Inside Carolina Rollergirls’ Derby School
“From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power, who can stand up, will stand up. Slayers… every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?”–Buffy Summers
The most noticeable thing in the Carolina Rollergirls Chop Shop on the first night of Derby School was the air. You felt it even without any of your other senses. When you closed your eyes to the scrambling of women figuring out their new gear, and your ears to the sounds of 17 right feet scraping down on their first few T-stops, you still felt something different in the cool February air. It was an eager excitement permeating both from the CRG skaters and the new skaters who had come for the first day of Derby School, CRG’s new skater training program.
These women have committed to 8 weeks of training with CRG in order to learn WFTDA minimum skills and attempt their level 1 assessments to go on to learn the ins and outs of roller derby. Over the course of 2 hours, the skaters tried out off-skates skills, pace line skating, weaving, T- and plow stops, and many other skills. They got to know each other and got to know CRG assessors and skaters. They came from all different backgrounds, and in looking around the warehouse last night I saw women of all different ages, shapes, and skill levels. What they had in common was their desire to become a part of something bigger together.
So that’s why the sense of something important was so powerful in the Chop Shop last night. It was powerful because it wasn’t just the excitement of the new Derby School students…It was the excitement of all of CRG as we roll out this first of 3 Derby School sessions this year. We are excited to expand further in the community, to welcome and get to know new skaters, to enrich our process as a league, and to advocate for the presence of local derby in the Triangle. We’re excited to fall and get back up again and become stronger personally and as a team. We’re excited to teach and learn and grow together in 2016.