Disco ice skating is exactly what it sounds like, and yet you really have to experience it to understand the joy that is disco ice skating.
I’ve babbled quite a bit about our rediscovered love of all things ice skating, and my pride in still being able to ice skate so many decades later. But it’s been a long minute, and this past weekend we went to disco ice skating for the first time, so I have a little more ice skating babble to share.
Dane has energy. Boundless, oodles, of energy. Every day I rack my brains on how to wear him out so he will go to bed earlier. Sleep longer. I love him dearly, but oh my does he wear me out! Friday nights I’m especially keen to wear him out. Get him tucked in that bed. And have a little me time. Especially with Dave being gone. So when Dane pleaded (read: jumped around me in circles squealing excitedly) to go disco ice skating, because:
“We’ve never been!”
I said ‘yes’. We bundled up extra, we are in the middle of a Russian cold front in southern Germany, it’s in the -teens celsius. It’s ridiculously cold. I’m not 100% certain going ice skating in below zero temperatures was a brilliant idea. Just walking from the van to the rink made me question my wisdom. My ears froze inside my hat. I could feel frostbite starting on my nose. I almost turned around, but Dane was oozing happiness. I could see it radiating off his little body as he skipped in the door. We were doing this.
The cash register is inside, and it’s almost warm and toasty. The rink is covered but the walls don’t reach all the way to the roof and it’s much colder out on the ice. Still, we stood in line behind the jugendfeuerwehrs (junior fire brigade) of all the surrounding towns, ready to pay. Ready to skate.
Side note: The German fire departments are almost exclusively volunteer. Large cities (80,000+) have professional fire fighters, but the smaller cities & towns like ours are volunteer. It doesn’t make them less competent, our fire fighters are extremely dedicated and we see them training frequently at all hours, in all weather. While the age varies, kids are encouraged to join the fire department. In our town they can start at 10, though some start kids as young as 6. It’s a great source of pride to be a part of the feuerwehr and it was very cool seeing all the different towns representing at the rink Friday night.
I laced up Dane’s skates first and his eyes were big & bright. He couldn’t wait for me, and I shoo’d him off to the ice. I took my time lacing up my skates, trying to get as warm as possible before stepping out of the locker room. Though I could hear the music roaring, and see the lights flashing through the windows, I wasn’t quite prepared for disco night on ice.
I stepped out right as the fog machine let out another bellow, creating a completely transformed winter wonderland. The disco music, more like 80’s house music, pulsed loudly. Lights flashed across the ice, confusing my eyes. I couldn’t find Dane in the dark. It was a whole other world out there. I stepped out, in front of a big burly fire fighter who almost knocked me down. We both giggled, at least I think his was a giggle, and went our separate ways.
I’ll be honest, skating on the bumpy ice (there were a lot of people tearing it up), with the undulating lights, the fog, all the other skaters, was challenging. I focused on skating and not falling and soon found myself happily gliding along, enjoying the music, air, lights, out-of-the-house happiness. My eyes adjusted and I spotted Dane whizzing around the rink, busting out his best dance moves.
He spotted me too, and I assumed he’d stop dancing, embarrased to be caught by mom. But nope! He brightly showed off his moves, very proud that he could skate and dance at the same time. Honestly? It should be a source of pride. When Rock Me Amadeus by Falco came on, one of my favorite 80’s hits, I tried a little moving & grooving of my own.
I stopped that right quick. I’m not a skilled dancer without skates, with skates? I was an accident waiting to happen. Instead I skated a little faster, did a little fancy footwork rounding the corners and just enjoyed the music in my ears, freezing wind on my face & the laughter all around me. Disco ice skating is a marvellous way to melt off the stress of the week, and bring happiness to your soul.
It does not, however, wear out 10 year old boys as much as it wears out 50 year old mothers.
Can you spot Dane in the video? Hint: check out the jacket above. Good luck!
Wow he sure was one happy boy!
What a wonderful story and I agree with Janet, Dane looks really happy. Years ago I learned to ice skate in Plattsburgh, NY. That too involved a fire department. We skated on a “rink” made by the firemen on base. In summer, it was a football field. A few years later, I was “lucky” enough to go skating very near shore at Hafnarfjordur, Iceland. Same type of cold you have but with sunshine! On a bay so rather scary! A few years later I skated at a real rink in Denver, Colorado – scared me to death it was so fast!!!!
In ICELAND! Oh! I am so jealous. I would’ve been scared too but what an experience. Do you have any pictures of this? I would love, love, love to see them!
Plattsburgh, sadly no. But there is one of Iceland, I’ll hunt it up and scan it. Do I just insert it here in my next reply? Haven’t done much of this “commenting” before and none with photos.