Roller Skating in the 80s!

Roller skating in the 80s

Photo Credit: theamericanroadside

Couples skate, the hokey-pokey, Simon Says and  the amazing feeling of cruising around the skating rink backwards – that was roller skating in the 80s. When the weather was bad or you needed a cool escape from the summertime heat, the roller rink was the perfect retreat. It offered good music, a fun activity, junk food a-plenty and the promise of cute boys.

Dark and wondrous inside, even in the middle of the afternoon, the roller rink was like escaping to another world. These were the days when kids weren’t monitored as closely by parents, and so mine just dropped me off there with a friend or two where we were left to our own devices. It was all very innocent, but it felt oh-so-grownup at the time.

I always coveted the skate bunnies that had their own skates. You knew they hadn’t rented because theirs were white and often sported brightly colored pom-poms on the toes. Meanwhile, I was left doing the best I could with the rental-tan skates . . . sigh. My bunnyhood would have to wait for other endeavors.

My roller-rink-as-social-hangout years overlapped both with my parachute pants phase as well as the popularity of Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue” and Billy Squire’s “The Stroke.” These were good times with great music and suspect fashions.

My son was recently invited to a roller skating party. I went with him and gave it a go – in a word, ouch. In case you’re wondering, roller skating is NOT like riding a bike. You do actually forget how to do it, and the falls that didn’t faze me at 10, hurt like hell now. No more backward skating for me, and my days of hokey-pokeying while on skates are good and done.

Author: Alli Denning

As the Owner / Editor of Like Totally 80s, Alli is just a little obsessed with all things 80s (well, not ALL things, but most). Alli still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she can be found at denning e-solutions, LLC, her web design business.

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  1. I was 15-17yrs old and met my high school boyfriend at the Bay City West Roller Skating Rink we dated from freshman year thru first year of college. I was dropped of by my mom met my girlfriends there standing in line I saw him ahead of me about 20ft (yes there was that long if a line just waiting for the doors to open) commented to my girlfriend about how cute he was and about 10 min later I felt a tap on my shoulder turned around and he was standing there he introduced himself (because that is what we did back then) and asked if I would skate the first couples skate with him – needless to say we were inseparable the rest of the night and he asked for my number and I gave it to him I never got his number because girls did not call boys back then!! He called the next day ! I would of never met him if not for roller skating as he went to a different high school about 20 miles away! Wow that was as blast from the past – I even remember what I was wearing that day!!!

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