Wanted: fresh skaters to tear up Derby Dames track


The Rolling Hills Derby Dames compete during a bout at Beasley Coliseum, Oct. 19, 2013.

The Rolling Hills Derby Dames are offering up some fresh meat.

The Fresh Meat program, designed for women interested in trying roller derby, is an eight-week series dedicated to prepare participants for eligibility for games or matches, known as bouts.

The Derby Dames are a full contact, flat track derby league. During the training period participants will be taught basic skating skills, including how to skate in a pack, braking techniques, legal hits and safety measures.

Derby coach Lynnette Dornak, also known as Raven Loonatik, said participants are taught all necessary skills needed for derby. Each week focuses on a different skill.

At the end of the eight-week cycle, skaters can take a skills test that will determine whether they are eligible for bouts, Derby President Sara Joplin said.

The Derby Dames are comprised of women of all different ages and backgrounds and accept any and all skaters. Participants do not have to be physically athletic or have any experience, although it does help, said Christa Hernandez, president of junior roller derby.

Hernandez, also known as Takillya Rose, said roller derby is a sport that teaches awareness and makes you more competitive.

“I’ve seen the quietest of girls come out of their shells,” said Hernandez.

Joplin said derby is a great new sport to come try. It is not only challenging, but you make a lot of friends and build confidence in yourself, she said.

“We support each other and do everything we can to make everyone feel welcomed,” said Joplin.

Joplin said the program is especially beneficial for women as it provides a group to connect with. The program directors hope to have all participants become competitive level skaters, she said.

Roller derby is also a sport that builds community, Dornak said. The women of the Derby Dames are involved in helping out with local events around the area, including Palouse Cares, the city auction at Zeppoz, the Palouse Pride Festival in Moscow, and the Palouse Days Show and Shine.

The sport also builds female empowerment, Dornak said.

“It’s such an empowering feeling to be on the track with an amazing group of women,” she said.

The eight-week cycles are continuous, and the next Fresh Meat cycle will begin in May. Registration is currently open.

The Derby Dames are looking for female skaters 18 and older as well as male and female referees, volunteers and other skating officials. Those interested can find more information and sign up online at rollinghillsderbydames.com.