When I was in junior high school, several friends and I used to go roller skating every Friday night. Despite my lack of athletic ability – I was the proverbial “last one picked” every time sports teams were chosen for PE class and a disaster at ice skating – I eventually got pretty good at going around and around the rink at The Skatium to a soundtrack of Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Styx, and other rock/pop acts of the day. I was confident doing the Hokey Pokey on four wheels and occasionally attempted the limbo, but I never learned how to skate backwards – well, at least not while remaining vertical.
As I moved on to high school, I found my free time devoured by chorus, the speech and debate teams, and community theater. My skates gathered dust in my parents’ basement and I believe they were sold at a yard sale after I left for college. I didn’t lace up another pair of quads (as opposed to inline skates, which I’ve never donned; they seem too close to ice skates for my comfort) until about two years ago. Having noticed a City Paper ad for a retro skating event that would benefit Moveable Feast, I convinced Jim to dress up in80’s style (it didn’t take much coaxing; three cheers for marrying a theater person!) and accompany me to Skateland North Point. The rental skates were uncomfortable, but the music provided a wonderful trip (roll?) down memory lane and the rink’s staff couldn’t have been nicer. I even won “Best 80’s Fashion”, all while supporting a great cause.
Recently, a new friend posted a Facebook status in which she mentioned plans to go roller skating on a Sunday afternoon. The urge to hit the rink again struck like a lightning bolt and I searched the internet until I could find a pair of these beauties in my size:
My friend asked me which classical pieces or cabaret-style music I’d choose for a roller skating playlist at a private party and I was completely stumped. I know rinks mostly offer current Top 40 tunes and I’m very much out of that loop. Even the Lady Gaga songs I’ve heard of are probably considered dated now. Still, I can’t wait until my new skates arrive and I can get rolling. Maybe I’ll even learn how to skate backwards this time around!
80's, Moveable Feast, roller skating, Skateland