Impala Blog 14 May 2024 4 min read

Impala Skate Diaries ✨ Meet Lilia

Impala Skate Diaries ✨ Meet Lilia

An LA-based creator who’s a quadruple threat on wheels and ice, Lilia tells her story of how she rolled to where she is today…

What initially drew you into the world of wheels and ice rinks, and how long have you been skating for now?
My skate journey began when I was a little girl. My mom used to ice skate for fun and enrolled me in classes when I was about five years old. I fell in love with the sport, and after a few years of training, I started skating competitively. The ice rink was my happy place! I enjoyed the thrill of competing at first, but after a few years, I lost the passion I once had for skating. I encountered difficulties switching to different figure skating clubs and coaches, which unfortunately affected how I felt about the sport. I tried to push through, but when I turned 19, I did not want to continue. I was juggling law school with competitive figure skating and felt burned out, leading me to quit. I thought that would be the end of my skating career, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

I moved from the Netherlands to LA four years ago. Right after I moved, the pandemic hit. I didn’t know anyone in LA and felt incredibly isolated and depressed. I remembered how the ice rink used to be my happy place growing up, so I wanted to see if I could get back into ice skating. However, all ice rinks were closed due to the pandemic. At that time, roller skating was blowing up on social media, and I wanted to try it. I splurged on a pair of skates and was worried I made a bad investment. Instead, it became one of the most life-changing purchases of my life.

Fast forward to 2024, I’m now balancing being a full-time social media content creator & influencer with performing, managing my skate crew called LA Roller Crew, coaching, competing, and modelling as an artistic inline and roller skater. Connecting with my skating past was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, both mentally as well as career-wise!

We can see you skate literally EVERYTHING - Ice skating, roller skating, inline skating, skateboards, and longboards… What made you decide to try em' all? Do you have a fave?
I am definitely a skater girl in the "broadest" sense, haha! After transitioning from ice to inlines, I wanted to explore other forms of skating. I first delved into roller skates (quads) because many of my friends primarily skate on quads. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I picked it up and even secured second place with my precision team (synchro skating) at US Nationals in Roller Figure Skating just a month after starting on quads! Since I enjoy learning new skills, I also decided to give skateboarding a go. I started with learning how to longboard, because I felt that longboard dancing would suit my style more. Once again, I was surprised by how much my skillset transferred to longboarding. My eventual goal is to translate the artistry of figure skating onto a board! Although I appreciate all forms of skate sports, inline skating will always hold a special place in my heart!

You have achieved sooo much with your skating career! What's your biggest accomplishment on skates (any of them!) so far?
Thank you so much! I feel incredibly grateful for rediscovering my passion for skating - that's definitely my biggest achievement. In addition, I absolutely adore inspiring others to start skating, especially other adults. We definitely need more adult skaters! I also love to teach skating, and seeing my students improve brings me immense joy. Another big accomplishment was placing and medaling at the US National Championships in Roller Figure Skating. Competing again in my late twenties was something I never imagined, but here I am! Additionally, I've had the privilege of performing at significant events and collaborating with outstanding brands. To name a few, I skated for Benson Boone x Spotify, Usher x Rémy Martin, and, of course, with Impala! One of the most memorable experiences was performing at the West Hollywood Pride Parade for the Barbie movie float - while wearing the iconic Impala Barbie Inline Skates!

We’ve noticed you’ve got more than a few rad tricks up your sleeve… What’s your favourite one, for any skate discipline?
It has to be spins. It makes me feel like a ballerina! Whether I am on ice, inlines, quads or a longboard, I love doing any form of spins!

Do you have any fave tunes or a fun playlist you love to listen to while you skate?
I always love skating to 90s/00s R&B. There is something about that era that makes me feel so artistically inspired to skate to! I also love skating to classical music.

What are some tips you'd give to aspiring skaters who are just starting out?
Don’t get discouraged if you don't get the hang of it right away. I often hear people say, "I wish I could skate like you, but I tried once and couldn’t do it!" Just like anything else in life, skating requires dedication and practice. You can't expect to excel at it after just one or two attempts. There are no shortcuts! It takes time to feel comfortable and find your flow on skates, but with consistent effort and proper technique, I genuinely believe anyone can succeed. I also firmly advocate for working with a coach or instructor. While self-learning can take you far, mastering proper technique often requires guidance from a trained professional.