How to roller dance


Easily accessible tools, diagrams and the choreographic heritage and history of the twin sports of roller and ice skating.
The goal of this site is to preserve documents, and offer tools to instructors and students in the skating community.

Attention MOBILE USERS: These buttons are for your convenience, but switching to 'web' view will make navigation easier

header image: Carroll Swing, step 6

  • This information is offered for general interest, and official documents should be consulted for the current, definitive last word.
  • This is a compilation of thousands of hours of effort by the best people in roller and ice, and we owe to them, what we have today. Thank you.
  • You should be able to drag the images to your computer's directory or right-click to "Save As" and they will be .jpg or .png file type
  • Most images are designed  for  about 8 high by 5 wide

Author's note: When I began this site in 2013, I agonized over which version of a dance was the 'right' one to include. Since, I have come to realize that that is not my prerogative. I am a chronicler of what was and is, documenting history, not making it, and incorporated all versions available to me. In general, most recent versions are shown first. Figure skating on ice history
Dance Roller Skaters facebook group page
USA Roller Sports Facebook group page
'Compulsory', 'Original',  'Short', 'Pattern' dances - Wikipedia
Skaters Newsflash artistic rollerskating USA and around the world
Besotted with Dance Skating by Gerri Barnes-Hampton
United States Amateur Roller Skating Association a site maintaining the history of the association that was in existence from 1939 to Fall 1971
Classic Artistic Roller Skating Highlighting competitive skating from the 60s through the 80s
Skater Index Listing US National and World roller placements of skaters and other ephemera
CFP - Vintage Ice Dances Project Facebook group page
Finalizing the US Dance Test structure in the 1960's led to the 'disappearance' of many historical dances. This site is for posting "lost" dances.
University of Connecticut Skating library collection. mostly ice, but a number of roller also (in title order)
National Museum of Roller Skating , Lincoln Nebraska. 
"At the museum, we collect, preserve, and display the history of roller skating. By sponsoring and promoting education and informative exhibits, we hope to bring together everyone associated with roller skating, whether it be through sports, business, or recreation."
Circle and loop figure professional videos by 2017 World Silver Medalist
Emma Gloudeman
Dead Rinks A look at roller skating from a very modern perspective. Has some good photos of rinks.
​Forgotten Roller Rinks of the Past Very authoritative and well researched 
The Skate Hub site with broad range of topics

For those with off-skate dance interests:
Library of Dance
Swing Street streetswing. com
​Ballroom Dancers

Been looking for ROLLER skate stickers?

This image is displayed on FB when pasting a live link there

Ice Skating - official sites
ISU International Skating Union (about)  cooperative of country ice skating associations, 
recognized by International Olympic Committee (IOC) to represent ice figure and speed skating
ISU member organization list and links  by country
ISU dance diagrams (  for sale)
ISU Dances and Diagrams (
USFS United States Figure Skating diagrams USA rules & regs for US competition and tests
member of ISU with harmonized dance diagrams
PSA Professional Skaters Association (USA Coaches and professional ice skaters organization)

Roller Skating - official sites
World Skate FIRS renamed themselves in mid 2018
World Skate Official Regulation Artistic - Dance and Solo Dance Book 2020 1
lWorld Skate Official Regulation Artistic - Dance and Solo Dance Book 2022
FIRS International Federation of Roller Sports (about) recognized by IOC for all roller sports
FIRS member organization list and links by country
CIPA  Comite International de Patinage Artistique (international dance diagrams and rules)
     it is the Artistic Roller Skating Committee of FIRS
CEPA  Comite European de Patinage Artistique (European Compulsory Dances 2009)
FARS Federation of Artistic Roller Skaters (about) Great Britain - associated to FIRS thru BRSF
FARS Figure and Dance Diagrams
WIFSA World Inline Figure Skating Association includes dance, figure (freestyle), chorus and
     synchronized skating. They have a testing program as well as competitions.
     Associated with FIRS June 2015
USARS USA Roller Sports (home) USA - member of World Skate
     legal name, and previously known as, US Amateur Confederation of Roller Skaters (USAC/RS)
USARS: 2021 - 2022
RSA Roller Skating Association - organization for rink operators, equipment mfg. & suppliers,
     home of SRSTA Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America, closely associated with USARS,
     and Achievement Tests and awards (formerly known as RSROA Proficiency tests)
Skate Australia Dance Diagrams (CIPA and USAC/RS with color difficulty-coded steps)
Roller Sports Canada ​official National Governing Board for Canada

Log of Updates

May 12, 2022
I've been lax in keeping this update list up to date, although many updates have been made.
2022 RSA International style test link page. A new "How to use Lobe Guide" page has been added. A number of dances have been added. The store is no longer selling Test Booklets, the RSA is now selling the booklets that I've arranged a commercial printer to print instead of  those previously sold here.
Sept 17
Added the NEW 2021-2022 RSA test schedule under 'links to diagrams'
Sept 13
Completed adding the 2021-2020 dances not already on the site
Barsolona Bossa Nova, DaPonte Do'Blay, Donna Lee Tango, Flirtation Waltz 120, Italian Foxtrot,
Mandi Lynn Tango, Metropolitan Tango 32-beat, Rhythm Blues, Ruby Rhumba, Starlight Waltz
Aug 26
added Honey Rumba, Cha Cha Patin 2020 version
Aug 20
Added Roller Samba, Little Waltz, updated/corrected American March, other minor corrections
Aug 3
Please Note: Link to official 2020 World Skate diagrams and requirements above
I'll be adding those diagrams not already on this site
June 12

Reorganized the Kilian dances onto one page with links to places on the page
May 9
Added Rotary Roll, Viennese Foxtrot, Junior March, British Waltz, Elderado Waltz, Castillian Tango and Icelandia Tango.
April 24
Additions with commentary by Eli Graham, Polka (T-W) and Tango Barn Dance, Cutaway Waltz. Other minor additions and corrections.
February 1
The 2021 Achievement Dance requirements have not changed from those in the booklets in the 'Store'. Also added specific reference to when many blues tempos were changed from 92 to 88 in 1993 (in dances by rhythm)
January 13 2021
Duplicated Dance Positions at the beginning of the diagrams list as suggested by Eli Graham
December 25
added content to  the Foundations of 'American' style Dance under 'links to diagrams'
December 21
added 1948 RSROA version of Tango Barn Dance
November 30
Added Eli Graham's 14 step notes
November 25
Added Eli Graham's notes on the Pacifica Foxtrot
November 22
Added ilustrated Argentine Tango diagram
November 21
Added Queens Bolero
November 20
many small corrections, clarifications, added cover for 1959 RSROA booklet
May 27
Many small refinements, added a number of Rhumba pages
April 20
Published Pug Polka, an Original Compulsory Dance (roller) winner in 2019
February 22
More musical explanations
February 11
Added musical explanations under tabs 'links', 'by music alphabetic' with audio clips and example score - nearly all, remainder in the works.
January 23
Added roller version of Golden Skaters Waltz
January 2020
Added Judee Waltz, clearer diagram Rock and Wall Waltz and Carnival Tango
October 19
Added the store for my 2019 current Bronze, Silver and Gold Achievements test booklets. This is a zero profit endeavor for me, merely charging to cover my costs of supplies and shipping.
September 8
 2019-2020 USARS competition dances - links activated
September 2
Added list of 2019-2020 USARS competition dances - will activate links when I've verified the patterns on the site match those published
August 21
Minor tweaks, have been busy creating printed booklets of the current 2019 test dances, using restored historic diagrams and notes that comport with current requirements. May put links to purchase them on this site.
April 22
Added The Cha Cha from Clayton Smith's collection, which has the two missing men's steps in the Skate Australia diagram
March 27
Many additions, all of the turn dances up to #11 (2019) silver test to current versions. Added content to history page.  Minor clarifications, grammar/spelling changes.
February 23
Added Snyder plate history in 'Equipment'
January 21
Began use of a floating up arrow to return to the top of a page (selected pages)
January 10, 2019
Added section to 'tools' called Fundamentals, with articles from Skating News and Skate magazine
December 26
Added 1960 & 1962 notes and diagram on the Delicado
December 24
Added additional years to Highland Schottishe
December 21
Added Sharay Waltz, reorganized recent governance and logo changes into 'History'
December 19
Updated Baby Blues page. Pasted links - hopefully fixed so FaceBook and others will display desired image along with site info.
December 7
Added Bronze Swing Dance
December 5
Added description of how to stroke forward and backward with flash animations of each
November 6
All USARS 2018-2019 Selected Dance additions completed
October 10
Added USARS 2018-2019 Werner Tango, international for team
October 9
Added USARS 2018-2019 Style B Waltz
September 18
Added Dynasty Blues diagram and notes
August 22
I've come into possesion of the 1970 Edition IX of the USFARS / RSROA test booklets (2). The covers and test schedule is now up under 'listed by associations', 'pre 1971-72'.
May 16
Added audio links and example score for Boogie under 'music by rhythms'-'Boogie'
April 30
Minor mods to make 'mobile' use easier
April 29
Changed primary spelling of 'Killian' to 'Kilian' with one 'L'  throughout the website, at the very good suggestion of Tim Laskey. And also at his suggestion,  made note of alternative spelling of the "Balanciago"
April 20
Added Colonel Bogey March, music and score, under March tempo link page.
March 31 Added CIPA version Westminster Waltz
March 23 Have a new (relevant) image for FB to display when a live link URL to this site is pasted there. Added FB like and  share button on this page. Other small fixes/improvements
February 21
Re-did Paso Doble music to just Espana Cani audio clip and two staves of music notation.
February 13
Added audio links in the March section - this may be modified in the future
February 10
Added a description and link to an audio clip of the Vienna Waltz under Waltz rhythms 
February 2
Added 1982 USARS link page, report on CIPA/FIRS reorganization into WSF (World Skate Figure) under links -> tests & organizations
January 19
Added RSROA 1939 material relating the Continental Waltz to the Drop 3 Waltz
January 15
All of the 1938 first edition of the first dance publication by the RSROA dance notes now added. Thank you Lorna Day for the scan of the document.
January 13 2018
Added the links page and the "First Class" (bronze) tests of the 1938 first edition of the first dance publication by the RSROA. Thank you Lorna Day for the scan of the document.
December 31
Added 1989 USA/RS version of Collegiate, and began adding cross references between similar all forward dances and their counterpart  turn dances, such as the Marylee Foxtrot and the Collegiate.
December 27
Added link page for USAC/RS 12th edition, 1989 Part I and II. Thank you Audra Fortune for loaning me the originals to copy. Beginning to add dance versions from this editions, in testing order.
November 13
Added images and links to the 2001 USARS Premier Dance Division booklet. Thank you Audra Fortune for loaning me the original to scan.
November 18
Added 1953 ARSA version Argentine Tango, the last of the 1953 edition dances and are linked to the  1953 USARSA 'links' page
November 13
Added 1953 ARSA version of Westminster Waltz
November 10
Added 1953 ARSA version of Killian
November 9
Added 1953 ARSA version of Iceland Tango
November 7
added 1953 ARSA version of Viennnese Waltz
November 1
Special thanks to Bill Moore for permission to share his hand drawn diagrams of the Iceland Tango and Viennese Waltz, showing how these border dances progress around the rink. And thank you Audra Fortune for letting me use her copies of Bill's diagrams to make them available here. See them under their respective dance headings.
October 20
All but 5 of the 1953 ARSA dances added but not all linked to the booklet list
October 12
Added 1953 ARSA versions of Straight Waltz, Collegiate, 14 Step, Tango Barn Dance, Karen Lee Tango
October 7
added early Skate magazine version of the Academy Blues
October 5
Added early Skate magazine version of the Border Blues
October 1
Added USARS 2001 thru 2013 version of Carroll Tango
Sept 27
Updated with USARS 2017-2018 Competitive Dance Requirements
Sept 19
Added Palais Glide additional thanks to DFP Vintage Ice Dance Project
Sept 18
Added Ice Polka, thanks to CFP Vintage Ice Dance Project
Sept 17
Added notes and diagram to Rocker Blues, thanks to CFP Vintage Ice Dance Project
Sept 5
Added CIPA approved Fiesta Tango (un-modified, same as original 1952 George Muller pattern)
Sept 2
Note: USARS Figure Skate Committee 2017-2018 restructured rules
Aug 26

Added "in phrase" in Tools - music, Coronation Waltz, Marine Waltz, an earlier publication of the Arenetta Waltz, added details to early Fascination Foxtrot images
Aug 25
Added Koala Blues, Lyn Maree Waltz, Melody Waltz
Aug 24
Added Carolyn Waltz, Cha Cha, Kieler March
Aug 23
Added Australian Swing
Aug 19
Added Arenetta Waltz. This and many others will be added thanks to the diagrams contributed by Richard Hand.
July 18
Changed title image to Carroll Swing, step 6
​Added EASY Paso notes and diagrams for couples and solo. And,
A kind reader informed me of a more original source for the Olympic Foxtrot diagram and NOTES!
July 3
USARS Adult restructuring dance survey lists added under 'Links to diagrams', 'by Associations'
June 30
Links to Arizona Sk8te Champs website for the full text of 1942 - 1952 texts have been fixed
June 23
Wahoo! the Cha Cha Chiquita has been added, thanks to another private archive.
Skate anatomy added under equipment, maintenance
June 12
Here is a link to the USARS page with official restructuring documents concerning Adult Dance and Figure competition.
June 9
American March, Clayton Foxtrot, Gator Shuffle Polka and Zig Zag Polka have been added, thanks to a friends private archive. Cha Cha Chiquita still missing.
May 29
All the diagrams for the recent USARS survey are now on the site EXCEPT
American March, Cha Cha Chiquita, Gator Shuffle Polka, Clayton Foxtrot and Zig Zag Polka.
​ Any help with these much appreciated!
May 27
added Kinder Waltz, Twelve Step notes, Kleiner Waltz and Country Polka notes
May 20
added Lillian's Waltz and Waltz music tempo example
April 26
Made La Vista Cha Cha diagram step 1 and 2 clearer and added 'basic' tempo illustration
April 25
added Charity Blues and the link in "by Blues..." list, added Terenzie Waltz link to "by Waltz..." list, added Manzanita (tango) diagram, added earlier diagrams and notes of Lu Jane Tango.
February 14
added Terenzi Waltz (but not the 'Waltz music' links)
February 1, 2017
added a little history to the Double Cross Waltz
November 30
added USARS 2013 Chase Waltz notes and diagrams
October 30
Reorganized the 'Tools' section a little and added original material 'Team Lobe skating'
October 28
Various small additions, reorganizing and clarification since last update
October 7
Updated Swing Foxtrot - still working on getting all the International Dance Tests checked out
October 6
added Charlie Cha Cha and Broadway Blues from old issues of Skate magazine
September 29
Added CEPA diagrams for the first 4 Bronze International tests where different than American style
September 27
Cleaned up Dore Foxtrot, Casino March, Syncopated Swing, Ten Fox and Karen Lee Foxtrot
September 26
Added Monterey Tango
September 19
Due to Weebly's - my web provider - policy change with respect to the Scribd app, I've changed the way the 'Teachers' listing look. Thank you for understanding.
September 4
Added missing notes to Denver Shuffle diagram
August 30
Added Ralf Brown and Tim Laskey to 'skating music sources'
August 29
Added all the waltzes in Perry B Rawson's 1942 "Skate Dance Diagrams": Davis Goodrich, Drop 3 Continental, Eight Waltz, Mohawk Waltz, "Q" Waltz, Roquina, Spread Eagle style "A" and "B", 3 Lobed 8 Waltz, Waltz Tango. Fun to see these 'old' dances.
August 25
Completed historic content on "by Music Alphabetic"  pages
August 15
More historic content on the "by music Alphabetic" pages, including Marches
August 12
I've reformatted the lists "by music Alphabetic" to a consistent look. Also, most of the dance headings now contain some historic content to give the dances perspective and a short description of the music.
August 9
My apologies to those who had bookmarkd this site. I renamed it in hopes of better search engine hits, but apparently that was not working as well as planned, so I returned to its original name.
On content topics, The 'Waltz' list is up and the origin/music for it are written. More Waltz dances will be added as time allows.
August 8
additional maintenance relating to Tango and Two-Step list
August 7
upgraded Tango and Twostep list and links
July 11
added Bill Spooner's recent history and perspective
June 26
added history of music in Roller Dancing under 'Music'
June 14
Modified the 'B' dance page, list link structure
June 12
Many changes in organization of the site, but only a few changes/additions to content
May 20
added origin of 'solo' events by Tom Bense in the history tab
April 29
added details to Swing Dance
April 18
Added American Waltz
April 15
added Memorial Waltz notes and diagram
April 11
updated skate boot/frame sizing chart links under 'other stuff'
April 9
added Willow Waltz
April 3
made links live for RSROA Edition VI 1962 and Edition VII 1966 dance list
March 29
added links to 2008 RSA test schedule
March 25
added Do'Blay and Castel March
March 24
added/upgraded Southland Swing
March 18
Added Pilgrim Waltz, Luna Blues and CrissCross March
March 10
added Casino Tango
March 9
added Swing Waltz, Dutch Waltz
March 8
added USARS Killian, Delicado notes, some dances from USARS 2012 addendum, cleanup other details
February 24
added USARS March 2006 addenda list and links under 'by associations tests'. Added Association Waltz.
February 23
added versions Carey Foxtrot and Dench Blues. Additional material Skater march, Siesta Tango, City Blues
February 22
added versions Pacifica Foxtrot, Iceleand Tango, Harris Tango, 
February 9
added Lu Jane Tango, 1953 early version Continental Waltz and made additional links to the 1953 RSROA page
February 5
added Ten Step (it really is 4 steps shorter than the 14 step)
February 4
Work on 1953 RSROA link page
January 24
added all USAC 1973 Part II Gold dances
January 16
added USAC 1973 'Optional Test' dances
January 7
added Toronto March, Candle Lite Waltz 
January 6
added Aurora Waltz
January 5
added Gold test requirements and Optional test schedule to 1973 USAC page
January 4, 2016
Expanded Flirtation, added Harris Tango
December 31
added Flirtation Waltz, 120 Waltz and Imperial Waltz
December 23
Added Rinkromp [waltz]
December 22
Fixed Fiesta Tango
December 19
added Rocker Foxtrot
December 18
Added Keats Foxtrot, cleaned up Paso Doble, and Carrol Swing
December 8
reorganized History and added more content
December 6
added 'Turns' under 'Other stuff' - two foot and one foot, including original illustration
November 2
Added pages for "The Oaks" Dance Night dances which weren't already published - some of these still do not have complete dance notes or diagrams. Added more explanation to 'Other Stuff' 'Diagrams and Terms', including an original illustration.
September 28
"American Roller Skate Dancing  Edition X, published 1980 by USAC/RS, copyright 1973 by Roller Skating Rink Operators Association" link page complete, and all links connect to diagram & notes pages
September 26
Two Step origins added
September 25
Whew! 'T' dances link page and place holder pages for all the listed dances created, although most pages at this time have no dance notes or diagrams. Tango origins and music descriptions added.
September 8
general house keeping,  Academy Blues notes
September 5
added Cha Cha origins
September 1
added Tudor Waltz page with 3 versions
August 27
Updated link to CIPA. Added non-skating origins of the "B" music dances
May 27
Finally have FEB 2013 and NOV 2013 USARS test schedules straightened out and correct
May 25
Updating USARS - RSA Feb 2013 test schedule, added dances to fill out test #4
April 29
Added USARSA 1953 Karen Lee Tango and links
April 24
Added USARSA 1953 Style "B" Waltz, a waltz utilizing the spread eagle
April 21
Added USARSA 1953 120 Waltz and Werner Tango notes & diagrams.
Added USARS 2013 Werner Tango notes & diagram
April 18
Added 3-Lobe Waltz notes, diagram and links
April 13
Added Edward Bower to organist list. Added ARSA 1953 Table of Contents, proficiency test schedule - including some links to existing diagrams
April 10
Added Mineola Swing page, with original and 'cleaned up' versions of diagram
April 4
added ARSA booklets main pages (place holders) and links back to menu
Jan 18
added 'Foundations of 'American' style dance with links, various other items
Jan 13
added 1951 Supplement and many links. and some dances
added other RSROA covers and dance lists (still more to flesh out)
Jan 7
1966 USFARS (RSROA) links to dance pages
Jan 1, 2015
Reorganized structure of 'by difficulty of tests'

Dec 8
added Dance Tempo music sources
Nov 5
various minor additions - add'l Fascintion Foxtrot, skate plate sizing, others
Oct 21
Added "Music in Skate Dancing" (under 'Music')
Oct 19
Alphabetized 'Diagrams' list, eliminated  duplicate Southland Swing and College Two Step pages
Oct 6
added Federation Foxtrot notes
Sept 30
Reorganized pages in 'Other Stuff' i. e. music, added skate equipment. Various housekeeping such as establishing links on the page you get when clicking on main and some sub headings. 'Links to Diagrams' improved.
Sept 27
Rebuilt this 'About' page that went missing... Houskeeping in 'Identifying Music'. The Rythms page now works, again...
Sept 25, 2014
added Chase Waltz
Sept 6, 2014
added missing Glide Waltz notes & Diagram
Feb 2, 2014
initial "Q-R-S" dances finished
Jan 30,2014
"Q-R-S" dances started
Jan 29,2014
Initial 'P" dances finished
Jan 22, 2014
added links to official web sites
Jan 21, 2014
Added 'History of Skating' and 'identifying music' under 'other stuff'. Added example to 'lobe guides'
Jan 5, 2014
Lobe guides updated, 90 degree guide and  'download file' buttons added
Jan 3, 2014
"M" Music Dances index and images in progress, 60 degree lobe guide added
Dec 29, 2013
"C" and "F" Music Dances indexes and dance images up and working. Added "Dance Positions" to "Other Stuff"
Dec 23, 2013
"B Music Dances" index links should all work now. As time goes on, I'll work on 'cleaning up' the scan artifacts in the images

How to roller skate

Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

I've been using these Moxi Beach Bunny Skates for a year. 

Bimini Wright for Hearst

If you’re wondering how to roller skate, there’s never been a better time to learn. During the pandemic, roller skating has become a fun and nostalgic way to get exercise, work off some quarantine-weight gain, and be social while still respecting social distancing rules.

You might be tempted to say that roller skating is “back,” but the truth is it never went away. Black skate culture has been around for decades — roller skating rinks even played a role in the Civil Rights movement, and one of the first sit-ins in the country was at a roller skating rink. (This and more is explored in the documentary “United Skates,” which has a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and is streaming on HBO.)

Still, a Google trend search for “roller skates” in May of 2020 shows a spike that stayed high, and by July of 2020 there was a worldwide shortage of the wheeled shoes. By the time I wanted to jump onto the trend in March of 2021, there was still a waitlist and 6-week back order for skates, so I really had my work cut out for me.

How to start roller skating

You need skates, obviously. But figuring out exactly which skates to buy begs some questions: What kind of skater do you want to be, and what kind of skating do you want to do? Oh brother, that just leads to more questions:

There are a ton of places you can skate

Bimini Wright for Hearst

Where will you be primarily skating, indoors, or outdoors?

Do you want to adventure skate? That is, travel long distances and explore neighborhoods? Or maybe jam skating appeals to you because you want to try the cool footwork you’ve seen on TikTok. Or perhaps you’re a psychotic daredevil, keen to hit the skate parks and do insane tricks, or even let out your inner aggression by slamming into others at a roller derby?

When it came to buying my first set of roller skates, I just wanted a decent enough, reliable, no-fuss set of wheels that would work on most surfaces, wasn’t a total piece of crap, and would get me from point A to point B. And I hoped they’d be a cute color.

There are four main components that should be taken into consideration when buying a roller skate:

  • Boot
  • Plate
  • Wheels
  • Toe-Stops

Beach Bunny Roller Skates

Bimini Wright for Hearst

How to choose a roller skate boot

The boot (the foot-shaped part you stick your foot into) of the skate and the material it is made from will affect how it fits you, its durability, and price. A high-cut boot will offer more ankle support, whereas a low-cut boot allows for ankle flexibility. A boot made of synthetic materials like vinyl is more affordable and easy to clean, but will not last as long as the more expensive leather or suede.

How to choose a roller skate plate

The plate of your skate is like the chassis of a car: It’s the metal frame that the wheels are attached to. Generally speaking, plates come in two materials: metal or nylon. Nylon is lighter and more flexible, metal is heavier and more durable.

How to choose roller skate wheels

It turns out there is a whole science to what kind of wheels you put on your skates. Wheels fall on a durometer rating from around 70A to 100A — the higher the number is, the harder the wheel. A “softer” wheel is better for the outdoors, as it is more likely to absorb shocks if you roll over cracks in the pavement, or debris like twigs and pebbles (random chips of mulch are my personal nemesis). A harder wheel, on the other hand (foot?) is better for skating on a polished indoor rink. 

Wheels also come in all shapes and sizes and they do make a difference: A smaller wheel will give you more agility (think dance-skating), but a larger wheel will travel better over distances.

How to choose toe-stops for your roller skates

Toe stops are the chunky rubber blocks you see affixed to the front of quad skates, and are primarily used for braking. Toe stops may be “Fixed” or “Adjustable” — Fixed toe-stops stay at one permanent height, and Adjustable toe-stops can be, well adjusted, obviously — that is, set to different heights to match your level of experience. As a complete newbie I needed my toe-stops nice and low, close to the ground so that I could stop without needing to displace my weight very much. More experienced skaters may find that toe stops “get in the way” and will adjust them to be higher. Serious jam skaters tend to remove their toe-stops entirely so that they can execute their full range of motion without accidentally hitting the brakes while dancing.

How to pick a skate

I knew I wanted a pair of skates that were decent quality, but wouldn’t break the bank. I’m a restless millennial with commitment issues, so I wasn’t looking to invest a lot of money in anything that required much work — I didn’t want to have to switch out my wheels regularly based on the surface I was skating on.

Reading through reviews, I settled on a pair of the Blue Sky Moxi Beach Bunnies. I picked this skate not just because of how pretty they are (though they are remarkably pretty) but also because of their all around versatility. 

Moxi Skates - Beach Bunny - Fashionable Womens Roller Skates



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The Moxi Beach Bunny has a vinyl boot, which offers good ankle support — something I definitely personally need. The wheels they come with are a good level of hardness for beginners: 78A. It also has an aluminum plate, making them a bit sturdier and less likely to break than a skate with a nylon plate.

But the Beach Bunny is just my personal preference: There are plenty of skates recommended for beginners on the market. For example, the Sure-Grip Boardwalk Skates are a little bit more expensive, but are made from a softer material. They still offer that nice, high-topped ankle support, but the suede is less likely to cut into your ankles. Suede also doesn’t show scuff marks as easily as vinyl — but then again vinyl is easier to clean, so potato, po-skate-oh.

Sure-Grip Purple Boardwalk Skates Outdoor



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If you want to save money until you’re certain that you’re ready to make a real investment in skates, then Impala skates may be the brand for you. You can find a cute pair for under $100, and they’re quality enough to make for a gateway skate.

Impala Quad Skate - Aqua

Impala Skates


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How to roller skate safely

You will fall down. You will absolutely eat it, over and over again. Get used to it now, accept it, YOU WILL FALL. 

I watch children under the age of 12 at my local skating rink in absolute horror and envy, as they crash into each other with the violence of a bowling ball, seemingly impervious to pain, bouncing up again after a spill that would surely land me in the hospital. Children are magical and resilient. Odds are, you are not. Invest in safety gear. And then wear it.

I suggest a handy set like this one, which includes elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. It also comes in black, if you want a more chic look to “go with everything”

Triple Eight Saver Series Pad Set with Kneesavers, Elbowsavers and Wristsavers, Junior, Tie Dye

Triple Eight

amazon. com


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I’ve been skating for over a year now, and I’ll be honest: Sometimes I ditch the knee pads. Occasionally I’ll skip putting on the elbow pads. But I’ll tell you right now, the absolute non-negotiable for me is wrist guards. The number of times I’ve gotten my feet tangled and absolutely eaten it in a way that surely would have shattered my wrist, is, well, it’s a lot of times, okay? Buy wrist guards, and wear them.

It’s ok, falling down part of the process. It’s part of why I love roller skating: the cliche of falling and getting back up is very literal and real. It’s how we learn and improve. If you’re afraid of hurting yourself (and at my age falling down really does HURT), maybe get some protective padded shorts to mitigate the pain. You can even make it adorable fashion with a cute turtle hugging your butt.

Elegeet Protective Gear for Skiing Skating Snowboarding Cute Turtle Tortoise Cushion



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If you’re planning on eventually trying out park skating, then investing in a helmet is a very good idea too. You only get one brain, protect it! Oh, and you’ll probably need a slide block, if you intend to grind on curbs or rails (but maybe practice going forwards and backwards before jumping on a rail).

So you have the skates, you have the safety gear, now what?

Practice practice practice.

Bimini Wright for Hearst

How to get good at roller skating

Practice practice practice. There are thousands of YouTube and TikTok tutorials out there to inspire you, but you can watch a million hours worth of videos and it won’t do a damn thing to make you a better skater unless you are actually putting the skates on and trying it for yourself.

You don’t HAVE to go to a roller rink! An empty tennis or basketball court can be an excellent place to practice — but you might want to bring a broom and sweep it clear of debris, since the tiniest rock or most invisible crack can take down even the most experienced rollers. My advice though: If you do have access to a roller rink, use it. An hour on a rink where I don’t have to worry about traffic or or incline/slope is where I’ve seen myself make the most improvement. 

You don’t need a ton of space to practice footwork. In fact, I first learned to spin in my kitchen! A flat surface a couple feet in diameter is all you need. It also means that poor weather (or quarantine) is no excuse not to practice. As I said before: no amount of tutorial-watching will substitute actual time wearing your skates. Skate School Queen Dirty Deborah Harry says she’d prefer you skate for just 10 minutes every day than spending four hours in one session once a week.

Customize your skates: Roller skating accessories

Now that we’ve covered the important stuff like quality and safety and learning to actually skate… now we can finally talk about making them cute. Though it may sound silly, personalizing my skates actually helped motivate me to practice more — simply because I wanted to show them off.

For starters, you can switch out your laces for all different colors, but the number one skate-related accessory that literally turns heads and gets compliments from passers by are these luminous wheels. Through the power of magnets and magic, they light up when you roll on them. They say money can’t buy love, but that’s objectively not true: If you know a skater, get them a pair of these and they’ll love you forever.

Luminous Quad Wheels Black Pearl Glitter 62mm 85A 4pk



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Toe caps or toe guards are little sleeves/hats that protect the front of your skate from scuffing (and lawd, they will get scuffed). They’re also a great opportunity to show off your personality! Whether you’re a horror fan, a Pokemon master, or love strawberries and icecream — there’s a toe guard out there for you!

Even your brakes can be customized: Make your toe stops into sweet flowers, or cat paws. Graduated from needing toe stops, and want glow-in-the-dark jam plugs? Maybe you prefer a cow. There are a multitude of charms and wings that you can weave into your laces to add a bit of flair. And how will you carry your skates, on a roller leash? Cute, but it won’t hold your wrist guards, or your skate tool, so maybe it’s worth it to invest in a special bag.

Practice falling. Have fun. Let the good times roll (sorry).


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Roller Skating - Types

Artistic roller skating is a sport of various activities. This is usually done on quad skates, but inline skates are also used for some competitions. Many types of activities are organized according to age and experience. The United States hosts nine regional competitions that lead to national and world championships.


There are prescribed movements composed symmetrically of a minimum of two circles and a maximum of three circles. It includes either primary or both primary and secondary movements with or without turns. They skated in circles, inscribed on the skating surface.

Types of Dance

Basically, there are two types of dance in skating -

  • Solo Dance - In the solo dance the competition starts with a tiny amount and progresses to gold, for the test round it starts with bronze and goes up to gold. You need to pass a couple of tests to get into a certain event. There are set samples in the competition and judges give marks for good edges, how it looks, etc.

  • Team dance. During the team dance, two people skate together. A partner of similar age and ability is preferred by most dancers.

Solo Dance - In solo dance the competition starts with a tiny amount and progresses to gold, for the test round it starts with bronze and goes up to gold. You need to pass a couple of tests to get into a certain event. There are set samples in the competition and judges give marks for good edges, how it looks, etc.

Team dance. During the team dance, two people skate together. A partner of similar age and ability is preferred by most dancers.

Accuracy of steps is a major factor in judgment for skaters when performing a particular dance. They are mainly judged by their turns and edges, and in addition, they are required to portray themselves in elegance while dancing and must pay full attention to the timing and rhythm of the music.

Freestyle Roller Dancing

In freestyle roller dancing, the physical movements are based on the music. This type of dance is neither choreographed nor pre-planned, so any level of athlete can come and dance.

Precision Teams

In this type of dance, team members must be either four or a multiple of four. The following elements are performed in this type of dance -

  • Skate in line
  • Skate in box
  • Splice
  • Skate in circles

Judgment is based on the team's ability to skate together and its choreography.

Acquaintances and couples

At the same time, either one or a couple of figure skaters perform at the concert. The factors that can be judged are their ability to skate as well as their creativity. Movements such as jumping, turning and spinning are expected in this type of performance. Sometimes two songs are played for a person or pair of skaters.

Speed ​​skating

In roller skating, players perform on roller skates. Judgment is based on creativity and skating ability, as skaters must include jumps, spins, and turns in their performances.

Group Skating

In this type of skating, a large group of skaters skate on the streets. Previously, touring was limited to only the quad roller club, but later it also began to compete in speed skating.

Aggressive Inline

Aggressive inline skating is tricky skating. Here a person performs tricks using a slightly different skateboard than a normal one. This type of skating can be seen at the skate park outside, including tricks such as grinding, spinning, and somersaults.

Roller Hockey

Roller hockey is another name for a roller sport that has existed long before roller skates were invented. ATVs have been used to play roller hockey in many countries around the world and have many names.

Roller Derby

Roller derby is a team sport that uses roller skates on an oval track. Initially, to demonstrate skating, an out-of-speed product and a registered trademark was developed. A sport predominantly played by women is currently undergoing a revamp as a massive match-5 game.

Most roller derby leagues adopt the rules and guidelines of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association and sometimes the Men's Roller Derby Association, which is its male counterpart.

Roller skating - Sport Sbor

Many people's favorite sport, figure skating, is no longer seasonal. This winter sport has an alternative - figure skating on roller skates.

Since the rules for ice skating and inline skating are similar and the surface used is similar, these competitions are often held within the same championship. However, they also organize their own figure skating competitions held by the International Roller Sports Federation as part of the world championships.

Varieties of roller skating:

  • double roller skating (quads)
  • single roller skating (inline)

Disciplines in both events are similar to conventional figure skating: male and female singles, pair skating and roller dancing .

This is a fairly young sport, not even an Olympic one yet, but it is confidently gaining its position among fans of skating. It is difficult to say when figure skating on inline skates appeared, in any case, it was recognized as a sport only in 2002, when the first world championship in figure skating on roller skates was held in Germany. But there is information about the appearance of the very first rollers. It was 250 years ago in London, on a special skating rink, where the first admirers of roller skates mastered this unusual activity. And if at first the rollers did not cause a stir and were rather primitive, then with the improvement of roller skates this sport began to develop rapidly, especially in England and the USA. For this, not only small sites were built, but also closed halls with asphalt and concrete floors.

Since 1924 the International Roller Skating Federation (FIRS) organizes European and world championships.

In Russia, roller skating is only gaining popularity. This sport was included in the Unified Sports Classifier in 2012, and the first All-Russian Championship was held in 2017. At the same time, Russian athletes are already successfully performing at international competitions. Figure skater Anastasia Nosova took silver twice in inline skating at the World Championships in 2018 and 2019.

Roller skating began to develop more actively with the advent of high-quality equipment and the ability to manufacture equipment for individual orders.

Roller skating is a lot like ice skating, with jumps and spins and beautiful choreography.
Therefore, ice skaters are increasingly using inline roller skates for summer training.

Benefits of roller skating
  • any suitable level ground can be used for practice;
  • it is a source of pleasure;
  • inline skates are great for figure skating cross training;
  • can be a serious sport or part of a healthy active lifestyle, a favorite hobby.
Skating rollers. What is the feature?
  • Figure skating inline skates have axles that are adjustable with a rubber tip support. Their mobility is regulated by a screw or nut.
  • Rollers are made of plastic, ebonite or hornbeam and must be fast but non-slip.
  • Especially narrow rollers are used for roller dancing, so that during difficult movements you do not hit your partner's rollers or your own second skate.
  • The last improvement of the rollers can be considered a stopper. Thanks to him, you can better perform a number of jumps, stop-steps and pirouettes. The only downside is that the presence of a stopper reduces the assessment of the completed element.
  • The lack of teeth on the rollers does not allow for correct tooth jumps, spins and elements such as chené (jumps and turns on the teeth).

Just like figure skating on ice, roller skating has two types of programs: compulsory and free.

Compulsory single skating

The athlete must perform the compulsory elements according to the scheme drawn on the rink, which is not the case in the ice sport, where the skaters draw the figures themselves, without a project.

The diameter of the circles is 4 m, 5 m and 6 m. The rules of the competition state that the athlete must choose a circle that corresponds to the size of his body. The loop circle has a diameter of 2.40 m. The loop inside this circle has a length of 60 cm and a width of 40 cm.

Free Skating

much more difficult. In terms of time, the men's free program takes 5 minutes, and the women's 4 minutes. The most difficult jumps receive the highest scores.

Piruets and their types
  • Piruets on both legs
  • High pirouettes
  • Piruets on the back
  • Piruet on one leg out of the back
  • Pirueta on one leg in the same leg in the same leg in the one in the front of the one. leg front outward
  • spinning top
  • screw
  • horizontal pirouette