Roller Dancers

Karen Trimble and Ralph Taylor are no strangers to the skating rink. At age 53 and 70, both have a long history of roller dancing.

“I started skating when I was 9 years old and I quit when I was 18 and went to college. The last big thing that I was was first runner up Miss United States Skating Queen in 1976,” Said Trimble.

“I started when I was 25 years old and single, I went to the Elm Roller Rink in Elmhurst because there were a lot of girls there in short skirts,” said Taylor.
The pair didn’t even know each other back in August. But with assistance from Karen’s daughter and an act of fate these two are once again competing on roller skates.

“My daughter works at Ace and Ralph came in with a broken wrist and she asked him how he did it and he said he did it roller skating, and so she just kind of matched us up,” Said Trimble.

“She called her up on her cell phone right then and there. And here I am, standing in line at the Ace Hardware with about 6 or 7 people behind me and she just blurted right out, “Ralph wants to know if you will take lessons with him!” I think the whole hardware store heard and darned if she didn’t say yes,” said Taylor.

The duo has been practicing together ever since, and with the help of their coach, Marykay Griffin, they’re on their way to the regional and national roller dancing competitions.

“As a team they are a perfect match.” Said Griffin. “They are close to the same height and their feet are close to being together at the same time which is great for a new team. It takes many many years to get that good.”.

At the regional competition the couple will compete against seven teams age twenty and up. The scoring system is similar to Olympic Figure Skating, where a score is given for technical merit and artistic impression.

“We’re ready, you know? I think we’re really ready. We’ve been practicing together and starting to skate stronger and I feel really confident for nationals,” said Trimble.

The regional competition takes place June 26th through the 30th in Flint, Michigan and nationals will be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana from July 24th through August 7th.


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