United Skates


Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8:00pm

For more than a half-century, African Americans have gathered at roller rinks to perfect elaborate dances on skates, with cities across the U.S. developing styles unique to their communities. The roller rinks were especially vital to the growth of hip-hop. As Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa boldly asserts at the outset of “United Skates”: “Roller skating was hip-hop!” Now, however, America's last roller rinks are threatened with closure, and a community of thousands is forced to battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture — one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream media for generations yet has given rise to some of the world's greatest musical talent. Interweaving high-octane, adrenaline-pumping skating with cinema vérité observation, “United Skates” offers intimate glimpses of skating-community members’ lives on and off the rink. The Hollywood Reporter writes: “A window onto a vibrant American subculture that is currently endangered (as so many other things are) by real-estate profiteers, Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown's ‘United Skates’ introduces African Americans who for generations have found a refuge from the world in the roller rink.”

91 min.

Directed by

Tina Brown & Dyana Winkler



Film Category

Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Race in America: The Black Experience Women in Film Spotlight


With local skaters Quad and Juice for a post-film Q&A.

Film Website

Official Website