I went back to the roller rink last night without Tim, despite a huge blister on my right arch from the rental skates. He is on vacation, so now is my chance to impress him with my newly-acquired roller abilities upon his return. I am intrigued with the quad roller thing, and there happened to be a session after dinner and the roller rink is closer to my house than the ice rink.
It’s not that I like roller skating better, it’s just that it’s a challenge. Plus I am very limited in what I can do on roller skates, so it’s harder to hurt my hips. When I ice skate, I want to do all the things I like to do, which are hard on my hips. When I roller skate, I still get the fun of moving to music (and they have live music at the roller rink too), but I can only do easy things.
I went to a public session hoping to be incognito, but just prior to the session there was a beginning dance class, and most of the class participants stayed for the session. They recognized the fact that I was some sort of a dancer because I was working on dance elements. Then there were some higher level dancers I’d met on Sunday who were there for fun. Everyone was friendly and encouraging and probably wondering why I was there by myself.
My goal was to learn how to hold an edge on those slippery buggers (roller skates don’t dig in to the floor like a blade on ice, so it feels “slipperier” to me). After about an hour I got to the point where I could do all 4 forward edges, although I was pretty slow (um, hello, I would have gone faster but I’m not quite sure how to stop these things yet). I did linked edges and swing rolls, chasses and progressives.
Several people I hadn’t met on Sunday came right up to me and said “ice skater, right?” Was it that obvious? Yes, they said, they could tell by how I do my progressives. We ice people are easy to spot, and not just because we’re dressed for the arctic in a hot roller rink!
I then decided I must learn to turn backward gracefully if Tim was going to make me do dances like the Viennese and Samba with him. Three turns without holding on to him seemed beyond my reach, so I decided to do Mohawks in both directions. My ice technique was wrong, wrong, wrong. They do heel to heel Mohawks. Several people tried to show me how to do this but on ice, heel to heel = veryverybad; not only technically wrong but easy to step on the heel of your blade and go down. I just could not get past my aversion to doing it heel to heel, but I tried repeatedly. By the end of the session I could turn backwards pretty consistently in both directions and it felt sort of like an ice Mohawk, but my new friends shook their heads and told me it was “wrong.” Sigh. I’m going to have to learn it their way, I know, but it’s going to involve reprogramming 10 years of ice technique.
I did do Paso Doble cross rolls and those were pretty easy, although I’m sure I did them “wrong.” A couple passed me and I smiled and said, “Paso Doble!” They nodded and smiled and probably said to each other as soon as out of earshot, “dumbass beginner, stick to the glide waltz.” Yep, I probably should.
One friendly skater told me that I needed to “learn to listen to the music and skate to it.” Now really, my focus was just to start feeling comfortable out there and work on “technique,” such as it were. I was ignoring the music. I guess that’s really bad form at the roller rink. When music is playing (especially live music) then dammit, you should show your appreciation and skate to it.
The only fall I have had so far was when I went to sit down on the bench, but kept “rolling” and missed, falling onto my right wrist and then my butt. It would have been embarrassing, especially if I had ended up in a cast, but as soon as I realized my wrist was only sprained and not broken all was well. So I now have a sprained wrist and a huge throbbing blister but my hips don't hurt at all. Go figure!