My First Year of Derby

Hello, NRD Nation!
This is #27, Dash V Danya, reviving the NRD blog with this here post ☺

With the latest round of freshies passing their assessments and getting drafted onto teams just last month, I found myself reflecting on my derby experience thus far. So, I have decided to make the first blog post about the first year of my roller derby journey.

In March of last year, I decided to take up quad skating – something I’ve been meaning to try for some time – and came upon the NOVA Roller Derby website amidst my research. I attended one of their bouts, and signed up for the Essential Skills program. My first day was Sunday, April 19, 2015. I was excited, nervous, and everything else. I’ve never played a team sport in my life. Everybody looked like they belonged there, and knew what they were doing, which was only slightly intimidating. I was grateful to my past self for all my outdoor ventures and open skate sessions I attended; because of them, I wasn’t too far behind. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was picking up all these skills. In three months’ time, I’d made enough progress to pass that session’s assessments.
Reeling from the excitement of having passed my minimum skills (I would get an official league shirt now! I could order a track jacket!) I was nervous but eager to enter the home team draft. I ended up being drafted by the Metro Misfits, and was elated. It felt totally surreal for the next several months that I was on this amazing adventure and on a team. I kept having these little squee moments in my head on a daily basis…I still get them a year later.

Photo Credit: © Karl Haase

As I started attending regular practice, the gap between levels of Essential Skills and home team/league practice hit me pretty hard. I felt decent about my individual skills, but whenever we would do scrimmage scenarios, I was a complete and total space cadet. In derby, you aren’t supposed to “kick your puppy” (talk negatively to/about yourself, saying you suck, etc.) but imagine improving by leaps and bounds every week, and then just plateauing. Suffice to say, my puppy took its share of beating. Something I wish I’d understood better at the time was that being completely clueless for the first while is completely normal. It’s something you get told by vets on a regular basis, but hearing it and understanding/believing it are totally different things. Sure, some people pick up the rules like that and are able to apply themselves quickly in a jam scenario, but for many, trying to take in so much information all at once is overwhelming and things take a while to click. Communication from teammates helps a lot, but it also seems like as soon as they yell at you to do one thing, they’re suddenly yelling another and you are still trying to figure out how to do that first thing. In fact, I didn’t start feeling more confident on the track until the past couple of months. I recently skated in a beginner bout at a regional mixer, which for a lot of people was their first bout. Having 3 bouts under my belt, I was technically one of the more experienced skaters in that bout, but I felt like we were on a similar level since all the “clicking” that’s supposed to come “eventually” has been taking its sweet time with me. Playing in a newbie bout at the mixer was vastly different than playing in a home team bout with vets. I was at the point where I had somewhat of a grasp on the rules and had some track awareness, but it didn’t feel like everything is happening at the speed of light while constantly trying to play catch-up. I felt like I was finally aware of what was going on 90% of the time, and I was more or less able to adapt to the ever-changing situation, communicating effectively with my teammates. Not only did I have lots of fun skating in the bout, but for the first time, I also felt fulfilled. It was really special being able to understand what was going on and being an effective body on the track. I know there is a possibility that once the home team season starts up, I’ll feel like I’ve taken a step back. However, now that I know what it feels like for it to click, I know I’ll be able to achieve it again eventually!

Derby love and shoves,
Dash

Join us this Saturday for our 2016 Home Team Season Opener to see Dash and the rest of the Metro Misfits play the Vineyard Vixens. If you’d like to strap on some skates and learn the basics of roller derby, please join us this Sunday for Essential Skills.

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Summer is heating up and so is NOVA Roller Derby!

SOTU

Fulfilling our motto of “Skate Hard, Give Back” we had several of our skaters participate in the Skate of the Union half marathon on July 3rd to benefit Special Olympics Virginia and the DC Inner City Excellence.

 

osullivans

On July 12th NOVA Roller Derby will be behind the bar at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Herndon, VA as your devoted guest bartenders, barkeeps, and mixologists! Whatever you call them, come out and enjoy a delicious Guinness Burger and a cold one poured by one of our very own! Stick around for one of the area’s best open mic night’s around.

Be sure to mention that NOVA Roller Derby sent you, so that a portion of the proceeds goes to support our league! Guest Bartenders will be onsite from 6-9pm.

 

Vixens-Misfits Jul 2016 blog

Don’t miss our first home bout of the season!

No you aren’t having a flashback to the 2015 Championship bout! NOVA Roller Derby is opening up the 2016 Home Team Season with a rematch between the reigning champs, the Metro Misfits, and last year’s runner up, the Vineyard Vixens! This is going to be an epic match you won’t want to miss!!
Each month, NOVA Roller Derby is proud to support a different charity. This month’s charity is LAWS (Loudoun Abused Womens Shelter). Please bring toiletries to donate and visit their table at the bout to learn more about them.

The action takes place at Michael & Son Sportsplex at Dulles. Bring your own chairs for the best seating options. Limited seating is available at the venue. Food and drinks may be purchased inside the building.

Doors open at 3:30 pm – First whistle at: 4:30 pm. Tickets are $10 if you purchase online, $12 at the door. Kids 7 and under are free!

Vixens-Betties Jul 2016 blog

Our second home team bout has the Beltway Betties battling the Vineyard Vixens!

Both the Beltway Betties and the Vineyard Vixens have been training hard to try to take that championship trophy out of the hands of the Metro Misfits in 2016. Come and see them battle each other to get that spot in the championship bout. This month’s charity is The One I Feed, and they are asking for cash donations.

The action takes place at Michael & Son Sportsplex at Dulles. Bring your own chairs for the best seating options. Limited seating is available at the venue. Food and drinks may be purchased inside the building.

Doors open at: 3:30 pm – First whistle at: 4:30 pm.

Tickets are $10 if you purchase online, $12 at the door. Kids 7 and under are free!

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Missed our last Booty Camp? Don’t fret!

Booty Camp banner 06-11-16

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be one of the hard-hitting, fast-skating members of NOVA Roller Derby? Now’s your chance to find out! Come to Booty Camp on June 11th at Michael & Son Sportsplex at Dulles.

This event allows you to strap on some skates and learn the basics of roller derby in a low-pressure and fun environment. Learn from some of the best skaters in the league as they demonstrate skating form and the basic stops and falls that you’ll need to know. Haven’t been on skates since you were a kid? No problem; that’s how a lot of us started!

Proof of insurance and full gear is required for this event:
Quad Skates
Pads – Elbow, Knee and Wrist Guards
Helmet (not bicycle)
Mouthguard

Our sponsor at Alpine Ski Shop sell a great Fresh Meat Package. Or join the closed FB group for used gear for sale: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450883901688165/

Limited spots are available! RSVP your spot at: https://novarollerderby.sites.zenplanner.com/event.cfm?eventId=88167C93-0236-4B03-8F38-7CF06D585009
Also, if you are attending Booty camp, you can stay and watch our Good vs. Evil Mixer for free! It’s a great opportunity to see what goes into making a bout happen and watching what YOU will be doing sooner than you think!

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Say goodbye to the winter blues with NOVA Roller Derby

Herndon Festival Banner 2016

Spring has sprung and NOVA Roller Derby has some action packed roller derby bouts coming up, as well as some wonderful outdoor charity and community events in the spirit of our motto, “Skate hard. Give back.” We also have a different Charity of the Month at our bouts, which we collect donations for. We are always looking for new ways to have fun supporting our community.

Want to help us support a great cause and get some fun exercise in as well? On May 1st we will be participating in Sadie’s 5k Race to Benefit SmileTrain. This run is in memory of Sadie Ablard, who passed away in 2011 from a head injury sustained while learning to roller skate. SmileTrain is an organization that provides corrective surgery for children in developing countries born with cleft lip and cleft palate who are unable to afford surgery. The race begins at 7:00am at the Purcellville Train Station.

On May 7th, join us in Ashburn at one of our sponsors, Comic Logic, for Free Comic Book Day from noon until 4:00 pm. More information can be found online.

Itching for some exciting derby action? On May 14th, NOVA Roller Derby’s SuperNOVAs will take the track against the ladies of York City Derby Dames in our fourth bout of NRD’s 2016 WFTDA Home Season! Doors open at 3:30 pm, first whistle at 4:30 pm at Michael & Son SportsPlex at Dulles in Sterling, VA! Get your tickets at: Brown Paper Tickets (or from your favorite skater!) or $12 at the door. Kids 6 and under are free. Our charity of the month is Paxton Campus which helps children with special needs. They are asking for donations of small sand and pool toys.

Don’t miss the The 36th annual Herndon Festival. It’s a great time for the whole family! The festival kicks off on Thursday night with carnival rides, entertainment, food, drinks and fireworks. In addition, NOVA Roller Derby will be doing a special roller derby demo on opening night, June 2nd at 6:30 pm, right before the fireworks. Come get a free sneak peek at what modern roller derby is all about. The festival will continue all weekend with additional events including an arts and crafts festival, 5K and 10K races, and a children’s hands-on art area. NOVA Roller Derby will be helping as volunteers on Saturday, June 4th and we’ll also have a booth where you can learn more about what NOVA Roller Derby is all about and learn how you can get involved with our fantastic league.

NOVA Roller Derby would like to invite all women skaters from surrounding leagues to join us for our 4th annual summer Good vs. Evil Mixer on June 11th. The event will take place at Michael and Son Sportsplex at Dulles in Sterling, VA, first whistle at 2:30pm. This year’s theme is Super Roller Derby and it’s a double header! The first bout will be beginning skaters (less than 1 year bout experience) and the second will be intermediate/advanced skaters (more than 1 year bout experience). Both bouts will be played using MADE rules. This will be a fun filled regional mixer! Registration cutoff is May 12th, so sign up soon. More information is available online.

We hope to see you at one or more of these fantastic events, and if you’re interested in becoming a part of this awesome league, please contact us. We are always looking for volunteers, referees, and new skaters.

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NOVA Roller Derby Accepted as Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Apprentice

WFTDA ApprenticeThe Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is proud to announce today that NOVA Roller Derby has been accepted as an “Apprentice” affiliate of the WFTDA, the governing body for women’s amateur flat track roller derby.

As an Apprentice affiliate of the WFTDA, NOVA Roller Derby joins the ranks of more than 300 all-female, skater-owned-and-operated leagues worldwide that have united to lead the growing sport of women’s flat track roller derby.

WFTDA apprentice leagues are matched with veteran member leagues who guide them in the processes and requirements necessary to become a full member of the Association. WFTDA Apprentice leagues are considered “pre-members” of the WFTDA and have access to many of the resources and benefits of full WFTDA membership.

You can see the NOVA Roller Derby’s SuperNOVAs play this Saturday as they take the track against the ladies of Southern Delaware in our third bout of NRD’s 2016 WFTDA Home Season!

Photo Credit: © 2015 Jack Tomlinson

Photo Credit: © 2015 Jack Tomlinson

Doors open at 3:30 pm, first whistle at 4:30 pm at Dulles Sportplex! Get your tickets at: Brown Paper Tickets (or from your favorite skater!) or $12 at the door. Kids 6 and under are free.

The charity of the month for April is Semper K0. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for wounded, critically-ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families by providing them assistance dogs. We will be collecting the following items at the bout to help this great organization: non-perishables preferred such as Durable Dog Toys and Stuffed Animals, Peanut Butter, Canned Chicken, and Blankets.

About the WFTDA
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the governing body for women’s flat-track roller derby, and a membership organization for the leagues to collaborate and network. The organization created and maintained the first standardized ruleset for the flat-track game, now in its fourth edition. The WFTDA also serves as the sanctioning body for games, hosts tournaments, sets safety standards and provides insurance to athletes and leagues. There are currently 355 WFTDA member leagues and more than 71 apprentice leagues worldwide.

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Where can you find NOVA Roller Derby?

Photo Credit: © 2015 Jack Tomlinson

Photo Credit: © 2015 Jack Tomlinson

Where can you find NOVA Roller Derby this month? While you’d expect to find us on the track playing roller derby, we also keep active in the community. NRD’s motto is “Skate hard. Give back.” In addition to selecting a Charity of the Month to collect donations at our bouts, we also seek out other charity events to support great causes while also having fun.

Come join us at The Ashburn Pub for some great food and drinks on Monday, March 21st from 6-10pm!  Some of your favorite skaters will be guest bartending, and there will be a raffle for some fabulous prizes.  It should be a fun night to get together with friends and learn more about getting involved with NOVA Roller Derby. Ashburn Pub will be donating 10% of sales all day to NOVA Roller Derby, so if you cannot come out during the evening, come anytime during the day.

Want to relive your prom and help a great cause? Join us on April 9th, as we partner with LGOG Angels Organization to help teens who can’t afford prom dresses or tuxedos. NRD will be on skates assisting with the event. We will be collecting prom attire at the event, including dresses, tuxedos, and accessories, as well as gift certificates to restaurants and salons. Theme will be One Night in Paris, and tickets are available online. More information about the event is also available.

On April 16th, NRD can be found in Leesburg assisting with the Bruce’s Ride Poker Run. Dissident Sons Motorcycle Club is organizing this event to help support a friend who is battling cancer. If you’re interested in riding in the event, you can purchase tickets online or you can join us at the end of the ride at Spanky’s Shenanigans in Leesburg. It should be a fun time with live bands and great food specials.

On April 23rd, join us to celebrate one of our sponsors, Comic Logic’s 1 Year Anniversary. Legendary creator Justin Jordan will be there. There will be prizes, raffles and huge sales! More information can be found online.

Also, on April 23rd, NOVA Roller Derby’s SuperNOVAs will take the track against the ladies of Southern Delaware in our third bout of NRD’s 2016 WFTDA Home Season! Doors open at 3:30 pm, first whistle at 4:30 pm at Dulles Sportplex! Get your tickets at: Brown Paper Tickets (or from your favorite skater!) or $12 at the door. Kids 6 and under are free.

The charity of the month for April is Semper K0. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for wounded, critically-ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families by providing them assistance dogs. We will be collecting the following items at the bout to help this great organization: non-perishables preferred such as Durable Dog Toys and Stuffed Animals, Peanut Butter, Canned Chicken, and Blankets.

We hope to see you at one or more of these fantastic events, and if you’re interested in becoming a part of this awesome league, please contact us. We are always looking for volunteers, referees, and new skaters.

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Chills and Thrills for February

Photo Courtesy: Danika Madchick

Photo Courtesy: Danika Madchick

Do you have cabin fever from being stuck inside? We have some chills and thrills, as well as some derby planned for February that will be sure to get you out of the house!

The SuperNOVAs WFTDA travel team will be kicking off it’s 2nd season this month as we host Southern Maryland Roller Derby on February 20th. It should be an exciting bout! When we travelled to Southern Maryland last season, it was a very close game with several lead changes and we were able to pull off the win by only 9 points. Please visit our event page for details.

In addition to skating, NOVA Roller Derby stays active in the community and enjoys partnering with nonprofit organizations to assist with events. This month we are helping with some fun events that help some great causes which will provide lots of chills and thrills!

Join us this Valentine’s Day weekend for a time of twisted love, while The Carvers and their Clowns and Dolls take you on a My Bloody Valentine trip through love-wrecked horrors. Shocktober’s My Bloody Valentine OPENS in FEARbruary for 3 blackout nights – February 12th, 13th and 14th! For 3 blackout nights, February 12-14th, Paxton Manor will open their doors for the second My Bloody Valentine. This event will be a Valentine twist on the Shocktober Halloween event in Leesburg, where you can visit a real Haunted Mansion if you are brave enough to enter. All proceeds from Shocktober events go to Paxton Campus, a Loudoun nonprofit that helps children and adults with disabilities. If you dare to come, please look out for NOVA Roller Derby, who will be assisting with the event.

If you want some chills without the thrills, you can join us on February 27th for our fourth annual Polar Plunge at Tim’s River Shore to benefit the Special Olympics of Virginia. Several of our skaters and members will be taking the plunge. If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause, please visit our team page. If you have never experienced a Polar Plunge, there is a lot of excitement to come out and watch even if you’re not participating. Many of the teams and plungers have dressed up in costume, and it’s fun to watch everyone take the Plunge into the icy Potomac.

Our motto at NOVA Roller Derby is to “Skate Hard, Give Back”, so we are always looking for unique ways to participate or contribute to our community.

Would you like to join our fantastic league? A new session of Essential Skills just started, and it’s not too late to join. If you have no derby experience or need to brush up on your skills, we will teach you all the basics required to be a derby skater. If you are interested in becoming a part of the derby community but don’t want to play the sport? We always welcome referees, NSOs, and volunteers to help at bouts. Our teams also welcome coach volunteers. Contact us for more information about these opportunities!

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It’s time for Booty Camp

Photo Courtesy Karl Haase

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be one of the hard-hitting, fast-skating members of NOVA Roller Derby? Now’s your chance to find out. On January 10, we’re holding a Booty Camp at Skate-N-Fun Zone in Manassas. This event allows you to strap on some skates and learn the basics of roller derby in a low-pressure and fun environment. No previous skating experience required!

Our sponsor at Alpine Ski Shop sells a great Fresh Meat Package, or join the closed FB group for used gear for sale.

Limited spots are available! RSVP your spot here.

Proof of Insurance and full gear is required for this event:
Quad Skates, Elbow Pads, Knee Pads, Wrist Guards, Helmet (not bicycle) and Mouthguard.

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NOVA Roller Derby Season 4 Championship Bout – Buy Your Tickets!

NOVA Roller Derby Misfits vs Vixens

NOVA Roller Derby’s fourth home season is drawing to a close, and that means it’s you’re last chance this year to see these hard-hitting ladies in action. On Saturday, November 14, the Metro Misfits will be taking the track against the Vineyard Vixens to see who will be crowned the season 4 champions.

This is anybody’s game. The Vineyard Vixens have taken home the Golden Skate every year that NOVA Roller Derby has been in existence, but the Misfits have been shaking things up this season, and are currently undefeated. Will they hold onto their winning streak, or will the Vixens, coming hot off of a win against the Beltway Betties, reclaim the trophy that they’ve held for the past three years? Join us November 14 at Michael and Son Sportsplex to find out!

Doors open at 4:30pm and first whistle is at 5:30pm. NOVA Roller Derby bouts are family friendly, so bring everyone! Children 7 and under are free. For everyone else, tickets are $10 if you bring them ahead of time, and $12 at the door. Bring your own chairs for the best seating options. Limited seating is available at the venue. Food and drinks may be purchased inside the building.

NOVA Roller Derby is proud to support a different charity each month at our bouts. This month’s charity is Touching Heart. We ask that you please bring gloves to donate, and be sure to visit their table at the bout to find out more about this wonderful organization.

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NOVA Roller Derby is Playing WFTDA and MADE in August

WFTDA  SuperNOVAs

Photo Courtesy: Jack Tomlinson

This is NOVA Roller Derby’s first season with a WFTDA travel team, and we’re bringing the action home to Michael and Son Sportsplex as the WFTDA SuperNOVAs take on SoVA Roller Derby. Those of you who have only been to our MADE bouts will be in for a treat, as the WFTDA rule set shows a completely different side of these talented skaters. Not sure about the rules? We’ll have plenty of volunteers with “Ask a Roller Girl” signs who will be more than happy to explain what’s going on.

The SuperNOVAs play SoVA this Saturday, August 1st, so get your tickets now! They’re only $10 on Brown Paper Tickets if you buy them ahead of time. You can also get tickets through our Living Social deal and receive $10 toward a shirt! Support NOVA Roller Derby or rock the colors of your favorite home team. Doors open at 2:30 and first whistle is at 3:30. As always, bring your own chairs for the best seating options. NOVA Roller Derby is family friendly, so be sure to bring the kids! Children 6 and under always get in free.

Each month we are proud to support a different charity that has an immediate impact on the community. This month we are proud to sponsor, A Place To Be. A Place To Be uses the awesome power of music, theater, and art to give people the tools to thrive and prosper in an ever-changing, beautiful, but sometimes imbalanced world. Their mission is to help people face, navigate, and overcome life’s challenges using the therapeutic arts.
They will be collecting regular and gluten-free snack foods.

Photo courtesy: Jack Tomlinson

Photo courtesy: Jack Tomlinson

 

Two weeks later, on August 15, we open the doors again at Michael and Son Sportsplex for our first rematch of the season, with The Metro Misfits vs The Beltway Betties. The Misfits defeated the Betties in the first home game of the season, but then the Betties came back and defeated the Vineyard Vixens in their next bout, so this is sure to be a close one. Both teams have recently faced shakeups in their rosters, so in the race to the championships, it’s anyone’s game. Buy your tickets ahead of time for $10, or $12 at the door.

At this bout, we will be supporting Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation “Strength for the Strong”! They will be collecting cash donations or gift cards to places such as Giant or Shell. Learn more and donate to this wonderful local organization and the brave children for whom they are fighting.

We’re a social league, and we love it when our fans participate. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, make sure to tag your posts with #NOVARollerDerby so we can see your favorite parts of the bouts! As always, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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