To compete in Roller Derby, you need speed, strength, agility, a witty nickname, and a whole lot of gumption. A contact sport on roller skates, Roller Derby is most often played between two teams composed of strong, fearless women. Though there is a growing number of men’s leagues, the sport traditionally celebrates female empowerment and pluck. This Thursday afternoon, we’ll have a real-life Junior Roller Derby Girl named Simone (her Derby name is Gutter Cup), at the museum to introduce visitors to the history of the sport, rules of the game, equipment, and culture of Roller Derby.
With Simone’s and CMA Teaching Artist Yung’s help, you can create your own derby identity complete with a personalized action figure to partake in our scale model track! In the meantime, check out our interview with Simone and learn why she loves this exhilarating sport and what it takes to become a Roller Derby girl.
1. When did you start Roller Derby and what got you interested in it?
I started Roller Derby in the beginning of February this year, 2016, and quickly progressed. My best friend Sisi was on the team, and asked if I was interested in joining. The team had been looking for more girls, and I came right in time.
2. What kind of training do you do to become a Roller Derby girl?
Becoming a derby girl goes beyond skates and knee pads. Before doing our on-skates, we always make sure to warm up, and do a few exercises. On travel team days, we do circuit training, which involves activities that force us to work on speed, endurance, and tolerance. Surprisingly, many teams do not do off-skates warm up, but I highly recommend it when preparing for action! Our on-skates practices include skill building workouts such as jam starts, jam factories, and things as simple as going over stops.
3. Tell us about the Roller Derby names. How did you come up with your Roller Derby name?
Derby names are a large part of the sport that say something small about each player. My Roller Derby name is Gutter Cup, which comes from Butter Cup, the most aggressive PowerPuff Girl! Most derby names include a mix of sugar, spice, and only some things nice. (heh)
4. What is your favorite thing about competing in Roller Derby?
Since I just returned from the 2016 Junior Roller Derby Champs, my favorite thing was getting to know other players. Teams came from all over the country to compete against one another, and I loved meeting them all! Another aspect I enjoy is telling people I play Roller Derby! I’m a tough derby gal who is in love with women’s empowerment! Roller Derby is still an underground scene, and I’m so lucky to take part in it.
Photos by Sean Hale