February 2016-Dakota Dynamite




Name:

Dakota Dynamite

Team(s): 
Black Widows, Bruise Crew
 
Number:
701 (yep, that’s the area code for the whole state of North Dakota)
 
How did you choose your derby name?:
I'm from North Dakota, I liked the alliteration with Dynamite and now I blow up the pack. 
 
When did you start playing roller derby?:
I started in 2007, but didn't play from 2008-2013 since I lived in Turkey.  I’ve been with Tampa since Feb 2013.
 
Tell us about your rookie year, how you found roller derby and how you learned how to play?:
In 2007, I wanted to work out with a purpose versus working out to workout.  My sister suggested roller derby since she knew someone who did it and I used to like to rollerblade.  When I moved to Denver I found the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and tried out.  I took a beating but got addicted.  2013 felt like another rookie year for me.  It was really humbling to learn new rules and skills.  I learned by making every possible practice and watching a lot of derby. 
 
Do you have a spirit animal?:
The American Bison—I grew up on a buffalo ranch and went to North Dakota State (Go Bison!), but I didn’t pick it until I saw a video where one just ran right over another one.  Sometimes when I jam, I like to back up and charge.

Worst derby injury?:
Nothing super serious, separated AC joint, deviated septum, lots of bruises
 
What have been your favorite skate brands/products?:
My face shield and big toe stops. 
 
What do you think about as you laced up your skates?:
I remind myself I’m strong.
 
Do you have a favorite motivational quote?:
Not really a quote, but I think of taking the track up after practice is an analogy for life/derby.  Sometimes it goes really easy and then you get to a piece of tape that won’t come up or is stuck to the rope.  You have to work harder to get it or have a teammate help you.         
 
Do you have a pre-derby sports background?:
I did gymnastics, volleyball, and track but lived in a place where if you wanted to play, you pretty much made the team.  I did the best at gymnastics so when the program was cancelled, I utilized my tumbling skills on cheer team in high school and college. 
 
Off-the-track derby accomplishments?:
I’ve been the raffle coordinator pretty much since I started with Tampa.  Last year, I took over sponsorship and started the Friends of Tampa Roller Derby, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit booster club.  Email: friendsoftamparollerderby@gmail.com if you’d like to get involved.
 
Who are your derby heroes?:
I have a lot of respect for people who work hard at playing derby and I love to watch high level skaters, but I don't have anyone specific I'd call a hero.

What is your day job?:
Has it contributed to your roller derby experience? If so, how?: I teach resilience skills, effective strategies to get through difficult situations.  I’ve definitely used these skills in roller derby whether it’s not making a roster or a charter or just having an off night or jam.   
 
Has roller derby affected the way you live your outside life?: 
I make everyone I know listen all about derby. When I was coming back to the states, I only looked for jobs where playing derby was an option. 
 
Tell us about your favorite derby moments: 
The Bruise Crew versus Dub City game last year that was close the whole game against and we came from behind in the last jam for the win.  The whole crowd was so loud and into it.  It was an amazing experience to come together as a team.  I also really enjoyed many of our home team games, they are so intense and anybody’s game. One of my favorite things is skating off the track and realizing I just did a skill I'd been working on without even thinking about it. 
 
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining roller derby?: 
Start skating.  It’s an amazing experience to challenge yourself regularly and become a part of an awesome community.