Little Girls Are Playing Roller Derby Now? Little Girls Are Playing Roller Derby Now.

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Roller derby is a game associated these days with violence and irony and beer in cans, whisked beneath the rug of mediocrity because of the half-interested press coverage it receives and the goofy names the players possess.

But if the parents of the young combatants skating in a dimly lit suburban skate barn over the weekend are to believed, this is a great sport for everyone, children included. Children especially.

"Roller derby is the ultimate sport of acceptance," said Katrina Page, mother of 12-year-old "Toxic Socks." "They embrace everyone that comes in, even if they are a little bit different or have different ideas about the world."

She's right about that. The girls at the practice we visited this weekend had no tangible type that they fell into. They wore primarily black clothes and long striped stockings. Some were daintily built, others more imposing. A few had dyed hair and piercings, others all natural. Diversity was the string keeping these players tied together. They ranged in age from 10 to 15, and were beyond tight-knit, a byproduct of the game.

"They have this really cool bond. It's amazing," Page said. They skate together, fall together, and pick each other up constantly. Their coach, "Bloody Gaga," an adult league veteran, expressed the lessons these girls can learn from the game.

"The main thing that roller derby teaches kids is that you are going to fall, everybody is going to fall," she said. "But you have to get up, and move out. Just like life. Roller derby teaches perseverance and camaraderie."

The girls collect together outside of the rink for birthday parties, parental dinners and other events. When their first group disbanded, the core team players begged their parents to form a league of their own so that they could continue to skate with each other. They like each other too much to settle for a weekly meeting at Skateland in Mesquite.

Some people fear that the sport is too violent. That the lacquered floor may get the better of their child and leave them in a bloody heap. Coach Gaga said that isn't the case.

"I think roller derby has the same amount of risk as football, lacrosse or any team sport," she said. "You can sprain an ankle anywhere pretty much. ... We are fully geared. We have knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmets and mouth guards."

The practices are run like any other sport: warm-up laps are first, then more organized team drills take place, sprint laps follow, and then practice is over, and the girls walk away sweaty and smiling.

For more information about how your child can skate with the Jr. Derby kids, check out their Facebook page.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.