Kids, grown-ups, and a giant bumble-bee will skate circles in Masset today.
To support their first off-island tournament as a team, the Gwaii Rollergirls are hosting a pair of roller dance parties at the Masset rink this Saturday: one for kids and families, one for grown-ups with a flair for costumes.
Not to be out-hustled, the Junior Rollergirls are helping put on the party so they can fundraise for their own team T-shirts.
Gwaii Rollergirl Brie Altrogge says the junior afternoon skating program, organized every fall and winter through Haida Gwaii Rec, has really taken off.
“The girls love them, and they’re getting to be really good skaters,” she said.
The Gwaii Rollergirls are also building momentum.
This fall, they expanded to include new skaters from Skidegate and Queen Charlotte, and they now split practices between the John Lalonde Roller Rink in Masset and the Queen Charlotte Community Hall.
With several new skaters and a new all-island name, the Rollergirls will get their first chance to fly under team colours at A Tournament on Elm Street — a flat-track roller derby hosted in Terrace next weekend by the North Coast Nightmares.
In fact, the Gwaii Rollergirls will join forces with the Yukon Rollergirls, another smaller squad, so they can field a three-line team of 16 and compete.
“We’ll skate two games under the Gwaii Rollergirls name and jersey colours, and then we’ll skate one game under their jersey colours and name,” said Altrogge.
Today’s Family Roller Dance party runs from 4 to 7 p.m., with music, snacks, hot dogs, balloons and games. Skates and safety gear are available to rent, but rollerblades, scooters and other wheels are welcome, too. All kids 12 and under should have a grown-up watching out for them.
From 9 to 10:30 p.m., it’s the adults’ turn to give roller skating a try in an open skate, and then comes the dancing.
“At 10:30 we’ll stop the roller skating, start the liquor service and everyone will dance in their shoes for the rest of the night, just so we don’t mix alcohol and rolling around on skates,” Altrogge said.
Retro outfits and costumes are not just welcome, but expected.
“We always encourage crazy kooky costumes,” Altrogge said. “People should just wear whatever they want to self-express.”