September is here and with it, we are thinking about our Autumn term roller skate classes.
We have been answering a lot of questions both online and in the shop about skate classes, so here is a little run down of what we have planned.
Having run a whole load of outdoor roller skate classes, events, meet-ups and workshops, we are excited to go back to our favourite indoor space at the Ramgarhia Sikh Sports Hall on Chapeltown Road in Leeds.
Why is this our favourite indoor space? Well, roller skating has happened here for over ten years in Leeds. The folks here welcomed roller skaters when many other sports halls in Leeds said no, they didn't want their floor to be damaged. Over the last decade (so even before Roller Girl Gang existed), we've built a relationship with the folks who run the centre. When COVID hit, the community chose to close their doors for 18 months. Although we stayed in touch during this time, it was a huge relief to hear from our contacts, and even better to see them all in person.
Our offer of classes is a little different to pre-pandemic times - we are currently not running any courses - everything is available for single session booking only. This may change in the future; we do our best to evolve with the world!
Description of Levels
Beginner - You have none or very little roller skate experience, or you don't feel confident with the skills you do have. We are used to supporting folks who are very anxious about being in a space with those they don't know, or wondering why they thought putting wheels on their feet was ever a good idea!
In our beginner sessions we cover: putting your kit on, how to fall, getting started on your wheels. Once we have you rolling, we develop your skills to include better rolling technique, skating backwards, turning around and stopping.
We have more than one instructor at all our sessions, and will support smaller groups within the larger group so everyone makes progress according to where they are.
We cannot cover every aspect every week! It usually take us 4 weeks to cover the skate fundamentals, however why not try a class if you are unsure?
Beyond Beginner - We've tried calling this class many things, including 'Improver', 'Intermediate' but ultimately, once you have the fundamentals of skating, we will continue to support you to learn more.
Among other things we learn, different ways of stopping, some skate tricks, as well as smoothing out the fundamental skills to really see your confidence grow. We encourage you to try new things, but nothing is mandatory. Due to the wide spread of ability in this session, our instructors are on hand to support different skaters with different ability levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a class and a practise session?
At a class, our instructor team will direct the majority of skills. We have set skills that we want to teach you, to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for roller skate meet-ups and more. At a practise session we will keep aside a smaller space for mini-workshops, but you decide what you would like to work on. If a few people tell us they would like to work on their backwards skate technique, we may take you to the mini-workshop space and support you all. If you tell us you would like to work on spinning, we can support you 1:1. We will probably also remind you that it takes many, many, many hours of practise to build the muscle required to make these skills look smooth. No-one was born with skates on!
Is skate hire available?
Yes, at classes suitable for beginners or practise skate sessions, such as the Friday Night Social, the monthly Sunday practise sessions or roller discos. We want to encourage as many people as possible to try something new and we recognise that buying your own equipment can be expensive.
Once you are ready to attend our Beyond Beginner Sunday sessions, or come to a roller dance class, we expect you to have your own roller skates. Your own equipment will always feel a little different to hire skates. You also have the added bonus of being able to practise between sessions.
Do you teach children?
All ages (so yes to younger skaters) are welcome to attend our family friendly practise session at the start of the month, and also the pop-up roller discos. The majority of our sessions are geared towards getting adults more comfortable on their wheels. Our age limit of '14+' may be mis-leading! We don't really have a hall full of teenagers, but occasionally we do have mums would would like to skate with their teen, so this allows for that. We also have found that 14 year olds and over tend to choose to be in a space, and their attitude is a little different to younger learners.
Am I too old?
We don't think so. At Roller Girl Gang, we have been doing our best to break down the barriers to accessing this incredibly fun activity, so that society starts viewing roller skating in a different way. The type of roller skating we teach and participate in is definitely not 'just for kids', but instead has become a lifestyle choice for many. You may need to protect your body in a different way, or your experience may be different, but if you want to learn to roller skate, we will do our very best to support your goal.
Can men come to classes?
Absolutely! Roller Girl Gang was founded by women and is run by women. We do have men who regularly attend our sessions as well as non-binary folks and other marginalised genders. We support anyone who would like to roller skate. We simply ask that everyone attending our classes, workshops and events is respectful to everyone else. We take inclusivity and diversity very seriously and will not tolerate any kind of intimidation or harassment.
I have inline skates, can I come to class?
Yes of course. There may be some skills that we need to interpret differently, but getting started will be the same.
Do I need different wheels to skate indoors?
The short answer is no. We always suggest you use the equipment you already have in a new space to see how it works (or doesn't work) for you. If you think you need different wheels, come and see us on Thursday night 6-8pm at the Corn Exchange to try out wheels from our wheel library. Our favourite wheel will not necessarily be your favourite wheel!
First Sunday of the month:
Ramgarhia Sikh Sports Centre
4 - 5.30pm Family friendly practise session
5.30 - 7pm 14+ practise session
Ramgarhia Sikh Sports Centre
4 - 5.30pm Beginner skate skills 14+
5.30 - 7pm Beyond beginner skate skills 14+
7.30 - 9pm Roller Dance 14+
Ramgarhia Sikh Sports Centre
8.30 - 10.30 Friday Night Social 14+
Last Sunday of the month:
Left Bank Leeds
4 - 8pm Pop Up Roller Disco
To book a session, click here.