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Whip It Good – My Former Life as a Roller Derby Girl

 

If you’ve seen Whip It!, starring Drew Barrymore, you know that ROLLER DERBY— that popular flat-track sport played in short skirts and on four wheels — is making a sensational comeback. With hundreds of amateur and professional teams for both genders popping up across the nation, there’s a slim chance your town doesn’t already host a league of its own. Support the sport by checking out a local roller derby team in your city today!

I skated as Kerosene Irene #23 on the Circle City Socialites roller derby team, volunteered to run the merch booth during bouts, and served on their PR/marketing committee from 2009-2010. It was an experience I’ll certainly never forget, but I must say I’m glad I didn’t break my ankle while skating!

Circle City Socialites, USA Roller Sports, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2009 – 2010

Responsibilities:
– Oversaw media and public relations for the Circle City Socialites (now the Circle City Derby Girls), members of USA Roller Sports, during their second season
– Wrote news releases on behalf of the team and distributed them to the media
– Skated as Kerosene Irene, No. 23
– Helped run the merch booth during roller derby bouts

Accomplishments:
– My press releases on the Circle City Socialites’ cookbook launch and fundraising event were published in The Indianapolis Star and Nuvo Newsweekly

News Releases:

“CCS Launches ‘Roller Derby Guide to the Good Life,” PDF, 2009

“The Circle City Socialites Bring Roller Derby to Hamilton County,” 2009, PDF

Learn more about roller derby: Click here

Circle City Socialites at the Mavris Building, June 2009, for the launch of "The Roller Derby Guide to the Good Life" cookbook
Circle City Socialites at the Mavris Building, June 2009, for the launch of “The Roller Derby Guide to the Good Life” cookbook

Here’s my skater bio from 2009:

Position: I’m returning to the Circle City Socialites as a born-again newbie, but I’m aspiring to become a permanent Blocker and a part-time Jammer.
Skating since:
I was inducted into the derby life in April 2009, but I’ve been a roller skating fiend since I wore pigtails in elementary school.
How I got started skating: The infamous Peyton Slamming turned me onto the opportunity.
Hometown: The Gem City, but now The Circle City
Trademarks: Random injections of dry, sarcastic humor; always carrying an extra lighter
Pre-bout rituals: Spontaneous combustion
Books: “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman; Beatnik classics by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs
Best thing about roller derby: I love making “debu-taunt” friends and collecting colorful knee-high socks.
Guilty Pleasures: Bad horror flicks; British comedy; karaoke; “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and black eyeliner on guys
Drink of choice: Buttery Nipples; Chocolate Cake shots and Jägermeister
Best song to skate to: Any anthem from the cult film classic, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and any Depeche Mode single
Interests off the rink: Doubling as a singer-songwriter
Loves: My family, friends and ferrets
Hates: Apathy

How roller derby is played (according to the CCS website):

“Roller derby has evolved from Depression-era curiosity to ’60s/’70s televised cheesefest to modern-day sports phenomenon. In the 2000s, roller derby has been reborn as a serious sport that isn’t afraid to show its playful side, with hundreds of leagues springing up around the world since. Most are amateur and all-girl. It’s definitely not just fighting on wheels—there are rules and rigor along with the fishnets. Roller derby is kind of like a race between two skaters, each with four girls helping her – and four trying to hurt her. Two teams have five skaters on the track at a time. The one who scores the points is the Jammer – her goal is to pass the opposing skaters as many times as possible. The four other skaters on her team – the Blockers, led by a Pivot – play offense and defense at the same time. They try to block the opposing Jammer and clear a path for their own Jammer. Much as we derby sisters love slamming into each other, there are rules. Tripping, kicking, punching, and elbow-throwing will all get you penalties. But you can use your shoulders, hips, and other areas to deliver the hurt.”

‘Nuff said. … Okay, now feel free to watch me sing during the Circle City Socialites’ July 3, 2010, roller derby bout, “Scars and Stripes Forever.” Click to watch video via MySpace: Kerosene Irene sings the National Anthem.

Cheers, boys and grrrls!

Leslie-RollerDerby-2

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