Venice Beach 1979 – 1999 In the summer of 1979, my every other weekend dad picked me up from home and brought me along with him to Venice Beach. He came to play basketball but my 10 year-old self was neither tall or strong enough to play. My dad thinking fast in order for self preservation of his enjoyment and day, rented me a pair of roller-skates from a nearby shop and allowed me to skate in the roller dance area while he shot hoops. At that time, one of the regulars on wheels brought his Van into the area and played music directly from house speakers to the adoring crowds. I was enthralled and captivated just like everyone else. It became one of the most addicting things I’ve ever done. Every time my dad picked me up I asked him if we were going to Venice. And I got older, I learned to take the bus from South Central, LA to the Venice boardwalk so I could skate every weekend with my new found friends. They were older than me and watched over me like big brothers and sisters. Even when it wasn’t my dad’s weekend, I made sure I found my way to roller-skate. It brought me more joy than anything I had ever done being able to listen to the music, soak in the sun and roller-skate in front of throngs of people with smiling faces and moving bodies. In 1984 the Olympics came to Los Angeles. With it throngs of tourists flooded the boardwalk. As the Skate Dance Plaza shifted to its present location, roller dance took flight and gave tourists a lasting memory far beyond the ten second sprints or the gold medal boxer ever could. The legend of Skate Dance Plaza was born… Again. The world now knew about Venice Beach and its roller skaters as depicted in the Film Festival Award winning documentary, “Roller Dreams,” which documented the rise of the Venice Beach roller dance scene. There has always been a place for skate boarders and when I started on roller-skates there was even a slalom skating section but nothing could compare to the roller dance area. From that day until the next skate dance area to the new and improved area we were gifted in 1999, roller dance skating has been as much a part of Venice as weight lifting, basketball, street performers or bikinis. The joy that roller dance has brought people, families and tourists from all over the globe is immeasurable. I have been asked if I skate at Venice Beach by fans, friends and admirers while on vacation or assignment in places such as Korea, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico and Germany. That is the far reaching influence Venice Beach Roller-skating has had on my life and on the public in general. Now, with the advent of social media, post 1999 Venice Beach Roller dance will only grow. 1999-Present…In The Works