BuddhaLicious of the Cleveland Steamers and HazMat Crew
What your fellow skaters call you?: Buddha
Q:When did you first join BRRG?
I joined BRRG in August of 2009 after skating at the wRECk league for almost a year.
Q:What teams are you currently on?
Cleveland Steamers baby! I’m also on the HazMat travel team.
Q:What prompted you to get into derby?
I have been an ice skater all my life and am a professional figure skating coach. I have been going to Skaters Edges for my figure skates since I can remember, so I have known Rich “the skate guru” for a very long time. Rich had been encouraging me to try this “roller derby thing” every time I went in the store. I was just too busy with my competitive ice dancing career and coaching. I finally retired from competition and thought I’d check it out. I went to the BRRG Black and Blue charity bout and fell in love with it. The wRECk league was having its very first practice the following week, so I went. It changed my life, and I had my first pair of derby skates the next day. The girls at wRECk were former BRRG skaters and really supported me to go and try out the following August for the league.
Q:So, you’re a figure skating coach? How does that tie in with derby skating?
I have been a skater since I was 3. It’s been a part of my life personally and professionally for 34 year … wow that makes me sound old. Being a coach and understanding the basics of balance, body positions and alignment helps when a fellow skater in the league has questions on how to make sense of a skating move. Skating is skating, and it all has the same concepts. I caught on to roller fairly quickly due to its similarity. I’ve been known to do a few figure skating-like moves during a bout to save me from falling since in figure skating that is the last thing you ever want to do.
Q:Do you have a favorite moment from last season?
The Championship bout between the Hellbombers and the Rolling Pin-ups. Very exciting to see the Pin-Ups win. I love both teams, and they were incredible to watch. It really got the fans on their feet. There is a fun rivalry between the teams now and it makes it really fun.
Q:Tell our fans 1 fun fact about you: I took a synchronized swimming class when I was 9 and learned a routine to “Eye of the Tiger,” and I can still do it!
Q:What was it like coaching Jr. Skaters as a first year BRRG yourself? I love coaching the Cleveland Firestarters Jr. Roller Derby league. They are amazing. It has made me a better skater because I have to break things down and explain them in simple terms. The girls have made me realize what this sport is truly about … fun. I also realized how much organizing is require to put a league together and keep it going. You need a big support team! Thanks everyone!!!
Q:What message do you try to convey to your Jr. Derby Skaters? It’s important to be committed, work hard and play hard and keep it fun. Every skater is part of our roller derby family. It’s the place where you can become confident, powerful and know that you matter.
Q:Which opponent leaves you shaking in your skate boots? I’d have to say that Monster and Finny from the Knockers are some hard hitters and scare me a bit. I’ve got some strategic plans to make sure they don’t get away with knocking me this season.
Q:What is your favorite practice drill or workout and why? LA freeway is now my favorite. It’s like crazy, mad derby. Having a jam just keep going for 10-30 minutes without stopping, skaters switching on and off the track is a great way to learn to play. Lots going on and serious teamwork.
Q:What are you looking forward to most in Season 5? I can’t wait to have my first full season with the Steamers. The dynamics have changed and skill levels are higher than ever. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves, so watch out everyone!
Q:Do you have a derby mentor? I think many skaters have been mentors to me. Angel N. Shadows helped me gain to confidence to become a BRRG skater. Once I became part of the league, everyone helped me become the skater I am today. All my fellow Steammates encourage me every day to be the best derby skater I can be. I love them all.