Gold Coast Derby Grrls Make Big 5 Debut

September 29, 2011

Power animals and roller derby go hand-in-hand for Gold Coast Derby Grrls

by Shelly Shankya

For the 2010 WFTDA Big 5 season, animal power played a pivotal part in team motivation in the South Central Region. From Kansas City Roller Warriors howling their wolf pack chant, to Atlanta Rollergirls skaters donning bunny tails, the power animal made itself prominent during tournament play.

Gold Coast Derby Grrls

Gold Coast Derby Grrls from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. debuted as a WFTDA member league in March 2011 after an eight-month WFTDA apprenticeship, and were ranked #9 in the South Central region during the second quarter to place them at South Central Region Playoffs. And they’ve got a power animal, too: the butterfly.

We caught up with Gold Coast Derby Grrls to find out more about their power animal, how they feel about going to playoffs in their first season as a WFTDA league, and more!

“Our power animal joined us at the beginning of this season, and it’s a BUTTERFLY,” Bear Lee Human, GCDG’s bench coach, said. “You can often see our team make the hand signal to call for butterfly power after they have a particularly tough jam, as well as flying our butterfly flag during team introductions. We have looked to our butterfly to give us calming energy so we can quickly regroup when we need to. This is something that we felt we needed to work on at the beginning of the season, and our butterfly has helped us remedy this.”

The league of 50 skaters has big plans for SC Region Playoffs, but wants to use the calming energy of the butterfly to take things one step at a time.

“We are overjoyed at being ranked #9 for the tournament!” Bear Lee Human said. “We have worked very hard to get where we are. We’ve had to do a lot of fundraising and traveling to play the teams we needed to play to grow. For an ever-growing league, we hope to show the world that we are a team they want to come play. Of course everyone wants to come out on top, but we are looking at this tournament one bout at a time and as an opportunity to learn and grow.”

And it’s not just the team as a whole who plans to embrace their inner animal. A few skaters for GCDG let the crowd know they’ve got an animal inside.

“Kitten not Submittin' always sports cat ears and whiskers,” Bear Lee Human said. “She will often give out a loud angry kitty growl when she gets lead jammer.”

Despite being a new team in the South Central Region and feeling the pressure of tournament play, GCDG plans to keep things light, something they’ve tried to do since the league’s formation.

“We also have a motto that we have carried with us the entire season,” Bear Lee Human said. “[Our motto is] '100% More Dancing.' Roller derby may be a competitive game and we all want to win, but we remember when we first got involved with roller derby and why we fell in love with derby in the first place: it is fun!”

GCDG debuts at the South Central Region Playoffs on Sept. 30, skating against #8 Green Country Roller Girls in the second bout of the day.

South Central Region Playoffs

Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.