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 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.
Who really wants to watch a bunch of people skating exactly the same and doing the same moves anyway? That’s kinda boring.
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!
If you’ve ever seen these images pop up on the internet, please know that this is NO ordinary “ol skool” skater.
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.