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Asheville Roller Skate Jams in Style

By Pete Zamplas- Asheville Roller Skate, a new local group, is gaining popularity with its monthly costume-themed skate jams.

>> Asheville Roller Skate co-coordinators Judaya Cray, at left, and Amber Victoria are costumed as ‘Merpeople.’ Their next public skate is slated for July 4. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

The next (fifth) one is slated for July 14. The jams are typically on on the second Sunday of the month, 5-7 p.m. outdoors in Carrier Park in Asheville’s Rive Arts District.

The park’s former NASCAR race track is the usual path for skate jams. But skaters got to use the usually-booked roller hockey rink for the first time last month.

Costumed themes are a fun bonus, for a blend of sporting and fantasy adventure. Unicorns and other Magical Creatures was the theme of the latest skate jam, this past Sunday. It was delayed a week due to rain, as happened in May. The theme then was “Mer-people” — as in mermaids.

Matt Long swivels into a move, as Louise Genetti turns to watch. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Co-coordinators are Judayah Cray and Amber Victoria, both of Asheville.
“Feeling like a kid again” is the ultimate reward, by resuming an activity from youth, Victoria said. She wore blends of greens and blue for her mermaid outfit.

Cray is also among several skaters very much into dressing up, to fit each monthly jam’s theme. Cathryn Stone likes the friendly personalities of people who tend to participate.
Several skaters said they also enjoy meeting others who also like to rollerskate, to get exercise and fresh air, and to safely experiment with skating moves.

Matt Long is among those who can put on nifty moves. He said his favorites include “hand stands, rotations, and ‘stalls.’” Of course, when trying stunts skaters do so away from others as a safety precaution. The race track is large and the rink is also big enough, to give each skater space.

Amber Victoria crouches before springing back and propelling ahead. Shaula Morris of Mills River is at left. Matt Long is behind them.

The jams are a way for families to share an activity. Louise Genetti skates with their daughter Gia, age ten, as her husband watches. Skaters of various generations might go around easily, or at times “fly around,” Victoria said.

Most skaters are from Buncombe County, but some are from nearby counties. Shaula Morris lives in Mills River. She paces herself, throughout the entire two hours of skating.
The email contact is: hello@ashevillerollerskate.com. To find the group on Facebook, be sure to search for Asheville Roller Skate Group.

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