Roller skates are back in popularity

Philadelphia — The night started wobbly.

But a few laps later, he skated around the roller links lost in Luther Vandross’s “Never Too Much” and the fatback band’s classic “I Found Lov’n” songs.

I waited for the first code of the new version of “Candy Girl”, but I had no luck.

No, I wasn’t fantasizing about 1985.

At that moment I lived in the Wells Fargo Center. The Spectacor Events & Entertainment Group, a division of Comcast Spectacor, has partnered with a local skate crew, Great on Skates, to host roller skates in the Wells Fargo experience. The floor under the Philadelphia Flyers ice rink has been transformed into a roller skating rink as roller skates have returned to our consciousness. It’s playful. It’s TikTok friendly. Thanks to Bruno Mars and Anderson Park’s supergroup Silk Sonic, roller skating had its own theme song, properly named “skating.”

But the point is that I miss roller skating. Strobe lights enliven the party and remind us of the simpler times it took for a couple of skates to fall in love.

“I learned that popularity has skyrocketed,” said Emily Dunham, senior vice president of Spectacall Events & Entertainment at Wells Fargo, about the all-day event, which attracted nearly 1,000 guests for seven consecutive hours. rice field. Skating session. “We wanted to find a new, safe event that could bring the community together. Given the popularity of skating, we knew it would be a winner.”

The experience of roller skating at the Wells Fargo Center was a one-time deal, but “although not 100% certain”, it seems that there are plans to do it again. The South Philadelphia venue is not the only place where event venue organizers have chosen to make their flooring suitable for skating. Both the Dillworth Plaza and the Blue Cross Riverlink in the Town Hall along the waterfront of the Delaware River have a successful skating-filled season. This year’s RiverRink attendance has increased by 20% compared to pre-pandemic numbers, said Jackie Lai, director of parks and attractions at Delaware River Waterfront, which operates the link.

But the real winner is Rollerlink all year round. Rollerlink, a popular hangout for tweens and teens in the 1970s, 1980s, and 90s, has become much of a childhood in the olden days, and its popularity has been replaced by home video games. Many links were closed as inline skating became popular and businesses moved from the city to the suburbs.

However, according to Tracy Medley, managing partner of Camden’s Millennium Skating World, the session was packed before the start this summer. “The resurrection is reviving the older mature skaters who made roller skating popular at the time,” Medley said.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when quad skates (classic four-wheeled vehicles) appeared on the Nordstrom and Amazon waiting lists from underground storage boxes. (Like bicycles, there seems to be a shortage of roller skates.) But India Bernardino, founder and co-owner of Great on Skates, said the resurrection was related to pandemics and social media. ..

“People couldn’t get together, but they could go out and skate,” Bernardino said. Like the perfect handstand yogi, skaters who have mastered dance techniques shared their videos. Rotation between high speed skates, high speed rear skates, high speed rear skates and backward reversal high speed skates. “People posted new skate videos every day, but before they knew it, they liked the 65th day of 365 days of skating.”

That’s where Bernadino comes in. Children (and adults too) wanted to show off their skills, but they were rusty. They wanted to skate like Instagram. So are Tik Toker street skaters like the Atlanta-based Kamille Boyd-Gillmore and the Los Angeles-based Ana Coto. Bernardino looked up and noticed that she was full of weekly beginner and intermediate skating lessons she taught with Great On Skates business partner Shemar Cunningham.

“It’s about the tricks and dances of today, the vividness of skating culture. It’s about art,” said Bernadino, who teaches students how to dance, backward skate, and even split.

South Philadelphia roller skates Clyde “Ice” McCoy (center) skates with Dominique Dunlap (right) at the Roller Skating Link at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with roller skating instructor Cameron King.

Roller skates are back in popularity

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