand steadily on two feet, to rolling comfortably, to learning basic dances. His interest in dance skating escalated quickly because of the friendly people that he found at the Oaks. In September of 2013 Ryan officially joined the Oaks Park Roller Skating Club and began taking private lessons with Robert Behrendt. On February 16, just 16 months after he first visited the rink, Ryan skated in his first competition at the Lynden, WA Winter Invitational, competing in Esquire B Solo Dance. Ryan described the experience as leaving him with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and general happiness, and was particularly moved by the support of his proud coach. He spent the weekend cheering on and watching all of the events, and is now preparing for his next competition in the spring. Ryan is also working on his 3rd RSA Proficiency Tests for Figures, American Solo Dance, and American Team Dance. Ryan hopes in the future to add competitive team dance to his pursuits as well.
Ryan works as a foster care home manager serving five developmentally handicapped young adults, his focus being to promote independence and success in a structured, stable, and peaceful environment. He also employs his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Computer Animation through his full-time work as a CG/animator creating healthcare related and educational animations and illustrations. The multi-talented Mr. Salek also enjoys making baked goods from scratch, watching vintage Sci-fi, and most of all spending time with his fiancé and their chihuahua, miniature pinscher, and kitty. We are sure that his determined, optimistic, and loyal personality will vault him to terrific successes in his skating career and all of his other interests. Welcome to the club Ryan, and best of luck in the rest of your first skating season!