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Derby Divas roll into Lewisville

Posted by Fluffy_the_Great on 2016/1/23 15:50:00 (3299 reads)

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Jane "Scrapity Anne" Flores (left), Wilma "Nikki Styx" Barnes and Carrie "Baroness von Booty" Dopona. Photo courtesy of Helen's Photography/The Cross Timbers Gazette
By Jennifer Southwell

Editor's note: The author of this article is a member of North Texas Roller Derby.

Lewisville now boasts a women’s roller derby league, Texas Derby Divas. The league practices at InterSkate Roller Rink, 1408 State Highway 121 Business.

Jane “Scrapity Anne” Flores, Wilma “Nikki Styx” Barnes and Carrie “Baroness von Booty” Dopona formed the league in late 2015 when, as recently retired skaters from Denton-based North Texas Roller Derby, they decided they missed the workouts, the competitiveness and the companionship that roller derby provides.

“Derby also came at a time for me that helped me deal with my grief from losing my sister and mom within three weeks of each other. I had something to focus on besides sadness,” Barnes said. “I think roller derby can be many different things for everyone. I feel like it also saves lives.”

Most leagues require monthly practice credit for competion. The trio didn't miss that. But, they knew they had a need for a recreation league for their small group and thought that other area women that would like the same fun.

“We all missed derby and competing. We missed the camaraderie of being part of a league,” Barnes said. “We wanted to offer other women, like us, who wanted to be involved in roller derby but couldn't commit to a set number of practice requirements each month. We wanted a recreation league.”

A recreation league is one that the players come together to play for fun with few requirements, or none beyond a membership fee. Non-recreation-level roller derby leagues also require team participation and fundraising efforts.

Currently, the Derby Divas' membership is around 25 women that range in skill level from recently retired competitive skaters to fledgling participants purchasing their first set of skates and required gear. The league has held “Meet-and-Greet” events at InterSkate, which have had good turnout.

Roller derby is a physically and mentally demanding sport. Betsy "$2 Pistol" Rooney, a player not of the Texas Derby Divas, likens it to playing speed chess on skates while people throw bricks at you. A player engages in both offense and defense sometimes simultaneously and has to quickly maneuver using great agility among a group of nine other players, she said.

But, player safety is a big concern.

“It's important to make sure skaters are safe for their own well-being,” Rooney said. “It is also important that they are safe in their skills when they are ready to skate with others. No one should get hurt because of a lack of safety knowledge.”

Falling correctly is the first skill taught to new skaters. Ladies must have all the required safety gear to participate: mouthguard, helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards. Assessments are completed when a skater is ready to move to their next skill level. No skater who has failed to progress to a level of safe contact with other skaters will be allowed to compete.

The Texas Derby Divas recreation league has monthly bouts, or games, and plays by the ruleset put forth by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. There are no home teams or all-star travel teams at Texas Derby Divas. When the Divas play, they split into two teams for that single game.

Women interested in joining who cannot skate should not count themselves out. No experience is required. The three owners train new skaters and help them learn general skating skills, derby-specific skating skills and game play rules.

Roller derby is for everyone regardless of age, body type, fitness or experience level. World-wide, there are women’s leagues, men’s leagues and juniors’ leagues. Many players older than 40 years have a great time playing the sport.

“You don't have to be tough or athletic. You just have to have a good attitude and the desire to learn and have fun,” Flores said.

"Grit, confidence and camaraderie are attributes developed while on the track that leak over into one’s life," Flores said. Sharing great workouts that exercise the body, strategy challenges and overcoming mental obstacles that build psychological fortitude, and deep friendships among the participants is a goal of Texas Derby Divas.

Texas Derby Divas welcomes women age 18 years and older to get involved with recreation roller derby in Lewisville. Practice times are Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at InterSkate Roller Rink. For more information, contact email or visit

Not familiar with roller derby? Check out our video from the 2014 championship of the formerly Denton-based North Texas Derby Revolution league:

(Action starts at 4:00)

Note: This story was altered to correct a quote from Betsy Rooney that was transcribed incorrectly in the print edition.

- Rating: 10.00 (1 vote) - {$lang_ratethisnews}

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