RollerCon: What Happens in Vegas...

RollerCon 2015 1

This year marked the 10th Anniversary of RollerCon. What is RollerCon you may be wondering? RollerCon is a weeklong celebration where thousands of people from all around the world descend on the Las Vegas Convention Center to partake in all things derby. The convention featured three indoor flat tracks, one banked track, and several more tracks dedicated to specialized classes and training from basic to advanced skills. There were classes ranging from off-skates flexibility, yoga, and dance sessions, to classroom instructional seminars on topics like officiating, rules, and derby face makeup application. The list of classes was amazing and the opportunities to learn were endless. RollerCon is the one week out of the year where old and new skaters, legends, officials, photographers, and fans from around the globe come together to meet new friends, skate, party, laugh, and share all things in the world of roller derby. Here is what a few of our SFV RollerCon "First-Timers" had to share about the experience...

American HurlDoll:
My first RollerCon is in the books and I'm in love!!! The sights, the sounds, the smells...who doesn't love the aroma of derby gear, right? 

RollerCon 2015 2

From the moment I drove through the Westgate entrance you could feel the excitement in the air. It was wonderful to see so many derby girls from all over the world converging in one place for the love of derby! Everyone's RollerCon experience is unique and organic, much like the game itself, so you could do as much or as little as you like. I honestly never felt any pressure to do more, which was a relief for this first-timer. My RC adventure combined the best of both worlds: all things roller derby and all things Vegas vacation-wise and I tried to fit it all in during my five-day stay. I participated in three challenges and one scrimmage, an Iron Panda off-skates break dancing class (no, I still can't Nene), and was able to watch three full-length bouts with some major derby superstars like Scald Eagle, Demanda Riot, Mercy, and Jackie Daniels, to name only a few. The most hysterical of these was the Magic Mike vs. Chippendales bout. It was a charity bout that raised funds for prostate cancer and the halftime show alone made the ticket price worthwhile. Trust me, look it up on YouTube, you will not be disappointed. Other highlights for me included making it "official" with my derby wives Agony Christie and Reapa Slayworth at the Derby Wedding officiated by the one and only, Betty Ford Galaxy, and a fun home team bonding dinner with my Balboa Bandits at the iconic Peppermill Restaurant where I shared a 64oz Scorpion with Slay. In addition to all the derby, I managed to get in my pool time, dancing, derby shopping, fancy dinner, monorail rides, and gambling too! I can't wait to see what next year's RollerCon has in store for all of us!

Reapa Slayworth:
RollerCon. This one event has given me so much excitement and anxiety over the last couple months.

RollerCon 2015 3

I was elated to spend so much time intensively in the derby community with our league, excited to take classes and watch high level derby. But on the flipside, I had been off skates for months and just returned to skating. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up, make a fool of myself, or not be able to do the things that I used to on skates. In the end, my experience couldn't have been anymore amazing; the classes I took changed my skating by leaps and bounds. Watching so many top-level skaters compete totally renewed my drive to continue to improve and the bonding with all of our league was just amazing. No matter what level of skater, RollerCon is just the best -there is something to learn and love from every aspect. Cannot even wait for next year!!!
Lil Earthquake:
My first RollerCon was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in derby so far. There is nothing like being able to wake up and have so much of every aspect of derby at your toe stops.

RollerCon 2015 4

The MVP pass granted me access to all of the classes, seminars, scrimmages, bouts, and challenges I could want. At the vendor mall, I was able to try on brands of skates that I wouldn’t find in skate shops, as well as compare and inspect products that I’ve never heard of before. More importantly, the various types of training offered strong foundations for me to be a better skater and to look at my derby journey through newly awakened eyes and muscles. There were so many learning opportunities that I was able to custom tailor my itinerary with classes specifically beneficial to me, whether they were about fine tuning skills, using my body type to my advantage, or opening up completely new concepts and possibilities. Five full days of this convention were still not enough to schedule it all! It made me aware that there is so much we are constantly learning no matter how many years we skate. There is something very special about the derby community that seems to bond over this epic thing we have no matter what league or country each of us comes from, and to have that merge in one epic week in one place in the world is pretty special. I look forward to continuing my derby path armed with this experience as much as I look forward to next year’s RollerCon.

Tearango Leela:
This was my first RollerCon and it did not disappoint! From a team dinner with my Balboa Bandits the night I arrived to captaining the Nihilists (many of whom were Astronaughties from our recent Freshie Expo Bout) in the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers vs. Nihilists challenge on Sunday morning -- I barely had a moment to breathe during the four days I was there. 

RollerCon 2015 5

I took classes with Smarty Pants, Dirty Deborah Harry, and Holly Gohardly. I skated with women from all over the world in three challenges including Mustard vs. Ketchup and Starbucks Mermaids vs. Coffee Cart Wenches. I got my drag watching on with the Drag Kings vs. Drag Queens challenge where I learned that there is nothing more magical than a Drag Queen wardrobe malfunction in the penalty box! And no Las Vegas club can compare to the wildness of the Black and Blue Ball! I came home with tons of bruises, sore feet, and amazing memories of hanging with my SFV league sisters in Sin City! Now to rest up for next year.