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