September 17, 2021 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Alanna Jackson
Every Tuesday, around 7:30 p.m., the sounds of skateboard wheels against pavement, contagious laughter, vibey music, and the occasional crash echo outside of Tutt Science. Colorado College Femme+ Skate (also affectionally and “Instagram-ally” known as CC Queer Skate), founded by Jane Hatfield ’22 and Izzi Valente, a former CC student, is a space where novice and experienced skaters alike can learn to absolutely shred while having some major fun.
When Hatfield first came to CC in 2018 from California, her experiences with the surfer scene back home quickly mixed with a newfound interest in skating. All the students she was seeing skate around campus quickly inspired Hatfield to learn how to street skate and immerse herself in the culture. Soon after, CC Femme+ Skate was born.
The club began when Hatfield and Valente sent texts to a few friends inquiring if they wanted to gather to skate. From there, Hatfield applied for a mini grant from the Collaboration for Community Engagement. With the funding, Hatfield bought knee pads and helmets for aspiring skaters so gear accessibility would not be an obstacle for interested students. The club has since evolved to center not only girls/femme+ people but also genderqueer, queer, and non-binary people.
The ultimate goal of CC Femme+ Skate is to create an inclusive space for girls/femme+ people to skate together in an environment that is not intimidatingly masculine but instead welcoming and low-key.
Every week, skaters of all levels — from “I have never touched a board” to “watch me do this rad ‘shove-it’” — meet up to teach each other tricks. Collaboration and teamwork are key at Femme+ Skate sessions; skaters will even hold each other while learning how to cruise and tic tac (move the board).
Not only is CC Femme+ Skate a space for perfecting your skating skills, but it is also a space to be silly and roll on some other wheels. During the first meet up of the year, people were not only learning how to skateboard but they were also roller skating and riding on unicycles.
“You don’t even have to skate. You can just sit on a board and cruise,” Hatfield said. And — if you do fall -— CC Femme+ Skate gives an award to the person with the biggest wipeout of the night.
Plus, if skating is not your vibe or if you want a break, folks often integrate art into the space through mini projects, like collaging and spray painting.
This coming year, CC Femme+ Skate hopes to center more music and art during their Tuesday night meetups and to provide more outreach opportunities for CC skaters to engage with the greater Colorado Springs community.
Recently on Aug. 20 of this year, the club partnered with Pikes Peak Skate Club and CC Mobile Arts, an art collective where Hatfield works, at Goose Gossage Park to paint grip tape and teach kids how to skate. CC Femme+ Skate wants to keep traditions of outreach and stoke going, this year they also plan to host more events off campus.
In 2018, members of the club traveled to the local YMCA to teach lessons, but due to the structure of the Block Plan, the founders realized that this kind of community-building was not sustainable. While the club plans to do more outreach programming, the beautiful thing about CC Femme+ Skate is that it “can strengthen the community internally and be a safe space for freshmen,” said Hatfield.
The club hopes that this year “the max amount of people can learn how to skate and feel integrated into a community outside of class” said Hatfield, and in the future that “the club can keep the tradition of inclusivity and having fun.”
Check out CC Femme+ Skate on Tuesday nights and keep in the know on Instagram: @ccqueerskate. Feel free to reach out to Hatfield via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though the club is an affinity space for genderqueer, non-binary, and femme+ folks first and foremost, all people are welcome -— just make sure to share your board!