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The Roller Skating Family Cruising Through MN’s Last Rinks

'We didn’t have a choice when we were kids. We had to go skating.'

Patrick Strait

It’s early Wednesday evening at Skateville in Burnsville, and the floor is packed with wobbly kids, tweens, and teens doing their best to push and coast their way around the wooden oval while pop hits from 20 years ago blare over the speakers. 

Suddenly, through the sea of awkward baby steps and cringeworthy wipeouts, Quint, Carol, and Caitlin Juvland come shredding through like the cast of Xanadu (or Roll Bounce for anyone born after 1990 who needs a more relatable reference). 

This family of skaters aren’t just good. They are very good. That’s because they’ve been skating together all their lives. 

“My family is from Faribault, and we used to go skating at the roller rink that was in an old cow barn,” Quint says. “My wife and I actually met for the first time at that rink.” 

“It was back in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s,” Carol adds. “He was wearing this ugly plaid coat with fake fur and headgear. I remember I felt so bad for him that his parents made him wear that. When I saw him again a few years later, probably ’83 or ’84, he didn’t have the headgear and he had ditched the ugly coat.” 

After getting married and having kids, Quint and Carol passed their love of skating on to their children. Whether they wanted it or not. 

“We didn’t have a choice when we were kids,” Caitlin deadpans. “We had to go skating. And we would never be able to go as a family without someone stopping my dad and saying, ‘You’re really good’ and asking him for tips.” 

Over the past few years, roller skating availability has been on the decline in Minnesota. At one time, there were more than a dozen rinks in the Twin Cities area alone. Today, according to the Juvlands, there are only four remaining in the entire state: Skateville in Burnsville, along with rinks in Coon Rapids, St. Cloud, and Princeton. It's not an issue of popularity, The Atlantic reported in 2014; real estate prices have pinched the industry since the Great Recession, causing many urban rinks with vast, valuable footprints to shutter while driving others to cheaper land in the 'burbs and exurbs.

“2020 really put a hurt on skating rinks,” Quint says. “That’s when the rink in Woodbury closed. Then the one in St. Louis Park.” 

Rolling into the rink in Burnsville feels like a time warp. The classic arcade games, faded neon carpet, and the smell of wax permeating through the massive building feels nearly identical to the way it was back when Quint and Carol were teenagers. And while they may not have the same stamina as they did back then, they can still stop a crowd, holding hands and spinning across the floor while groups of teens stop to admire the local legends.  

“It’s fun to see the different styles,” Quint says. “I like to go as fast as I can all the time. Maybe try and do a little footwork. But it wears me out right away. I used to be able to go all night. Now I make it five or six laps and I’m done.” 

While Quint is in it for speed, Caitlin is far more expressive with her skating. Since 2020, Caitlin has performed comedy as her character Sk8lin, “The Best Skater in the World,” at live Minneapolis comedy shows like "Wensgays" at Sisyphus Brewing and "Uproar" at Bryant-Lake Bowl, as well as onscreen as part of the Scream It Off the Screen competition at the Parkway Theater. 

“I quit skating for a few years and then I went with [my parents] in college and realized it was really fun,” she says. “For a while I thought it would be cool to do skating competitions, but I didn’t want to put the time and money into actually entering a skating competition. I figured with Sk8lin, I could imagine one.” 

Though it may seem like Sk8lin is mocking their most cherished pastime, Quint and Carol couldn’t be prouder of their daughter. 

“Caitlin is so creative, and we’ve always loved watching her perform,” Carol beams. “Plus, I think it’s funny that Sk8lin thinks she’s the best skater in the world when she really sucks.” 

Sk8lin onstage.Courtesy of

As for the state of roller skating beyond their family, Quint says he hopes it’ll experience a resurgence with new people checking out the rinks, while giving long-time skaters a place to keep on shooting the duck. 

“You’ll see a whole spread of ages,” he says of the crowds he encounters these days. “Sometimes I’ll come by after work and skate for a few hours, and you’ll see little kids, teenagers, people in their 20s or 30s. There’s even a guy I see who is in his 80s and he’s still skating around. Everyone has their own take on skating, but for me it’s just fun to see people having a good time.” 

While the hike from their home in Faribault can be tough on a family of skaters, all three of them say they won’t be hanging up the quads (cool skater speak for the old-school skates with two rows of wheels) anytime soon. 

“For me, I go skating to keep my character of Sk8lin alive,” Caitlin says. “I used to be a lot more self-conscious, but now I could really care less about whether or not people are watching me. I move my arms more, I dance more. I just let loose and dance however I want.” 

And for Quint and Carol? They’re ready to skate until the wheels fall off. 

“As long as we still have our balance, we’ll be skating,” Carol says.

Patrick Strait

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