Name: Dr. Dread
Teams: Dreadnought Dorothys, KCRW All-Stars
Position(s): Jammer, occasional pivot/blocker
Seasons with KCRW: 6
How did you first discover KCRW, and what has kept you going for six seasons?
“I discovered roller derby on a first date in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a Minnesota RollerGirls’ season ticket holder in February 2008. I was living in Albany, NY at the time going to graduate school in organizational psychology, but was home visiting my newborn niece. I fell in love with roller derby immediately. I loved how the women playing were athletic, but also feminine (most skaters wore skirts and fishnets back then) and tough. I have always had a lot of hobbies, mostly centering around music (I’m a percussionist), but I had also done sports through high school where I played lacrosse. I missed being on a team and had always enjoyed skating (I’m from MN, so I learned to ice skate when I was two on the lake in my backyard).
I decided to try out for roller derby as soon as I returned to MN in May after graduating because it looked so amazingly fun! Turns out I had a lot to learn, but the challenge is what has kept me going for the past seven years. I love pushing myself to my limits and I’m motivated to become the best roller derby player I can be. I haven’t quit because I’m still loving it and still haven’t reached my full potential.
You may be wondering how I ended up with KCRW, and that is simply because I moved to Lawrence, KS and naturally looked up the closest WFTDA team so I could continue skating. Joining KCRW was great because I gained an instant network of about 100 people, which is great for a girl in a brand new city!”
Describe the origin of your derby name.
“I named myself after my favorite band, Radiohead (rhymes with Shady O’Dread). I wanted to have a name that sounded threatening because I wasn’t very intimidating back then… as opposed to now, bwahaha! My name morphed into Dr. Dread after a fan discovered I have my Ph.D. and he coined the name. It has a nice ring to it, so when KCRW re-drafted the league and I became a Dreadnought Dorothy, I decided to make the change official. It also fits nicely with my current home team name. I’m happy many people still call me “Shady,” though. I didn’t have many nicknames growing up, so I like the variety.”
Who inspires you on the track?
“Oh boy… that’s a tough one. I’ve been inspired by many skaters over the years. One of my favorites originally was Susie Smashbox from the Minnesota Rollergirls because she was an awesome jammer with a hockey background, which made her tough to knock down and very agile. Once I came to KCRW, I became a huge fan of Kelley Young, a.k.a. Snot Rocket. She was petite, but so graceful and seemed to be able to get through the pack no matter what. She inspired me to get into yoga after I asked her what she did off skates and that was her main activity. Yoga has helped my game immensely, increasing my balance and core strength.
I’m also inspired by Slambda Phage (another jammer who has skated with MNRG and has a hockey background) and Loren Mutch of the Rose City Wheels of Justice, among many other internationally renowned skaters. I love watching women’s and men’s derby because of the amazing athleticism that continues to develop in the sport.
Finally, Raucous Ron inspires me as my personal coach. He has a lot of experience as one of KCRW’s original fans, and now having announced countless games over the years, plus he’s coached other sports as well. He watches footage with me, discusses my strengths and areas of improvement, and yells like a maniac from the sidelines (when he isn’t announcing).”
How has roller derby changed your life?
“I wouldn’t have found my boyfriend, the world-famous announcer Raucous Ron, if it wasn’t for roller derby, so I’d say roller derby has had an enormous influence on my life! Truly, my main social support network (outside of my immediate family) comes from the roller derby community as well. I’ve met such a wide variety of people coming from so many backgrounds through roller derby. I have friends all over the country now who I met through roller derby. I also am in the best physical shape of my life because I’ve been inspired to improve my nutrition and exercise off the track to better myself as an athlete. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Roller derby has become a huge part of who I am as a person. I am stronger, more determined, and more confident because of roller derby.”