Shauwney Anderson has been roller skating since she was just four years old. When her daughter, Reiscia Moore turned four, she taught her how to skate as well.
Roller skating is their passion. It’s their stress relief, their art form and their sport all in one. And they want nothing more than to share it with Frederick.
“I knew that there were a lot of people that liked roller skating but just didn’t have anywhere to go. So I said, let’s open our own,” Anderson said. “I’ve always wanted to have my own roller skating rink, for at least 30 years. And one day I said to myself, ‘Why not me?’ And so here we are.”
Anderson plans to open “Shauwney’s Skate Palace” in Frederick in the near future. There’s a lot of steps before that would be possible, but the business is already a licensed LLC in Maryland.
She also has a property in mind along the Golden Mile. While nothing has been finalized, she says it is the perfect location, with enough square footage for a rink and bus accessibility.
Now, the family is raising money through a GoFundMe to help their chances of getting a loan from a bank for start-up costs. Anderson hopes to have somewhere around 20 or 25 percent of the costs covered already before she starts looking for funding.
“I’m just trying to make sure that the vision for them is the same as ours. Because banks, they want you to go into business because you want to make money,” Anderson said. “I want to make money but I also want to revitalize the community as well.”
Anderson and Moore think roller skating would be the perfect sport to bring to the community. It’s a family-friendly activity that can be practiced by young and old people alike, and is relatively easy to pick up. It’s also a great form of exercise, and puts less stress on the knees than other forms of cardio such as running.
“For me, it’s one of those things where once I hit the floor, I forget about the entire world,” Moore said. “It’s like nothing else exists except me being around people who are in love with skating just like me, and being surrounded by other people who are willing to teach you. If they see you fall they help you get back up.”
There are also a wide variety of skating styles, including jam skating, which is a style of skating popularized largely by the Black community that combines elements of dance and gymnastics with rollerskating. Within the genre, there are several others, such as shuffle skating, JB skating, Chicago jive skating and more.
Anderson and Moore want Shauwney’s Skate Palace to be a place for all kinds of skaters to come together. They feel the reason that many skating rinks have gone under in the past is that they don’t cater to all kinds of skating, and instead pick one and ignore the others.
“I want this to be the melting pot of roller skating rinks. I don’t want it to be that one roller skating rink where people look at it and say, ‘Oh that’s where the jam skaters go.’ Or, ‘That’s where the shuffle skaters go,’” Anderson said. “No. It should be where roller skaters go.”
Moore said they have had experiences at other rinks where they are not allowed on rinks if they have smaller wheels or toe plugs rather than toe stops – which are both utilized by jam skaters.
Most rinks say these skates could damage their maple wood floors.
“If it is true, I am completely unaware,” Anderson said. “And if that’s the case, that means there’s a lot of roller skating rinks out here that have damaged floors because there are roller skating rinks that have maple floors, that have people that have smaller wheels.”
In addition to open skates, the Palace would hold themed nights so everyone can feel they have a home at the rink. Plus, they plan on offering classes for both children and adults so beginners can learn comfortably. They will also have skate rentals available.
And once one person learns, they can pass it on to their family and friends.
“Roller skating is definitely generational and it needs to be passed down. If we stop here, this could be the end, and roller skating’s been around since the 1800s,” Anderson said. “We don’t want it to stop in 2020. We’ve had enough disaster this year.”
So far, their GoFundMe has raised around $5,000. The family is holding raffles on their website at myskatepalace.com. You can find their GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-roller-skating-alive.