The world of roller skating
I recently read an article on flavorwire.com entitled “The Last Roller Skating Rink in New York City.” The title sparked my interest. I know, some of you are saying, “Really?!” And I am saying, “Yes, ‘wheel-y’!”
As I read the first sentence of the article, I was taken aback. I soon found out that the last roller rink in New York City was not much of a roller rink at all. In fact, it is a gymnasium in the Salvation Army building located in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn. Every Wednesday since 2008, the Crazy Legs Skate Club has opened its doors to eager skaters. I couldn’t believe that I was reading about my fellow die hard skaters having to roll-bounce-skate on the Salvation Army’s wooden gymnasium floor… are you serious?! But then I realized that these skaters were true-blue skaters like myself.
So, I understand how one can be passionate about roller skating, even under unusual conditions. I would have to say that creating a quasi-roller rink in a Salvation Army gymnasium is really going above and beyond. But I also admire the passion behind this idea. I was also blown away to see that an 80-year old (yes, I said EIGHTY year old) former dancer and choreographer is the brains behind this weekly ritual. Lezly Ziering, founder of the Crazy Legs Skate Club, makes sure that skaters are welcomed with open doors every week. Mr. Ziering has spent many years teaching not only dance, but also dance-skating. He has worked with the likes of Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly. I am not sure if he choreographed this Gene Kelly piece, but you can get an idea of the type of work that he may have done.
Mr. Ziering claims he was 5 years old when he put on his first pair of skates. I was three years old when I put on my first pair of skates. He stopped roller skating in 2012, at the ripe old age of 78, due to a freak accident while training a group of roller derby girls… imagine that!
I only hope that I will be able to get my groove on and roll out on my roller skates in my golden years… roll bounce, baby!
WOW! That was quite the video. Skating and singing and dancing – that was one multi-talented man.
When I saw that video of Gene Kelly, I was so impressed. I knew I wanted to share it. Gene was all that!!