No one can skate like you.

Very often new skaters take up skating because they were inspired by other skaters (which is great!), but get frustrated comparing themselves to someone who has been skating much longer. (not so great.) 

This also applies when it comes to style – if you find that after significant practice you look and feel stiff doing a particular move, it may be that that move just doesn’t work for your body. (This is common in the professional dance world. What works for one performer may not look good on another.) 

Side bar: Listen to this clip from world renowned choreographer Tina Landon discussing the challenges for choreographing for Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson at the same time. (14:35 minute mark)

For example, I wish I could dance like Janet Jackson or Gene Kelly, but I’m not made that way. I had to take the things I appreciated about those artists and find what works for my own body to create my own vibe and style. 

(I mean…who wouldn’t want to skate like that?)

I actually started roller skating after a neuromuscular disorder called focal dystonia severely limited the use of my hand and nearly ended my career as an artist. I also developed cervical spine issues because of the ways that my body had compensated over the years. I have to be mindful of my body so as to not inadvertently do more harm.
  
When I skate, I always hook a towel in my hand to hide my odd hand posture. After awhile, it became a prop when I dance – just a part of my unique style.

Photo: Andre Cates/ Gliders Captured Moments

Who really wants to watch a bunch of people skating exactly the same and doing the same moves anyway? That’s kinda boring.

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

– Oscar Wilde

Allow yourself to be a beginner give yourself time to find YOUR style and what feels good to YOUR body.

Another skater may be waiting to be inspired by YOUR unique style and and build from that! 

My Skate Life (in GIFs) Part 4 – Cat Edition!

1. Unloading the carpool at the late night skate jam

 

 

 

2. Watching the fast backwards skaters

 

 

 

3. That one reckless skater who never watches out for anybody

 

 

 

4. That one time you fell, but totally played it off…kinda

 

 

 

5. Trying to figure out if it’s your skates that stink

 

 

 

6. When you see a sweet move for the very first time

 

 

 

7. When someone comes up to the DJ Booth and requests “Funkytown”

 

 

 

8. Selfie Spin

 

 

 

9. Trying to walk after Skate-a-thon weekend

 

 

 

10. When the DJ got you in the zone

Required Reading for all Skaters

Some time last year, a brilliant article was published in Electronic Beats magazine.

“Sound in Motion” provides an in-depth look at the origins of style-skating and the music that provided the infinite loop which feeds the culture even to this day.

It’s divided into 4 chapters:

  • Style Skating, Civil Rights and the Evolution of Rink Music
  • New York City – Disco, Boogie and Beyond: Danny Krivit
  • Style skating and James Brown remix culture in Chicago: ShaProStyle
  • From the rink to the dancefloor: DJ Spinn & RP Boo

I hope this link never goes down, because this story is to pivotal to understanding the issues that created the skating culture, and the pioneers who paved the way.

It’s a long read, but it’s worth it. There’s also some great media bits included throughout.

Click the image to transfer to the article.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.16.54 PMhttp://stories.electronicbeats.net/

Enjoy!!

GUEST DJ: Church of 8 Wheels – August 27, 28 & 29

WC_Co8W_August2015

In addition to being an Official Skate Instructor, I’m also your friendly neighborhood Roller Disco DJ.

I LOVE skate music, (Just look at those pants!) and I’ve been invited to play some music for YOU!

Here are the details for the sessions:

  • Thursday – LGBT Night (All Welcome) 7pm-10pm
  • Friday – Roller Disco – 7pm-11pm
  • Saturday – Roller Disco (+18 up only) – 7pm-11pm

$10 to enter, $5 skate rental

The Church of 8 Wheels – 554 Fillmore St. (At Fell) San Francisco, CA 94117

If you’re in the Bay Area, hope to see you there!

My Skate Life (in GIFs) Part 3

1. When people ask me about buying their own skates

2. Beginning skate students

3. Students after my hour lesson #swag 😉

4. How I think I look skating in a group

5. How I probably look skating in a group

6. That one dude who is always standing in the glide lane trying to show-off

7. When someone finally runs into him

8. Me skating when I first arrive at Golden Gate Park

8. Me skating at Golden Gate Park 5 hours later…

Skate Legend – Bill “Jamma” Butler

If you’ve ever seen these images pop up on the internet, please know that this is NO ordinary “ol skool” skater.

legends-of-skating-billbutler

When people were rolling to organ music in the 40’s, Bill Butler is the man that brought the funk and jazz to skating in Detroit and then most famously in New York. His artistry, skill and style inspired many of the popular incarnations of roller skating that exist today.

As these forms of roller skating become popular in various parts of the country, it’s important to honor it’s cultural origins and the unsung pioneers that have given roller skating it’s flavor and style.

If you skate, get to know Bill Butler:

Watch Bill skate:

Videos from Atlanta’s Skate-a-thon 2014

Forgive me skaters, I realized I never posted those Skate-a-thon videos that I promised a few months back.

Enjoy!

1. This is Robert, he’s part of my Bay Area skate family, but his style is all Detroit. Love watching his smooth skating.

2.  Here we have the magic inner circle where skaters come to show their best stuff! Here’s Josh “Batman” Smith heating things up in the middle.

3. This one portion of the night called “Roll Call,” where each style of skating gets a bit of shine. This style is called “Open House,” watch these guys slide!

4. These lovely ladies are friends of mine from the Bay Area, doing their thing in the middle.

5. Here are the Trains and Trios from roll call. Skaters link up in 3’s or more and glide around as 1 unit. Amazing control.