The North Star Roller Girls are going totally, like, '80s this Saturday at the Convention Center for the Totally Awesome 80s Bout, where the Delta Delta Di will go head to head with the Kilmore Girls and the Violent Femmes will test their skills against the Banger Sisters. Plan to see plenty of stonewashed jeans, scrunchies, and hairspray looks than you can shake a stick at for this send-up to the gnarly decade.
One member of the North Star Roller Girls, Emily Anderson, hopes to be able to ref for the event, but she'll have to get over an injury she got from practice the other day. Last week, she was trying to learn a new skill (a jump, with a full turn in the air, followed by landing backwards) when she ended up jamming her back.
"Injuries are fairly common," Anderson says. "Especially knee injuries and broken ankles. We took a poll and I think there are 78 pieces of surgical titanium among the league. Like any contact sport, you run the risk of falling down."
Anderson first heard about the roller derby in 2004, but since she does theater as well, it took her several years to clear her schedule. "You have to practice two or three times a week, plus put in volunteer hours. Skaters all have a job within the league," she says. Anderson also works with the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, which determines ranking and overarching policies.
Anderson says the two bouts should be pretty exciting. The Banger Sisters had a slow start this season but have really amped it up in the last bout. The Femmes, in contrast, are a really smart team. "They're really good at making the rules play to their advantage," she says. "They've come up with really good strategy." Meanwhile, the Delta Delta Di have a lot vets, though they've been working on training new recruits. As for the Kilmore Girls, Anderson says they are wonderfully fun to watch because the team really enjoys playing with each other. "You can always see they are smiling at the end of the bout," she says.
The North Star Roller Girls: Totally Awesome 80s Bout takes place from 6 to 9:30 at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis). After the bouts are over, the teams and fans will head over to Grumpy's for a celebration. It should be a fun time.