Prologue: For this years San Francisco Skaters showcase, I knew that I wanted to do something for the 30th Anniversary of the Rhythm Nation album. Let me tell you something, when you put on that Rhythm Nation uniform, it literally changes your DNA, molecules SHIFTED. I pulled on the final glove and immediately felt different; stronger, focused, determined.
As a bit of background, I first got into roller skating after a life changing injury to my hand. Over the years, I’ve developed additional cervical spine damage related to the ways my body has compensated for not having the full use of my hand. It’s been about 12 years since I’ve “danced with my arms” and I while I was preparing for this performance, I quickly discovered just how much mobility I had lost during that time. Only with the help of a physical therapist, and personal trainer I was able to pull this off in any capacity. (There’s some real pain in those goofy faces, and I still can’t lift my arms right. lol)
It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means, but I love any chance I get to remind people of Janet’s timeless legacy and her messages of positivity and love. I hope you enjoy it too.
Thinking a lot about inspiration and motivation lately as I look to re-invigorate my own skate practice. I went back to some of the videos that were out when I first started skating (almost 10 years ago). I’m reminded that what attracted me to this type of skating was the musicality, the finesse and the smoothness of the moves.
Here’s a collection of videos that inspired me over the years, I hope you will enjoy them as well!
No excuse not to practice!
This was the place, and the people that started it all for me. Cal Skate Milpitas.
On Sunday, June 8th Roller skaters from throughout the Bay Area rolled in to show off their skills on 8 wheels. D. Miles, San Francisco’s GodFather of Skate served as MC to guide the audience through every solo, pair and group performance. There was even a segment for the audience to come join in and do the “Cupid Shuffle”.
For my performance, I chose one of my favorites songs from the last year, Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe.
You can watch the full performance below from the view of the spectators. (Watch in HD)
Here’s a up-close side view of some of the highlights courtesy Ralph Boethling. (Watch in HD)
You can enjoy other performances from the show with this YouTube playlist.
I’m so grateful to have such talented and lively friends. Hopefully these clips inspire you to have some fun and to roll with soul!!
Last weekend I was invited to perform at halftime for the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls Season Opener!
I had to get used to the floor a bit, but even at last call for alcohol, it was a great crowd.
It was fun to show the derby crowd something a bit different. I have a lot of respect for the derby, but I also think it’s important for women to see that it’s not the only place for them in skating. Hopefully a few ladies were inspired to get their dance on too!
One of the best things about skating is how it brings together all different kinds of people who might not have had the opportunity to befriend each other otherwise. It totally helps to expand your worldview and your circle of friends.
Since I started skating, I’ve been fortunate to find a home among several skate communities. Each one inspires me in different ways. I also learn different skills from each one.
There’s nothing better when different types of skaters get together and exchange ideas. For example, I often talk to derby skaters who tell me that they wish they could skate dance, but everything they learn in derby is the opposite of what you would do when you skate-dance. To loosen the girls up during one session, I asked them to show me some of their drills and I showed them a way to add a little funk and make it a dance “move.”
Pretty sure “Derby Dance” is going to be a ‘thing’ one day. We’ll keep working on it. 😉
Recently the SF Roller Girls were invited to entertain during the B.A.D. Girls Derby halftime show. The result had the crowd roaring!!
Special thanks to D. Miles and Jane Hammer (B.A.D. Girls), for mixing up the chocolate and the peanut butter.