Long before we started this little rhythm rollerskate shop there was already one pair of 172's in the Netherlands. They belonged to Lotte Lammers who got them during one of her tours with ISH dance company. She performed with this unique Dutch dance troupe on Broadway during 3 weeks, 10 shows a week, that all sold out! Lotte performed as an urban dancer and rollerskate dancer in these shows together with skaters we still know and appreciate today.
Quite a few years later I met Lotte on skates when I started skating myself and we became friends. So when I decided I wanted a pair of Riedell rollerskates she gave me the adress of the shop where she got hers back in 2006: The Jesse Halpern Skate and Tennis shop in Great Neck, NY. I was planning a visit to my cousin in Canada in 2010 and decided to make a detour to visit NY and get myself a pair of Riedell skates.
Taking the commuter train from Manhattan to Great Neck was a real nice adventure itself and I had no idea where I was going. Luckily the skate shop was open and I met this very friendly man who I think was the son of Jesse Halpern. He even remembered selling skates to members of ISH Dance Company and remembered Lotte! He made sure I did a proper bootfitting at the spot and 2 days later I came back to collect my very first Riedell 120 rollerskates (that I baptized later that week in Brooklyn during one of Tanya Dean's skate sessions with the then famous Sisters in Motion).
Having to make this long trip overseas to get a pair of Riedell skates is one of the reasons why we became rollerskate shop owners ourselves and I want to thank Lotte for inspiring me to get Riedell skates and giving me directions to this very special shop in New York.
Can you imagine that to me it sort of feels like coming full circle now that Lotte just recently purchased a gorgeous new pair of Riedell 172's from Ginger Skates? Her old 172's lasted almost 15 years and I'm guessing they will get a nice spot in her house to remember all the rollerskate adventures they've been through together. Lotte, may the new pair be as wonderful and long lasting as the first pair!
First row: pics by Simone Los on stage at theNew Victory Theatre, Broadway New Yor
Second row: the Jesse Halpern skate shop in 2010, my first Riedells and Sisters in Motion
Third row: Lotte's new 172's!