Derby for a Day

Derby is not always known as a family friendly activity. The Chicago Outfit set out to change that last Sunday. In partnership with Seven Generations Ahead, we hosted “Derby for a Day” an endurance skate accented with expo bouts, falling drills and derby training. I had a great time working with parents and their kids, getting them into good derby form and giving whips to the braver teenagers. We did a conga line and I tried out some fancy jam skating moves. It was not pretty, but I’m learning. “Derby for a Day” also showed me my progress as a skater. Watching people strap on skates and tiptoe out onto the rink reminded me of my first weeks on skates, inching around my driveway. All those baby steps I have taken at practice added up and I could see how far I have come. It was really cool to be the expert, even for a few hours.  All the derby girls put their experience to good use during the skills and drills portion of the evening. Just like in practice, we had participants skate around the track and do as many knee falls as they can. Individuals were paired up with derby girls who gave them pointers on proper form. A couple times, we ended up with a pile up, but everyone got up and kept skating. “Derby for a Day” was a lot of fun for the family and for the skaters. Between practice, eligibility, off-skates work outs and real life, it is easy to forget how much fun derby really is. Events like this one remind me of the sheer joy of skating alongside my friends and teaching other skaters. Maybe derby is a little bit more family-friendly than I thought.

-Dianasaurus Ross