The Cenla Derby Dames Women’s Roller Derby team has been formed, is practicing three days a week and their first “bout” or performance will be held in August. Women’s Roller Derby meets were wildly popular, rough and tough theatrical performances in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Most appearances were compared to wrestling. The sport died by the mid 80’s and was not revived until 2001 when a group of ladies in Austin, Texas, scheduled a theme party around skating. From that party, they formed a team and then a league.
Cenla Derby Dames is the result of a conversation between several lades during an evening out in Alexandria. It is skater-owned and operated under the Women’s Flat Track Association. The skaters are full-time moms, most with full-time jobs outside the home. While the action on the track is rough and tough, the team is dedicated to good sportsmanship. Their goal is to provide strong, positive female role models while promoting the sport of roller derby. The action is rough and tumble, but family friendly; many of the skaters’ children even come to practice with them.
Roller Derby skating is now the fastest growing women’s sport in the U.S. The local team is a flat track team and is applying for apprentice status in the national organization which will allow them to be sanctioned on a national level, much like a farm team for baseball, with the exception that they do not ever move up to a bigger team. The team retains its membership and they grow in strength and ability as time goes on.
The Cenla Derby Dames group currently boasts 20 skaters and referees. They practice three times weekly with one practice devoted to strength training and elements including how to fall correctly, how to block and hit properly. This training minimizes energies. Karate Kicks leads the non-skating training and is a major sponsor of the team.
There are currently roller derby leagues in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Jackson, Mississippi, and the Cenla group will compete with all of them and several others from the Southern Region.
The public is invited to view practices at Skateville on Highway 28 East at 5:30pm on Sunday and 5:00pm on Mondays. The group is very active in local events, recently appearing at Harley Davidson and with the Humane Society Pet adoption events. For more information about joining the team, attending bouts or becoming a sponsor, visit www.cenladerbydames.com.