Furry skate boots and fully sequined outfits were on display Friday night at the annual Roller Disco party, a benefit for SF Indiefest, a film festival that screens at the Roxie Theater on 16th Street. SF Indiefest is currently in the middle of its run; the last day is Feb. 21.
About 100 skaters rolled around the wooden floors of the Women’s Building on 18th near Valencia Street, which was moonlighting as the event’s roller rink for fun and fundraising.
“You don’t get this vibe doing anything else. It’s very special,” said event co-organizer David Miles. A skater for nearly 30 years, Miles said he has made 15 trips to Los Angeles on his eight wheels. As to the choice of the Women’s Building for this year’s venue, he said that there are “very few places where you can have this type of thing.”
Miles also organizes the Black Rock Roller Disco, a Burning Man group committed to skating, and there is a regular group that skates at Golden Gate Park, he said. His philosophy is that skating brings people together.
“Most of the barriers that separate people aren’t there in skating,” he said, “because everyone is bound to fall.”
True to his prediction, there were a few falls and spilled beverages as people sipped their drinks and tried out their skating skills, but by 10 p.m. Miles was leading most of the crowd in an on-skate version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance.
“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s inclusive. For us, it’s like church.”