New Bedford Roller Skater Ashley Holtkamp Ranked Second in Nation
Ashley (Vandiver) Holtkamp has been skating for nearly her entire life. She clearly remembers nights at Skate Plus, Carousel Skating Center and Hot Wheels.
However, when she was first learning to roller-skate, she probably never would have dreamed that she would someday compete nationally and place second in the championships.
At one point, Holtkamp was a lead street teamer here at Fun 107, which meant she was the smiling public face of our station out and about at community events.
"I worked here for about 10 years," she told Michael and Maddie Tuesday morning as we congratulated her on her accomplishment.
Now, Holtkamp is a professional skater with silver and bronze medals to show for it.
She spent five days in Nebraska competing in the 2023 Indoor National Championships for roller sports. When asked why Nebraska, of all places, she told us that the league's headquarters is in Lincoln.
The month-long national championship event began July 6 and won't conclude until Aug. 4, with a long list of events from roller derby and speed skating to artistic skating and roller hockey.
Holtkamp placed second in the nation in the Classic Gold Women’s Solo Dance. Interestingly enough, the first- and third-place winners also came from Massachusetts, which Holtkamp credits to the state’s roller-skating prowess.
Who knew there was so much roller-skating talent in Massachusetts?
“We roll hard,” Holtkamp said.
She also placed third in the nation in Classic International Team Dance, skating alongside her coach. Skating in the team category is relatively new to her because she could never find the right partner who matched her height or skill level. She described the routine as “a mix between ice skating and ballroom dancing.”
Holtkamp is a known super-fan of 2000s hip-hop. While the judges probably wouldn’t appreciate her skating to Lil Wayne in a professional competition, she is always looking to implement a modern pop culture twist into her skating. One way she does this is by teaching and coaching kids.
Earlier this year, Holtkamp’s coaches reached out to her for help when their Learn to Skate classes at Forest Family Fun Center in Taunton began to fill up. Around four months ago, she started teaching kids 17 and younger.
Imagine sending your child to learn roller-skating from a coach who is ranked No. 2 in the nation. Holtkamp teaches them the basics from balancing to stopping, and how to safely fall without getting hurt. Those classes are on a break until Sept. 13 but Holtkamp couldn’t be more excited to get back to coaching now that she is fresh off her nationals performance in Nebraska.