Roller dolls are a diverse and tough group of gals
You may think it’s a thing of the past, but the Denver Roller Dolls are bringing roller derby back while showing there’s a lot more to it than short skirts on eight wheels.
The women in the DRD league range in age from 21 to 42. They are students, mothers and professionals, and each take on a roller derby pseudonym. The Heartbreakers will face off against the Love-Takers at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Denver Coliseum.
Laura Trevena, also known as Toxic T on the rink, is a junior at the University of Northern Colorado studying biology and secondary education. Trevena is one of many students in the league. The 22-year-old balances school and three practices a week.
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“I have no idea how I manage it all. It’s definitely a challenge on some weeks, like this one will be,” Trevena said. “But it’s been the biggest stress reliever of my entire life.”
Kathy Alexander, 42, also known as Grannyy Apple, is the owner of Andolini’s Sports Bar and Grill, 1901 Youngfield in Golden. This business owner is the mother of six and a grandmother. She looks at practices and bouts as time for herself, away from the kids and business.
“I consider it my my-time,” Alexander said. “I make time for it, period.”
There is a feeling of camaraderie and sisterhood, Alexander said. Plus, with three practices a week, it’s quite the workout.
“I have six kids, and I’ve never had abs like I do now,” Alexander said.
Roslyn Bauer, 31, also known as Ro Chambeau, is currently a doctoral student in cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center. Although roller derby is time-consuming, the Roller Dolls still find time for the sport.
“It’s a big time commitment,” Bauer said. “But it’s exercise, you’re having a healthy lifestyle, and from a real-world perspective we all have to be involved with the business aspect (of the league) as well.”
Every Roller Doll has to do her part to help the 2-year-old league grow by being on committees. The league is self-sustained and skater-owned and operated.
“Not only does everyone have a position on the team, but also a place in running it,” Alexander said.
Denise Dambrackas, 33, otherwise known as Fawn Stalking, is in charge of redesigning the Roller Dolls’ Web site. Dambrackas is the owner of Medulla, a graphic design studio that she works at from home.
Besides being on committees, the DRD emphasize the importance of helping out the community. Each quarter, skaters must contribute time to a local organization. Although it’s required for each skater to complete their service hours, it’s something they like to do.
“We’re service oriented,” Alexander said. “Once you get into it (community service), you realize it’s a lot of fun and you can make a difference in the community.”
Past organizations the Roller Dolls have worked with are Goodwill, Bonfils Blood Center and the Colorado AIDS Project.
The Roller Dolls are always looking for new members. After their last tryouts, they got 29 new “Baby Dolls” who eventually will become Roller Doll’s. Friday’s bout will be Dambrackas’ fourth as a Roller Doll. She started just over a year ago, not having skated since she was 14 and broke her arm.
“It took time for sure,” Dambrackas said about starting with the Roller Dolls. “The first day I came to practice, I didn’t know how to stop.”
Roller derby players can be best compared to rugby players — they’re hard-hitting and tough. The Roller Dolls are made up of a diverse group of women.
“Some are heavily tattooed with pierced bodies, versus someone like Fawn Stalking (Dambrackas) who’s really slim, but can hit really hard,” Alexander said. “There’s such an array of girls who skate, and it reflects the people who come (to the bouts).”
Besides the Heartbreakers and the Love-Takers, the league also has a traveling team, the Mile High Club. The Mile High Club mixes players from both the Bad Apples and the Green Barrettes and competes in inter-league bouts. Alexander, Dambrackas, Trevena and Bauer are all members of the team. They will host their first home-bout on March 9, against the Kansas City Roller Warriors, one of the best teams in the country.
“It’s not just some fad,” Trevena said about roller derby. “We’re very athletic, strong, empowered women who really want to work and put on a good show for the fans.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Jenny Bergen at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.