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Jam skating (or Jamskating) is a skating style consisting of a combination of dance, gymnastics, and roller skating, performed on roller skates. The origins of jam skating are disputed, but it is often traced to the Great Lakes region and Florida. The style has its roots in traditional roller disco, but has been greatly influenced by breakdancing, artistic skating, gymnastics, and modern dance. Successful jam skaters are well practiced in these different forms and must have the ability to translate these movements while on skates. Jam skating first became popular in the early 1990s and is still going strong throughout the nation. Competitions, such as Heartbreak Skating Competition (Carrollton, GA), Pajama Jam (Franklin, IN), Southern Slam (Anderson, SC), The Championship (Cookeville, TN) and Classic Summer Jam (Sandy, UT) are examples of existing competitions happening. Jam Skating, like breakdancing in its early evolution, was an almost underground movement fueled by teenagers and skaters in their early 20s. Events were created to allow Jam Skaters to meet, trade moves, and, most importantly, "battle". Battling and performing remain a very important aspect of Jam Skating. This element pushes the boundaries of what is possible to perform while on skates; moreover, it ignites evolution within the skate culture.
Styles of Jam Skating:
- Shuffle skating/Rexing: shuffle skating to be skating with all 8 wheels down (or at times on just 1 wheel down), forward or backward, moving to the beat of the music usually in counter clockwise rink motion.
- Power: Power: This style of b-boying is what most members of the general public associate with the term "breakdancing". Power moves comprise full-body spins and rotations that give the illusion of defying gravity. Examples of power moves include head spins, back spins, windmills, flares, air tracks/air flares, 1990s, 2000s, jackhammers, crickets, turtles, hand glides, halos, and elbow spins. These Power moves are acrobatic moves that require momentum, speed, endurance, strength, and control to execute. The breaker is generally supported by his upper body while the rest of his body creates circular momentum. Some examples are the windmill, swipe, back spin, and head spin. Some power moves are borrowed from gymnastics and martial arts.
- Ground breaking
Jam skating is neither aggressive nor speed skating. This form of freestyle skating is referred to by many different names: toe-dancing, spot-skating, shuffle skating, hexing, rexxing, trucking, shadow skating, crazy leg, boogie bouncing, and disco skating. These names strictly describe the style of skating, not the moves.
Traditionally, roller disco skaters wore an artistic high-cut boot with toe stop. In the early 1980s, this transitioned into a trend of wearing low-cut speed skate boots with jam plugs in place of the toe stops. This trend continues today, as the low-cut boot allows for more agility with feet while skating.
- The 2005 film Roll Bounce prominently featured jam skating, along with some well-known skaters within the jam skating community.
- The 2006 film ATL was centered around a skating rink in Atlanta, GA called Cascade.
Jam skating was featured in multiple music videos.
- 1, 2 Step by Ciara ft. Missy Elliott
- "Disease" by Matchbox 20.
- "My Shoes" by Murphy Lee.
- "I Heart You" by Toni Braxton
- "Ladies Of The World" by Flight of the Conchords
- "Blow" by Beyoncé.
- "Cool Patrol" by Ninja Sex Party
- "Gold" by Chet Faker
- Jam skating gained some mainstream popularity when Shannon Anthony, Diamond Walker, Tony Zane, Jessy Nice, and Jordan McQuiston of Team Breaksk8 made it to the top 4 on America's Best Dance Crew (Season 1).
- The Apple iPod commercial, featuring the song "Feel Good, Inc." by Gorillaz.
- The short-running Tv show Melyssa's Place (found on satellite tv) featured Melyssa Fernandez teaching skating to a young audience.
- Smight, Tim (2009-10-16). "10 great places to let good times roll on skates". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- Jones, Vanessa E. (2005-07-06). "Rolling around again". Boston.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Tanasychuk, John (2007-07-09). "Jam On A Roll". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Sutter, John (2006-09-10). "Entertainers compete for Hornets sideshow". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Barnhill, Meredith (2008-02-25). "Jam skating on MTV". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Lovato, Todd Eric (2006-01-09). "Roller Fever: It's Back and Hotter Than Ever, So Pull Out Your Old Wheels, and Hit the Rinks". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-08.