Roller disco

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A pair of disco roller skates

A roller disco is a discothèque or skating rink where all the dancers wear roller skates of some kind (traditional quad or inline). The music played is modern and easily danceable, historically disco but in modern times including almost any form of dance, pop or rock music.


The concept originated as a fad in the 1970s when the disco craze was at its height, peaking around 1980 and inspiring several roller-disco magazines. In 1984 the fad arrived in the United Kingdom and many roller discos popped up all over the country [1] As of 2006, the craze has largely discontinued, although many 1970s era roller-discos are still open and successful. Also, it experienced a mild revival in the early 2000s, especially in the mid-eastern United States[where?], where certain clubs continue to host roller disco nights.[2] Some now use in-line roller-blades.[citation needed] Roller discos are also popular among older children and young teenagers, especially for parties. As in other discos, special effects such as fog machines and flashing traffic lights are often used.[citation needed] To minimise the risk of injury, the organisers of roller discos often only allow participants to skate in one direction at a time, so that they do not crash into one another, although many roller discos have a "free skate" section in the middle of the roller rink.[citation needed]

In 2020, roller skating and roller discos experienced a resurgence in mainstream popularity across the Western world.[3][4] The resurgence in popularity for roller skating and roller discos has coincided with a disco revival and a resurgence in other retro phenomena in 2020.[5][6] Some companies selling roller skates in the US were reported to have sold out of roller skates due to high demand.[6] The resurgence has been powered by social media apps like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat which have seen an increase of roller skating-related content.[6] In Hobart, Australia, it was reported that the popularity of roller skating was at its highest since the 1980s.[7] The media has suggested the resurgence in roller skating may be the result of people finding ways to entertain themselves and a form of escape as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in widespread lockdowns, curfews and restrictions across the world.[6]

In popular culture[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ I love 1984 BBC TV show
  2. ^ Canvas is one such club
  3. ^ "Was This the Summer You Started Roller-Skating?". The Cut. The Cut. 28 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Why 2020 Is The Summer Of Rollerskating". Vogue. Vogue. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  5. ^ "A comeback of disco amid the COVID-19 pandemic". Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "Roller skates are selling out everywhere as Americans seek nostalgic outdoor pastimes that provide a 'light-hearted escape from reality'". Business Insider. Business Insider. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Rollerskating has become so popular in Hobart that scammers are offering fake tickets". ABC News. ABC News. 30 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.