Roller disco is a form of dance done at a discothèque or skating rink where all the dancers wear roller skates of some kind (traditional quad or inline). The music played is modern and easily danceable, historically disco but in modern times including almost any form of dance, pop or rock music. The concept originated as a fad in the 1970s when the disco craze was at its height, peaking around 1980 and inspiring several roller-disco magazines. In 1984 the fad arrived in the United Kingdom and many roller discos popped up all over the country. As of 2006, the craze has largely discontinued, although many 1970s era roller-discos are still open and successful. Also, it experienced a mild revival in the early 2000s, especially in the mid-eastern United States, where certain clubs continue to host roller disco nights. Some now use in-line roller-blades. Roller discos are also popular among older children and young teenagers, especially for parties. As in other discos, special effects such as fog machines and flashing traffic lights are often used. To minimize the risk of injury, the organizers of roller discos often only allow participants to skate in one direction at a time, so that they do not crash into one another, although many roller discos have a “free skate” section in the middle of the roller rink.
Energy in the Middle is a skating group that has presenting Roller Disco in the Dance Parade since the inaugural parade in 2007. Harry Gasken, the group’s leader and Artistic Director has created choreography for the team and frequently presents on stage at contests, showcases and festivals like our own DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park:
*Source: Wikipedia, English version; Photo Credit: Robert Dea of Artist Harry Gaskin and Energy in the Middle