Interview with Windy City Rollers’ Jackie Daniels- Last Chance to Attend March Radness Training Camp in LA!
Photo by Boss Hogg
Jackie Daniels is an All-Star blocker, jammer, and all around good time derby gal. She’s been rocking the Midwest with her skating for the last five years, and will be making a special guest appearance in Southern California to lead classes at next week’s March Radness Camp. We talked to Jackie about switching leagues, switching tracks, and why she never misses a chance to party with the the L.A. Derby Dolls.
You can train with Jackie and other fantastic skaters from all over the country, as well as try out the banked track, from March 4-7 in LA. More information and tickets are available here.
Q: How long have you been playing roller derby? How did you first get involved with the sport?
JD: I joined and helped build Grand Raggidy Roller Girls in May of 2005. We played our first bout (standing straight up) in April of 2006. I read an article about derby coming back in major cities and just knew it was for me (I have no idea why; I hadn't seen it, nor did I know anything, but I would not stop talking about doing it). I was afraid it wouldn't happen in Grand Rapids, but soon found out it was just getting started on a very small scale.
Q: You recently relocated from Grand Rapids to Chicago, and from the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls to the Windy City Rollers. How has the transition been?
JD: The transition is great. I feel my agility increasing significantly, as I am more scared of getting hit WAY hard by more girls- ha! Not that GR girls don't hit hard, but there's a big difference in a league of 25 vs. 90+ skaters. It feels great to have more coaching and opinions available. I am on one committee vs. several and I am loving feeling less pressure in that arena after a long time on Board of Directors. WCR has been very welcoming and I am SO happy to be with them. It's completely, completely different, in a great way, and it feels really like a perfect fit.
Q: You normally skate flat track, but have a healthy respect for the bank. What do you see as biggest difference between banked and flat track derby?
JD: Mostly strategy. You really need to rethink your game when shorter jams, faster laps and different advantages due to the bank are all new things coming at you. It all makes sense that these would come into play, but you just need to remember plan for it, even though you just wanna get out there!
Q: What’s the most important thing for newer skaters to think about when learning the game? What do you think vets can always get better at?
JD: Fundamentals and a positive attitude are huge assets to take you where you need to be regardless of the point you are at in your athletic career. Working hard with a positive attitude is a huge contribution to your team at the early or later stages of skill. I am constantly learning, even if I attend a beginner class, it seems I take something away. There is always something to be gained from each experience. Putting yourself in the position to have as many experiences as possible really helps growth- whether that be attending all of your leagues practices you can, adding camps, watching nearby various bouts, watching DNN online bouts, etc.
Q: Why is March Radness camp in LA a derby event that’s not to be missed?
JD: LA knows how to get down; they just know how to do an event right. They are gracious hosts and wonderful planners. They've always come out 110% each time I have practiced with, played against, played with or spectated a game with LADD. I have no doubt that they’ll pull off one the best training camps to attend. I try dang hard to not miss anything stamped Derby Dolls.
Q: If there were a banked track league in Chicago, would you join?
JD: Hmmm... I'd try to do both. If I couldn't, I'd stick with WCR, cause I'm just a loyal lady (maybe the lady part isn't exactly accurate) and any banked track league would have a serious challenge to compete with the love in my heart for Derby Dolls.
Q: What’s the hardest part about roller derby?
JD: Not being able to be everywhere at once. In so many ways.
Q: Boxers or briefs?
JD: I like to wear baggy briefs.