Derby Lite - Roller Skating for Fun and Fitness
Derby Lite - Roller Skating for Fun and Fitness
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About Us: Let's Make Some History Together
Derby Lite

Here's a spiffy visual to explain the three classes in our program.

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 in their 30s and 40s just like her, 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 eager members in the school gym of 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. We served thousands of active members ages 18 to 75 in dozens of locations nationwide, with hundreds of those women going on to competitive roller derby, speed skating, aggressive skating, artistic skating, ice skating, or just becoming the coolest mom at the roller rink field trip.

Fitness Skating joins the best of both worlds of roller sports and fitness. We employ cutting edge fitness methodologies like dynamic warm-ups and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to ensure a safe and effective workout, with full-body balanced class plans and a stretch sequence like no other.

But before that, we teach women how to properly use protective gear. We teach the basics of stride, stopping, falling and maneuvering in our Learn-to-Skate classes. 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 Skills & Drills. Our classic class that incorporates the advanced skating skills with the partner and pack work of competitive roller derby without the impact or competition. The best part? Our injury rate (because c'mon, we’re on wheels and gravity works) is 0.4%. That means only one in 250 skaters had an injury serious enough to warrant seeing a doctor. Compare that to some roller derby statistics that show something more like a 40% injury rate for traditional, competitive training programs.

We know how to teach people to skate. We know how to make them fit while they do it. And we know how to make the whole thing fun!

For nine years we offered Program Partnerships and helped women open new Derby Lite class locations in cities across the U.S. We managed all the details when it came to those classes and the people who ran them. It became pretty onerous and expensive to do. We decided it wasn’t fun to lose money and work 60 hours a week, so we took a step back and decided to focus on what we were best at: Helping folks learn to roller skate and making them healthier, happier humans as they did.

Read the official Derby Lite, LLC announcement about ​our business change, HERE.

Today, Derby Lite offers its three classes and Instructor Certification as Do-It-Yourself packages for individuals, leagues and facilities interested in offering roller skating classes to their community. Take what we've learned, come up with your own name, and bring roller skating for fun & fitness – and maybe even a little fiscal reward – to your home town.

See more about our D-I-Y Class Packages and Instructor Certification HERE.

Barbara “Queen B” Dolan founded DERBY LITE in 2007 and gained a partner in Trina "New York Doll" Bockus in 2009. Together with Jackie "Scrapunzel" Lazaro, Adminiskater Extraordinaire, they run the business of Roller Skating for Fun & Fitness.

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