WATCH: Roller Skate Victoria is launching a roller dance academy next month and holding a retro roller disco this Saturday as roller skating makes a comeback. Tess van Straaten reports.
Fancy footwork, groovy disco dance moves and knee socks with short-shorts can only mean one thing — roller skating is making a comeback.
“In-line skating took over for a while and now we’re seeing a resurgence of the roller skating,” says Roller Skate Victoria co-founder Martin Newham. “It never left California and now it’s creeping back up.”
Newham and co-founder Andrea Boyes, both former figure skaters, are now doing tricks on wheels instead of blades as they bring roller skating and roller disco back to the Capital Region.
“Roller disco music is so fun to skate to so for a lot of people it’s that nostalgia factor, for others it’s great exercise,” Boyes says. “For me, I love the creativity in it — you can make up your own dance moves.”
With the sport growing in popularity, Roller Skate Victoria is hosting its first-ever Retro Roller Disco at Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt Saturday night.
“I used to do roller skating here at Archie Browning back when I was a teenager and this is just bringing this whole thing back for me again so it’s really fun,” Newham says.
Roller skate rentals will be available at the event, which will include performances by some of B.C.’s best roller dancers and a DJ spinning vinyl with hits from the 70s and 80s.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” says DJ Miker. “We don’t get a chance to play this kind of music for this many people all at once, especially with the roller skates it’s a lot of fun.”
But Saturday’s disco isn’t just a throwback night. Roller Skate Victoria is also starting a dance academy starting next month for kids and adults.
“We’ve been getting growing numbers in our group and lots of people asking us for lessons so we’ll be teaching introduction to roller skating and introduction to roller dancing,” explains Boyes.
They’ll even a ‘roller sweat’ class with World Cup roller derby player Vicky Zdancewicz, whose derby name is ‘Rage’.
“I just love how freeing it is — it feels like you’re flying,” Zdancewicz says. “You can do super fast and do all these fun spins, things you just can’t do with shoes on.”
For more information on the dance academy go to the Roller Skate Victoria Facebook page.
Tickets to the Retro Roller Disco are $20 and only available in advance on EventBrite. Skate rentals will be available at the arena for $10 on a first-come, first-serve basis.