Your 70’s Roller Disco Dreams Are Back and Better
He wanted to embrace the Missoula music community, so "Coach" Shane Rooney walked around town plugging in a phone charger to outlets in public spaces. Coach Shane knew that if the outlets could power a phone, they could power a sound system, “so musicians and DJs could just fill that air with good vibes.”
The good vibes Coach Shane was after 13 years ago when he landed in Missoula can be found again on Friday, July 21, on top of the University of Montana parking garage during a circus-themed pop-up roller rink.
From 7-10 p.m., skaters, dancers, circus lovers, and performers alike can gather on top of the UM parking garage to learn skate tricks with the Hip Strip Honeyz.
If you prefer to be in stable, non-rolling shoes, you can come out just to dance to the tunes of DJ Coach Shane.
“People come with skateboards, longboards, bikes, and even hula hoops, and other talents like that. So it’s not just roller skating,” Hanna Moorman, organizer of Hip Strip Honeyz, said in an Instagram direct message.
Coach Shane believes skating events are a vital part of the Missoula community, especially after the summer of 2020 with the killing of George Floyd. Knowing that roller skating has always been popular for the queer and Black communities, Coach Shane appreciates how skating in Missoula recognizes that history and culture.
Groups like the Hip Strip Honeyz, Girls on Shred, and local DJs partner together to make these pop-up rinks happen at no cost to attendees.
If you don’t have wheels of your own, the Hip Strip Honeyz have a limited number of pairs available to borrow. You can message them on Instagram to inquire about sizing. Helmets and protective pads are available to borrow from Girls on Shred so you can skate safely.
This pop-up will also have a raffle in which you could have the chance to win a pair of Pit Vipers while also supporting Girls on Shred's efforts to tour the smaller skate parks of Montana.
The events are called “boogies” rather than “discos” because the DJs aim to play a wider variety of music.
“It's distinct, it’s Missoula vibe. You show up. There's no expectations and therefore everyone gets to be their authentic selves, gets to be celebrated for it, and even that is so uncommon these days, that it's almost intimidating in itself,” Coach Shane said.
To release your inhibitions this Friday, head up to the parking garage on the university’s campus.
If you and your clown skates can’t make it to this event, the groups aim to have a pop-up rink monthly in the summers. This means you will be able to get your skate on at least one more time, with a new theme, before the school year, according to Moorman.
“The heartbeat of Missoula happens at the roller boogies,” Coach Shane said.