Edit ModuleShow Tags

Minnesota RollerGirls Season Opener


Published:


Photo COURTESY OF sumnersgraphicsinc - FOTOLIA

Fresh off hosting the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Championships earlier this month, the Minnesota RollerGirls open their new season on this Saturday at Roy Wilkins Auditorium. League PR Co-Manager Rachel Avenido (derby name: Manila Ice) sees the gig as proof that St. Paul is a true derby contender.

“Hosting WFTDA Championships was a big honor and a lot of fun,” says Avenido. “We were able to show everyone how much we love roller derby here in St. Paul and how great our venue… is for derby. Hopefully more people come back to check out our home bouts this season after seeing [us play in the] champs.”

Formed in 2004, the RollerGirls league consists of four teams: the Atomic Bombshells, the Dagger Dolls, the Garda Belts, and the Rockits, and an All-Star squad has represented the league at several World Championships. After gaining initial popularity in the 1930s, roller derby’s modern resurgence came in the mid-2000s with the formation of WFTDA—of which the RollerGirls are founding members.

In many ways, modern incarnations present a more authentic version than mid-20th century derby. “Roller derby decades ago had staged endings and orchestrated fights to draw in viewers,” sayd Avenido, “but roller derby today is totally real and an even more exciting sport than ever before.” This could be why, along with the sport’s increasing cultural presence through recent film depictions like 2009’s Whip It, modern derby’s popularity continues to rise.

Skaters today also run derby leagues themselves on a volunteer basis, and the RollerGirls are no exception. They are not paid athletes, so oftentimes skaters have day jobs that support their passion for derby. Their passion is matched by their fans’, who come in droves to support what may be considered a countercultural sport.

Roller derby has the distinction of being historically female-dominated, which categorizes it with only a handful of other sports within a stereotypically male-oriented pastime. This distinction, along with its brutal nature and facilitation of strong female relationships, gives it a strong feminist association that skaters embrace.

“Minnesota RollerGirls are made up of women of many ages and body types, and promotes a supportive, inclusive community made up of women who were athletes before roller derby and women who did not have any sports experience or did not see themselves as athletes,” says Avenido. “Many skaters feel more empowered in their day-to-day lives since joining roller derby.”

According to Avenido, this sense of inclusiveness exists both on and off the rink.

“At a Minnesota RollerGirls bout, you can dance at halftime and meet and mingle with your favorite skaters—we love our fans!”

The season opener is Nov. 21 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Buy tickets here. Learn more about one of the Minnesota RollerGirls, here.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: State Fair Royalty

Who better to talk about the State Fair than the princess of Minnesota’s Great Get-Together?
August 2018

Minnesota State Fair To-Do List

Your must-do list for all things Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer
August 2018

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior
August 2018

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker
August 2018

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests
August 2018

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis
August 2018

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum
August 2018

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right
August 2018

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club
August 2018

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota
August 2018

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments
August 2018

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls
August 2018

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went
August 2018
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags