Fancy footwork at roller dance squad tryouts in Victoria

WatchRoller skating continues to make a big comeback, Roller Skate Victoria is recruiting for its roller dance crews. Tess van Straaten reports.

Roller dancers are getting their groove on at the rec centre at Royal Roads University.

It’s tryout-day for the Rutledge Rollers Pro Dance Crew and along with fancy footwork, daring, figure skating-inspired lifts are also part of these retro routines.

“It looks really graceful no matter what you’re doing as long as you stay standing,” says roller dancer Mitchell Pocha.

Pocha’s only been roller skating for just over a year and he says it’s actually easier than it looks.

“It’s not as scary as it seems,” Pocha says. “Once you get on your feet it might take you a couple hours.”

There’s even a kids dance crew for mini rollers, which is also holding tryouts.

“It’s fun and you get to meet a lot of new people and you get lots of exercise,” says Keira, who’s a mini roller.

“I really like how you can move around lots without picking up your feet and I also did ice skating,” adds Savannah, who’s trying out for the squad.

Roller Skate Victoria’s Dance Academy, which is marking its one year anniversary this week, now has dance crews for all ages and ability levels.

“We started out with a small group of students and some of them are still with us today, which is really cool,” says Roller Skate Victoria co-owner Andrea Boyes. “But we’ve really grown, we’ve had to expand the number of classes we’re offering and people are buying roller skates left right and centre.”

It’s all part of the resurgence in quad skating around the world and in Greater Victoria, demand just keeps growing.

In the last year, Roller Skate Victoria’s gone from monthly events, to weekly skates and now there are two public skates a week — Friday nights on the West Shore and Sunday nights in Quadra Village.

“I see more and more people coming out to the events, there’s a lot of regulars and stuff and that number is growing more as they bring on more events,” says Roller Skate Victoria coach Matthew Mortenson.

Mortenson hasn’t even been skating a year but the break-dancing roller picked it up so quickly, he’s already coaching.

“The community is really amazing, it’s really inviting so it’s really easy to fall in love with roller skating,” Mortenson says.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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