Sunday, December 7, 2003

Skaters, dancers compete in Ky.

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Zack Boothby, 15, of Atlanta takes part in United Jam Skating Teams of America.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
FLORENCE - These athletes don't have their feet on the ground.

They keep them on wheels.

Roller-skates, to be exact.

At the national winter jam skating competition for the United Jam Skating Teams of America, one thing is clear: The hottest new sport sweeping the nation is more than two decades old.

Like disco skating of the 1970s, jam skating is a hybrid of break dancing, street dancing and gymnastics, all done on four wheels. That's right four. No inline skates here.

Kevin "R.J." Beebe of Orangeburg, S.C., organized the recent movement when he founded the skating team group two years ago. Also a jam skater, Beebe, 40, is hooked on everything about the sport - the showmanship, the dancing, the athletic moves.

What: Jam Skating Winter Nationals, hosted by the United Jam Skating Teams of America
Where: Fun Dome skating rink, 7864 Commerce Drive, Florence, Ky.
When: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. today
Admission: $3
More information:
The organization hosts two national competitions each year. This year's winter contest continues today at Fun Dome in Florence.More than 40 teams are involved with the national organization. At the Florence event, 11 teams with more than 100 people are participating.

Individuals and doubles groups contend during three-minute routines, where they are judged on choreography, ability and the difficulty.


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