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Five Things You Should Know About Dallas Roller Derby

Across this great nation Strawberry Deathcakes and Necronancys are lacing up to duke it out on roller derby rinks. While I've always appreciated the pleasantly perverse combination of dolled-up costuming and bloodsports, I hadn't actually made it inside a roller derby bout. On Saturday, that changed as I walked into Dad's Broadway Skateland for Dallas' Assassination City Roller Derby's latest lesson in 8-wheel hell-raising, and I gotta say: Derby did not disappoint. In addition to being wildly entertained, I wound up learning a few things.


Everybody Loves Derby, Even Cops

When announcer Hanky Panky, who's been calling bouts since the 1970s, asked for a first-timer show of hands, only about a quarter of the crowd responded. That meant everyone else -- from the the Mr. and Mrs. Rogers-looking couple to the gaggles of high schoolers packing the seats -- were repeat enthusiasts. Rounding out the eclectic target demographic were two of Dallas' finest, charged with keeping the peace throughout the evening. They seemed to enjoy the task.

Warm-Up Includes: Beating the Shit Out of Your Teammates About 20 minutes before the bout begins, everyone launches into warm-ups. It begins innocently enough, with teammates laughing and talking, maybe a little faux roughhousing. But as the clock ticks down to game time, warm-up morphs from social skating into a violent game of red rover. Playful pushes become shoulder slams and more than a few girls get taken down.

Gold or Camo Hot Pants Are a Must No, not for spectators. Seemingly all derby participants, regardless of team color, wore gold or camo hot pants. Some paired their body-hugging shorts with fishnets or bronzed tights. Even bolder participants wore hot pants that could easily be classified as conservative thongs.

Halftime = Burlesque Show Young children were asked to leave, but the burlesque show was only as risqué as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders routine. The Ruby Revue began their show with an innuendo-filled opening song and dance, followed by a performance by Confetti Eddie. After being tightly strapped into a straitjacket, Eddie danced around to MJ's 'Another One Bites the Dust,' freeing himself by the end of the song. The closing act included a colorful rendition of Sugarhill Gang's 'Apache' ('Tonto Jump on It') with Indian-dressed girls and break dancing.

Roller Derby is awesome By now this should be self-evident. However, if you're still on the fence, here's a few more reasons to love it: It's BYOB. There's a DJ. You have to be 18 or older to sit in the front row which translates to guaranteed ass-kicking, and possible bloodshed.

The next match is Saturday July 27th.

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Katharine Heim
Contact: Katharine Heim