Richmond roller skater helps locals – and Russians - stay cool this summer

A Richmondite has been working hard to get the good times rolling for people - without leaving their homes.

Professional skater and roller dancer Lana Shahar stumbled upon online postings from people getting bored from being at home for months during the pandemic. 

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Hoping to enrich everyone’s “isolation lives” with simple, but fun activities, Shahar released a guide - titled “roller skating hacks nobody talks about. Learn to be an awesome skater in a small space” - for anyone willing to try skating without leaving the house. 

“We are like a mirror reflecting what’s happening in the world. It’s heartbreaking to hear bad news every day, but I am also trying hard to bring good spirits back to our community,” said Shahar, who has also been running a roller dance studio named Roller Dance Owl on Gilbert Road for many years. 

“Making easy dancing moves on roller skates can take our minds off things and help us stay fit as well.”

With COVID-19 putting many jobs and activities on hold, locals are trying to find ways to adapt to the “new normal” and adopt new hobbies. 

Roller skating has gained some popularity during the pandemic, noted Shahar, adding that she moved her classes online for free to accommodate the surging demand from the public. 

“My roller skating team has been growing after moving classes online via Zoom. I have students from Russia who wake up at 6:00 a.m. once a week to practice with us in their backyards,” said Shahar.

“Some students, who tried roller skating for the first time, were scared about having bruises and scratches all over the place, but they weren’t afraid after giving it a try a few times. So don’t let the fear discourage you.” 

The city unveiled the “Richmond has heart campaign” on April 15 to bring the community, residents and businesses together to show support for frontline workers during the pandemic. 

Inspired by the program, Shahar also decided to give back via her roller skating performance project, named “Angels on Wheels,” with her students beside the Fraser River in Richmond. 

She also filmed the video and posted on her YouTube Channel to “lift others’ spirits.”

As seen in the video, her students and daughter were spinning on wheels, doing small dancing movements while basking in the sunshine. 

For more information about Shahar, go to


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