Dubai Diaries: Make way for the Skater Girl – News
There are very few public places where you feel so comfortable that you wouldn’t mind embarrassing your introverted self. I found one in Dubai’s Port Rashid – in the den of kids and cool roller skaters in town, Roll DXB.
Yes I know I’m late for the party because this rink has been all over social media since it opened in April of this year. Its retro feel, disco balls and neon lights are what TikTok dreams are made of. Imagine vibrating through a Macarena remix as you hover and spin with friends – ah, what a feeling! And then you remember that you have four wheels under each of your feet and you don’t know what to do with them.
I learned to ice skating at the age of eight, so I sent an SOS to my brain to dig into my muscle memory and find the basics. “He must be there,” I convinced myself. “You don’t really forget these abilities, do you?” Even after 22 years without skating at all, right?
As soon as I finished tying my boots, I faced the music and stood up. And the first thing I said was, “Where’s the rail? Luckily I brought my safety blanket aka my husband who also didn’t know anything about skating but agreed to ride with me so I didn’t feel like I was the only noob in trouble on ground.
But it turned out that we weren’t the only ones who spent the entire 90 minute session figuring out how not to tip over. Although some twist and turn as if the skates are an extension of their feet, many were there just for fun. Have you ever seen a crowd of people, young and old, take part in a common struggle? Maybe only at Roll DXB.
A YouTube tutorial we watched before heading to the rink listed what we needed to do. “Keep your shoulder straight and your chin up. Extend your arms with your palms down and drop your weight. I have practiced a few times but as far as the real deal goes… no it wasn’t that easy.
I broke out in a sweat as I kept trying and trying, as did everyone around me. My knees were shaking as I struggled to gain control of the wheels sliding here and there. And then, finally, I remembered my first ice skating lesson: Don’t be afraid to fall. This is completely normal, especially since the people around will not hesitate to offer their arms to you and help you get back on your wheels.
So I stopped watching every movement of my feet, relaxed my shoulders, looked ahead, and everything else followed. I slid left, right and groove to the disco beat. Too bad when I understood it, the session was already reaching its last three minutes. And we all know how it goes: I’ll be back.