Why I Play Roller Derby -with- Shannihilator

South Side GirlsSkater Spotlight, Why I Derby


What is the backstory on your Derby Name?

Ever since I started boot camp I kept a running list of names that I had thought of. I couldn’t decide on one, so I did what any sensible person would do; go to a Reddit forum for opinions. Someone suggested Shannihilator as a play on my real name, Shanna. I loved it, everyone loved it, so it became a thing.

What do you do when you aren’t playing derby.

I work for and go to school at a local college. Right now, I’m working on my Life Science degree while simultaneously trying to get into the Physical Therapist Assistant program. I’m an introvert (and somewhat of a homebody) by nature so when I have downtime, it’s a sure bet you’re going to find me being lazy around the house, watching Netflix, or fishing. I have two super cute pups (Ellie and Springer) and an amazingly supportive husband.


Why did you start derby?

I just took a chance. I loved skating as a kid and people over the years have commented that they could see me doing roller derby. I had no inkling that there was a league near me or even how to really play. Around Christmas 2017, SSRD was doing a “comment and like” contest for a free month of roller derby boot camp and I ended up winning. With that, I brought along a friend and we both fell in love with this sport!

Three things you wish you knew when you first started derby that you know now.

  1. For the love of sweet Baby Jesus, DO IT. Just. Do. It. Get the images of 70’s style derby out of your head. We’re not allowed to hit each other like that. There are SO many safety rules and precautions in place. Don’t get me wrong, derby isn’t a gentle sport and you can get hurt, but it’s not going to be by a flying left hook. 
  2. Shout out to my plus-size peeps: Don’t think you can’t do this! I have been big all my life, and never played a sport (does band count?! LOL). I have found my niche in derby. My size is my asset, my thighs are the source of my power, and my booty is getting better at blocking. This sport has given me a confidence I have never known before. Instead of pointing out what is wrong with my body, derby forces me to view my assets and use them to my advantage. I absolutely LOVE it.
  3. All in all, get a Groupon and try it out. Give it 3 “good-try” classes. If you fall in love, GREAT! If not, there’s no strings attached.