RollerCon. The Mecca of WFTDA roller derby. Last week, thousands of roller derby ladies flocked en mass to the sparkling desert of Las Vegas in order to learn a few things, meet some new people, let off some steam, and play a ton of roller derby. Now, I could write about a million pages on RollerCon full of sultry details and great experiences, but I think I'll settle with just telling you a few of my favorite things about this crazy conference.
The largest purpose of RollerCon is to turn average roller derby ladies into rockstars on the track. Classes are offered by the most experienced skaters in the world like Suzy Hotrod, Smarty Pants, Trish the Dish, Demanda Riot, LuluDemon, and Scald Eagle. These women are amazing skaters who tear it up on the daily with their nationally ranked teams, and in these classes they share all their dirty little secrets! LuluDemon teaches how to outsmart another jammer, Suzy transforms passive skaters into fighting machines, and Demanda Riot is just plain scary. RollerCon is about sharing information, strategy, and practice habits, and it helps even out the playing field for us girls who don't get to play for Gotham.
This bout never fails to disappoint. The Vagine Regime vs. The Caulksuckers has now become an annual RollerCon tradition and is an incredible bout between gay and straight skaters. This bout consists of the top skaters in the nation, but also includes the top fans as well. These fans brave crazy costumes, dance, and lead cheers all throughout the bout. Why do you ask? Because more important than anything else in roller derby, we are proud of who we are and we are accepting of others who are different than us. Celebrating how we are unique is important no matter the venue, and what better way to do it than with vagina and banana costumes?
Raise your hand if you've ever found yourself introducing your mom to someone named General Disappointment or Ophelia Melons. Now take that and multiply it by 100. That's RollerCon. One of my favorite activities at RollerCon is just to people-watch and read everyone's awesome names off the backs of their shirts. Each one is unique to the skater and I often find myself impressed at other skaters' ingenuity and bold choices. Who wants a piece of Poysenberry Pie? I do!
Now there are nightly parties and activities each night at RollerCon, but the Black and Blue Ball is the party. Skaters, Refs, NSOs, and the RollerCon Crew all come down to the pool at the Riviera decked out in their party best. I danced all night on that floor and I saw a Marie Antoinette, the opera-singer from The Fifth Element, Cleopatra, a sausage, and a very nice man in a dominatrix outfit. If you can imagine an all-out party until the break of dawn full of dancing, canoodling (whatever that means) and pool shenanigans with some of the coolest people on the planet than you have perfectly envisioned this party. And as in perfect derby tradition, Trish the Dish DJ's and it's awesome.
"Seeing old friends and making new ones?" Did I just step back into 1995 during a summer camp commercial? Yes, because that's what RollerCon is: Summercamp. You get to meet some really cool people and stay up late to all hours of the night telling stories and daring each other. You also get to see all the friends you've made while playing other leagues. This year there was only me and another girl from our league that went. Needless to say, I found myself a little lonely. I ran into the Ark Valley High Rollers from Salida, CO that we had played just a few weeks before and they pretty much adopted me as one of their own. Hanging out with these girls was totally awesome and I know I made some friends for derby life.
I know, I know, now you're super jealous that you didn't go to RollerCon. It's ok, it happens to all of us. The good news is, tickets go on sale this November for next years' con. If you find yourself wanting to improve and have a great time next July, hit me up in Vegas. I'll show you the ropes.
The Original Skankster