Jamming since the beginning

Roller_derby.jpgThere was a piece in NYT Mag this past weekend about the resurgence of roller derby. It includes backstory on the sport's colorful revival in Austin, Texas earlier this decade. Any of this sound familiar?

Soon after, most of the rank and file, bristling at the undemocratic tendencies of the self-appointed leaders, left to start their own league in which each skater would have a say. The new skater-owned organization became the model for women-only amateur leagues across the country, and in 2004 the Women's Flat Track Derby Association was founded with the motto "By the Skaters, for the Skaters."

As new leagues formed, bawdy hijinks were emphasized -- "pillow fights in the penalty box and fake fighting," according to Dakota Prosch (Kola Loka), who skates for the Windy City Rollers. "That's what got butts in the seats," says Colleen Bell (Crackerjack), the president of W.F.T.D.A. But the skaters quickly discovered that they were more interested in competition than in theater, and that the game itself drew fans. "I remember a bout in 2005 with live music, where for the first time fans left when the concert started and not the other way around," says Emily Langmade (Fisti Cuffs) of the Gotham Girls.

The local Hellions of Troy, who formed last year after a dispute with the Albany All Stars over some of these same issues (they've since found peace), are working toward becoming members of the WFTDA.

The Hellions are back in action February 15 at the Fun Spot in Queensbury. And on February 21, the Empire Skate Troopers take on the Montreal Roller Derby at the Washington Ave Armory in Albany.

photo: Sebastien B

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Morning Blend

Hoosick Falls There's a state Senate hearing scheduled for Tuesday in Hoosick Falls about the contamination of the water supply there with PFOA: + A... (more)

Here's the list of entries for this year's AOA Startup Grant

Crowd voting for two spots in the final of this year's AOA Startup Grant contest starts this Wednesday. So let's have a look at the... (more)

J.D. McPherson at The Hangar

Singer/songwriter J.D. McPherson is set to play two shows at The Hangar in Troy, September 24 and September 25. Tickets are on sale now --... (more)

The Irish Alps

Over at NYT, Michael Malone revisits "The Irish Alps" a collection of resorts around East Durham in northern Greene County that were once a popular... (more)

Sarah and Brianna's apartment on the park

Sarah and Brianna's apartment is in an "old Albany" building, perfectly situated on Washington Park. But while the architecture and details throughout the apartment are... (more)

Recent Comments

... I think a competition would really help to open everyone's eyes to the real potential of the site. Too much time has been spent with typical, antiquated ideas. Let design professionals with new ideas have a crack at the site and you'll be amazed at it's potential.

Sarah and Brianna's apartment on the park

...has 2 comments, most recently from Alison

VanCurler Music is closing

...has 4 comments, most recently from albanydrum Mike

How to move forward at 1 Monument Square?

...has 5 comments, most recently from JayK

Adapting to the Madison Ave Road Diet

...has 16 comments, most recently from JayK

Morning Blend for Aug 29

...has 1 comment, most recently from Tim Raab