NEWS & EVENTS
What's coming up? What'd you miss? The best place for up-to-the-minute news about locations, sessions, events and other fun-filled DERBY LITE Roll Out Fitness Skating infoedutainment is right here.
WHAT IS DERBY LITE?
Here’s a visual, if you like that kind of thing.
Derby Lite was founded in 2007 when Barbara ‘Queen B’ Dolan missed the friends, fun and exercise she’d found in the Windy City Rollers competitive roller derby league from which she’d retired a year earlier after 20 months of training and one league championship. She brought together 13 adventurous friends, many of them working moms just like her in their 30s and 40s, who loved the idea of roller derby but couldn’t make the time commitment or accept the risk of injury. Derby Lite became the first-ever deliberately-safe and intentionally-fun roller skating workout based on the skills and drills of competitive women’s flat track roller derby, and in just twelve weeks there were over 40 members eager to skate twice a week in her small Chicago suburb of Oak Park (home of Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright, for you literature and architecture nerds).
In 2009, the demand for more classes and differentiated training yielded the formation of DERBY LITE, LLC – a real business with a plan. We offered multi-level classes and national Instructor Certification so even more women could skate for fun & fitness, and some of them could get a paycheck for doing it! Now we have nearly a thousand active members ages 18 to 75 in a dozen locations nationwide – and growing!
With derby in our roots – and, uh, our name – we often hear that “roller derby classes” would be too difficult or dangerous, "I could never do that... I would get hurt" women would say, despite our reassurance that we skated for fun & fitness, not competition. We would explain there was no impact other than when you're falling on purpose for certain drills because it's such a great workout to throw yourself to the floor and get back up again. (No, really.) They'd go on to say how much they loved roller skating when they were younger and what great shape they were in back then, but still, "No, thanks."
Plus, Queen B couldn’t fall on her knees like she used to, so she needed a class that packed a great workout that’s gentle on the knees into one awesome hour.
So we took a little step away from big sister roller derby and a big step toward the mainstream American exerciser.
And ‘Roll Out’ Fitness Skating was born.
Fitness Skating is making its way into the world of roller sports, joining jam skating, speed skating, artistic skating, roller hockey and roller derby. And now it's making its way into the traditional (we refer to that as "off-skates") fitness world, too.
We employ cutting edge fitness methodologies like dynamic warm-ups and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to ensure a safe and effective workout.
Before that, we teach women how to properly use protective gear and the basics of stride, stopping, falling and maneuvering in the prerequisite ‘Start Out’ class. This ensures everybody is on the same page when it comes to safety, stability and lingo when they move onto the faster, more challenging classes.
And then there’s ‘Derby Lite’ Skills & Drills. Our classic class that incorporates the advanced skating skills and partner and pack work of competitive teams, without the impact or competition.
DERBY LITE Program Partners bring our classes to locations nationwide. We offer program management training, Instructor Certification, marketing materials and proven curricula that ensure women become safe and skillful participants that fall in love with roller skating. (Are you interested?)
In addition to our classes, DERBY LITE members also participate in extracurricular activities. We skate together in parades, in the American Cancer Society Walk & Roll (we've raised nearly $200,000) and other charitable events, and participate as a group in fun outdoor fitness activities like mud runs and obstacle courses. D'Lite'rs enjoy regular social outings and find that the friendships formed at class often grow and last far beyond skating. DERBY LITE doesn't put on bouts. We don't elbow each other in the face or try to knock each other down. We fall - but usually on purpose and get right back up again – because since we teach the correct way to fall, we don’t get hurt… and falling and getting back up again is great exercise. DERBY LITE is the newest, edgiest, most fun way to get fit and be part of an amazing community of women. It's way more than your typical exercise class.
FOUNDER & SECRETARY OF SKATE
Barbara “Queen B” Dolan founded DERBY LITE in November 2007 and gained a partner in
Trina “New York Doll” Bockus in 2009. Together (and with lots of help) they run the business Roller Skating for Fun & Fitness.
Derby Lite is not camera shy. Take a look at some of our lovely ladies-in-skating during some of our most fun events, which obviously includes classes!