Bourbon Barbie #16, Death Row Rumblers

photo courtesy of duane baker photography

February 2017: Bourbon Barbie #16, Death Row Rumblers

How did you come up with your derby name?

When I went to try out for derby I had no idea what my chances of making it were. I didn’t want to make a big investment just for tryouts so I went to Dick’s sporting goods and bought some Barbie skates to try out in. During tryouts everyone called me Barbie because of my skates. Afterwards we went out and everyone discovered my love for Whiskey/ Bourbon and then my name, Bourbon Barbie was born.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

I would love to have the perfect apex jump in an hour!

A big misconception is that all derby players are “tough broads” and not at all feminine. What would you tell someone who believes that?

You should see how amazing everyone looks at our awards banquet!

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Don’t tell people you want to be a jammer. Haha, just kidding! (sort of) I would say to take the time to learn the game and play as many jams as you can, because it does get easier to process the more you play. The game is much faster while you are skating than it appears as a spectator. If you lose your head for a second it could cause a lot of problems, for both you and your team.

What position are you most comfortable playing?

I have been a Jammer since day one, so that is really all I know!

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January 2017: Mona Bruis’r #911, Army of Darkness

What position are you most comfortable playing?

I like playing all of them, but I primarily block.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

Apex jumps. Because who doesn’t want to fly through the air and right past an entire pack of your opponents??

How did you come up with your derby name?

Back when I started skating in 2007, all names had to be run through the two-evils website. I read through the endless list of names and knew that I wanted something that read one way, but when said out loud came across another. Coming from a family that speaks with a good ol’ southern twang, I channeled my inner Jeff Foxworthy and came up with Mona Bruis’R –which translates to “I’m going to bruise her.”

You’re one of a few DDD skaters that strictly play for the all-stars (Army of Darkness) and not a home team. Tell us what that’s like!

Personally for me, ASO (All-Star Only) is a way for me to fully commit myself to travel team. Of course I loved being a Suicide Shifter and playing home games, but it meant more practices and games where there is the potential of an injury — which could take me off the all-star roster. It’s also a nice option being that I have 2 young kids. Skating home team means additional team practices every month which is more time away from my little ones.

What are you most proud of about AOD?

I would say that I’m most proud of the strides that the team has made in most recent years. Since I transferred to this league, travel team has had its fair share of ups and downs and transitional periods. In the past 3 years though, the team has really come together and done great things. Going from being ranked outside of qualifying for Division 2 to now #13 in the world!! It’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication from every member of the team, but to see the steady rise in rankings is so worth the sacrifices made to get where we are now.

How can fans follow Dallas’ All-stars?

Depending on the game scheduling, many of our games are played out of town. We regularly post updates and going -ons on our Facebook page (@DDDAllStars). Many inter-league games and tournaments are live-streamed allowing our fans at home to watch the action!

photo by Kyndra Childress England

photo by Kyndra Childress England

December 2016: Havoc is Here #21, Wrecking Crew

What position are you most comfortable playing?

Jammer.

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

My best friend brought me to my first bout. I was just amazed. I saw them get hit and bounce right back up. It was my first derby game. They happened to be passing out tryout flyers that day. I was hooked ever since.

The sport is highly physical. Have you ever gotten injured?

Yes. I’ve torn multiple ligaments in both knees, knee/ankle sprains, busted lips, black eyes, and a fractured foot once. I can’t count how many times my chin has bounced off the floor. I fractured 2 fingers last year, and I’m pretty sure all my fingers have been jammed at some point.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

Learning new things. This sport isn’t just physical. There’s a lot of strategy. You also need to make split second decisions during game play, so I feel like this sport helps your mental game and quick thinking skills. There’s always something new to learn–it’s never boring. My size made it hard in the beginning to be able to handle hits and trying to get through a pack, but now I’ve started to appreciate how small (and short) I am, and I use it to my advantage when I can.

Name one thing you can’t leave the house without.

My phone. During the season if I’m not at work, I’m at practice or the gym. It’s the only way I can stay in contact with people sometimes.

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November 2016: Sin Esperanza #21, Slaughterers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I saw my first bout as a fan, and I instantly knew that I had to play. It wasn’t an easy road though, when I started I could barely stand on my skates.

The sport is highly physical. Have you ever gotten injured?

It is a VERY physical sport but that’s part of why I love it so much. I tore my right PCL in my very first derby scrimmage, and then I tore my left one right before this last season. I’ve been lucky to have such great medical care (shoutout to Dr. Dietrich and Devin) that have gotten me back on my skates quickly.

A big misconception is that all derby players are “tough broads” and not at all feminine. What would you tell them?

I love my heels just as much as I love my skates. A big misconception about female athletes in general is that you can’t be feminine and tough / strong. That’s just not true, i think part of femininity is showing your strength. Get it girls!!!

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing, you will get that skill down! And, don’t compare yourself to others and their progress. Some people can just pick up a skill like nothing, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to. Hard work will pay off!

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photo by Ziv Kruger

October 2016: Melee Konfusion #1111, High Seas Hotties

What position are you most comfortable playing?

Blocker, but you should never feel comfortable in any position you play.

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I enjoyed just recreational skating and while I was at the skating rink I saw a bunch of girls walk in for practice. Talked to them about it and joined a year later. 🙂

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

Going to Denver with Dallas Travel Team and playing 3 different teams in 24 hours with Battalion of Doom is for sure one of my most favorites.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

I don’t understand this question? Derby is my life. Ha!

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

I never played sports growing up, so when you join roller derby you don’t realize how much of an athletic sport it is until you are actually doing it. If this is what you want to do long term and be successful at it you have to start eating right and conditioning your body outside of roller derby.

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September 2016: Angelic Strych9 #808, Suicide Shifters

How did you come up with your derby name?

I wanted to have reflect me on and off the track. My real name is Angelina. So to represent the “everyday” off-track me, I chose “Angelic”. To represent my polar opposite me on the track, I chose “Strict9”.

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

5 years ago, neighbor of mine had recently started derby. She made a team and asked me to come check out her 1st bout. I didn’t know the sport even existed, so out of curiosity I went. I fell in love with the energy of the crowd and was in awe of the strength and agility these women had on skates. After a few months as a fan, I decided I must get involved!

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

My favorite derby memory was when I played my one and only penalty free bouts. This was a monumental event for me because I had fouled out 6 bouts in a row prior to that!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Derby has an international Sisterhood that I have never experienced. Women of all backgrounds, religions, educations, etc. are united in this sport. I have formed friendships that as strong as family bonds. I will be forever thankful for what this sport and it’s amazing women have given to me!

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

The night before a bout is always sushi night. The day of a bout consists of eating 5 “power” meals, consume 99 oz of water, hit the gym for a light 30 mins of cardio, and power nap up until bout time.

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August 2016: HerQlez #27, Death Row Rumblers

How did you come up with your derby name?

One of the many things I enjoy doing is lifting weights. Hercules the Greek hero was known for his strength. So “HerQlez” sounded fitting.

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

A friend of mine invited me to come watch a local derby bout with her because she was looking to join. I watched one game and was hooked. I knew I needed to play derby.

Is there anything you are scared to try?

I have this fear of trying to jump the apex or pretty much leaving my feet period.

What position are you most comfortable playing?

I’m most comfortable playing as a blocker/pivot. But when needed I will also jam.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Our house is for sure crazy at times. Having 4 kiddos there’s always a sporting event or activity going on. Luckily I have an awesome husband that helps me with “kid duty” so that I can enjoy the sport.

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photo by Thorpeland Photography

July 2016: Arya Snark, #7, Slaughterers

How did you come up with your derby name?

I really like the A Song of Ice and Fire book series that Game of Thrones is based off of and one of my favorite characters is Arya Stark. Throw in a bit of snark for my personality and you get my derby name.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

The feeling you get when you play a strategy effectively or start to understand a skill you didn’t know before. That sense of accomplishment is amazing.

A big misconception is that all derby players are “tough broads” and not at all feminine. What would you tell them?

Bruh, don’t make assumptions. The best part about roller derby is that any kind of person will be a good fit for playing. I have seen and met all different body types and personalities in derby and they are all an asset in some way.

What’s one thing you can’t leave the house without?

My personally labeled water bottle, which I have been known to forget and I don’t want to lose, or a good podcast on the way to practice or a game.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

Spending all weekend with my teammates and best friends at roller derby World Cup in Dallas! It was amazing to run around to different tracks, watch top-notch players, and to watch women’s Team USA skaters play up close and in person.

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photo by Rudi Holt

June 2016: Lucy Van Pelter #5, High Seas Hotties

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I used to watch roller derby on T.V. with my dad as a kid and always thought that I would do that one day. I spent every Friday and Saturday night at the skating rink. In 2010 I heard on the radio they were having tryouts so I tried out and here I am.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

At each game, no matter the score, to me each jam feels like a do-over. If you didn’t like the way the last jam went, then here’s your chance to make it right. It’s so much fun to cheer for your teammates and to hear them cheer for you. You learn to communicate and trust each other. It’s so rewarding when all of those things come together.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I’m a Texas Ranger’s fan. I have a part time season job at the ball park; this will be my 9th season with them. I also like to restore old furniture.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

Jumping the apex. I’ve never done that in a game. You could get yourself out of a tight spot for sure!

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

I had braces 2 years while skating, and I had to wear this terrible football-type mouth guard. There was a sizable opening in the middle, and I wound up slinging spit all over the place–mostly my own teammates! It became a joke after they figured out where it was coming from.

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May 2016: Myth America #82, The Wrecking Crew

What position are you most comfortable playing?

I am comfortable and prepared to play any position my team sees fit for me.

A big misconception is that all derby players are “tough broads” and not at all feminine. What would you tell them?

Honestly, this question is silly to me. We have all shapes and sizes in derby. All walks of life, so to speak. A derby woman–a derby person–is no one attribute, a derby woman is all things and not one thing. I think the misconception is that anyone need to fit someone else’s opinion or standard.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

Well I practiced Juijitsu for 2 years and Muay Thai. The time involved is consuming like derby so I don’t do that often. I am a lefty and I snort when I laugh (that’s raw talent). I love fitness and I am an almost 40 year old college student! Ta-da!

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

I like to meditate and focus with intention on what my goals are for the bout. I also like to get some sort of workout earlier in the day. Did I mention I love fitness?

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Hurry up and pass assessments! Hahaha! I didn’t know in the beginning it was up to me to say I wanted to test out of different groups. So I hung out in group 1 and 2 for far too long, but I love where I am at so I really wouldn’t change a thing!

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April 2016: Tweety Pi #314, Suicide Shifters

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

My life was taking a turn. New job, new location, and no family or friends close. I had wanted to try it a while back, because I thought I could skate but didn’t have the opportunity until things changed and I was really wanting to make friends and be active.   

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

My favorite derby memories have been volunteering my time with Blood & Thunder World Cup and WFTDA D1 playoffs. I love being in the derby-verse and meeting new people while working for something we all love.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

Meeting new people. This is such a large community of people that now I can’t imagine not getting to meet them.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Right now my life is derby. It has saved me and given me a life. However, I still have work and other goals I am working towards as well but derby mostly comes second to my job. We work to play derby.

If you could could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what would you tell her?

Just keep going even the days that have been hard. Once you get to practice it’s easy.

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photo courtesy of Vegas Shooter

March 2016: Bazooka Bubblebum #1010, Death Row Rumblers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I needed a new athletic challenge.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I love running. I could run forever. Not very fast, but yeah forever. I can also probably beat anyone in a cheer off, I got those spirit finger moves!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

The satisfaction of knowing you are getting older but can still beat out some young kids.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

Blocking. I think blocking is much harder then jamming. I have a lot of respect for blockers.

If you could could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what would you tell her?

It’s okay to make mistakes.

“Admitting your weaknesses does not diminish your strengths: it shows your courage”  – Erin Andrews

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photo courtesy of Duane Baker Photography

February 2016: Letty Machete, #42 Slaughterers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I read an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram many years ago and decided to try out.

How did you come up with your derby name?

My hubby named me, and my number is the age I was when I tried out.

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

Being part of something bigger than myself as a person and skater.

 

A big misconception is that all derby players are “tough broads” and not at all feminine. What would you tell them?

I just show them my pearls.

 

If you could could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what would you tell her?

Invest in good equipment the sooner and the better and make sure you have decent health insurance.

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photo courtesy of Switchblade Studio

January 2016: Elektra Violette, #1000 Wrecking Crew

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, and I watched the TV series about the bank track Lonestar Rollergirls in Austin on A&E. I was hooked and thought I could so do that! I did a google search but came up with nothing in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area where I lived. On March 5, 2006, Brass took me to my first live bout to see the Dallas Derby Devils home teams battle it out! If I wasn’t hooked before, I certainly was now. I just had to do this! We went to the after party, and I talked to a couple of the skaters. We went back to Brass’s apartment and I got on the computer again and found an old Myspace page of some folks that had tried to start a co-ed derby league a few months earlier. I started chatting with a few girls on there to see what was up. No one was doing anything, so 5 of us decided to meet face to face and talk about what we had to do to get a league started. On March 21, 2006 we had our first gathering of anyone interested in roller derby in the area and that was the beginning of Green Country Roller Girls.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

My most favorite derby memory was in 2011, when GCRG made it to the South Central Regional Tournament for the WFTDA. We went in at number 8 and came out at number 7 by beating Tampa and Gold Coast after losing to Gold Coast and No Coast. It was fantastic! Something a lot of folks didn’t think we could do being a little league from Oklahoma!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

There are so may rewarding aspects of this game it is hard to choose, but for me, I think it would have to be seeing the positive side affects roller derby has on women that come play. I see ladies get the courage to leave abusive relationships, stand up to bosses that are taking advantage, increase their self-esteem and confidence, make strides to become a healthier more active person, and everything in between. We all learn teamwork and figure out ways to get along with folks that we may not really care for, but they are a derby sister or bro, so that makes it worth the effort to try. And I see skaters like Havoc is Here, who is so very tiny, but has the biggest heart, more determination than I have ever seen from anyone and a never quit attitude we could all learn from!

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

My chickens are a new hobby right now. Brass and I bought a few acres in the country and we are loving it. I finally got a few eggs from my chickens, so I am eggcited about that, lol!
We also like to ride motorcycles, when we can, but that doesn’t happen often. Camping and fishing are other things we enjoy doing. We try to go a few times a year.
Oh, and I am currently making an outdoor pizza oven using cob, which is basically clay, sand and straw. It’s fun, like making mud pies when you were a kid, lol, which was one of my favorite things to do!

Is there anything you’re scared to try?

Nope. I love learning new skills but am never afraid to fall or ‘look stupid’ in trying to learn something. To me, the only way you look stupid is if you don’t try cause you don’t want to look stupid, lol. I absolutely expect to fall when trying new things. If I don’t, then, to me, I am not trying hard enough. Falling is part of the process. You do not learn where your boundaries are if you don’t fall.

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photo courtesy of Duane Baker Photography

December 2015: Planet of the Skates #112, Suicide Shifters

How did you come up with your derby name?

Planet of the Skates became my skater name for two reasons:
1. My nickname has been Planet for years–from Schoolhouse Rocks’ Interplanet Janet. I wanted to incorporate it into my skater name.

2. One of my favorite movies is Planet of the Apes, which is also where I got my number. Alz112 is the name of the drug that created the intelligence in the original ape, Blue Eyes.

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I started not even knowing quite what I was getting into, but it has changed my life forever.

What position are you most comfortable playing?

Yes.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I love movies, dancing, travelling and my birthday. I also make fabulous, glittery crafts. My favorite color is yellow and my second favorite is glitter.

What’s one thing you can’t leave the house without?

My sunglasses, my harmonica, and my tambourine.

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photo courtesy of Switch Blade Studio

November 2015: Kraken #88, High Seas Hotties

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

What planted the seed was an invite to a bout in the summer of 08′.  Saw it, loved it.  Didn’t actually try out until September of 2011.  Now I love it even more.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

Too many, but my top three would be:

1) skating in my very first bout

2) making BOD for about a month in 2014
3) being given Most Improved in league for 2014 season.

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

Sleeping in later than usual is the constant, visualization, and touching my lucky helmet before heading out.  It’s signed by all of 2014 Team USA skaters.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I love trail skating and spending time with my 5 fur babies.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Don’t waste money on cute little shorts or sparkly tights because you’re never gonna wear them–and give yourself a different derby name.

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photo courtesy of Thorpeland Photography

October 2015: Luna-Tick Tick Boom #4321, Death Row Rumblers

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Getting to play with an amazing group of women and men from all walks of life.

Is there anything you’re scared to try?

LOL, stop trying to reveal my secrets.

What’s one thing you can’t leave the house without?

On game day….3 bras. You are welcome derby world.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

Being a mom….fortunately, that talent is my favorite.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough.

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photo courtesy of Thorpeland Photography

September 2015: Princess Poppycock #909, Slaughterers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I saw my first live roller derby game at Lone Star in Denton, TX. I was on the edge of my seat the whole game. I emailed their training director to ask when tryouts were the next day. She said not for a few months but I could come to a practice if I wanted to check it out. I never left.

How did you come up with your derby name?

Google Prince Poppycock. I saw him perform on AGT around the same time I was trying to find a name. At that time I was the captain for the Trauma Queens of NTDR and giving his alter ego’s name a Princess twist just seemed to fit what I was looking for.

Do you have a favorite derby moment?

Winning a championship as a captain my first year skating. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, physically and mentally, but in that moment when it was ours, it was glorious.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

Outside of derby I hoard pets and I sew and I read and bake a lot. My goal is to own a self sufficient working farm in five years.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

I’d tell fresh meat Poppy that this game is just as much mental as it is physical. We teach players basic skills and send them off to skate long before they fully even understand the game. I’d go back and watch more footage, read more blogs, so that my brain was learning the game at the same rate as my feet.

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photo courtesy of Duane Baker Photography

August 2015: Knox #145, Wrecking Crew

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I was approaching 30 and needed to find a sport that would keep my body active after having kids. I grew up skating my whole life, so derby seemed like a natural fit.

How did you come up with your derby name?

Knox is my last name. I used to skate under Harmin Elektra when I skated for Alamo City Roller Girls. I switched to my last name when I transferred to Dallas. As I see the sport progressing, I feel all the top ranked teams will switch to last names like other regulated sports.

Do you have a favorite derby moment?

When I finally made the Army of Darkness Travel Team Roster after barely making the B team the year before. I was determined to roster in the top 20 and focused on making every practice. When TJ called the names of the A team at tryouts, he made sure I sweated it out by calling my name last. It was the longest 3 minutes of my life followed by the best feeling of accomplishment ever.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I was a DJ in college. I like to spin vinyl and mix music live for a crowd. I once got to spin with Lil Jon at the Remix Hotel at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. Six months after getting turntables I played on stage in front of 10,000 people with Run DMC.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Immediately upgrade your skates. I skated in a mid-level skate/trucks/wheels for the first 6 seasons. It wasn’t until I came to Dallas and upgraded to Bonts that my feet started to do what my head wanted them to. My game completely changed once I got on better skates and had a plate that really allowed me to move.

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photo courtesy of Cripple Bypass Photography

July 2015: Pixel Whip #300, High Seas Hotties

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I had been playing soccer all my life but was getting bored with it, so I started looking for a new sport to try to stay active and meet new people. My boyfriend jokingly told me I should do roller derby…and I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I dragged him with me to a game and thought yeah…I can do that! Bought some skates off craigslist a couple weeks later and started trying to teach myself to skate in parking lots.

How did you come up with your derby name?

I’m a graphic designer, so I wanted to incorporate that with a play on words. I guess I’m also kind of small like a Pixel 🙂

What is the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Having a team working toward a common goal and pushing me to be a better version of myself is extremely rewarding. We’re definitely the underdog team this season, but I have really embraced the “there’s nowhere to go but up from here” sort of attitude. It has given me great confidence that I can feel leaking into other aspects of my life.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I draw people’s pets! I’m a little obsessed with dogs…I pride myself on knowing a good deal of dog breed trivia.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Good things come to those who wait…and practice their butts off. Keep a positive attitude and don’t worry about not being as good as others. You’ll achieve your goals at your own rate — and that’s ok!

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June 2015: The Little Murdermaid #H20, Slaughterers

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

I have two pretty big moments. One was playing in the championship at State Wars against and with people I have looked up to for quite sometime.I believe I almost fainted when Smarty Pants walked by me at World Cup and said “hey teammate.” The second would be Dallas All Stars winning Clover Cup. I know there will be more but that one is 6 years in the making.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

Knowing that you left every bit of yourself on the track whether it was a win or a loss.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/talents?

Does being a beer snob count as a hobby? I kid, I kid. I think the amount of tacos I can consume in a sitting is a very useful talent.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Thankfully my daughter and husband actually enjoy derby so whenever I can drag them along to anything I will. They are also extremely supportive, I would not be able to play this sport if it was not for them. There are certain days of the week I do make sure I do not do anything involving derby, they are solely dedicated to spending quality time with my fam.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Chill out. It takes time but all the endless hours of footage watching, frustrating practices and just downright heartbreaking defeats are part of the path towards your goal. If you stay the course and continue to work hard the skills and the successes will come.

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photo courtesy of ikona studios

April 2015: Sparrow Dynamic #130, Suicide Shifters

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

The most rewarding part of derby to me is the confidence it gives me. I used to be really shy and hated stepping out of my little box, but with derby you learn to love yourself and push yourself out of that comfort zone. I am surrounded by amazing girls that accept me for me. This sport has allowed me to appreciate my quirks, to not be afraid to open up and show my true self to others, and to not care if they think I’m weird…lets face it, I’m pretty weird…

Is there anything you’re scared to try?

I am currently afraid of one foot turn arounds. I used to be afraid of skating backwards, before that skating on one foot, and before that suicide stops. The only way I get over my fear is to keep practicing, whatever it may be that I am uncomfortable doing, until I learn how to do it really well.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/talents?

I’m just your average nerd…I love reading comic books, playing video games, watching movies, and working on my El Camino! Life is good!

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Hmmm…Life outside of derby, is that a thing? Honestly, derby is my life. My job is scheduled around my practices and games. My weekends are always booked with events, boot camps, tournaments, traveling, etc… Derby makes me happy and I am lucky to be at a point in my life that I am able to give it this much time.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

The advice I would give myself as a new skater would be to push yourself, don’t give up, and to stop eating so much cake…I still eat too much cake though.

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March 2015: Fatal Crush #27, Death Row Rumblers

How did you come up with your derby name?

That’s a secret. 🙂

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the game?

Feeling like I’m surrounded by an awesome extended family.

Is there anything you’re scared to try?

No, although I may not be able to do it the first time around.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/talents?

Gym, lifting, and eating.

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

Eat well and drink all the water!

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February 2015: Rhinestone Callgirl #8, The Wrecking Crew

How did you come up with your derby name?

My life revolved around rodeo for many years. It’s the reason I moved to Texas. That and I remember singing Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell with my mom when I was little. I just had to dirty it up a little bit for derby, so I went with Callgirl instead of Cowgirl. 🙂

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

This one time in scrimmage THE Mona Bruiser went in for a big hit on turn 4 and I somehow accidentally got into the correct position to take it. She kinda bounced off me and I hardly budged! I still don’t know how it happened, and I could never duplicate it. But I will bask in that moment for the rest of my life. Then she cried! (I might’ve made that last part up.)

A big misconception is that all derby players are “tough broads” and not at all feminine. What would you tell them?

One of my absolute favorite things about derby is the fact that you simply cannot stereotype. You can be intimidated by the girl who looks bigger and stronger than most men, and you can make fun of the girl skating in fishnets and lipstick. But you have no idea which one is going to put a beating on you until the whistle blows. There are a lot of preconceived ideas about derby girls, but honestly, they are extremely diverse. The only thing consistent is that they all love to participate in a very physical sport that pushes their limits and takes them out of their comfort zone on a regular basis.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that with your life outside of derby?

As a personal trainer, I’ve had to reduce my evening clientele in order to make practices. This reduced my income but I knew there would be sacrifices. Again, I’m used to the rodeo mentality. You get to the rodeo even if you have to hitchhike. You write a bad check for entry fees and make sure you win enough money to cover it. You do without luxuries like furniture and nice clothes because you’d rather spend money on getting down the road. Derby is thesame, you just make it happen if it’s what you really want to do.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Don’t sit in your car after practice and wonder if it’s all a mistake and if you’ll always suck. Don’t think how maybe you’re just not physically capable of learning this. How you’ve just wasted a bunch of money. How the other girls make it look so easy. Don’t waste your time on those thoughts! It took a TON of practice, but I’ve learned some skills and quit sucking so much! Now I’ve moved up to travel team level competition, and it’s just like starting over again. Lots of failing and frustration. Luckily it’s nothing I haven’t been through before!

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January 2015: Lavender VelVET #9411, High Seas Hotties

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

I can’t pick just one!

  • Meeting so many women that are as passionate about skating as I am.
  • Pushing myself to my physical limits.
  • Watching my hard work pay off.
  • Being brave enough to  start a new sport at 40
  • Taking a leadership role with my team

Is there anything you are scared to try?

Not really.  I’m pretty much up for anything.  It may not come easy to me, but I’ll give it my best.

What are your other non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

Most of my time is spent on or with my kids.  Part of what I love about skating is that I can share that with them.  We skate together as a family. Besides skating – I am a veterinarian with a special interest in orthopedic surgery. I also love to watch movies, swim, play racquetball, and read.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

Perfect hockey stops so that I could consistently stop on a dime and better position myself to either hit someone or change direction.

What do you hope to see your team accomplish in 2015?

My team, The High Seas Hotties, came in last place for the 2014 season.  We then lost a lot of skaters –  3 skaters retired and 4 switched teams.  That meant we drafted 7 new skaters – or 1/3 of our roster.  Whoa became our new coach, and myself and On Rhea stepped up as the new captains for the team.  That’s a lot of transition for one team.  I think change has great potential – the question is what direction will that take?  Will this change dishearten us?  Or will we take strength in this opportunity for growth? I am a never ending optimist – so for me, this is a fresh start.  I am excited about the 2015 season.  I am proud to be a part of the leadership team of the Hotties.  I think we can make great strides in the upcoming year as a team.  You may not see us win a single game, but you will be impressed by our unity and our spirit.

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December 2014: Virginia Shover #X0, Suicide Shifters

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I was in my second year of grad school frustrated by hundreds of pages of reading a week, lots of writing, and very little down time. I had been looking for an outlet for some time when I passed by the local roller rink, and decided to look up the social skate schedule. On the rink’s website, I found a solicitation for fresh meat tryouts with the New River Valley Roller Girls, pulled out my childhood skates, and showed up unannounced. The Bruisin’ Burgs were happy to take me on; they worked with me to build my basic skills, advised me on purchasing new hardware, and threw me in a few months later as a jammer. It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it!

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Aside from the physical outlet and full-body workout, derby makes me push myself to places I otherwise wouldn’t go and forces me to get out of my head about it. Not only in terms of athleticism, but interpersonally, as well. Derby allows me to work on building a diverse set of skills as a skater, as a jammer, as a part of a two/three/four wall. But, it also fosters relationships with complex and talented people who, since I live and work from home in far north Dallas, I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to know. And, since I’m usually a bit high-strung, probably too serious, and a little introverted, I find Derby is the best therapy I can find. The sport challenges me to be the best version of myself althetically and, importantly, derbymates give me license to not care so much about anything else.

Is there anything you are scared to try?

I’m still afraid of jumping the apex. I’m working on footwork and leaping to build confidence; I hope to land a few great apex jumps next season. Watch out!

The sport is highly physical. Have you ever been injured?

Most skaters suffer a broken ankle, hand, or some other serious injury. I, however, managed to fall on my thigh enough times and with enough impact to develop one of the largest hematomas anyone had ever seen. I was told that the bruise held about 1.5 pints of blood, which caused concern for clotting and necrosis of the surrounding muscle tissue. What was dubbed my “hunchass” took 6 months of TLC to reduce enough in size for me to wear jeans, and another 6 months of massage therapy to remove all the scar tissue. Though I avoided surgery, it took over a year to heal and begin skating confidently again. Needless to say, my main goal has been to avoid falling in this way ever again.

What are your other non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

I love to cook; I like savory foods and trying to replicate items from all types of cuisine. I also love to play pool. I used to play competitively and can challenge some of the best of them. I grew up at the beach and so I love to swim, though I’m too goofy-footed to perfect my breast stroke.

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November 2014: Whispering Death 55hh, Death Row Rumblers and Army of Darkness

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I heard that there was a tournament at fair park on the radio. I watched the girls play for about 10 minutes and I was hooked. I signed up that same day.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

I try to make time for everything else as well as for Derby. I can’t see myself not skating. I basically plan my life around derby–haha! That’s how I like it.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

That I’m playing for myself. Derby came into my life when I needed to be strong for myself. It helped me in so many ways in my real life.

Do you have any pre-bout rituals?

I wear my jersey all day and try to keep my mind focused.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

Rumbler ranch with my teammates was the best weekend ever! Then of course winning champs this season with these amazing ladies as well.

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October 2014: Dashin Assassin 4U, Slaughterers and Army of Darkness

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I always enjoyed skating as a kid, and was very active in sports growing up. I spent a lot of time at the rink (Interskate!) when I was younger, so skating already came fairly easy to me. I was on the bus one day at college and I saw a flyer at the bus stop for roller derby in Denton. I wasn’t in any activities at the time, and had been looking for a new team sport to join. As soon as I saw the flyer it just made sense. I scribbled the information down, showed up to the meet and greet and haven’t looked back since!

How did you come up with your derby name?

A league-mate actually suggested it to me when I was originally trying to decide on a name. I was having trouble and she threw it out there. I liked it and it seemed fitting so it I kept it.

What position are you most comfortable playing and why?

I’m most comfortable as a blocker, but it isn’t a position I find as difficult or enjoy playing as much. My core competency is jamming, and I enjoy it much more because it’s a greater challenge for me. I think blocking comes easier, because I think with a jammer and blocker brain. When I block I can sometimes anticipate the jammers strategy or moves, based on what I would do if I was jamming.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Roller derby is a melting pot. All shapes, all sizes, all sorts of personalities. We’re just a bunch of girls that love to skate. There’s competition, sportsmanship, challenges and growth that comes from this game. If you’re doing a little bit of soul searching, I advise you to join roller derby. You’ll either find yourself, or find people who are in the same boat as you.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

I’ll never forget the memory of jamming the last jam of the championship games my first and second season. The crowd was going wild, and the game was anyone’s. They were extremely nerve-racking jams, but I can’t remember a time I’ve ever wanted something as bad as I did there. Winning the championship games the last two seasons (with two different teams) was incredibly rewarding, and memorable. The bond I created with those girls, and the feeling of all the hard work paying off to achieve that was incredible.

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August 2014: Toast-Her Ass 1775, Wrecking Crew

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

The first jam of my very first game. I was nervous, excited, and terrified. It was the biggest crowd I have ever been in front of playing a sport or ever. I keep thinking “don’t fall don’t fall.” I wouldn’t trade that moment for the world.

What position are you most comfortable playing and why?

Blocker, I love the physical part of it. I love it when I can knock someone down, though I never want to hurt them. It’s a great feeling when a jammer runs into you and just bounces off.

The sport seems highly physical. Have you ever gotten injured?

No serious injuries, a few knocks to the noggin and a lot of bruises. I did have the honor of getting my face split open slightly by one awesome skater. Took an elbow to the face by Mona Bruiser, small scar and proud of it.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Being in a sport that doesn’t judge you. There are skaters of all sizes and backgrounds, this is truly an all inclusive sport. There is great competition and sportsmanship in this game. Everyone is very encouraging even if their team loses.

Is there anything you’re scared to try?

I have started to conquer my fear of skating backwards.

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July 2014: Cream8er 1800, High Seas Hotties

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I originally wanted to become involved in speed skating.  I attended an open speed skating practice in Grapevine and met Lezlie Dean there.  She and a few other girls that were at the practice said I should try it out.

How did you come up with your derby name?

My mom picked it for me.  I envy some of the super creative names out there but I love my name since my mom came up with it.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

My newest favorite is getting MVP Jammer against the Shifters in our April game.  I haven’t ever won an award in derby so I was pretty pumped up about it.

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

The companionship between all the women (and men) is the most rewarding part of the game.  The fact that any one involved in derby would give you the shirt off of their back, even if they don’t know you, is amazing.  Every person contributes and is there for each other and I love knowing that when I’m older, I can share those experiences with my son.

What position are you most comfortable playing and why?

Jammer.  I still get nervous every single time I’m out there but it’s a pretty cool feeling when four blockers are trying to hold you back and you break through the line.  It’s a confidence builder and I’ve grown to love playing that position.

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June 2014: Mz Hyde 1886, Suicide Shifters

How did you choose your name and number?

I got the name from one of my favorite bands called Halestorm. The song was about having a wicked alter-ego which is what a derby name is. The number 1886 is when Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was published.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that with your life outside of derby?

It’s gets trying sometimes. I am very lucky to have an extremely supportive husband and family and flexible work life that allows me to participate. Sometimes you have to take a step back and listen to your body when it’s telling you to rest or spend time with your family. Family always comes first.

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

I had a family friend play in the 2013 Clover Cup. I hadn’t really heard of derby before but by the end of the tournament, I knew I HAD to join this awesome sport. I messaged the DDD Facebook page that night asking about tryouts.

This sport is highly physical. Have you ever gotten injured?

I haven’t suffered any major injuries, fortunately. I do have slight knee issues but I attend physical therapy for that. We focus a lot of overall health and injury prevention and I believe that’s played a big factor in me not getting injured.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

Persistence and drive. I had a while where I got pretty discouraged because I felt like I plateaued in getting better and it affected my mental game.  If I could go back, I wouldn’t let myself get in that funk and just keep going and doing my best.  I had to come to the realization that I wasn’t going to become an all-star overnight and that’s ok! As long as I kept being persistent in nailing a skill, I will get it rather than trying to perfect 50 skills at once.

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May 2014: Karmen Getmeh 33, Death Row Rumblers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

My getting involved with derby started out as a random encounter with another skater (Dolla Billen). I was at the mall getting makeup and she was there and it got brought up in our conversation. After that it was hard to get rid of the idea of wanting to play and be a part of this sport.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that with your life outside of derby?

When you are so obsessed with a sport or hobby you make time for it; derby is no different. I just learned how to handle my time between work, school, family and friends. Although, my love life has taken a hit, haha.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

Hmm, I suppose I would want to just become a more effective jammer. I want some fast feet like my teammate Postal Penny!

What are your non-derby interests/hobbies/hidden talents?

I have a pretty calm life outside of derby. I love watching anime (in japanese, no dubbed stuff), go to hardcore/metal shows, and hangout with my friends.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

I would have to tell myself to calm down, there’s no need to get so worked up! This game is for fun, oh and STAY LOW.

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April 2014: Doncha Dare D00M, Slaughterers

How did you choose your name and number?

I had been testing a number of different names and none had really stuck. I was actually watching the Avenger’s movie and the scene where Loki is whipped around by the Hulk is when I came up with it. My number was just for fun and now it’s what I go by.

The sport seems highly physical. Have you ever gotten injured?

Only bumps, bruises, and minor sprains so far.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that with your life outside of derby?

Derby is actually what keeps me focused. I use it to de-stress and it burns any excess energy. Every now and again I do need to take a day for down time.

If you could choose one skill in roller derby to perfect in an hour, what would it be and why?

Everything. No, probably endurance or plow stops.

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

You will get those crossovers and remember that you can’t judge your progress based on others.

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FEbruary 2014: ReckLess VidA 78, WRECKING CREW

BEEN SKATING SINCE:

2010

How did you get involved in roller derby?

I went to the 2009 Championship bout with a former boyfriend and thought hey, what the hell. I was playing soccer at the time and had been wanting to try something more extreme. Sometimes you can get out of it when you punt the soccer ball at the opposing coaches head. Yes, that happened.

What is your most memorable derby experience?

I have 2. My very first bout I played in my derby career. I was the only rookie on our team and I got to play the first jam of our first bout of the season. Talk about feeling like a rock star!
Second, it may sound cliche, but when my team won our 2013 championship. One more thing to check of a derby girls bucket list.

What’s your favorite position to play and why?

Blocker. I like getting into my opponents way and in their head.

How do you spend your time off the track?

I have 3 awesome kiddos and spend majority of the time entertaining them, or vice versa. I am obtaining my science degree and that takes up the time of what derby and the kids haven’t.

What positive aspect has derby brought into your life?

It has shown me that I’m not alone in the struggles I have gone through and go through on a daily basis. Derby has unleashed a side of me that I never thought existed:not to take crap from anyone. I have accomplished a lot within the aspects of derby and life since joining. It is definitely a time I can talk about with my grandkids some day.

Name three random things about yourself:

I have convinced many people that Dave Thomas was my dad in high school.
I am that person in the car singing loud and proud and rocking out.
I have reversed the roll of intimidation with my dad.

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