Skater of the Month: Pandamonium
How did you find out about/get into roller derby?
After graduating college in 2005, most of my friends moved away and I was looking for something new to be involved with. I read an article in a newspaper about the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls and thought I would give it a try. I joined the B.A.D. Girls in January of 2006 and skated with them until December of 2008. During the 2007 season I started coaching the Silicon Valley Roller Girls. After retiring from skating with the B.A.D. Girls I went on just coaching SVRG.
What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?
I had almost no skating skills prior to joining derby. I skated on super heavy artistic skates with bald wheels and huge toe stops when I first started out. It goes to show you that a lot can change in 5 years!
How did you derive your derby name?
Pandemonium was a good way of describing my skating style when I first started roller derby. I was all over the place! I decided to change it to Pandamonium since I love pandas.
What is your primary position?
Bench coach, skills/drills coach, scrimmage facilitator, and strategy ninja
What do you contribute most to the team?
I definitely think out of the box when it comes to developing new strategies and drills.
What has been your greatest experience on the rink?
It's hard to narrow that down to just one, but here are some of my favorites:
- Steamrolling through the Dust Bowl 2010 Tournament (our first tournament ever).
- The KillaBytes vs. Denver Roller Dolls Bruising Altitude 2010 bout. Even though we lost we still gave Denver a run for their money and got amazing feedback from them.
- Anytime I get to skate with the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, even if Lulu and I are always on opposite teams. (Someday we will be on the same team.)
What was your worst injury and how did you earn it?
I hurt my left knee and right shoulder in 2008 while skating with the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls. I also have a 2x2" numb spot on my left leg from wearing crappy knee pads when I first started doing derby.
Who are your biggest fans?
All of my non-derby friends who put up with me being so busy during the derby season. My loving and devoted derby wife, Molly Mayhem. My parents are also super supportive of me being involved in derby.
Who do you like to partner up with on the track? Which teammates do you work well with?
Aim and Pia (my fellow coaches) are my partners in crime on the side lines. Off the track, I can usually be found up to no good with Donna Diggler, Postal Servix, or Mongoose.
What are you looking forward to the most this season?
This is an incredibly busy season for SVRG and there are so many amazing opportunities. I am thrilled that the KillasBytes are skating in a tournament this season. The Dots are skating against some really tough competitors. We are also building up our third team, the Hard Drivers. I am also looking forward to really developing some solid-skilled derby skaters from our bootcamps, too.
What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?
I'm a member of the league's safety committee and help out when disaster strikes.
How do you spend the non-derby part of your life? What other hobbies and interests do you have?
I recently started taking cake decorating classes and love it! I'm also a member of a HCI (human computer interaction) group and really enjoy attending the lectures that this group puts together.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give women interested in playing roller derby?
Put on your big girl pants and go for it!
Anyone you would like to acknowledge?
There are so many people behind the scenes who work very hard to make SVRG a successful league. We have an amazing Ref and Officials crew that contributes countless hours. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteer EMTs who attend our practices and bouts. SVRG also has some of the best derby photographers who donate their time. I also don't know where we would be without all of our awesome sponsors!