Talent: Meet Stephanie Schroeder, Artistic Roller Skater Extraordinaire

Stephanie Schroeder, Program Manager at Microsoft and current Steyer talent, in one of her lovely artistic figure skating dresses

Stephanie Schroeder, Program Manager at Microsoft and current Steyer talent, in one of her lovely artistic figure skating dresses

Stephanie Schroeder, a current Steyer consultant (Program Manager at Microsoft), revealed at a recent talent meet-up in Redmond that she has an unusual hobby: Artistic roller skating! We were dying to hear details, so we did a Q&A with her over email: 

Steyer: Hey, Stephanie! Tell us a little bit about your professional career thus far—what are you particularly great at, and how did you come to be connected to Steyer?

Stephanie: I’ve worked in IT since 1998. I started out at Adobe Systems and then ended up at Microsoft. Most of my experience has been in content localization either as a project manager or engineer. Now I’m doing English site management. I like project management because I like to wear a lot of hats. I’m good at organizing and keeping all the pieces moving together smoothly.

On to the extracurricular stuff: At a recent consultant meet-up, you told us that you’re an artistic roller skater! What exactly does that entail? Is it a big time commitment?

I started rollerskating in my 40s. I didn’t actually know how because I never really did it as a kid. But, my husband secretly took me to Skate King (now closed) in Bellevue one evening as a surprise and after about 6 months of going once a week or so, I caught the bug. I became obsessed with it and learning new tricks. I couldn’t wait to get to the rink every Friday. It’s not a very popular sport, so I can only go when the club has practice or the rink has a public session. With work, that means I’m limited to the weekends.

How did you get into the world of artistic roller skating? What hooked you? What do you love about it?

I used to be a runner when I was younger (800m was my race) and I think roller skating reminded me of it. I used to feel like I was flying when I was running and rolling on a nice hardwood floor feels the same. There’s something really rewarding about nailing a jump or mastering a spin that I just love. Of course, it’s really frustrating to work on something and not get it, but it’s a good life lesson that if you keep at something you’ll eventually get it. There’s a lot of discipline involved and mental toughness.

What’s the most challenging part? 

Falling. To get good at roller skating you have to have a high tolerance for falling and pain. 🙂

Are there celebrities in the world of artistic roller skating? Where can people learn more about it and/or actually go see it in action?

Patrick Swayze was actually a good artistic roller figure skater. I saw an old movie of him in “Skate Town USA.” “Roll Bounce,” named after a famous roller skating song, is another movie– more recent, 2005–that stars some musicians (Bow Wow, Nick Cannon). Gene Kelly was also pretty amazing on skates.

There’s a competition in Auburn, April 8-9-10. It’s the NW Regional Invitational. It’s actually free to watch. I recommend watching the Freestyle events–they are the most spectacular. It’s hard to understand the other events unless you know the technical details.

I think there’s another one in Everett in May, but I don’t see it on the schedule yet.

Thanks, Stephanie!

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