Some kids became very serious about their skating. The Island’s Skating dance team who was instructed by Founder Darrell Ellis entered meets all over the state.
Two popular skaters from the team, Leslie Ellis and Sharon D’Amico entered competitions all over the region. In 1953 at a meet in Ferndale Washington the duo took home a 3rd place trophy. In 1954 the duo took its first regional trophy against competitors from British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon at the regional meet in Wenatchee Washington. The duo twice qualified to skate in the National Roller Skating Championships traveling to Cleveland Ohio and Denver Colorado.
Other members of the Island Skaters Dance Team included: Caroline Anderson, Nancy Christie, Margaret Jenkins, Clarita Isham, Jim Spratlen, Donna Smith, Darlene Fox, Larry Christensen, Joe Bill Orcutt, and Bob Tebeau.
During a meet in Oak Harbor at The Roller Barn the Whidbey News Times wrote an article; Swirling and spinning, skaters from the island, from Ferndale and other Puget sound communities put on a show of grace and daring at The Roller Barn Monday night. The Ferndale skaters, under the direction of Ted Bruland, Ferndale roller rink owner, added a variety of acts running from comedy to extreme skill.
Little Danny beard and coral Lee Kastner Drew hearty laughs from the crowd with their impersonation of a skating hussy and her bashful Beau while Carole Anne Crosslin and Marlene Kastner did novelty ask. Carole and did a tap dancing routine on skates and Marlene followed with a skillful expedition of dancing to the rhythm of Cástenets. Other Ferndale skaters included Karen Browsher, Jerry Bruland, Billie Crabtree, Sharon Young and Jimmy Fell.
Oak Harbor skaters also did themselves proud in the show. Nona Bos of Oak Harbor teamed with Ricky Alba of Sedro Woolley in a dangerous spinning act which Drew Oh’s and Ah’s from the crowd. Clinging by her fingertips, Nona was spun by the Husky Sedro skater until it was almost impossible to follow her flight. Alba, who first did a series of speedy spinning expeditions, spun the blonde Oak Harbor skater within inches of the floor on most of the acts, a demonstration which kept the viewers on the edges of their seats.
With the re-establishing of The Roller Barn, we plan to bring back Island Skate Dancers as an activity for youth to share in the arts of dance and roller skating.