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Roller Derby

Roller Derby Saved My Soul



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.

We Need YOUR Vote for the #MyLA2050 Grant

"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 -

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
-Zooey Ramirez, Derby Por Vida Graduate and Current Freshmeat Skater