Before you ever step through the door, you can feel the energy.
Thursday nights are “Adult Night” at Southern Skates Roller Rink in Dallas.
Between 9:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. only ages 18 and up are allowed inside the roller rink off East Ledbetter Drive and Sunnyvale Street.
“Grown folks only,” said Manager Tamie Cooper. “With everything going on in the world, this is just a place where they can come and hang out.”
Inside you’ll find dozens of people with their own distinct style and skill level and the regulars typically bring their own pair of custom skates.
Cooper said it is not uncommon to see skaters up to age 70 grooving on the floor.
“They are here to get their skate on and that’s it and they skate better than the young ones.”
You’ll find people who never stopped skating like 23-year-old Andre Dorsey.
“I think I learned how to skate before I learned how to walk,” said Dorsey. “A skate home is the same for me as a church home. So, as soon as I moved to Texas, I had to find a church home and I had to find a skate home.”
And, you’ll find people reconnecting with an activity from their childhood.
Wanda Brown did not slip back into a pair of skates until she was in her 50s and said the activity became a form of therapy after the death of her daughter.
“Skating was a way for me to escape the way I felt, so it helped save my life,” said Brown. “I think skating can help everybody. You just got to get past the fear of falling. We’re all going to fall. So we all got to learn how to bounce back and keep on going.”
And everyone we spoke with said an hour of skating melted away the stress of the day.
“Something just takes control of my body. You don’t feel any emotion,” said Dorsey.
“Free. Totally free. I don’t feel anything,” said Brown.
Southern Skates is operated by the City of Dallas. Adult skate night is every Thursday. Admission is $5.
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