It's time for the limbo at the Cordova Skating Center. As Top 40 hits blare over the loudspeaker, kids on skates duck under a white pole, demonstrating how low they can go. As the pole gets closer and closer to the wooden floor, inexperienced skaters begin dropping like flies. But some duck with confidence and skill.
That's because they're members of the Memphis Figure Rolling Skating Club, a competitive team that performs routines similar to those performed on ice skates.
"It's a lot harder to do what ice skaters do on roller skates," says coach Caroline Mirelli, who founded the club in 1995.
The limbo, other games, and a silent auction were part of the club's Thanksgiving Skate Fund-raiser last Tuesday. Proceeds help fund the 5th Annual Memphis Invitational, a three-day roller skating competition, starting February 3rd. The event raised $1,600.
"We have some judges coming here from Denver, Washington, D.C., and Missouri and we have to pay for their rooms, food, and transportation," Mirelli says.
Mirelli, a member of the national Roller Skating Hall of Fame, coaches the 30 or so club members each Saturday morning. Many members are kids, but her oldest student is 57 years old.
"They do pair skating, dance skating, and figure skating, which is the freestyle jumping and spinning," Mirelli says.
Also on the club's calendar is a performance of The Nutcracker on December 20th. The event will raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.