Even the most loyal derby follower may wonder if a derby girl gets a day off. The correct answer is no, no we don't. If we're not on skates, we should be cross-training. A skater can take a day off here or there, but when she goes on vacation, her skates usually go with her. This summer, many of the Rollers have been travelling to other states and countries and have taken the opportunity to spread derby love from the Shenandoah Valley in the form of hip checks and can openers.
Revenga d'Nerd travelled to Bogota, Colombia, where she skated with the Bogota Bone Breakers. Nerd shared, "Bx3 is one of 4 teams currently in Colombia's capital. Although the teams are fairly new to roller derby, Bogota has
a long history of athleticism so many of the women come from backgrounds of soccer, speed skating or roller hockey who need help with the WFTDA rule set. While there, I not only skated, but I led drills and reffed scrimmages to help with rule learning. This past week, several girls from the different teams traveled to Cartagena to take part in the International Congress of Skating to add Roller Derby to the list of acknowledged roller sports in Colombia."
Rosie the Retaliator (me!) travelled to Michigan to visit family and spent two practices with theAnn Arbor Derby Dimes. A2D2 is also a new team, having been formed just a little more than a year ago. They are a banked track team but do not yet have a banked track as they are still raising money to build their own. They are a huge league already though and had more than 40 skaters at the combined practice and scrimmage I attended. They are currently following the WFTDA rule set, and it was great to be a part of their practices. I was able to work with theHuron River Rollers interleague team and also was invited to sit in with their All Stars for a practice. Practicing with another team gave me a chance to help a new team learn some of the strategies more experienced teams are practicing and I was able to learn some cool new skills... waitress whip, anyone?
A few of our refs also sharpened their skills this summer by visiting other teams. Bishop became a Level 2 WFTDA referee and travelled to France to call a few bouts. Art Vandalay skated with the Kill Devil Derby Brigade in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a couple of practices and then joined his wife, Revenga d'Nerd, for a practice with the Bogota Bone Breakers.
Some skaters took advantage of visiting special facilities. Anayaphalactic Shock visited Las Vegas and skated in a skate park there. Van Gogh Berserk visited Virginia Beach
and skated in a facility specifically geared toward roller derby skaters and referees. While in Bogota, Nerd had the chance to skate in a Skate Gym, complete with skating treadmills!
We also had four skaters attend the Team USA World Cup tryouts during the weekend of the East Coast Derby Extravaganza. Betty Crasher, Bam Bam Brawler, Ramsey McDirtbag and KILLnitzki all represented Rocktown at the four hour tryouts. Each one came back having learned something new and with new determination to help Rocktown reach the next level of derby.
In addition to our travels, skaters have maintained three practices a week in Harrisonburg and Augusta County. We are all hoping that you won't be on vacation on August 7 and will be at our next bout!