My Trip to RollerCon 2012

This was my second time going to RollerCon; last year I went just days after trying out for The Outfit. Even though I felt comfortable on my skates I really didn’t have the knowledge of the game back then. This year was an incredible learning experience as well as a ridiculously fun time. I participated in the black and white scrimmages as well as some challenge bouts. I skated in a level 1 challenge bout and a level 3-4. The difference in skill level between these two was obvious. I really enjoyed seeing the differences because I know where I started from and what my potential can be! I took four classes that I learned a lot from and included “It’s Tricky! Jumps, Spins, Whips and More” by Dirty Deborah Harry, “Does This Make My Ass Look Big” by 8Mean Wheeler, “Faking Out Your Opponents” by Teflon Donna, and “How To Be A Great Jammer” by Suzy Hotrod. "It’s Tricky Jumps, Spins, Whips and More" by Dirty Debby Harry was my first class at RollerCon this year. It taught me that no matter what your size or skill level is you can do jumps and spins if you break it down. We started with Bunny Hops and 180’s and ended up doing backwards take off jumps and 360’s! We practiced two-foot spins and progressed to a single-foot spin. We worked on backward take-off jumps and backward whips with partners. This class was fun for me because I had no idea I could do a 360 while skating backwards!

"Does This Make My Ass Look Big" by 8Mean Wheeler was my second class at RollerCon. I was very excited about this one because in the description of the class a sentence stuck out to me, I related to it very well. “Ever get stuck behind a booty that you just can’t seem to get around?” Getting around that last person who is stall blocking the hell outta me is something that I wanted to work on. I figured by becoming that booty I can learn how to get around that booty. We learned effective booty blocking techniques such as using your whole body to make yourself look bigger. Remembering your correct skater stance for blocking by asking yourself “Are you peeing on your skates”? If you are, then you are not in correct form. Use your arms to make yourself look bigger as well. Constantly be shifting your weight from side to side while blocking. I learned that a clomp stomp was more effective at stopping fast than a plow stop. Focused big clomp stomps (heels go out to each side) as you are trying to slow down your opponent are very effective!

"Faking Out Your Opponents" by Teflon Donna was a very insightful class. Teflon Donna taught me to use my entire body to fake out my opponents. I learned to shift my weight constantly and not keep my center of gravity in the middle. The class practiced misleading your opponents in a partner drill where we used our head, shoulders, arms and eyes to get around the block. We focused on large and small lateral movements and controlling speed while juking. An idea she shared with us was when we are trying to get around a block to give yourself a number, say three. So you juke once to the left, once to the right and then on number three you juke to the left again and go for it. The thought behind this was that if you give yourself a number in your head you have a plan, and you are in control of what you are going to do. The blocker has only a 50 percent chance of guessing which way you’re going to go.

"Be A Great Jammer" by Suzy Hotrod was the last class available at RollerCon, the end of a fabulous conference full of Derby. Everyone was pumped in this class. Suzy Hotrod spoke to us about urgency and how important it is to haul ass! We tried out different ways to go fast besides just skating. We practiced duck walking into running, straight up running on your skates, running on your toe stops, and running on the balls of your feet. We worked on maneuverability; trying to fit into small spaces without going out of bounds. She also stated how important edgework has become in derby. We used the insides and outsides of our skates and she told us exactly where to put the pressure on what areas of our feet when doing edgework. At the end of the class someone asked how they could train to be like her…. Suzy Hotrod’s response? “I’ve got good genes and I NEVER miss a practice!”

If I had to pick a favorite class I would definitely pick 8Mean Wheeler’s class, "Does This Make My Ass Look Big." I believe I learned the most in this class. I had an incredible time at RollerCon 2012 overall! I would like to thank my teammates Jenergizer Bunny and Ivana Schoop for skating and rooming with me (along with dancing, drinking, sunning, swimming and gambling). I met amazing people, ran into friends I met last year, gained a few new derby crushes, and came home with more derby knowledge. I feel lucky to have gone, and can’t wait ‘till next year, ROLLERCON 2013!!!

- The Big Lebekski