Lone Star Adventure: Roller Derby Training Facility - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Lone Star Adventure: Roller Derby Training Facility

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For most of its history Roller Derby has been more spectacle than sport. It was on national television in the 1950's and 60's -- but a sort of pro wrestling on skates. It disappeared for decades. But its back and it is going places.

"From an underground alternative sport to the mainstream," said Anna Campbell, owner of a new Roller Derby facility in Denton called House of Quad. "And I think facilities like this will help that."

House of Quad opened in June. It's the only training facility in Texas dedicated solely to Roller Derby. In fact, there are only two or three in the entire country. Three leagues train in Denton, Men's, Women's and a first of its kind in the area Junior League. 

"We bring them in, teach them the basic skills of skating," said Lauren Powers (whose track name is"Rosie the Inhibitor") "And then we work them up to where they are ready to scrimmage."

Lots of moms -- like Sara Nicks who brings her kids. "When I started doing Derby my cool factor went through the roof," said Sara during a break in training.

48-year-old Juli Foreman is "Honey Badger" on the track. "I'm a mom. And a teacher," said Julie with a chuckle.

"It's where I take the aggression out," said Loni Workman who skates as Miracle Whip but off the track is a Sunday School teacher.

The resurgence of Roller Derby has spawned a lot women's leagues.  There are fewer for men like "GI Joe" who is an actual veteran, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Oh, I love the contact part of it," said Joe, whose real name is Joel Herrera. "I can't get enough of it."

Roller Derby's revival as an amateur pursuit began about a decade ago in Austin and was loosely chronicled in a film called Whip It. But the folks a House of Quad have a different vision.

"A lot of people remember it from the 70s when it was drop kicks and elbows and everything like that." said Jason Campbell, Anna's husband and co-owner. "Through a lot of the governing bodies for Roller Derby they've got it to where it's a sport. It's not the theatrical slam bang fake stuff."

"There are still lots of leagues that that's the kind of derby they want to play," said Anna. "And that's fine but that's not what we play and it's not what the majority of the league's want to play."


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