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Lace up and get ready to groove on Sundays with lessons from Great on Skates

Learn how to groove as summer season rolls in with Great on Skates in Philadelphia | Summer Beat
Learn how to groove as summer season rolls in with Great on Skates in Philadelphia | Summer Beat 02:52

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Every Sunday, outside of Lloyd Hall Recreation Center on Boathouse Row, you're invited to lace up your skates and join in a dance party on wheels. The group, Great on Skates, hosts a free, weekly skate event from noon to 6:00 p.m., and beginners are welcome. You can even get some impromptu lessons.

"We're out here skating and vibing," said India Bernardino, who is a performer and instructor with Great on Skates. "It's a community environment. We'll just suck you in!"

Bernardino describes the group as a street-style, freestyle dance skate company and crew that combines roller skating with dance moves.

"We are just incorporating skating with dance and culture and music and arts and live entertainment and drumming and all those things together," Bernardino said.


You may think joining a group with professional skaters could be intimidating, but you'll quickly find a welcoming and inclusive environment. Marquise Bradley, a professional clarinetist, started taking lessons with Great on Skates in October. He said the group's members were inspiring.

"I needed something that still gave me that ability to connect with other people but also something I can practice and like really sink my teeth into in my free time," Bradley said. "I usually walk away feeling really uplifted."

Even if you don't want to join in on the skating and dancing, you're welcome to come and watch. Lynn Lasswell, who lives in Center City, said she started following the group on Instagram and now she's a fan.

"Everything that they do just looks like so much fun!" Lasswell said.

Great on Skates is like one big skating family. But for Bernardino, it's her literal family. Her dad, who goes by Master Jay, taught her everything she knows, and he's part of the group.


"Back in the day we would go to clubs, we used to go to clubs dancing, and my dad would be there with his skates on. And I'd be like, 'Dad, how are you allowed to get in here with skates on?'" Bernardino recalls. "Later on as I got older, I learned how to mix both of those things together."

Her father said skating with Bernardino and his other daughters is a priceless experience.

"When I was first skating, my kids were looking at me funny," Master Jay said. "Now that they're adults, they come out, and it's beautiful. You cannot buy that feeling."

Great on Skates hosts a skate camp for children in third grade and up at MoveMakers Philly. It started June 19 and runs through August, and Bernardino said kids can sign up to attend weekly. Visit their website to learn more.

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