A letter to the SF Planning Commission regarding The Church of 8 Wheels building proposal.

roller skating rinks under threat of development gentrification article Church of 8 Wheels may be bulldozed for development

Dear Members of the San Francisco Planning Committee,

I’m writing in regards to the proposed plans for 554 Fillmore, currently operating as The Church of 8 Wheels.

I think we’re all well aware of the struggle for affordable housing in the city. However, it seems that this developer seeks to use the housing scarcity to their own benefit, not that of the SF community and its residents.

My concern lies with the fact that the owner/developer purchased the land and building at 554 Fillmore with the full knowledge of the historical value and structural requirements of the former Sacred Heart Church, but now wants the rules to be changed in favor of their development.

What message would a committee approval send to other developers? Do we want to set the precedent that rules and regulations really don’t mean anything so long as the promise is large enough?

If these variances are allowed, a mere 36 people will be able to utilize this building. This limits housing benefits to a few, while separating thousands from the human benefits of health, fitness, connection and fellowship that recreational activities provide to its communities.

The Church of 8 Wheels is also a highly visible positive tourist attraction for San Francisco, frequently featured in airports and in-flight media. However, a new techie dorm crammed with people with no exposure to natural light or air is likely to attract a different kind of attention, a PR nightmare for the city.

So let me ask you, is 36 larger than THOUSANDS?
If you ask me, that math just doesn’t add up.

I am asking that the city reject these variances in accord with keeping the best interests of ALL of San Francisco residents in mind, not just a few.

Thank you for your consideration.

San Francisco Skaters Showcase – Rhythm Nation 30th Anniversary Roller Tribute

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. 

CREDITS:
6th Avenue Skatin’ Place – Skaters’ Showcase 2019 – 7/14/2019
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California.
Video: Kenny Hoff
Music: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (Jack Roeby’s 20th Anniversary Megamix) (edited)
Original Choreography: Anthony Thomas, Terry Bixler
Special Thanks:
Junior Hubbard / JanFam: The Movement
Pacific THERx Physical Therapy
Kevin Monroy
Janet Jackson
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If you’d like to see the rest of the performances from the show, the amazing Kenny Hoff has professionally recorded them for all to enjoy!!
Visit the full playlist below:

Motown Skate Night – March 2, 2019

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We had so much fun doing the Janet Jackson Roller Disco tribute a few years ago, the folks at The Church of 8 Wheels have graciously let me take over the booth for another great theme night! MOTOWN.
Just on the tail of #BlackHistoryMonth, we’ll be celebrating the 60 year anniversary of the Motown sound – on wheels!

Detroit is one of the original birthplaces of modern “dance skating” and is also the home of “Soul Skate,” one of the biggest, national adult skate jams.

Early Detroit skaters had to fight segregation during the civil-rights era, but once they were allowed in, they changed the game! Thanks to pioneering skaters like Bill Butler, who brought their jazz records to the rink, we have the modern flavor and styles that we all enjoy today!

Come down and enjoy 4 hours of great Motown hits plus lots of classic R&B, Soul & Funk to skate to!

Click to go to Facebook Event page

United Skates premieres on HBO February 18, 2019

Tune in to HBO February 18th at 8 p.m. ET/PT and immerse yourself in an incredible skating world many never knew existed!!

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United Skates spotlights a community of thousands who fight in a racially charged environment to save the underground African-American subculture of roller skating. It’s a world that has been overlooked by the mainstream for generations while giving rise to great musical talents.

Directed and produced by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, United Skates received the Documentary Audience Award at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival among dozens of other awards.

Rolling Stone online just shared an intriguing new trailer for the film!
WATCH HERE

United Skates Documentary – San Francisco Event!

FILM SCREENING
The United Skates Documentary is finally coming to the Bay Area! SF Doc Stories 2018 has chosen to showcase the film at this year’s film festival!
Come and see the film, and bring friends and family so they too can learn about this amazing art form and community!

November 4, 2018, 4:30 p.m
SFMOMA – Wattis Theater
151 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

PURCHASE MOVIE TICKETS
https://www.sffilm.org/screenings-and-events/united-skates


POP UP ROLLER SKATING AFTER PARTY

Lace up and join us for a pop-up roller skating party to celebrate the SF premiere of UNITED SKATES and the last day of Doc Stories!

Skate rentals will be available, but you’re encouraged to bring your own.

November 4, 2018, 7-11 p.m.
Dogpatch Dance & Yoga
435 23rd Street
Suite 18-19
San Francisco, CA 94107

PLEASE RSVP FOR ADMISSION
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reels-on-wheels-doc-stories-united-skates-after-party-tickets-51300595462?discount=RollerSkateFriends

Soul Skate Detroit 2018

The Soul Skate event takes place in Detroit, Michigan over Memorial Day weekend every 2 years. I finally had a chance to check it out!

It’s kind of crazy how I grew up here and had no idea about the rich skating culture that has existed there for decades. Thanks to the Soul Skate crew for an amazing time!

Here’s a few videos to give you a glimpse of the action.

The skate crews were out in full force with killer routines!

I even got to witness some of MY favs in person!

You can watch the entire playlist here. Enjoy!!

The Wonder Mix

Every year, the Golden Gate Park roller skaters put on a showcase filled with fun dance routines.

I was hesitant to participate this year because I had pulled a muscle, which was taking a long time to heal and I wasn’t skating at the level I wanted to be at for a “performance.”

But at the last minute, I let all that go, and decided to put 2 of my favorite things together; Janet Jackson and Wonder Woman!

Enjoy this funky mash-up!!

CREDITS:
• Song: Janet Jackson – Dammn Baby
• Wonder Woman Theme remix: Brittany Taylor https://youtu.be/h5KvCNsundA
• Addtl. Instrumental arrangement/stabs: https://www.instagram.com/mrklynik/

Special thanks to Kenny Hoff for capturing the moment!

Featured Photo: Justin Link

2Raw Spring Skate Jam 2017 – Highlights

Another amazing event from the 2Raw Skate Club took place April 14-16 in Citrus Heights, CA.

FRIDAY – The Warmup
DJ Soulnificent (Maryland)

I pulled a muscle the weekend before, so I was a little nervous going into the weekend. I knew I wanted to go all out, but I didn’t want to make the injury worse. Friday was mostly about saying hello and giving hugs to my skate family. DJ Soulnificent had us groovin though, it was a great warmup.

Skates = smiles!! 😉


Above Photo: Denyse Jones

Saturday – The Main Event
DJ Joe Bowen (Chicago)

I was still skate buzzing from Friday night that I hardly slept! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out to the park for the annual BBQ, but I knew I needed to conserve my energy.

For SIX hours, DJ Joe Bowen kept the flow going. Amazing set, I skated my injured tush off. (ow)

This time, I hit the floor with my camera to capture some of the action. Enjoy the 2Raw experience from my POV.

J’Roc Henderson

Golden Gate Park Skaters visit 2Raw!

Kelvin brings the Chicago flavor

Killer Routine

Find your nearest adult skate party at skategroove.com

Janet Jackson Roller Disco Tribute

We don’t have to wait until our legends are gone to celebrate them. Janet is one of my all time favorite artists, a true inspiration. With the support of the Church of 8 Wheels, we’re going to dedicate a theme night solely to Janet!

Janet Jackson is an international mega-star but her accomplishments are actually quite underrated, and often diminished in the media in favor of newer artists for which Janet paved the way. Before Beyoncé and others, there was Janet. Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.

Janet has given us FOUR straight decades of uplifting party music as well as socially conscious music. She’s taken music video and live performances to new heights. She has created and broken numerous records for female artists. Many of them still stand today.

Please join me April 1, at San Francisco’s Church of 8 Wheels, for a celebration of Janet Jackson’s music on wheels! I can assure you, this is no April Fool’s joke!

Get the point? Good…let’s skate!

Janet Jackson Roller Disco Tribute

#JanetsLegacyMatters