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“What does style have to do with roller skating?” an inquisitive onlooker at Robben’s Roost asks when he sees our cameras. “Everything,” we can’t help but answer. “Just look!”

Forget passively skating in circles — Robben’s Roost (5906 Six Mile Lane) beckons sideliners to roll out in the most expressive way possible. At every turn, skaters work on their technique, perfecting twirls and twists on eight wheels. Showered in disco ball light, pairs and trios glide by in perfect unison, dipping and swaying to the beats from the live DJ playing Michael Jackson’s “Blame It on the Boogie.” If you’re an amateur, show up early (that’s 11 p.m. on Sundays) and perfect your moves before the experts take over at midnight. Personalized skate bags, well-planned outfits, accessories and, of course, stylish skates will be on display and seemingly as important as how well you show your skills in the rink.

A micro-culture of midnight roller skating exists in Louisville — and until 2:30 in the morning on a Sunday-turned-Monday no less. We couldn’t have dreamed it ourselves. 

Photos by Wesley Bacon, Casey Chalmers, Amber Garvey and Stephen Kertis.

For more local street style, check out our collaborator the Pretty Gritty (theprettygritty.com), a blog that’s the product of Kertis Creative and its team of roaming photographers.

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