Macarena Carrascosa, professional roller skating coach. Photo by Jessie Casson.

Macarena Carrascosa, Roller Skate Coach


Macarena Carrascosca has been on wheels for almost as long as she could walk. The Argentinian-native picked up her first pair of skates at age four, and she’s been on a roll ever since.

After spending 11 years representing New Zealand as a professional artistic roller skater, winning numerous national and international titles, she has started her own club – North Shore Artistic Roller Skating Club – and built a successful roller skating coaching business, Hey Macarena, from the ground up.

Macarena roller skate group INP

Macarena Carrascosa teaches adult roller skating classes in Auckland. Photo by Jessie Casson.

But choosing a non-mainstream sport in a rugby-mad country like New Zealand hasn’t been easy. “When we moved to New Zealand in 2003, I wanted to keep skating. The only club available to us was in Mount Wellington, Auckland, even though we lived on the North Shore. So, my parents drove out there three times a week for most of my life to let me skate.”

After professionally retiring in 2018, Macarena says the move into full-time coaching was a no-brainer.

“I was always going to be a coach. From when I was 14, I helped with the little kids learning to skate. I started coaching privately when I was 16, mentored by my coaches. I chose the university degree I did – Sports Science and Psychology – because I wanted to keep teaching and progressing.

“I started with teaching a Learn to Skate class at ActivZone in Glenfield. And then it just got bigger and bigger. Soon we had two classes and the kids wanted to compete. Suddenly it was me and my sister teaching at our new club, with three or four classes going, and the kids just kept coming!”

Despite the rapid success of children’s coaching, Macarena also wanted to branch into teaching adults.

Macarena roller skate crouch INP

Roller skating coach Macarena Carrascosa has been skating for almost as long as she could walk. Photo by Jessie Casson.

“Before 2019, there was no space in New Zealand for adults to learn to skate. So, I just gave it a shot. I started posting about it on Instagram and people began showing up. Towards the end of 2019, it was starting to get quite big. The first time I hit 30 people, I was like, what the hell?”

However, when the pandemic hit, the numbers of interested skaters swelled drastically.

“When lockdown happened, skating became really popular. It was a way to get outside and be active without having to be around people. But people were buying skates and they didn't know how to use them. I started teaching on Instagram Live and making tutorials on how to start skating in a safe way.”

Despite missing teaching in person, there were some real benefits to leading classes online. “It meant I could teach anyone from anywhere. They didn't have to be living in my city for me to be able to give them tips or help them out.

“When we came out of lockdown, I started doing my classes again and suddenly I had 50 people showing up. It snowballed from there.”

In these early stages, it was the people she surrounded herself with – including her mother who acted as her club’s secretary, and her sister, a professional skater in her own right – who made success possible.

“Shout out to my mum! She does all the admin volunteer: replying to emails, sending out invoices, telling people what time the classes are. Without her, I never would have had a job.”

Macarena’s classes continue to attract large numbers of skaters of all different ages and skill levels. She credits much of this to the sport’s low barrier for entry.

Macarena roler skate pose INP

Roller skating has become increasingly popular in New Zealand. Photo by Jessie Casson.

“It’s a really inclusive sport because it is individual. If you're doing it as a hobby, you don't have to be in a team or a certain age or gender to take part. You can just buy a pair of skates and practice by yourself in a car park.”

So, what’s the future for roller skating in New Zealand? Depends who you ask, she says.

“I don't think the recreation movement is slowing down. There are more and more people joining roller skating and lots of people who just do it casually, which has never happened before. I can't remember there ever being so many people who just do it for fun.

“There are so many people that can skate now, and that want to take it up as proper sport make it become more mainstream. I think we're going to get it into schools very soon.”


Story by Emily Draper for the Autumn 2024 issue of AA Directions Magazine. Emily Draper is the Deputy Editor of AA Directions Magazine.

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