By Kelly Wolfe
You need an arsenal of adjectives to describe the Dub City Roller Girls.
At first glance, they are a combination of the family tomboy playing dress-up in their cross-dressing uncle’s closet; an action movie where an army of renegade strippers have to fight off an evil band of
aliens and save the Earth; or a sisterhood of grown-up Goths who shook teen
angst a long time ago and are now just really pissed off.
But it doesn’t take long to realize that beyond the sparkle, fishnets and battle cries such as “Bling it on,” they are ravenous athletes with eyes set on a horizon many
people might find unrealistic: the 2016 Olympic games.
“What I really like is that it’s a game of thinking and strategy,” said Heidi Colucci, a founding member of the Dub City Derby Girls. (Dub City is slang for
West Palm Beach). “You never know what to expect. It takes physical and mental
The Dub City Derby Girls were formed in February and are seeking new members. More than two dozen women are here at this Monday night practice at the Atlantis
Skateway Roller Rink in Greenacres. But roughly half of those are new, or what
they call “fresh meat.” Not all of them will make it past a grueling 90-day
Plus, this is a real-life commitment. Dub City practices three times a week, and members have to pony up $40 a month in dues.
Colucci, of Hypoluxo Island, goes by the derby name Sexxxy Decoy. When she’s not on skates, she is getting her masters degree in legal studies at Florida Atlantic
University. She’s Maxim-magazine hot — gym-rat fit,
wearing thimble-sized, black bootie shorts and fishnets.
“Her sister-in-law, S.J. Farley, goes by Snow Bite. She’s a colorist at a hair salon. Farley is intimidatingly tall on her skates, with long limbs
covered in a tapestry of colorful tattoos. She also has a smile so big and warm
you could toast marshmallows over it.
“I like that it’s a team sport,” Farley, 35, said of roller derby. “It’s also a way to get women together. And it’s an adrenaline rush.”
But what’s with the getup?
“You can be aggressive as a girl,” Farley said. “You can be fashionable and aggressive.”
More interesting than the outfits is the history of roller derby itself. Frank Deford, a contributor to National Public Radio, said in a recent broadcast that
the sport dreamed up in the 1930s as a Depression-era diversion is experiencing
a renaissance. It’s growing in popularity, and drawing crowds in the thousands
with ticket prices at $10 to $20. According to Deford, there are 500 women’s
leagues in 16 countries, from North America, to Europe, to Australia, to Brazil
to Abu Dhabi.
Colucci and Dub City’s coach, Robert Hutchinson, hope that popularity will buoy the sport to the world stage, the big show, the Olympic Games.
“According to the Olympic committee, it has to be on three continents,” said Hutchinson, who goes by Sensai. “Which it is
Colucci shares her coach’s single-minded goal, despite the fact that their first bout is still seven months away.
“The sport is definitely making a comeback,” she said. “And our coach is our secret weapon.”
Making the rounds, chatting with women who have shown up for practice, you hear the same story over and over. These are moms, entrepreneurs, students and cubicle
jockeys who are pleased as punch they’ve found a place where they can be scary
“It was something I always wanted to try,” said Kerry Tichernor, who was wearing a fuschia bob and a pink mini skirt. Tichernor goes by Sugar Slinger, because she
owns a candy store in Boca Raton.
“Once I practiced with the girls I knew it was for me,” she said. “Plus, it’s a work out. My body loves it.”
Hollie Littlefield, 36, of Boynton Beach, was trying roller derby for the very first time this night. She
heard about Dub City on meetup.com.
“I’m a scuba diver and a sky diver,” she said. “I’m an extremist. I hope this will be rough and tough, a way to get my aggressions out.”
About roller derby
Believe it or not, roller derby is a fairly complex game. The long list of rules has appendixes and everything. To summarize for purposes here, let's just say five
women on a team skate around an oval track wearing fishnets, bootie shorts,
mini skirts and helmets and try to knock members of the opposing team down.
Anyone truly curious may check out official rules here: http://rules.wftda.com/