Everyone Should Roller Skate More

Daddy and daughter, ready to roll
Do you remember what it's like to have eight wheels under your feet while chasing down the disco-ball lights in time to Xanadu? I do now, and it's a heavenly feeling that I plan on having again.

At the pleading of my 6-year-old, who had been many times with her mother, we just visited one of the nation's last great roller discos -- Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, California.

It's out in the relative boonies along the LA River surrounded by rail yards and factories, and from the stucco outside you'd never want to go in. But inside it's pure, glorious 1980 fun, except for the blasting of Bieber and Gaga.

Don't let Biebs scare you away -- they mixed in a bit of modern but mostly kept to "Car Wash," "Dancing Queen," and the "Grease" megamix. I wished I had a tank top and a gold chain around my neck -- along with a super rope of red licorice for secret nibbling while I roll.


We went on a Saturday morning, a special time for younger kids and their parents, where the crowd was small and free of scary teenagers. (I needed the special training-wheels time. I was a disaster at first, but found my old smooth style by the time it came time to do the motions for "YMCA.") My daughter was fine. She's turning into a pro. Only fell during the "Hokey-Pokey." It's damn hard to shake it all about in skates.

It's calling to you. You know you want it
There were also a gaggle of pre-teen girls with ice-skater dresses and those long fleshy tights, sliding about gracefully like Michelle Kwan -- and no doubt filling my daughter's head with foolish dreams. Is this a subculture I didn't know about? Is there hardcore roller skating competition somewhere, complete with stage parents, and its own Ice Castles?

Your town may not be lucky enough to have a Moonlight Rollerway, which is sort of the king of the old palaces (it comes up first in a Google search for roller rink). But there are a few more spots to get your groove on. Here's a directory. Ours was less than 20 bucks for both of us including skates. The nachos were cheap, too.

Check out the fab floor at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink in Houston. 

And the Lombard Roller Rink in Illinois is having a costume party Saturday, where you can even dress up like Olivia Newton-John. Not that anyone needs an excuse.

Do you go roller skating with your kids?

Image via MoonlightRollerway.com

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