Canned Heat

Written by Groove Rider
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First time I tied on a pair of skates

it was 1979. Rented for 5 guilders at the roller disco in Scheveningen. There I could dance on them all night. Dancing I say, for lack of a better word of course, especially since the first step was still to learn how to stand on them. The music playing was grown up music, which I used to hear at home each day and even as young as I was it fascinated me immensely. In the heart of the 70’s I spent endless days dancing to feisty funk, soothfull soul and dizzy disco as a toddler and now that I was a big girl, I could do the exact same thing on skates at the roller disco.

Cool fanatic that I was, it didn’t take long before I skated around the dance floor effortlessly, upper body swinging away to the music, naturally. That’s as far as I got. In the years that followed, my skates and I were an inseparable pair. It didn’t take long before I’d bought my first pair (brown suede boots: yea well, you must look cool of course, any other skates simply won’t do!). I stopped riding in buses and trams, even if it only was because I could take all the shortcuts and spend a tenth of the time I would’ve otherwise on public transportation to get to where I was going. In the meanwhile, around 1983, The Hague’s Uithof had been converting its ice skating rink into a skate hall during the summers. There was a DJ who had fine tunes bouncing off the walls and a skate ramp for the roller skaters and skateboarders. True skate dancers were still a rarity but when I finally got to see them I’d stand and watch in admiration at all those dance steps thinking to myself there was no way I’d EVER be able to do anything like that. Don’t know what made me decide not to give it a shot, and so I remained skating circles around the rink (with a swinging upper body) only to look enviously at the skaters dancing on a mere 2 square meters.

Life hits: your first job, busy busy busy, boyfriends, leaving the nest and starting on the journey of your first lessons of life as a “grown up”. I had a whole lot more on my mind than putting on my skates. I found a nice place for them to rest in a dark corner of my closet.

Almost 20 years down the line and I’ve joined the wednesdaynightskate event in Rotterdam a couple of years. A bit of a workout is what’s on your mind at such a time, and I can finally do something to keep fit. Hanging out at the Binnenrotte at the end of the night…….. and there I spotted the skate dancers again.
Now the time has come, now I have to take matters into my own hands, now I want to learn how to do it. I can skate, and dancing I’ve always done. Combining the two ought to be a piece of cake. Let’s see… it’s august now and if I work hard on it I should be good by the end of 2003, no problem! NOT!!! Had my first class at the Calypso in October of 2003 and found out I’d been horribly mistaken in calculating the time I needed to master the moves. Sweat dripping off my face and after the first class I’m hurting and completely wiped out. But ma-a-an, how unbelievably cool. Sporting to feisty funk, soothfull soul and dizzy disco. Hooked and in love with dancing on skates. Certainly now that I’m getting better after a rough beginning I’m starting to get a good feel for it. I’m ecstatic and I feel my enthusiasm growing by the day. The moment a high intensity balance move works, I’m floating and that’s the feeling I do it for ‘cause it means I’m doin’ it right. Unbridled energy is the result I get from it. In a time span of 5 months I’ve added to my weekly skating regime: what started as a Thursday night class is now accompanied by at least three extra nights per week worth of training at home. And the Masterclass for the fine-tuning. Had real Beadle-plates placed on my skates for easier and smooth flowing movements. Wearing them whenever possible, strapping on the skates to do the dishes and at work too (how can I resist the parquet?) And… next week my foldable wooden floor (hinges fastened smoothly into the wood so it fits perfectly over the floor and with minimum seam) of 2.40 x 2.00 will be delivered at my place. Have a lot of training ahead of me before I get to where I want to be. My premature resolution to get there within 4 months I’ve long since extended to at least one year before I may get remotely close to its general direction. I see fellow fanatics around me. It only stimulates me to aspire for further improvement. Until my feet are blistered and I get cramps. But not a dull moment. It’s addicting. My skates and I are once again an inseperable pair. It gives me more than simply pleasure.
“Got canned heat in my heels…” Jay K. (Jamiroquai)


 1979 Logo Scheveningen Roller Disco

Written October 2003 ¤ Quadsk8

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