Many of today’s great skaters weren’t always great; they had to start from the bottom just like everybody else. Eighteen year old Ryan Butler of Team VNLA is no different. Ryan began his skating journey at the age of eleven and has continued to pursue his dream in his hometown of Douglasville, Georgia.
It’s easy to become a Ryan Butler fan because his groove and extreme passion for skating is contagious! Ryan has power moves that few others have, but that didn’t come easy, it took a whole bunch of practice! Ryan started out like most skaters: a rink rat at his home rink named Dazzles in Douglasville, Georgia. Shortly after discovering the world of jam skating, Ryan began consistently skating. Ryan said with excitement: “I thought it was so cool! People were out here dancing on these roller skates. I remember seeing somebody spinning on their head and after that I just knew I wanted to start jam skating just as a hobby.”
Ryan admitted that jam skating wasn’t a hobby for very long: “I realized it was something I loved once it took up all of my time. I knew that jam skating was what I wanted to do and at that point all I wanted to do was to better myself not only as a power skater, but just as a jam skater all around.” Ryan pushed himself to become the skater he always wanted to be. He explains, “When I first started Jamskating all I wanted to do was be great. I wanted to push myself harder and harder each day so I could create a name for myself in the jam skating community. I wanted to make new friends and eventually travel all around the country for different competitions.”
Ryan’s name was becoming known in the jam skate community. After putting in many hours of practice he finally got his dream! In the year of 2010 Ryan got wind that some of the skaters from Team Vanilla were coming down to another rink in Georgia. This is where Ryan met Diamond, Tony, Brandon, Junior and the owner of Vanilla, Michael Lehrke. Ryan, his mom, and a few of Ryan’s friends all made their way out the rink to meet the legendary jam skaters for the first time. The group ended up skating together and even went to out to eat with Brandon and Lehrke! This is when the flame sparked for Ryan and his hard work began to pay off. “From then on I just kept on putting myself out there. I would compete whenever I got the chance. Then there was some performances they did in Tennessee on New Year’s and I got asked to go out there and perform with the team. I wasn’t officially on the team, but I was performing with the best. It was such a dream come true,” Ryan expressed.
Ryan continued to push himself and as time went on he continued to travel with Team Vanilla. In the year of 2011 and at the age of fourteen years old, Ryan was asked if he’d like a spot on the team. Ryan put so much time and dedication to chase a dream that he is still living out today. Ryan is a great example of a dedicated skater. When Ryan’s wheels hit the floor nobody can deny the energy that he brings to the rink. He is full of breath taking power moves and smooth transitions that will be sure to catch anybody’s eyes. Ryan Butler has put in time, dedication, and passion to become the skater he is today. It’s obvious that Ryan will continue to work hard and progress, after all, even the best have room to improve!