Ever since Christmas, my street has been filled with neighbor girls teetering around on their brand new rollerblades and rollerskates. Well, through January there was a lot of teetering. These days the girls are zooming around and working on their backwards skating and showing off how much they’ve improved.
Where did this unexpected trend come from? A Disney Channel show called Soy Luna. The Argentina-based show is a sensation here in Colombia. The licensing is everywhere, and you can easily carry a conversation with every girl between the ages of 7-13 about it. Luna is the adopted daughter of a couple who works very a very rich woman with a mystery. She spends all of her time at the roller rink, where she is learning to “freestyle skate” – like figure skating without the ice.
Just like Hannah Montana once took over the United States and was everywhere on everything, and subsequently had a touring concert, so is Soy Luna.
There does seems to be something more to this phenomenon than just Disney’s influence. After all, it was almost a full year ago that I first saw the inline skating racing team compete at a city event. That was pretty soon after the show had debuted, and the team already had slick matching kits that they wore. The again, we’re talking about speed vs. dance. In Barranquilla there is even a racing track for the kids to practice on!
It’s important to note that this trend is pretty specific to pueblos like mine, which are well-developed and almost completely paved. I can’t imagine that in some of the other towns where my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers live there are little girls rolling around on the bumpy dusty roads.