Mums roll out latest American keep-fit craze in city sports centres

Lara Dunbar, Becca Allan and Julie Miller get on their skates at  Crags sports centre
Lara Dunbar, Becca Allan and Julie Miller get on their skates at Crags sports centre
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It was the decade of cheesy bands, dodgy clothing and dubious wallpaper, but for one city mum there’s one 70s craze she’s keen to roll back into the present.

Rollerskating keep-fit classes are the latest craze sweeping America and now they are coming to the Capital.

Mum-of-three and lifelong rollerskater Lara Dunbar, 38, and her friend, Julie Miller, 41, are set to host the hour-long classes in Gorgie Dalry Community Centre and Crags Community Sports Hall.

But participants don’t have to be a skilled roller or inline skater, as lessons and equipment will be provided.

Lara said: “I’ve skated all my life, I grew up on roller skates, it was all the rage back then. I’ve kept on skating and find it a great way to keep fit.

“I met Julie about five years ago and we soon both realised that we shared a passion for skating. Julie’s a personal trainer, so we soon hit upon starting up our own keep fit classes.

“We held a taster session last week and were amazed by the response – 18 people turned up and it went really well.”

The pair will offer a range of classes from adult roller fitness to ones for kids and mums and dads – roller strollers with prams and buggies.

Each session will take place to music. However, Showaddywaddy and the Bay City Rollers will remain in the mists of time.

The 1970s boom in skating came about due to significant improvements in the roller skating industry, so by 1977 when disco’s popularity spread to rinks, another big skating boom exploded, especially among adults.

Lara said: “It’s a bit of fun, if nothing else. Skating gives you a sense of flying and weightlessness. All of my family skated. My dad William Dunbar used to play ice hockey for the Edinburgh Capitals and so did my brother, and I’ve now passed it on to my own kids.”

The anaerobic benefits of skating have actually been proven to be better than running or biking, because it provides a natural and smooth side-to-side movement that exercises adductor (inner thigh) and abductor (buttocks) muscles that are ignored by other activities.

Mum-of-one Julie said: “Rollerskating offers the same benefits as jogging, but doesn’t put the same strain on muscles and ligaments.

It’s perfect for anyone with knee or hip problems who wants to get fit. Or those who just want to workout in a new and fun way.”

Those interested in taking part can contact either Lara or Julie at


IT’s hard to imagine, but back in the 70s rollerskating was the coolest pastime on four wheels – at least for some.

News that the trend is making a comeback shouldn’t be too much of a shock, however, since styles, games and even decorations from the decade have resurfaced in recent years.

From bubble-gum machines to space-hoppers, flares and lava lamps, there’s no part of the 70s that retro-fans won’t find a place for – even if the lurid swirling wallpapers are still only to be found in the collections of true die-hard fans.

One of the most recent, and prominent, retro resurgences from the age is that of the platform heel, which reached it’s literal peak in the late 70s but has in recent years become the must-have of any self-respecting shoe aficionado.