Why I Play Roller Derby – Deja Voodoo

South Side GirlsSkater Spotlight, Why I Derby


What is the backstory on your Derby Name?

It’s fair to say that my name was given to me, and so I embraced it. My twin sister has been playing derby for about 2 years, in Florida as Voodoo Brawl with Deadly Rivals Roller Derby league came up with my name as a derivative of hers way before I started derby, and have called me that since they met me. It’s just like seeing her again. Deja Voodoo, if you will.

Voodoo Brawl and I have always amused ourselves by causing maximum confusion; when we were in middle school, we changed schools halfway through the year. We didn’t have a lot of classes in common. So, we let people figure out on their own that there were 2 of us. If someone came up and called me her name, I kept the conversation going. She did the same. We would report back on the bus about conversations that we “had” with people, so each of us were aware if something might come back up. It lasted for an impressive amount of time before word went around that we were twins and you couldn’t necessarily be sure you were talking to the correct one.


So when I finally put on skates it was the natural choice. We also have the same number, for that sweet, sweet announcer confusion. I would absolutely not have chosen 113 for myself. Besides that, it’s a good jammer name. Yes, you are seeing me go past you (again).

When did you start roller derby?

July 2019

Why did you start derby?

I had wanted to try roller derby way earlier, but I had a job that prevented me from committing basically any evenings. I probably could have made it work, but I don’t like to half ass things. If I was going to join, I was going to be able to commit to going to practice regularly.

I quit my job, and started the next session. I did it for a lot of reasons. It looked fun. Since I hated my job so much at the time, I wanted to hit people.  It’s an easy way to work out with dedicated practice time and goals. I am very goal/“end game” oriented, and I need that kind of structure to see progress and be successful. I joined fully committed to getting on elite and competing against my sister, which is the primary reason I started and my main motivating factor. I won’t have fully lived until we have a jammer race that I win while their bench coach is valiantly trying to get her to call it off. That’s just the facts.

I am literally the only member of my family who does not live in St Petersburg, FL, and it makes me feel closer to my sister to share it with her.


Has your why changed?

Not really. I don’t think my competitive spirit with my sister can ever be quenched. She has 2 years on me so I have a lot of hours of practice to make up.

I do think that derby has bridged more gap in our everyday lives, with all of my family. We have lots more to talk about on a regular basis instead of calling and being like “Well, everything’s good here, all the same”, so that was a nice and unexpected side effect. Our little brother has taken up skateboarding, so there’s some similarity there as well.

I will say that I am actively trying to find extra goals separate from my sister. It’s not always great to have someone who is so easily compared to you. I’m just lucky that it usually fuels my fire instead of feeling like a defeat. Also, I feel like sometimes I have cheat codes for learning skills. I can just call her, ask her how she learned it, and usually that method will work for me.


Advice to new skaters!

I would love to say: Don’t compare yourself to other skaters, it’s only about your progress!

And I do believe that. I try real hard. But I don’t think that I live it. It’s the pot calling the kettle black for me to give that advice.

So instead, go to as much practice as you can stand to attend. Every practice that you skip is one where everyone else is getting better, and you are standing still.

Weird passion:

I read a lot of books. Like a lot. This year my goal is to read 80 books, but I’m already at 22 so I’ll probably do more than that. That may be kind of weird already, but the best part is that I read mostly YA in a lot of different genres, and I LOVE to trash talk most of them. There is a plethora of crappy YA out there that is like… I know this is a bad book, but it’s like a train wreck and I cannot stop watching it. If we were friends on Snapchat or Marcopolo, you can count on a “I’m-in-the-car-full-on-RANTING-about-this-terrible-book” vid about once a week . But I will still finish the book. Sometimes it makes me read faster, so it’s over more quickly and I can stop torturing myself.