What’s Old is New: Roller Skating Returns to the Okanagan | INFOnews
April 20, 2021 – 7:00 a.m.
From gardening to cycling, Kelowna residents are trying all kinds of outdoor activities to keep busy amid the pandemic – and that includes roller skating and inline skating.
Kelowna residents Colleen Milligan and Tara Ricketts began teaching roller skating last year amid COVID-19.
“I was originally a figure skater and grew up in Kelowna, skated at Mount Boucherie and Kelowna clubs and rollerbladed on the Boardwalk (a popular rink). As I continued to skate and the Boardwalk was gone, I lost roller skating for a while and then resumed it about 12 years ago in connection with roller derby, ”said Milligan.
READ MORE: Calling All Kitsch Lovers: Got any memories of the 80s and 90s in Kelowna?
Trained by the Seattle Skate Instructors Association, they can teach both forms of skating for beginners.
“It’s a really good thing to do during the pandemic because it’s a great remote social activity, we’re all spaced out in Stuart Park,” she said.
She has watched the trend come and go and said she has seen an increase in interest over the past year. His Facebook group of skaters, the Okanagan Rollers, was created to allow people to learn outdoors and has about 30 members.
“When I started in the ’80s my favorite place was the Boardwalk, but now it’s definitely Stuart Park. It’s a beautiful place with a great vibe, ”she says.
Milligan said the two most important things for beginners to learn are to learn to stop and fall safely.
“Overall it just exploded, especially in the United States. One of the important things to mention is the roots of skating and where it came from. Many dance moves are strongly rooted in the black community and (there are) strong ties to skating. While we are not as diverse in the Okanagan as in other areas, we don’t want to lose that aspect of this story, ”she said.
The first recorded use of roller skates dates back to 1743 when actors attached wheels to their feet to mimic ice skating on stage. Roller skating was very popular in the United States from the 1930s to the 1950s and was an important part of black culture as the rinks were separated even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, according to JSTOR Daily.
In the 1970s roller skating was popular when paired with disco music, and roller discos and inline roller skating became popular in the 1990s.
You can watch the popular inline skating movies in the ’90s to see their popularity today, it’s a natural part of the cultural shift that follows vintage fashion, said Michael Saad, professor of communication at Okanagan College. .
“We’re such an active community and we embrace things so easily, it seems to be one of those things that people have taken,” he said. “In terms of fashion, everything goes through a cycle, so if roller skating stops I don’t know if scooters are on a downtrend, but at some point in the future we’ll see them come back.”
Fashion tends to follow cycles of five to six years in stores, he said.
“I curl up thinking next, could the hair gel come back? And we all wear shiny electric clothes like NSYNC… it could happen, ”Saad said.
Inline skating in Canada seems like a natural transition, he said. Hockey players and athletes can stay conditioned by tapping on a pair of roller skates and can use them anywhere they are cobbled.
“When people can’t go to the gym and can’t move, (that’s) one thing you can do to keep your body in shape. Also when everyone is stuck at home people take on new challenges or hobbies and I think skating is one, ”said Eric Li, Associate Professor at UBC Okanagan and Chair of main research (level 2) in Food security.
The TikTok social media platform is also creating the culture and helping to boost its popularity, he said.
“From the consumer’s point of view, it is also a very affordable space, even compared to cycling,” he said, adding that it could also be used for getting around town.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or topical tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly raffle.
We appreciate your comments and opinions on our stories, but play nice. We will not censor or remove comments unless they contain irrelevant statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam, or obviously false profiles. If you are unsure of what you see in the comments, email the editor through the link above.
News from © iNFOnews, 2021