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Healthy Obsession: Dancing, skating on wheels

San Francisco Chronicle. March 2nd 2009
Laura Sunday, 60, is an event coordinator, dance teacher and self-described "Chili Empress" of Petaluma. On Sundays, Sunday drives to the city with her dancing skates.

Why: It combines two activities I love - dancing and skating - and it is the fountain of youth. The music goes from disco to hip-hop. It attracts people from pre-teens to those well into their 70s and crosses all socioeconomic lines. I skate all day and barely ever sit down to rest. We share and learn new routines, and there's nothing better than when you have 20 skaters all working in time, rhythm and step with each other.
Greatest accomplishment: I watched the skaters in Golden Gate Park for 20 years just wanting to roller dance. When I was 50, I bought myself some dance skates, started taking lessons and practiced six days a week for a few years. Now I choreograph routines and teach new skaters how to roller dance every Sunday out in the park.

Gear you can't live without: My Riedell 220 Epic quad skates, with the sparkly wheels. I had them in white and had a shop dye them royal blue for me. Some skaters use inlines, but I can't feel my soul in that big rigid boot. My quads feel completely natural, like a dance shoe.
Where you train: Golden Gate Park, at Sixth Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive

Best time to train: Every Sunday from 1 p.m. until dark.

Biggest misperception about your sport: That quad skates are old school.

Advice you'd give a rookie: Learn how to be comfortable on your skates before you try dancing on them. Learn the basic steps and moves, wear protective gear, and take it slow; it's really tricky. And most important: practice, practice, practice.

The Humphrey Connection: One of Ricahrd Humphrey's premier students, Laura took many hours of dance skating lessons from Richard Humphrey over the last 10 years helping her achieve her present level of competence. She has become a roller dance instructor and choreographer in her own right.. Richard talks with Laura about what initially inspired her to dance skate. See the interview video & dance session.

What to do now: Get in a pair of skates, come out to Golden Gate Park and talk to Richard Humphrey about taking YOU to the next level!
And see www.rollerdance.com for scheduled roller skate classes

Richard Humphrey Rollerdance man

Want Custom Skates?
Custom Colored by boot manufacturer - Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery, refunds are not available on colored skates.
Palomino Custom Colored Skates - Women's Skates available in various colors with a white tongue. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Have Richard Build Your Skates! - Custom Hand Assembled Skates Mounted and Polished by the Rollerdance Man himself.

Laura's Skates:
220 Epic Boots
Sure-Grip NTS Century plates
Sure-Grip Motion 62mm/78A Blue Sparkle wheels
Powell Bones Swiss Bearings

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