What girl has not dreamed to be a sexy roller-skating girl, and what boy has not secretly watched Charlie’s Angels, especially that scene where Sarah Fawcett jumps and lands on a skateboard? It’s not just the influence of the 1980s movies and series, but it’s the retro in “everything” that’s back in fashion – retro clothing, retro vinyl records, retro films, retro equipment, retro cars – everything retro. And we love it.
Meet the DC Roller Derby League, a self-organized by women team that meets every month in fierce competition in Washington, D.C. A treat for a girl, as well as for a boy, these teams are not only wearing roller skates, the image that they bring on to the skating rink is pseudo-punk, fishnet tights, golf socks (just as Jane Fonda wore in her aerobic videos) and skirts – these girls are not about goody-girl images, they are serious about the competitions, which sometimes involve mild violence but only because they want to bring joy in competition. And they are serious about it too!
Professionals by day, these women are roller girls by night, offering satire, allusions of pop culture and mock violent maneuvers to shed the good-girl persona of those women in work force who get loose on a rink from all the corporate stigma.
There are more than 150 roller derby leagues in the United States, with the very first ones starting as early as the Great Depression in the 40s. And Washington, D.C. alone is the home for four of them. “We have three local teams – The D.C. DemonCats, The Cherry Blossom Bombshells and Scare Force One – and one travel team consisting of players who are available for travel to other cities for competitions,” says Sarah Pope, Anti Entity roller girl, a blocker babe for the Scare Force One team in the Washington, D.C.
And if you think that these women don’t bring enough seriousness in their competitions, you are far from the truth, these women practice four nights a week for two to two-and-a-half hours a day. They take their teams and competitions as serious as some of real athletes do. But while for some athletes sports is a profession, and a main “bread earning” activity, these women have professional and home responsibilities as well: some of them are lawyers, zookeepers, and accountants, and some of them stay-at-home moms. Does it mean their husbands and children come and watch them too? You betcha.
While at home these women might be gentle and sensitive, they bring out their other - fierce, competitive and aggressive personalities – onto the rink. Earlier in the days, it was brought to the sports critics’ attention that such roller skating events were more exciting when the skaters collided, and this exactly what the skaters changed in their competitions – now you won’t see any nice women on a rink, this is not the deal you are getting when you come to the competition!
Come see the Cherry Blossom Bombshells take on Scare Force Once to determine who will be going to the championships on April 18th, 2009. Also, see the Coal City Rollers from Wilkes-Barre, PA take on the DC DemonCats. Twice as nice.
Date: April 18th, 2009