The JB style of roller skating, which originated in Chicago, grooves and bounces to the soul music sounds of the legendary "Godfather of Soul," James Brown, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23, 1986. The skaters in Chicagoland created this unique dance style of skating back in the 1970's using elements of R&B, hip-hop, jazz, gymnastics, break dancing mixed with bits of roller figure skating.
JB Skating Moves
The toe-in-toe-out move that is used in JB skating appears to be very similar to James Brown's side-gliding version of the "mashed potatoes" dance footwork. He created other dances, but the mashed potatoes and the sliding splits and jump splits are important moves for any JB skater. Other essential moves include spins, groundwork, footwork and shuffling, and the good skaters combine various elements once they have good control of the basic JB style. Some even add acrobatic moves like jumps, splits, somersaults and falls to their routine.
JB Skating Equipment
Most JB skaters roll in high-topped boots and recreational quad plates with grippy 57mm recreational wheels. The skating boots are not laced up all the way and the leather above the ankle is usually folded down to allow more ankle flexibility. Some skaters even step out of one rolling skate, perform tricks and slide back into the skate while still traveling down the floor. The Rink in Glenwood, Illinois (just outside of Chicago) is known as a good location to see the use of JB skating equipment at its best today.
Similar skating movements occurred in other big metropolitan cities - resulting in other rhythm skating cultures like the rhythm skaters in Detroit and rexing styles in Southern California. Each rhythm-related style is influenced by musical developments of the region. Shuffle skating, bounce skating, toe jamming', R&B skating, funk skating, freestyle rhythm skating, rock skating and more rhythmic styles have developed in different areas of the country. Sometimes it is very difficult to separate or specifically identify a style, since social skaters travel a lot today, and the styles are blending together. But, the JB style is so unique that it still holds its own spot the pack of rhythm skating styles.
Many wonder whether it is easier to roller skate on quads or inline skate on rollerblades. The kind of skating that really interests you will determine the exact type of training (if any), style of skates and other gear you will need for your chosen roller sports. Take a look at some of the activities that can be done on quad skates:
- Recreational and social quad skating includes a variety of activities for skaters of all ages and skating levels.
- Quad fitness skating combines serious skating for medical, mental or physical benefits with fun skating for pure pleasure.
- Quad speed skating is still a recognized competitive discipline – even though participation has significantly declined.
- Quad figure skating is a type of figure skating that is often called artistic skating.
- Vertical roller skating is just as exciting as aggressive inline.
- Several styles of dance, gymnastics and skating blend to create the jam skating style.
- Rhythm skating is a soul-based skating style that emerged along the same timeline as the Motown sound experience.
- JB skating originated in Chicago with skating to the soul music sounds of the legendary "Godfather of Soul," James Brown.
- Quad roller derby has taken the sports world by storm and appears to be the fastest growing roller sport today.
- Quad rink roller hockey is a popular year-round sport at amateur, scholastic, and professional levels.
Use the information above to see the range of quad roller skating sports, then take a look at the inline sports opportunities. If you are not sure that your interests will be dedicated to a specific skating type, start by building a good foundation in recreational or fitness activities and training. Most rinks allow you to rent traditional or speed quad skates in beginner skating lessons, so you can find out which type of skate you prefer.