Show and Tell: Roller Derby Part 2

todayApril 28, 2014 178 1

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2011 Dust Devil
Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

Writer and Producer – Sydney Huddleston
Other Side Drive Producer – Shannon Williams
Editor – Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros

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    Show and Tell: Roller Derby Part 2

Click here to download Show and Tell Ep. 4

In the spirit of keeping things weird and from Austin’s Red River District punk scene sprung Texas Roller Derby, screaming girl power! I’m Sydney Huddleston, and this is part 2 of my Roller Derby episode on Show and Tell for KTSW’s Other Side Drive.

I’ve caught a few games so far this season, and one thing that especially stood out to me, is the sense the mutual trust and friendship that the girls have for one another, that makes itself visible through just how confident they all are on the track.

Amy West, also known as Indy Jamma Jones, is a player for the Hellcats puts it into words, really nicely.

Indy: This is actually the first team sport that I’ve ever played so learning how to communicate with 4 other people on the track at once and then 5 other people from the opposite team without words, is just the most beautiful thing, it’s like you’re just this flock of eagles soaring and hitting things.

Sarah is a dedicated fan who has found herself emotionally invested in the outcomes of each game.

Sarah: The girls on the rhinestone cowgirls are the kind of who I would think of when I think of the typical Roller girl. Some of them are just big a brute and just really sassy.  The first season, they won every single game, and then there was another team who I also liked, called the Cherry Bombs and they had also won every game of that season, and then the last game of the season before the championship was those two teams going head to head, the two undefeated teams were going against each other. It was so stressful, I don’t think I’d ever connected to a sport in such a way where I was like, getting really emotional if the Rhinestone Cowgirls fell behind, and they ended up winning and I actually cried a little bit because I was so happy that they had won.

Juanita Butler was an audience member who had just attended her first game when I asked her about her first impression of Roller Derby..

Juanita: So there’s a part of the show in the intermission where they have everyone who’s having a birthday come down and then the roller girls kind of roll by in a line and spank everyone, I did want to get spanked, so I’ll probably go up there and pretend it’s my birthday the next time I go so I can get spanked.

Speaking of being spanked, the character of the sport itself is incredibly cheeky.

Sarah: I just like when the girls, they show their personalities, some of them have just really crazy personalities. I love it.

Sarah: What really draws me to it is the whole female empowerment thing, I just really love strong powerful women, it’s just really great to see all these women out on a track, scantily clad. A lot of people see like women in short skirts and everything and they think that’s a bad thing, but I just think it’s great that they’re out there, just baring it all, like ‘Look how strong we are, we can beat the crap out of each other but we can still be dainty’.

I think that most people would agree that the women of Texas Roller Derby set a powerful example for girls, whether it be a message in learning to accept and love your body or to push yourself to work hard and embrace your strengths.

Juanita: It makes me happy for women to kind of be, taking charge and experiencing something on their terms. It’s redefining what is sexy and it’s grabbing you and it’s smacking you across the face, saying I’m hot and look at this! Wake up! Wake up!

Sarah: That whole spectrum of what a woman can be, there’s no right     way, or no one is more of a woman than another one just   because of the type of person they are, you know, everyone is welcome in roller derby.

Feel empowered yet? Indy gave me this final piece of advice…

Just get out there and give it a try, and don’t be scared because everybody that is a member now of the league, started where you are, it’s incredible. Don’t give up.
– Indy Jamma Jones

This is Sydney from the Other Side of Radio’s Show and Tell, hoping that you might feel inspired to try things that challenge you and make you stronger. Thanks for listening!


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