Derby Name: Dazzler
Team: Thrashin’ Lassies
Preferred Position: Blocker
CRDA Member Since: 2011
When and how did you get involved with roller derby?
I saw my first bout at the Tattoo show back in 2008. I wanted to try it so much, but didn’t think I could do it. It took a few years to get enough courage to try out. It looked like so much fun, and those players looked so confident and tough. Finally, I did the “learn to skate” program at Lloyds, where I met my derby wife Sweetie Darling, and we tried out together…
What was the inspiration behind your derby name?
Dazzler shows my comic nerd side. She is a Marvel character – and has been one of the X-Men on and off. She is currently in S.H.I.E.L.D, for all my fellow nerds out there. I loved her as a kid because she was a disco singer who fought crime on sparkly roller-skates and a silver jumpsuit, which was pretty much the epitome of cool when you are ten in the early 80’s.
What has been the highlight of your derby career so far?
The day I got drafted to the Lassies. I wanted to be a Lasshole from day one so that was amazing for me. The thing about derby is that every time you play, it gets better and better and you think “no, TODAY is the best day ever.” I love getting to go play pick-up games and scrimmages out of town and getting to know gals from other leagues that I would never have met otherwise. Basically, just being in this giant community of ours, really.
What skates and plates do you skate on? What’s your favourite wheel?
I have Avenger plates – they are 45 degree, so they are really agile yet stable. They made a huge difference for me over the standard plastic plates. I switch my wheels out all the time. I love my Radar Bullets. They are sticky, so great for when I want to plant a solid hit. I like that they are a smaller height, especially since I have tiny feet. For my birthday (the big 4-0) next month, I’m thinking about getting some custom boots. Related note: I found out at Rollercon that my skates had the plates mounted on backwards – once that was fixed they were much better to skate on.
Choose one word to describe your style of play:
Evolving. I’m still very much learning and every game I try to work on something different.
What song pumps you up for a bout?
Oh. I have a few: Bif Naked – I love myself today, Florence and The Machine – Kiss with a Fist, and Piece of Me by Britney. Don’t judge!
What do you love most about roller derby?
I love that feeling when you land a good solid hit –and then after the game or practice, when that player comes up and says “nice hit!” That’s pretty amazing. Derby is so much work – training, playing, organizing committees – but it’s so worth it.
What are you up to when you’re not on the track?
I work and I play derby. That’s pretty much my life. I was on the league board for the past year and that ate up most of my free time – all the ‘business’ side of playing. This year, I hope to steal back some free time. I have no idea what I will do with it though! I have memories of hobbies like knitting, baking and reading. Might be nice to revisit that.
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to get involved in roller derby?
Go. Now. Email and ask about the next intake. My only regret is not starting when I first had the tentative idea – why did I wait? That was silly. It’s a big time commitment, and it’s hard work. But it is worth every moment. Even the awful moments when you fall on your butt for the first time and are trying not to cry in front of all these bad-ass ladies. Still awesome. Go to Lloyds on a Monday or Wednesday night when it’s quiet and do some laps. Even if you have to hold onto the wall. And if you see me or another derby gal, ask us questions! The next best thing to playing derby is convincing other people to come play. We aren’t a cult though. Honest.