This is how we roll
Until 1991 I was a keen roller-skater, but then we moved to a house with a gravel drive and my skates were relegated to a dusty corner of the garage, apart from the occasional moment of glory at Farnham leisure centre’s roller disco.
So I thought I knew what to expect at the Roller Disco in Vauxhall: Race around in a circle to some pop hits, slalom to avoid hand-holding teens, enjoy a packet of Wotsits and some Cherry Drops from a vending machine for supper, get picked up by your mum.
But this is an adult-only roller disco. Basically that means you still go round and round in circles to music but there’s a bar, it’s open late and, in amongst the staggering, wobbling newbies with flashing wheels are a bunch of actual grown ups with some pretty tasty dance moves. These are fully grown men in their 20s, hanging out at a roller disco three times a week. No ‘oh yeah it’s retro’ east London attitude or ironic leg warmers, just a genuine love for dancing with wheels on their feet.
It all came back fairly quickly. Almost immediately my body, though at least 17 years older, settled back in to the one-sided stopper-push movement that was the signature style of my childhood self. (A few years after my roller skating prime came the in-line skate, but I’m afraid I’ve never tried them and I know I’d be unable to do more than ineffectually flap my arms without a stopper to push off from).
My co-skaters were Paloma and Mike. Paloma was excellent, but she’s a few years younger and her favourite movie is Whip It so she’s practically a pro. Mike was full of childlike exuberance and fearless over-confidence despite the fact that he was jerking around the rink like a man with his bottom attached by a wet coat hanger to a plug socket. Good on him, I say.
It was a lot of fun and great exercise. I feel like my right buttock is now very slightly more toned than my left.
Whilst I’m aware that there are few things more embarrassing than a 30 year old woman skating around a Hyde Park on wheels that light up, I shall be buying some skates and doing exactly that of a lunch time this summer. Feel free to join me.
(Please excuse blurry images, we were too fast for iPhone)