Like other inventions from the same glorious decade – think, Apple computers, Post-It notes and liposuction – the 1970s roller disco is alive, well and positively thriving. With spectacular lighting displays, thumping beats and four-wheel fun creating an electric atmosphere, the roller disco has everything you could want in a cracking night out… not to mention the opportunity to work up a sweat. Add a coach who turns up the workout with aerobics instruction, skate training and high-energy team challenges… and you have yourself a roller ‘fitsco’, Possums!
You will need:
8 things You’ll Learn Very Quickly from Your First Roller Disco
1) A Beginner’s Class will take you from Bambi-on-ice to I-think-I’ve-got-this within an hour, so don’t worry too much – you can do it.
2. Knee pads have a right way and a wrong way up.
3. Falling over doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much as you think it will (in reality, probably the only bruising will be to your ego).
4. You will feel like this when you get off you skates and back onto solid ground:
5. Learning to stop is very important – especially when you find yourself skating at high-speed towards a stationery gathering of unsuspecting skaters.
6. Uptown Funk is the best roller skating song ever recorded in human history. Closely followed by It's Tricky.
7. You’ll be able to pick the Roller Derby crew (out for a spot of casual skating) as they are: (a) inherently cooler than you, (b) wearing awesome black ankle skates.
8. Light up roller skates exist in the world (you’re welcome).
Look Fabulous, Feel Fabulous Rating
Once you get the knack of life on eight wheels, you start to relax your previously iron-cast shoulders and intensely scrunched brows, skate a bit faster and actually begin to take in the awesome soundtrack pumping through the venue. Building up speed is SERIOUSLY fun and incorporating cool new moves is fun insofar as you can stay upright! Though, I know from experience that stacking into a crowd of unsuspecting skaters can also be downright hilarious. Skating can be as social or as solitary as you like – laugh and jostle with your pals, dance the beat or get your head down and go full throttle!!
As you begin to build up speed and really up the exertion of your skating, you’ll start to feel your heartrate kick into rhythm. If you’ve never skated before – you’ll likely spend much of your session getting comfortable being on your skates. While you won’t feel overwhelmed by the workout, you’ll feel plenty of heartrate quickening from the sheer terror of toppling over! If you’re taking a roller fitness class – as opposed to a regular roller disco or speed skate session - you’ll get lots of aerobic goodness from the 45,000 squat and/or squat-like skating moves you’ll undoubtedly do in the class.
The feeling from nailing a lengthy backwards skate or mastering a cool-looking turn is pretty life-affirming and there is almost endless scope to get more and more accomplished (like my pal Jim in the video!).
If you have never EVER skated before then there really is a window of time it will take before you can skate confidently enough to incorporate some actual enjoyment/pleasure in what you’re doing. Having said that – I hadn’t skated in YEARS (as a 90s kid – rollerblading was my jam) and within 10mins I was competent enough to start thinking about more than not falling over. Funnily enough – it was only when I started thinking like this that I actually DID fall over (hey, you gotta push them boundaries, kiddo…).
The flashing disco lights, the iridescent blue leopard print skates, the thumping tunes and the electric vibe give the roller fitness 100% on the fabulousness scale. Short of showering skaters in chocolate unicorns at 10 minute intervals, I actually don’t think it can be improved in any practical/pragmatic/nutrition-friendly way.
23/12/2016 11:43:00 pm
God. I love the IDEA of skating, but when I went to Roller Stop a couple of months ago I was too terrified to even make it onto the rink. Maybe when it's quiet, and there are no kids around (so, never then...).
25/12/2016 03:49:50 pm
Merry Christmas Lis!! Oh heavens - poor thing! Tbh, there really weren't many zooming kids/crazy crowds either time I went - for the Roller Fitsco especially (on a Monday night - plus, I actually went to the open trial launch and I would guess there were fewer on the 4-week skating block starting the following week). Perhaps you could try on an evening in the week, Honey? I think this calls for a new episode: Roller Fitsco Part 2: Last Year's Girl On Wheels.
27/12/2016 06:22:58 pm
How fun!! I would love to try Roller Fitsco. One of my favorite movies is Whip It since I watched it I imagined myself in a Roller Derby team. By the way your blog is lovely!
29/12/2016 09:06:50 pm
Hello Lovely Andrea! Thank you so much for your comment - I bloody love 'Whip It' too and have fantasized about being a Roller Derby boffin.... maybe I need to try that too?? My Derby name could be Hell's Angell or Hailstorm !
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A big dollop of love from my finger tips to your screen (I promise that's not as creepy as it sounds). xx