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Monday, June 12, 2017

Roller Derby Through the Years

Yesterday morning when I was walking to go roller skating for Summerfest, I thought about the importance music had to roller derby back in the 1970s. It made me think about the importance of music when I was skating as a child and young teen, as well as the importance of music now. I'd like to skate down memory lane with different sounds through the decades.

I first learned how to roller skate when I was five years old. At that time, we had an unfinished basement and I remember skating in the basement. Of course, I skated outside on the patio and usually trekked to my elementary school (three-minute walk) to skate around the classroom. Here is a picture of me roller skating from May 1995:

Around this time, I also went roller skating at the Villanova skating rink with summer camp, my parents, and my friends. The music I most remember listening to during this time - because they were my favorites - are as followed:

Skating through the 90s was so much fun! However, once we realized the world was not ending on December 31, 1999, we had to celebrate this feat and did so by skating through 2000 all the way until 2002!

Sadly, the Villanova Skating Rink closed in 2002, but from 2000-2002, my pre-teen self especially loved skating with her friends. Skating birthday parties were especially popular among my friends and I remember having a few skating parties as well. Here are pictures from my 12th birthday in 2001:

(I have to find where I put the negatives and get the pictures redeveloped, I have to clean out my closets next week,)

I can honestly say, the early 2000s with roller skating was much more rap, pop, and pop-punk heavy. I especially remember skating to these songs:

It feels great to be skating again! I can honestly say, music is still an important part of roller skating even in 2017. I like to roll along and groove like this:

While the River Rink likes to play all genres of music and not focusing solely on top 40 hits. While skating on Friday night I heard the following:

I love how the Blue Cross rink plays all genres of music. Whenever I hear the oldies being played, I think of the days when my parents used to roller skate, the days of roller disco. I'm friends with a radio DJ on Facebook. She DJs for 98.1 WOGL, which used to be oldies... oldies older than the 80s (I don't think of the 80s as "oldies") and today I tagged her that I wish she could DJ for the skating rink because I would love to skate to the disco classics. I think roller derby could be fun!

Regardless of the music played, I will still be skating away...

I hope you enjoyed skating through the decades with me!


  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    It's me - The Real Slim Shady. :) I am returning temporarily from my self imposed exile to read and comment on your post, mainly because you were so sweet and supportive to Kathleen in the wake of her loss. Thank you again for that!

    FYI - I was an avid fan of those televised Roller Derby exhibition matches in the 1950s and 60s, and wished that I could learn to skate as well as those athletes. As I already told you, I never got the knack, only blisters and a sore bottom from falling.

    I enjoyed skating through the decades with you. Most of the songs linked in your mind to skating are new to me, but a few of them are already in my Shady Train lineup. It fascinates me how our minds link together music and memorable experiences, both good and bad. For example, I have a bunch of songs attached to memories of summertime visits to a large, members-only swimming pool complex. A different group of songs reminds me of family vacations spent in a log cabin in the mountains, and a third set of songs is linked to memories of being on the high school basketball team.

    It was delightful to see that picture of you as a child. You looked cute in your skating gear.

    Thank you, dear friend JM, and have a great week!

    1. Hi Shady,

      Thank you for reading and taking time out of your self-imposed exile to comment on my entry.

      I can't say I have ever watched the televised roller derbies, but I might have to see if I can YouTube old ones. I know they made many movies about the subject, and I would like to see it.

      Thank you! I'm thinking of posting more musical entries with my skating. Tonight was Michael Jackson and 80s night. I'll have to post about it on Saturday.

      I hope you had a great week, dear friend!