Have you ever stopped and wondered about the history of roller skating? How did the roller skate become what it is today? Nowadays you can get the skate designed to turn more sharply roll faster than others. However the history of roller skating isn’t all about equipment; it’s also entwined with the history of music. If you come to Lanham Skate Center you might remember the music you were listening to while skating. Music sets the tone at the skating rink. Typically we play top 40’s and other popular music, but we enjoy mixing in the oldies as well. For the kids skating, these may be songs they’ve never even heard. What was your favorite era of skating music?
In the early 1800’s, Monsieur Petitbled patented the first ever roller skate. It was very simple, consisting of only three wheels and no way to turn. These three-wheel inline skates just weren’t getting the job done, so James Leonard Plimpton came in and redesigned the simple roller skate. This new design gave the skater the ability to turn, but skills like jam skating were still a long way off.
The 70’s and 80’s were all about disco skating. These were the decades when the disco ball made its presence known in skating rinks. People would come from all over town to participate in a fun, athletic dance skating. The music was loud and energetic, with colorful lights dancing along with the skaters. Some familiar songs in this era were Double Dutch Bus, Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough, and Funkytown.
The 90’s brought back the inline skate, and with it competitive skating. The music people skated to in the 90’s consisted of plenty of Salt-N-Pepa and Mariah Carey. And who can forget about The Spice Girls and The Beastie Boys? These were fun days of skating where there was plenty of dancing, but different skating levels were mastered, which raised the level of competition in the rink.
To get a little taste of some of the different eras of skating come in to Lanham Skate Center. Summer fun is just getting started, and you can request your favorite tunes anytime you skate!