VALLEY STREAM, New York -- If you are new to roller-skating, you can expect to fall a lot. Learning how to fall for Founder of the Missile Roller Skating Dance Company, Cecile Klaus, is the first lesson she teaches her students.
"Falling isn't the worst thing," said Layla Michel, a skater. "If you fall, you can just get right back up."
However, her students not only have to worry about keeping their balance but skating to the beat and incorporating choreography as well.
"Roller dance is the combination of skating and dancing," said Klaus. "A great part of it is that you can literally convert any dance style on roller skates."
While pursuing the arts in London, she continued her hobby of roller dancing.
Klaus came back to her home country of France and eventually launched the Missile Roller Skating Dance Company in 2005.
"I went to London, and they were dancers on roller-skates," said Klaus. "It was just two of my passions, and I didn't know we can combine that, and I just fell in love with that."
Klaus teaches a variety of ages and makes it easy for anyone willing to give it a try.
"This class teaches discipline, stability and allows them to start controlling their legs," said Nakitta Clark, a mom whose daughter was taking one of the classes. "You just be you. Skating, you go with the flow, it's your vibe, how you feel, you just groove."
She teaches at Layla's Dance and Drum on Monday nights teaching students a variety of choreography and various movements on skates.
"I love this class because the kids have such good energy," said Klaus. "Even if I'm having a bad day, they always make it up. It's so beautiful to see how they actually see them living in the music, and they don't necessarily care about the skates. I think it is really beautiful, and they have great energy. Every time I am having fun."
Klaus starts the class with a warm-up and upbeat music, so the students can follow her steps as they start the class.
After a few falls and a couple of practice routines, the class will then learn the choreography of the day.
"It makes me feel really proud because I like to see them perform," said Klaus. "I like that I'm also progressing as a teacher. Getting better at transmitting roller dance in a more efficient way every time."
The class is open to all levels, but to participate, students must bring their own skates or use the free rental ones.
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone