When in doubt, skate it out: New York roller skaters boogie stress away

NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Roller skaters flocked to New York City's Central Park on a hot summer afternoon to sweat out their stress, twirling, shimmying and doing the splits as a DJ pumped out party tunes.

Lynna Davis, vice president of the Central Park Dance Association, said the skaters needed the escape due to COVID-19 and racial unrest over the past year including the killing of Black man George Floyd by a police officer.

"Mr. Floyd got murdered, and COVID-19 and all of the other things that came along with, being inside for so long and wearing masks. You have to find a way to get that stress off ... I put my skates on, and I just had to roll through it all," she said.

The association put its official activities on hold last summer. But Davis and others skated anyway. The park's roller skating rink has been open since April.

"Any form of physical exercise helps you deal with stress, but the added bonus with roller-skating is that ... you absolutely enjoy, love doing it," said skater Connie Reynolds.

Some skaters noted worries about the Delta variant, but barring new curbs, the association plans to keep the party going through September.

Reporting by Aleksandra Michalska; writing by Cynthia Osterman; editing by Giles Elgood

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.