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

Connecting Albany's riverfront park

Corning Riverfront Park -- wedged between I-787 and the Hudson River -- has always been like a stray puzzle piece for the city, with people... (more)

Park South transformation, in progress

It's been interesting to watch the Park South redevelopment project in Albany take shape. The two blocks of new buildings are significantly transforming the look... (more)

"It's nice to at least reach this age"

There are a bunch of interesting bits in this profile of a 107-year-old Stillwater native Dorothy McClements in the The Evangelist: the dirt streets plowed... (more)

Science Cafe at City Beer Hall: evolution

The State Museum has set up another Science Cafe event at the City Beer Hall for May 12. This time around the topic is evolution... (more)

"Who the @#$% gets beat up in the parking lot of Stuyvesant Plaza?!"

A few years back The Moth had an event at The Egg, and the storytellers that night was Steve Barnes talking about when he was... (more)

Recent Comments

It's not a bad idea. However I would encourage everyone to think creatively... Can it be like a farmers market - but more? Like a farmers market plus something else? I visited Albany the weekend of the recent market there and really enjoyed seeing so many people in the park on a weekend. What could be done to set it apart from the other markets? ...

Idea: A farmers' market for Washington Park?

...has 15 comments, most recently from Ryan

Park South transformation, in progress

...has 5 comments, most recently from Naylor

"It's nice to at least reach this age"

...has 1 comment, most recently from Jamie

The best way to get from Albany to NYC?

...has 39 comments, most recently from cheez

Morning Blend for May 5

...has 1 comment, most recently from Lisa