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In addition to the confidence and camaraderie, many of the divas are gaining physical endurance and strength.
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On Wednesday evenings at Tarwheels Skateway, you won't find the disco ball twirling, throwing light on the color blocked walls and tables of pink, orange and yellow. Nor will you witness the video game arcade at full tilt while couples slow skate around the rink or buy hot dogs at the concession stand.
"I tried softball out when Adidas Duramo 7 Ladies I was younger and I hated it. This is the only sport I'm good at," Lohwasser said.
"When I first got here, I was really afraid to fall, but now that I know how to, I'm not afraid," Dixon said.
"You really do bond with them a lot," said Shenandoah Bolding Smith, 13, about the Divas. "They're people you have to trust to watch out for you when you're jamming, and (you have to) trust them at a derby."
Asheville's Mad Diva roller derby team gives teens skills
Now she cruises around the track like a derby natural, wearing neon pink tights, the ends of her brown hair dyed red.
"My mom and I went to see (the Blue Ridge Rollergirls, the adult roller derby league) when I was 11 years old, and it was the first time I saw it," said Madison Lohwasser, 15, whose derby name is Deadbeat Darla.
"I'm so proud of my derby thighs, that's what we call them," said Bolding Smith, also known as Killer Kitty. "If I flex, I Adidas Duramo 6 Grey Running Shoes
"You get hurt, but you don't care. You're like, 'Ohhh, I'll keep going.'"
can feel all the muscles in them. That's so cool."
Her mom wanted her to try out for the teen league. "But I was like 'I can't skate.'" After getting a pair of skates for Christmas, Lohwasser decided to give it a try. It didn't hurt that her mom had already signed her up for the team.
She started coaching after her daughter, Kaitlyn, 12, joined the team.
"It gives her a lot of self confidence and empowerment," Orlovitz said. "She has much more of an 'I can do' spirit and has become more independent. Oh, it's fabulous."
One unexpected confidence builder is learning how to fall.
appreciate the team aspect of the sport.
"I saw an ad, and I thought it would help with the anger issues," said Dixon, whose derby name is Flamin' Ragin'. "It definitely has."
Her teammates, who enjoy the release and physicality offered by roller derby, echo that notion, but they also Best Adidas Duramo Shoes
Nope. Not on Wednesdays.
tough teenage roller derby girls pushing their way around the track in pink zebra and tie dyed tights, blocking the jammer and practicing for their next bout.
Coach Nicole Orlovitz, or Tricki Nikki, as she's known on the Blue Ridge Rollergirls, which she joined after turning 40 years old, said the Mad Divas got their name after the county where the team originated: Madison County.
Jillian Rae Jean Dixon, 15, found the "Mad" in "Mad Divas" appealing.
She loves the whole concept of being on skates, how it's different than other sports. The outfits and derby names are fun, too, she said.
For a few hours, this is the derby domain of the Mad Divas, a team created for girls ages 11 17, with the mission of promoting "athleticism, sports womanship and self confidence in our young women by producing family friendly roller derby."
Jillian Rae Jean Dixon, Julianne Moore, Dayna Hasson and Laurel Koenig put their hands in the middle with their teammates for a cheer at the conclusion of another practice at Tarwheels Skateway.
She added that the benefits go further. "It's like I have another family, honestly," she said. "It's so nice."
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