If you have rolled around the rink at Skateland in Haverhill, Massachusetts or any other rink for an amount of time, you may have heard the term “jam skating” thrown around a time or two. So, just what is jam skating, and what makes it different from regular skating?
Jam skating’s origin is debated in the roller skating world, but its influence can be traced back to traditional roller disco. From the bell bottoms and disco balls, jam skating has adapted its way into 2015 where it has pulled influences from figure skating, gymnastics, traditional dance and breakdancing. The purpose of jam skating is not speed or well executed turns like a typical night at the rink, but rather a well personalized dance routine or display of coordination on a pair of roller skates.
Within jam skating, there are several different styles and ways to approach it. Many jam skaters have a background in some type of dance, and have figured out how to adapt it for a pair of skates. This is the beauty of jam skating, for the most part regulations don’t confine the skater to a particular style. Each individual can bring their own interpretation to the table, and it makes for some really exciting and diverse displays!