Rockin and rollin’ with AppSkate

Ella McIntosh, Reporter

“Just a Friend” by Biz Markie blasted from the speakers as excited students adorned in glow sticks and colorful ‘70s-inspired attire roller skated onto the floor at APPS’s Friday night AppSkate event.

APPS’ Spirit and Traditions Council hosted roller skaters from 7-10 p.m. at Legends. Entry to the event was free with the swipe of an AppCard. 

Wristbands of different colors determined each student’s “skate time.” Only 30-40 people were allowed on the skate floor at a time due to weight limitations, so wristbands were given out at the door to enforce this. Wearers of each wristband color could skate for 30 minutes after their designated time began. 

While they weren’t skating, students could take pictures in front of two sparkly fringe backdrops with skate-shaped balloons and disco ball decorations on either side. Soda, chips and candy were available at the concession stand, but the bar was closed.

A funky remix of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” blared as students dressed in tie-dye, daisy dukes and flares skated clockwise around the checkered skate floor. Or, rather, counterclockwise until a voice over the speakers advised them to turn around in order to better distribute their weight across the floor. That voice was Kathryn Long.

Long is a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major at App State. She is also APPS’ chair of the Spirit and Traditions Council. She joined APPS in the fall of her freshman year and led her council in planning this event. 

“Our council aims to create safe and fun ways for the student body to experience new things,” said Long. “We reestablish old traditions and make new ones.”

The APPS Spirit and Traditions Council recently hosted Spring Break on Sanford and is currently planning an acapella event at the Schaefer Center called Acapocalypse that will be held on April 23. More information about these events can be found on APPS’ Instagram.

This was APPS’ third AppSkate event. Last year, the event was held in the student recreation center. Official planning and contracting for this year’s event began in January. 

“It was a really fun and unique event to have on campus,” freshman sustainable business management major Asher Fazal said. “I was definitely scared I’d fall a few times, though.”

Appalachian Roller Derby had an informational table at the event hosted by App State gap year student Drey Whipple. Whipple has been with the derby for four years and their skate name is “Whiplash,” a play on their last name.

“We don’t limit our team to just students. We accept anybody in the community that likes to skate,” Whipple said. “Our youngest member is 19 years old and our oldest is 38.”

There are currently 12 members in the Appalachian Roller Derby, but before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were about 50 members between the Allstars team and their “Booneshiners” B-team. 

Since their numbers have dwindled, they are partnering with Lily’s Snack Bar and The Cardinal to host “skate school boot camps” for potential members. The first event in this series will be held at Lily’s on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in joining the derby can come skate, meet the members and brainstorm skate names. More information can be found on their Instagram.