Category Archives: Featured Skaters

Featured Skater — November 2023

Our Featured Skater for the month of November is none other than Kimbo Slicerrr of the Midtown Misfits!

Name: Kimbo Slicerrr
Current Team(s): Midtown Misfits, KCRW Travel Team
Number: 303
Position(s): Blocker, Jammer
Seasons with KCRW: 1

Q: How did you get involved with the Kansas City Roller Warriors?

“I moved to Kansas City from Wisconsin in September of 2019, and three months later, the pandemic completely shut everything down. I was laid off and at home all the time, as I did not know anyone yet in the city.

One day, a few months later, I was watching a sports special about roller derby and my partner asked if I ever wanted to play derby. I had, but I was never in a big enough city that had a local team—that, and I was moving constantly.

Once the idea was reintroduced into my brain, it was all I could think about, especially since I planned to be in KC for awhile. I went to the local skate shop the next day and bought my first pair of skates. Fast forward one year, and the Kansas City Roller Warriors were starting to regroup and restart after a long break. I joined the WIT [Warriors in Training] program, and the rest is history. I now play in both the home league and travel league and plan to be involved with roller derby until I die.”

Q: Tell us about the origin of your derby name.

“In college, I was a preschool teacher and would always be singing the ‘bo-bim’ song (Kim, Kim, bo-bim, banana-fana fo-fim, me my mo-mim, KIM).

Eventually I was known by classmates as Kimbo. One time after introducing myself to a new student, he called me Kimbo Slice. I thought it was funny but had no idea that he was referencing a real person.

About nine years later, the dots connected and I learned about Kimbo Slice, an amazing MMA fighter, boxer, and pioneer of street fighting. I thought it was quite funny that I was compared to him at one point, and when thinking about my derby name, Kimbo Slicerrr just came to be.

The three Rs are intentional, to make D’Nouncer Duane say it in his special way every time.”

Q: Any derby idols?

“Every single KCRW vet, new and old. The ones I have trained with hold such a special place in my heart for sharing their wealth of derby knowledge and kindness.”

Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“When I moved 600 miles away from home, I had very few people in Kansas City that I knew. When the lockdown occurred, I knew even fewer. Once I was able to join derby, I also joined a community of folks who care deeply about one another on and off the track. I have made countless friends and done so much I would not have been able to without roller derby. I also lost 60 pounds and gained a shit-ton of muscle. But the family I made is what matters most.”

To learn more about Kimbo Slicerrr and the Kansas City Roller Warriors, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and X, formerly known as Twitter!

Featured Skater — June 2023

Our featured skater for the month of June is Hellvetica of the Kansas City Roller Warriors!

Name: Hellvetica
Current Team(s): 18 & Vines and KCRW All-Stars
Number: 24
Position(s): Jammer
Seasons with KCRW: 2010-2014 with the KCRW Juniors; 2019-present with KCRW

Q: How did you first get involved with the Kansas City Roller Warriors?

“My mom, Murphy’s Law, joined KCRW in 2007 after seeing an article that KCRW won nationals. She helped start and coach the first KCRW Juniors program in 2010, so of course I had to join! I always enjoyed skating growing up, and I loved watching my mom play, so I was excited to get out there and try it. After aging out of Juniors, I took some time off to go to school, but after I graduated I was at the first tryout KCRW had.”

Q: Tell us about the origin of your derby name.

“I am a graphic designer by day, and Helvetica is one of my favorite fonts, so after some thinking, Hellvetica was born! Now that I am the Communications Officer for KCRW and do a lot of the design/marketing for us, it makes even more sense. You might hear people on the track shortening my name and calling me Vetti, though!”

Q: Any derby idols?

“It is so tough to just name a few skaters. There are so many that I look up to! To name a few of the usual suspects, I would say Loren Mutch, Bonnie Thunders, and Freight Train. After going to Denver to watch BIPOC Bowl this year, I would add Crank Dat, Yeti, Jams Bond, and Tarantula to that list. And I, of course, can’t help but name a few current and past KCRW skaters like Bricks Hit-House, Bones, Bruz-Her, Eclipse, and Track Rat. There are too many great skaters out there, past and present, to name them all, though.”

Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“Being surrounded by a group of people I get to hit (or I guess be hit [by], in my case) and then still grab drinks and call my friends after is just unmatched. I have met so many amazing people through this sport and continue to meet more and more as KCRW continues to grow! I have learned new skills, skating related and life related, just from being a part of this league—but also through holding a leadership role. I had the opportunity to help lead our home team rebrand, which was so exciting to be a part of from a designer’s perspective. Every day, I am reminded of how lucky I am that I get to play this amazing sport surrounded by some of my best friends. I love this league and all the people that make it possible to be a part of it!”

To learn more about Hellvetica and the Kansas City Roller Warriors, find and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Featured Skater — March 2023

Our featured skater for the month of March is none other than UniScorn of Fountain City Roller Derby!

Current Team(s): Shotgun Sheilas, Public Enemies, Zombie League (rotating rosters)
Number: 30
Position(s): inside, photographer, cheerleader
Seasons with FCRD: 2012 recruitment class

Q: How did you begin shooting for the roller derby leagues as Zaftig Unicorn Photography, and what made you decide to eventually transition to competing on the track?

“In 2012, I went to a then-Dead Girl Derby recruitment night after Breakdown had invited me to her rookie bouts (IIRC) as a Royal Pain. I actually joined the league wanting to be a Competitive Derby Skater™. 

But I fractured a kneecap in 2012 and broke my right ankle in 2013 (I’d previously broken my left ankle in 2001), so I was like, Hmmmm, seems like my contribution to derby can best be as a volunteer. (In fact, I photographed the 2013 championship bout from a wheelchair just days after the break.) Photography just sort of fell into place as the thing I could do that helped the league. 

Once I had opportunities to take pictures outside Fountain City Roller Derby, I wanted to ‘formalize’ the photography bit. At first, I wanted to be ‘Chubby Unicorn Photography’ because it flows, but there’s a Chubby Unicorn skateboard. I wanted to keep the energy of being a fat unicorn, so Zaftig Unicorn was born. (The extraordinarily talented Zombina designed my logo!) 

Ironically, the first photo set posted on the Zaftig Unicorn Photography page? Team photos for 2014’s Black Plague, the team for my competitive roller derby debut this year. That team included current Royal Pain Freddie Cruel Girl and ref Jake From Skate Farm!

I still skated at practices over the years because I like skating and I loved the community, but I wasn’t focused on anything at practices really other than putting on skates and not falling. After all, I wasn’t going to be skating competitively, so why push myself? Also, falling hurts and it takes an embarrassingly long time to get up. Sure, falling is learning, but I don’t really need to learn anything that badly. I got better just because I was skating, but as for goals? **shrug city**

Then COVID happened, and I had a wee lil midlife crisis. So when FCRD came back for the 2022 season, I was rawr. FCRD had started its trainee program (skaters who weren’t roster-eligible were drafted to teams as trainees), so I got to skate at practices with the Shotgun Sheilas and the Public Enemies and get personal attention and support from coaches and captains like Wyatt, Racen Voorhees, Aneeda Hurtcha, CleoSmashYa, G.O., Cherry Violence, Loki Hustlin’, and Brittany Speared (and now Leroy Jenkins). Being a part of teams also meant I got to have all these fantastic in-house role models. 

To me, it made a difference, having a team to work for, people I didn’t want to let down. I forced myself into situations I’d been avoiding at practices (like taking part in blocking, which is sort of a big part of derby) and Coach Voorhees made it clear he was sure I was ready for pack drills (which I’d also been avoiding, even though they, too, are sort of a big part of derby).

So my skills got better, and that’s when I really started thinking I might be able to skate in an actual competitive roller derby bout. 

I’m so happy FCRD’s Zombie League is shambling back to infect the willing. It would be difficult for me to make the roster for a Sheilas or Pubs game—our talent pool is so deep, it triggers my thalassophobia—so Zombie League lets me play the sport I love, learn all the same strategies, and engage in the same gameplay as the house teams but with people around my skill level. It’s everything I could ever hope for, and a damn sight better than many get.”

Q: Tell us about the origin of your derby name.

“I didn’t want to have a name I’d regret or something I couldn’t relate to later. I’m terribly flighty, but I’ve always loved unicorns and always will. So: UniScorn. It doesn’t flow, but I’m not changing it this far into it.

I’m adding the story behind my number because it’s nerdy and I’m a dork. Back in the day, reporters would end their stories with -30- to mark the end of the story in case pages were shuffled. So my number is 30 because I will end you.

Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“Holy smokes. I know you said I could be as long-winded as I want to be (which, you know, challenge accepted), but there’s not enough space on Al Gore’s internet, now or ever, to mention all the ways roller derby has altered my existence for the better. 

Roller derby has given me physicality I’d assumed wasn’t mine to have, like, on a cellular level. I don’t come from athletic or coordinated people, and I have zero sports background—no peewee leagues, no school teams (I threw discus maybe three times), nothing sports-related (unless marching and pep bands count). I cannot overstate how little physical activity of any sort I was interested or experienced in. I was an indoor kid. (I also don’t like to sweat.) But I love skating. It’s the closest thing to flying we get to do on the ground. That you sneak in exercise (which is apparently good for you or something) is just *chef’s kiss*. I’m pretty sure I can now do things on skates that would have had me tripping over shadows 10 years ago.

I’m a better photographer thanks to derby. Zaftig Unicorn Photography wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t wanted a space to post derby pictures. And as Zaftig Unicorn, I’ve gotten to take family pictures and artistic portraits for people I wouldn’t have known except for derby. Derby has helped me refine my vision as a photographer and given me experiences I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere. Working with [KC Derby Digest] has been a big part of that, too—brainstorming the best ways to highlight the sport we both love!

And the people, ohmygoodness, the people. I’m an ‘anxiety pukes and [bodily function redacted]’ introvert, but there’s something special about the Kansas City derby (and skate) community. Before I started at FCRD, my anxiety was in a ‘research everything to death online before you do it’ phase, and a lot of what I read was about how roller derby leagues could be very toxic. But there was none of that. I found people willing to help me find new  favorite versions of myself—athletically, mentally, and emotionally. 

I’ve made friends through roller derby, but more than that, I’ve found teachers, guardians, muses, and soulmates.”

Q: Your journey in this sport is a story replete with perseverance and obstacles overcome. What keeps you going, and what advice do you have for anyone questioning if they have what it takes?

“That’s a super diplomatic way of saying I’m stubborn. LOL! But also, I’m stubborn. 

Once I decided I wanted to get better at skating, I wanted to get better at skating, by God. And I don’t think I’m anywhere near the best skater I can be yet, so I’m going to keep showing up and working at it. I can’t wait to see where I am in three months. (I have to say here how lucky I am to have undying support from Lone Rager, who skates with the Capital City Crushers. She’s been convinced of my ability to do the thing since we met. The night I nailed transitions, she was the first person I sent the video to.)

But even when improving wasn’t my goal, I showed up because skating was fun, and I loved FCRD and the sport. Just getting to soak up the positive energy sometimes made it worth showing up. 

And really, that’s the key: If you want to do it, find something about it that keeps you wanting to show up. There’s a place for practically anybody and any body in derby. Bring a good attitude and a willingness to participate, and you’re halfway there.

Not everyone will get out of roller derby (and the roller derby community) what the rest of us get out of it. Some people come, but for whatever reason, desperately do not want to be there. Roller derby just isn’t their hobby/security blanket/obsession—but I sure hope they get to find whatever their ‘roller derby’ is.

It can be frustrating, especially as someone new to athletics, to push myself as hard as I possibly can and not see immediate results. I’m very much into instant gratification. But I also remember that all those years I wasn’t trying? I really wasn’t getting any better.

Loki said something like: Derby is a bunch of little clicks and then there’s a big click. Then a bunch of little clicks, then a big click. 

So you just gotta string together enough of those little clicks to get to that big click. Maybe you need more little clicks than your buddy. Maybe your buddy’s big click was just one of your little clicks. No matter what, though, your leaguemates are going to help you celebrate every one.

The strides I’ve made in the last 18 months make me wonder where I’d be if I’d taken skating more seriously when I came back after my broken leg in 2014. I’m currently 52 and I have arthritis in my hips, knees, and ankles. Realistically, it would’ve been better to do all of this nine years ago.

But this is the youngest I’m going to be from here on out, and this is the time and body I have to work with, so … FIVE SECONDS! *tweet*”

To learn more about the incomparable UniScorn and all the incredible Fountain City Roller Derby action, find and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Featured Skater — February 2023

Our featured skater for the month of February is TBone Trina of the Deadly Sirens!

Current Team(s): Deadly Sirens, Usual Suspects, FCRD Travel Team
Number(s): 311, 48, 15
Position(s): Jammer/Pivot/Blocker
Seasons with FCRD: 7

Q: How did you come to be involved with roller derby?

“I got orders from the Marines to KC in March 2015. I had no friends except for a fellow retired Marine, Denissa (50Cal-E), who was my co-worker at the MEPS office. She told me about her upcoming April game, which was the 2015 Championship game. Wow, I was so impressed with the ladies out there hitting and going so hard! I was sucked in and at boot camp that summer.”

Q: Tell us about the origin of your derby name.

“I was the trombone player in a ska band in high school and we all had nicknames. TBone Trina was mine, so I decided to revive my glory days and bring that stage presence back to the track.”

Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“The community of friends is like no other. I wouldn’t have met some of my very best friends without derby—from being at my wedding to my pregnancy announcement at a street team event to my kids being loved on since they were eight weeks old and friends watching them for games. Derby has been the thread I didn’t know I needed sewn into my life.”

Q: Any derby idols?

“From that very first game, I was blown away by so many! A lot have since retired, like Disco Biscuit, Buff ‘N Stuff, and sisters [10acious V and Valkillrie], but most inspiring for sure was Black Mamba (I still fangirl over her) because I saw someone who looked like me out there doing it too, and that kept me going. Also, Freight Train is so amazing! Looking forward to playing with her again at the BIPOC Bowl in Denver in April.”

Q: What makes TBone Trina tick? What keeps you going in this crazy love we call roller derby?

“I am an adrenaline junkie! It gets the aggression out, and this is my outlet. I try to keep a positive attitude. Everything is a learning experience. I’m widening my eyes and looking forward to traveling more, learning rule sets, and having opportunities to play with more BIPOC skaters. My goal now is to be an inspiration for other Black and Brown kids in the community and introduce them to this awesome sport.”

To learn more about TBone Trina, the Deadly Sirens, and all the incredible Fountain City Roller Derby action, find and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

Featured Skater — June 2022

Our Featured Skater for the month of June is CleoSmashYa of the Shotgun Sheilas!

Name: CleoSmashYa
Team(s): Shotgun Sheilas, Public Enemies
Number: 1030
Position(s): Jammer, pivot
Seasons with FCRD: 2

Q: How did you come to be involved with Fountain City Roller Derby?

“In my early twenties, I used to inline skate on ramps and transition at skate parks. So when one of my ex-coworkers introduced me to roller derby, I knew this was something I had to be a part of. I get to skate and hit people?! Heck yeah!”

Q: Explain the origin of your derby name.

“I’ve always been obsessed with Egypt since I was a tiny girl. I’d read every book I could get my hands on, tried to study hieroglyphics, and wanted to be an archeologist. So fast forward to my early thirties when I did the study on my family’s lineage, and with the help of an ancestry test, I found out I was 12% Moroccan/Egyptian. I was beyond stoked; hence, CleoSmashya was born, based on a powerful Egyptian Queen.”

She’s actually on her way back UP in this shot, not on her way down.

Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“I don’t know where to start… I could go on forever.

Derby has saved me. At a time when I had very little family and no community to fall back on, derby fell into my lap. The universe knew I needed a community to lean on and give back to. I have built friendships that are closer than family. I know that derby has helped me blossom into a strong and powerful woman. I have found my voice, worth, and belonging. The derby community has helped me find out a lot about myself, for which I’m forever grateful.”

Q: What makes CleoSmashYa tick? What keeps you going in this crazy love we call roller derby?

“I think knowing I’m a part of something bigger than myself keeps me going. Knowing my teammates are out there giving their all, and making holes and protecting me, makes me want to go even harder. I don’t want to let them down! I am only as good as we are as a whole.

If I could play and sell roller derby for a living, I’d be fantastic.”

To see more of CleoSmashYa, the Shotgun Sheilas, and all the incredible action Fountain City Roller Derby has to offer throughout the year, join us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, and check out our photo albums on Smugmug.

Featured Skater – February 2019


Our Featured Skater for the month of February is
Dizzy Aster of the Kansas City Roller Warriors!

Name: Dizzy Aster
Team: Victory Vixens
Number: 5
Position: Jammer, Blocker, Pivot
Seasons with KCRW: 1

Where did your roller derby career begin, and how did you discover the sport?

“A few years ago I was having a mini freakout about my upcoming 30th birthday (which yes, seems so silly now), and I was like, “I need to do something really cool RIGHT NOW before I’m TOO OLD!” (See? So silly.)

I don’t remember what exactly made me think of roller derby. I do remember that I was determined to do the coolest thing I could think of, and that thing was roller derby. Shortly after that, I was somewhat serendipitously introduced to two skaters from Topeka. They convinced me to go to practice with them, and just like that, I became a skater for the Capital City Crushers. I was a Crusher for three seasons before transferring to KCRW at the beginning of this season.”


Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“I played team sports growing up, all the way up through high school, and then nothing through college and my 20s. I ran a lot and did the occasional rec softball, but nothing like roller derby. I forgot how much I LOVED being on a team. Camaraderie! Common goals! Friendship!

Speaking of friends, you know how they say it’s hard to make new friends as an adult? Not with roller derby! Friends! Friends galore! It’s very likely you’ll find someone that’s just your type of weirdo to be your friend. It’s nice. Also, it’s the most consistent working out I’ve done in my adult life. I can talk myself out of going to the gym, but I hate missing practice!”


Tell us the origin of your derby name.

Dizzy Aster was gifted to me. I had something entirely different picked out, but didn’t really love it. My friends Jake and Mary were expecting their first baby. Jake wanted to name it Dizzyaster. Mary said no, thank you. Jake said I should use it as my roller derby name. I said I would be honored. The baby’s name is Maya. This is a true story.”


What sets you apart in KCRW?

“Oh man, I don’t know. I do hope people see that I take this very seriously, but also that I am having a seriously good time.”


What makes Dizzy Aster tick? At the end of the day, what keeps you going in this crazy love we call roller derby?

“The “well it’s now or never!” attitude that came with joining roller derby at 30 has stuck with me. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. Might as well do something awesome now! I love roller derby so much, more than anything else I’ve ever done or tried. And I never felt like I was really good at anything before. This is my thing. I found it! I want to be really, really good at it. I want to see how far I can push it while I’m willing and able. That’s why I transferred to KCRW.

Also, I’m very competitive. This is probably a healthier outlet for that than, say, competitive eating. Although I can eat an impressive amount of tacos!”


To see more of Dizzy Aster and all the Kansas City Roller Warriors in action, visit our photo albums on Smugmug, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram.