Roller skating is more than just a fun activity or a sport. It's also a powerful way for women to express themselves, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate their culture. In this blog post, we'll explore how women have shaped and been shaped by roller skating throughout history and today.
The origins of roller skating can be traced back to the 18th century, when a Dutch inventor named John Joseph Merlin attached metal wheels to his shoes and crashed into a mirror at a fancy party. Since then, roller skating has evolved into various forms, such as freestyle skating, artistic figure skating, and inline skating.
Roller skating was initially just a fun pastime in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
It became especially popular among women who enjoyed the freedom and mobility it offered.
And leave it to the ladies to make roller skating a statement!
Women embraced the activity, challenged gender norms, and pushed for its acceptance in society, paving the way for more opportunities for women in sports.
For example, Carrie Moore was a famous actress and singer who performed on roller skates in Broadway shows in the 1890s. She was known as "the girl on wheels" and inspired many other women to try out the new sport.
Women have historically been excluded from sports, but roller derby is one sport dominated by women since its inception. Roller derby, is a rough contact sport that involves racing around an oval track while trying to knock down opponents.
Roller derby became a platform for women to showcase their strength, skill, and aggression.
This high-octane, adrenaline-fueled sport, has allowed women to break the gender bias and features fierce and skilled female skaters. These ladies are not afraid to get rough and tumble on the track, and we love them for it! Roller derby has a rich history of female empowerment, where women have created leagues and teams to support each other and promote women's sports.
In the world of artistic roller figure skating women have had an unmistakable impact on the sport. Take for example, Rebecca Tarlazzi. In 2022, Rebecca Tarlazzi, of Italy won the Artistic Skating World Cup. However, this is not her first rodeo, She has won 15 championships and has been the World Champion from 2012 to 2022. Rebecca is a remarkable role model and inspiration for girls and women all over the world.
In addition to roller derby, and figure skating, women also embraced roller disco in the 1970s and 1980s. Roller disco combined music especially funk, dance, and fashion into a vibrant subculture that celebrated joy, empowerment, and creativity. Some of the most influential venues for roller disco were located in New York City, such as The Roxy (which hosted Madonna's first performance) and Empire Roller Skating Center (which featured DJ Kool Herc,the father of hip-hop).
Many female artists also incorporated roller skating into their music videos, such as Beyoncé ("Blow"), Janet Jackson ("Alright"), and Salt-N-Pepa ("Push It").
And, let’s not forget Pink's roller skating musical performance at the 2021 Billboard Music Award. She soared and spun through the air, proving that she's not just a rockstar but a rollerstar too!
Today, roller skating is still alive and well among women of all backgrounds and ages.Thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, women can share their skills,styles,and stories with millions of viewers around the world.
Some of the most popular accounts include Oumi Janta (@oumi_janta), a German-Senegalese skater who showcases her smooth moves and Afro-futuristic fashion; Ana Coto (@anaocto), an American actress and dancer who starred in Netflix's Skate Kitchen; and Estro Jen (@estrojen),
an American entrepreneur who founded Moxi Roller Skates,a brand that promotes empowerment and diversity through colorful skates.
Roller skating is not only entertaining but also empowering for women. It helps them improve their physical health, mental well-being, and self-confidence. It also allows them to challenge gender norms, racial stereotypes, and social barriers. It gives them a sense of community, identity, and belonging.
As you can see, women have been instrumental in shaping roller skating history from its inception to its present day. They have used roller skates as tools of expression, resistance, liberation, and joy. They have shown that roller skating is not just a hobby or a sport but a way of life.
In celebration of Women's month, Rhino Roller Skates invites all ladies to join the roller skating movement! You'll be amazed by what you can do on wheels! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. If you’re in the market for a new pair of roller skates, check out our store at rhinorollerskates.com.