Roller skating lessons available in Willits and beyond – The Willits News
As the shelter-in-place ordinance drags on into its eighth month, residents of Mendocino County may need something new to do. Fortunately, for those looking for an energetic, distanced activity, Willits resident Jessica “Machine” Espinoza offers roller skating lessons for all ages.
Espinoza walks around with a trunk of (disinfected) skates ranging from small toddler skates size to men’s size 12, for those who want to ride but don’t have their own skates. She also has other protective gear, such as knee pads, helmets, and wrist guards that she disinfects between classes.
For now, with life-threatening COVID restrictions, Espinoza is meeting clients in outdoor locations across the county with a weatherable surface. As recommended by the Mendocino County Public Health Department, she wears a mask. She has skating coaches available in child and adult sizes so she can teach beginners to skate while maintaining social distancing. Group lessons are offered to children from the same household or stable group.
One-hour lessons usually start with what Espinoza describes as basic roller skating; go forward, stride, stop (she knows many ways to stop) and fall. She can also teach backward skating, spinning and jumping to more experienced skaters.
She explained that this has been a goal since moving here to host a family skate night in Willits, which she hopes to establish once the pandemic allows everyday life to return to normal. She also hopes to organize a women’s fitness class in the future. Espinoza has indicated that she would like to see more roller skating in the community in general, as she feels it is a “positive addition to the city and that it is an activity that can be enjoyed alone or with the whole family. “. With a smile on her face, she said, “You can’t put roller skates on your feet and not be happy.” Her joy of sport is contagious when she teaches a lesson.
Originally from Southern California, Espinoza moved to Willits about two years ago. She has developed her enthusiasm and roller skating skills since she was young. She started skating as a child, going to the rink and she also spent years taking her now adult daughter to the rink. She played roller derby for nine years in Huntington Beach. She said, “I’ve always liked it, it’s always been a passion.”
Teaching skating is nothing new for Espinoza. She helped coach various roller derby leagues and traveled to Hawaii to play in their league. She even played as a guest in the Ukiah League while visiting the area before settling in Mendocino County.
It does not have a fixed price for the courses, it is rather a sliding scale. The days and times of the lessons are also flexible. Contact Espinoza for more information and to schedule a lesson, by emailing [email protected] or by phone at (714) 369-4224.