Dressing For Success
Make Your Roller Skating Attire Work For You.
Shakespeare’s insight holds true on the rink: The clothes make the man, or rather, the skater. While figure roller skaters rightly focus their greatest attention on perfecting skills, what they wear attracts the first and often lasting impression of a performance.
“How you finish yourself off means so much,” says Anthony Berger, Skating School’s founder. “When done right, it’s like beautiful wrapping paper for a gift.” And when not, even an excellent performance can fall flat.
Figure roller skating is, after all, an art as well as a sport. Therefore, visual factors are every bit as important as technical ones. Like the time and energy invested to master a routine, tending to one’s attire reaps enormous dividends for a skater. So what should you look for? Follow this four-point checklist for a flawless presentation:
1. Comfort – The foremost requirement of roller skating attire is that the body must be able to move freely, uninhibited. This means soft, flexible fabrics that conform comfortably to a skater’s body and allow for complete range of motion.
2. Fit – To support full freedom of movement, a skater’s attire must also fit well. Clothing that’s too tight is restrictive, while clothing that’s too loose may not support the skater correctly and may even pose a hazard when executing skills. Either way, a proper fit for a skater’s unique body is essential to their presentation as well as their own self-confidence.
3. Functionality – When it comes to roller skating outfits and accessories, every element serves a purpose. Beginner through expert skaters benefit from their lower body being covered to prevent legs from sticking to the floor and protect against inevitable falls. Special tights for female skaters maximize their motility and may be pulled over skates to keep laces in place while creating a single leg line.
4. Aesthetics – Each of the above criteria all contribute to the visual impact of a skater’s attire. Additionally, a performance outfit should complement a routine’s music, mood, and choreography, enhancing the overall impression. An appropriate, flattering outfit accentuates a skater’s body lines and natural athleticism. Sparkle, shine, and glitz add to the heightened drama of a performance, too.
“I tell my skaters to take every advantage,” says Coach Tony. “A competition judge sees you for a couple of minutes only. That outfit is the icing on the cake. It’s impossible to underestimate its importance.”