Can we get a round of applause for our Derby Doll of the Month, Vodka Toxic?
All this October, we at LA Derby Dolls are celebrating our beloved doll, Vodka Toxic. Vodka has put in many years of skating and leadership here at LA Derby Dolls. Her guidance and love for the league has put her in awesome director roles such as Head of Fresh Meat, Head of marketing, former VP of Board of Directors, and former Head of PR. If that’s not enough, this killer lady also played a pivotal role in forming the LA Roller Derby Co-Op and has been a stunning player for years as part of our league’s, Varsity Brawlers.
Her love for roller derby is unreal. Her 11 ½ years on skates has proved to be meaningful not only to us but to roller derby in LA. Before her Derby Doll days, Vodka was a part of Angel City Derby and is one of their league’s founding members. She has shared many years on skates with both leagues and continues to show her support for the badass women in the roller derby community.
Vodka Toxic is a very endeared skater in our league. On and off the track she is helpful to all. If there’s ever a skater in need Vodka is there. Whether it be a Fresh Meat skater trying to learn the ropes or a department that needs some assistance, you can depend on her.
Her 7 1/2 years as a LA Derby Doll has proven to be more than exceptional. She and her team, Varsity Brawlers won the 2015 Championships and keeps a strong love and bond with her ladies in purple. Her snazzy skating on the track is complimented greatly by her stunning taste in music as she is a music marketer by day, badass skater by night. Her derby sisters love her for her playful spirit, determination and great taste in tunes.
Although she is retiring, this isn’t goodbye. Vodka will be around helping us and continuing to push our skaters and league into a brighter tomorrow. We appreciate you and everything you do. We love you, Vodka Toxic!
Can we get a WHOOP WHOOP for our Derby Doll of the Month, MELISTOPHELES!
For the month of September we at LA Derby Dolls are celebrating– Melistopheles. Mel has helped guide the league with her killer leadership skills as President of the Board of Directors and Co-Head of Subpool. Her direction and guidance has been doing good things for our league and we couldn’t be anymore thankful.
Taking on such demanding leadership positions, Mel has shown the league what a powerhouse she is. Her guidance and leadership is fueled by her big heart and love for the league. As a BOD member she has helped us greatly, as we fight the good fight to keep us up and running. As Co-Head of Subpool she also helps LADD by leading the new age of skaters to being just as badass as she is.
Her proud and confident voice holds strong in both positions of leadership, as well as on the track. Mel has dedicated years to her derby career and has earned her spot as a seasoned Siren. Her teammates admire her for her stunning pivot ability and her sneakiness as a jammer and love the British charm and liveliness she brings to the team.
When she’s not on the track Mel lives an interesting little at home farm life. She and her husband share their home with cute chickens and goats as well as fig trees and other vegetation. She willingly shares the fruits of her labor with other dolls by bringing eggs and delicious fig snacks. Her devotion to her farm oasis runs deep like her devotion for all our league's skaters.
Her love for the league and her boss leadership skills are why we have named her our Derby Doll of the Month. Cheers to you, Melistopheles!
Our Derby Doll of the Month - August 2017 is Tough Cookie Rookie, Fanny B. Werkin’!
All this month we at LA Derby Dolls are celebrating our doll, Fanny B. Werkin’. Fanny has been an unstoppable force in the league both on and off the track. Her commitment to LADD as a team player and fundraising extraordinaire have been more than amazing and we are all truly grateful.
Fanny has taken on the most crucial job right now for LADD, as head of fundraising and she has been killing it. Her dedication to the league’s fundraising efforts is unmatched. She has set herself personal fundraising goals that have been met with thousands of dollars in donations. Her work as head of the department has also provided the league with awesome events such as our very successful Whip It screening.
Her commitment to the Derby Dolls doesn’t stop there. Fanny’s also apart of our league’s, Tough Cookies team. Her teammates, as well as all the other dolls, have seen how smart and dedicated she is to the sport. They all love how positive she is when she takes the track and admire her for her awesome teamwork and badass skating skills.
Fanny skates with a full heart for the league and her derby sisters and we appreciate her dearly for that. So this is us giving the love back to her. This month is to you, Fanny B. Werkin’!
Support Fanny's fundraising efforts to Keep The Derby Dolls Rolling!
The LA Derby Dolls have sent out a call to action with #WhyISkate to all members of the roller derby and roller skating community to come together and showcase the diverse and inspiring stories that empower this community. While it rings true to the mission of the LA Derby Dolls, #WhyISkate goes beyond the league barriers and seeps into the global culture of skating. Skating is a lifeline for those who participate for various reasons, and we want to highlight the positive impact that skating has on people’s lives.
Here are just a few stories we’ve received for #WhyISkate.
Roller derby is a place where I NEVER have to apologize for who I am; I can embrace the parts of me that intimidate people in “the real world.” Let’s be real. I have a STRONG personality and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea! Knowing this I live with a little voice inside me, frequently asking annoying questions like, “Did I come on too strong? Did I take that too far? Should I have just not said anything?” On the track, all of that goes away. I can be as aggressive, competitive, sassy, loud, and fierce as I want to be! And that’s pretty close to perfect, if you ask me. Getting to be my authentic self. That’s why I skate.
Remix to Submission
Growing up as a female athlete, you are rarely allowed to be good at a sport without a qualification. You might be great at ______ (name almost any sport), but you are only great "for a girl." Derby doesn't allow that kind of thinking. You don't have to feel lesser than because you are a woman. When you are good, you are good. Period. No ifs, ands or "for a girl."
I skate because it's really fun and it makes me feel cool.
I skate to reclaim what was lost. In my school days I was a determined athlete who overcame many challenges to compete. Being an athlete was an integral part of my identity; I designed my future around sports. In 2002 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and it was like I had died. I felt as though everything I once was I could no longer be. I got tired of fighting so hard to do every day things that I did something I never did before - I gave up when things got hard. It was small things at first but once I started to give up, it became easier to give up the next time. Skating has helped me begin to break that habit. Again, it was small things at first; I fall down, I get back up. I get pushed, I push back. Now I am frequently challenging myself to conquer new skills, to be faster, to hit harder and be a better teammate. This willingness to be challenged bleeds into my life outside of skating, allowing me to reclaim what was lost and rebuild.
For more inspiring stories search for #WhyISkate or follow us on Facebook for more updates.
Help us keep rolling and support the LA Derby Dolls by donating.
BY JORGA HOUY, L.Ac. OF LA SPORTS ACUPUNCTURE
Recently I took this picture at the Postal Museum in Washington, DC – “roller derby saved my soul” written on a skate wheel. It gave me pause and chuckled to myself, because I knew exactly what it meant.
In 2008, I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to see the roller derby. I remember watching roller derby on TV as a kid, and though I didn’t really understand it, I knew it was exciting. So, when I got that call, I said “damn right I want to go see the roller derby.”
That evening at The Doll Factory in Historic Filipinotown, I entered a new world, roaring with the sound of wheels on the track and cheers from crowd packed to the rafters as the Tough Cookies battled the Sirens. It was amazing – beer, food, fans, and badass ladies on skates! As thrilling as it was, I realized roller derby is a legit hardcore sport and the skaters were getting banged up. Then a lightbulb went off in my head. I knew could help them.
By the end of the game, I volunteered my acupuncture services to the LA Derby Dolls. Soon after that, I decided to specialize my private acupuncture practice in sports medicine. It felt so right; I’ve studied the body and been active my entire life, my parents were professional ballet dancers, and I myself have a background in martial arts and have been injured many times. Within a month I was treating skaters and was listed as a sponsor. Within two months, I officially joined the Doll Repair Team, LADD’s volunteer medical staff.
My work with the LA Derby Dolls has helped me personally and professionally. Over the last eight years, I have met so many wonderful people – insane athletes, brilliant medical professionals, and many friends for life, all while helping me to become an expert in the field of sports acupuncture.
In short, roller derby saved my soul.
Wait… there are HOW MANY DAYS LEFT ‘TIL CHRISTMAS?!!!! We may not be able to help you with all your presents, but we can certainly help you get the perfect present for the roller derby player in your life. Here are some great ideas to save the day!
March RADness - Best training from the best in the game
Yes, we know it’s December BUT every skater is looking to up their skills and this is a great event to plan ahead for! Some of the most talented skaters and trainers from all over the the flat and banked roller derby world (think Team USA) come to our tracks to teach the latest and greatest skills to hit the track. Passes are already on sale and any skater would be ecstatic to get an opportunity to attend!
Derby Gear (links below)
Fun Fact: Every skater needs a new something, just ask them! Vital gear gets worn out in this full contact sport faster when you are going 100%. Plus, gear is released in new pretty colors… ALL THE TIME!!! There are plenty of skate shops in the area to go pick her up those fancy new Radar wheels or a brand new S-ONE helmet (our favorite and top recommendation!) to protect their noggin. Not sure what to get them? Then go with a gift certificate, or a new mouth guard.
We spend a LOT of time being active, practice, off skates, games, league promotional events. So we need clothes than can keep up with us. Your favorite derby player can most definitely need a new pair of compression pants, sports bra or their preferred sock to skate in. You can pick up work out clothes up anywhere but we recommend:
Target - you are on a time limit after all and their pants are sturdy!
Derby Por Vida - Not a roller derby player yet but wants to be??
Maybe your Derby Doll hasn’t gotten the courage to get on the track yet. Give her a little assist and whip her into shape with Derby Por Vida. DPV is a roller derby class that teaches new skaters looking to get their feet wet! Whether they are looking for a new workout regimen or hope to one day be a Derby Doll All Star, it’s a perfect way to get started. Psst.. get a discount if you buy them 8 classes, you'll look awesome and save a few bucks!
Kickrail - Leave your stamp on the Derby Dolls
Let your roller derby player leave their mark on the track in a more literal way. There are still some sections of the track available to put their or your name on the banked track! Become a permanent part of the history of The Dollosseum. Plus, you get to relive the joy of your gift every bout you're at!
Amazon Wishlist - The year round gift
What if ALL the Derby Dolls are the special player in your life?! If you’re looking to do something big or small to what you consider your home and your league take a gander at our Amazon wishlist. Sometimes, little things can go a long way. Collectively, one tiny piece at a time, we can keep our skaters happy and healthy and our home thriving and beautiful. As always, we appreciate the generosity that flows from our league, our family, and our community!
"I have 2 daughters in the Juniors Program ages 12 and 8. I can attest
to roller derby transforming them physically, mentally and very much emotionally." - Brooklyn Deck-Her, LADD Juniors League Trainer, Coach and
"Our league is a safe haven for children and adults alike, and as the saying goes, 'Roller Derby Saved My Soul'." - Sly Foxx, Fight Crew
We are known around the world as the premiere banked track league, we are THE Derby Dolls. We have been a model for organizations in the larger global banked roller derby community, and we are proud of this standing but even prouder of our diverse organization focused on using this sport to improve the lives of women. With the responsibility of running such a large DIY organization, we also face organizational struggles and work around the clock to offer our vast network of volunteer skaters, coaches, refs, doctors, announcers, and fans the best possible experience in the best possible facility to create a lasting impact on our community.
As you may have seen, the Derby Dolls have submitted a proposal for the LA2050 grant to help celebrate the promotion of social and emotional support through our very unique women’s team sports.
If you’re reading this, please take a moment to support us here -http://bit.ly/LADDLA2050
The grant funds will help us to make improvements to the infrastructure of our training and events facility The Dollosseum, and increase our outreach to the greater Los Angeles community.
Now, let’s celebrate some of the proven good that roller derby and our league has brought to our community of skaters, moms, and trainers!
I think LA Derby Dolls thrive because of our community support, and in
turn, our community thrives because of our support. We have held and
participated in several health and job fairs, pet vaccination and
adoptions, and charity walks in order for our community to have access
to options they might not otherwise have, and we are happy to give a
safe space to our neighbors. - Sly Foxx, Veteran Skater in Fight Crew
"The thing that keeps me invested is seeing skaters come in with all
their fears and doubts, and then to see them accomplish far more than
they thought they could. Whether or not they continue with the
league, they then carry that sense of accomplishment, of being more
than they thought when they started into the world." - Sweet Home AlaBAMMya, Skater in Sirens
"For the last 4 years, I have had the pleasure of working with the
Juniors program at Los Angeles Derby Dolls. I have seen these young
women grow into powerful athletes, into compassionate and respectful
teammates, into empowered young women with confidence and drive." - Brooklyn Deck-Her
Recently, the derby dolls were volunteers at CicLAvia and I signed up
to volunteer as part of our community service. While hundreds rolled
by in their bicycles, I can't count how many people looked directly at
me and thanked me for simply volunteering. They would say things like
"Thank you for keeping us safe," "Thank you derby doll," "Thanks for
volunteering." -Zooey Ramirez, Derby Por Vida Graduate and Current Freshmeat Skater
Our referees,the Enforcers are a vital part of the Derby Doll community. Without their endless support, training and time we would not be the league we are today, let alone be able to hold our bi-monthly bouts! On top of their volunteering, they are also well regarded in the banked track community for their skill as officials. To become an Enforcer takes time, similar to becoming an all star roller derby player and the opportunity to take that first step is coming up! We are holding our New Enforcer Orientation on Wednesday, October 19th. As we get ready to welcome the new crop of potential Enforcers we asked one of our current Enforcers , Wayne No Regretzky to share his experience in joining the Derby Dolls family.
To be an Enforcer! About a year and a half ago, my life was totally different. Life had thrown me a 12-6 curveball, and I swung and missed, HARD!!! I was in a really bad spot in my life when I heard that the Derby Dolls were moving to my hometown of El Sereno. Their first game was to be played on April 25, 2015.
As a teenager, I had gone to a couple of bouts at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, during one of the many attempts to revive the T-Birds. I had a blast every time. No way I was going to miss watching Derby in my own backyard! Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
I heard they had a referee team looking for new refs. I filled out the New Enforcer Orientation form a couple weeks ahead of time, but figured I would never hear back.
About 2 weeks later, I received an email for the New Enforcer Orientation. I confirmed my interest and on May 20, 2015, I began my roller derby journey. I was very surprised at how friendly everyone was! Very welcoming and warm. Immediately, I knew that this is what I wanted to be a part of, something I knew I could be good at. It wasn’t always easy, but has always been rewarding.
As time went on, and the more training I received, I knew I had made the right choice. Becoming an Enforcer is one of the coolest, most rewarding achievements. Through all of this, I have met so many amazing people and am honored to call a lot of them friends! It’s like one big, happy, crazy family!!! It’s SUPER cliché, but Roller Derby changed my life! I wouldn’t change any of it! I look back at myself in early 2015 and can’t believe how much has changed, and for the better. I have the entire Derby Dolls league to thank for so much!
If you are looking to do something very fun, and are looking to be part of something unique and amazing, this very well may be exactly what you are looking for!!!!
Interested in learning more? Sign up today to attend on Wednesday October 19th! All NEO attendees receive 2 free tickets to a future game.
With our a new session of Derby Por Vida right around the corner we reached out to one of our DPV graduates, Amelia BigDealia, to tell us about her experience in the program. Read on to find out how a skating newbie became a Derby Doll!
Ah, roller derby. I will never forget the first time I saw it for myself. It was magical. A thunderous spectacle with electrifying sights and sounds at every turn. The skaters were perfection: violent poetry in motion. Ferociously tough and at the same time effortlessly graceful. Seeing them I thought “Were they born with skates on their feet?”
Quite the contrary! As I did my research I came to learn that the vast majority of these athletes came to the sport with little or no skating experience. What?!? Digging further I found out that many got their start in something called “DPV.” There is a place that created these epic roller derby athletes? I had to know more.
Derby Por Vida, or DPV is the leagues training ground for future Derby Dolls skaters and referees. The program teaches skating fundamentals and roller derby basics in challenging one-hour classes. Longing for something to add to my fitness repertoire, I signed up.
I remember nervously handing in my paperwork and paying my 10 dollars not realizing how that class would change my life! After just one class I was hooked! Getting on that banked track with what little I remembered about skating was both terrifying and thrilling. Each week I returned to learn a little more. Soon, I was not only skating but skating fast and trying things that seemed unheard of just weeks before: transitions, backwards skating, and blocking.
It’s funny to think of it now; I took that class on whim. My DPV training lead to becoming a part of LADD’s Fresh Meat program, then Subpool. Ultimately, it led to being drafted to a Derby Dolls home team! Shout out to the glorious Tough Cookies!
Roller Derby gave me so much. I became a bona fide athlete! A skating, slamming, roller derby machine! I sharpened my event planning skills and learned tons about public relations through league committee work. Most importantly, I met the most amazing women (and men) many of whom I consider my best friends. All because I took a ten-dollar roller derby class. Go figure!
So, what’s my message here? I think it’s best to quote my friend Pamela Ribon aka May Q. Holla, “Stop thinking and start skating.” You never know what roller derby will do for you.
The next session of Derby Por Vida starts October 18! All you need is $10, proof of medical insurance, your ID and a mouth guard. Visit our DPV page to learn about class types, schedules, and what you should bring to class. See you on the track!
All images courtesy of Grant Palmer Photography
The October 24th deadline to register to vote is fast approaching! We will have California Planned Parenthood Education Fund on site for our next two bouts, October 8th and October 22nd to register everyone to vote.
There are so many issues near and dear to our hearts as an organization that are up for vote this election season and we are excited to offer our league and fans the opportunity to register to vote and speak out on what matters to them!
With so much in the current news on issues that effect our community such as women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and minority's rights we want to strongly encourage each of you to take the opportunity to not just register but to also get out on November 8th and vote.
California Planned Parenthood Education Fund has worked since 1972 to offer a variety of services to benefit the community. In addition to providing health services, reproductive and family planning services, they also work to ensure that citizens of the U.S. are registering to vote.
Get your tickets to our next bout and stop by their booth to register to vote on November 8th and make your voice heard!!
For more information on voting and the upcoming election check out these helpful links:
Register to Vote - Reminder last day is October 24th!
Election Day, Deadlines and Time off to vote information found here
California Congressional Candidates can be found here
On Saturday, October 15th, from 10am – 2pm, we are hosting our 8th Annual Health Fair at 4900 Alhambra Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90032 for Angelenos in the Central East Los Angeles Area.
This free community event will feature a variety of health services such as:
- Ear and eye exams
- Cholesterol testing
- Dental exams
- and many other healthcare resources and information
Last year's fair included organizations such as Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Clinic, Lions Club of Pasadena, Southern California Health Institute, Asian Pacific Health Corps, Planned Parenthood, Department of Public Social Services, and many more. Activity for children will be provided.
The Health Fair reinforces the Derby Dolls’ commitment to provide comprehensive services tailored to the needs of its community. The event is free and open to all ages and is located at The Dolloseum, 4900 Alhambra Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90032. For more information about the Health Fair please follow up on Facebook and Instagram!