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The OC Roller Girls offers women the chance to regain confidence, freedom from superficial lifestyles... and roller skates.

Dirty Deborah Harry
Photo: Ralph Palumbo

Join the Club: The team offers fundamentals
classes on skating and how to hit properly.
877.623.3729 :: ocrollergirls.com
See the Action: April 10 at 5555 McFadden
in Huntington Beach

Deborah Monterrosa doesn’t come across as the lady-of-leisure type we know so well here in OC: the kind to spend her free waking moments getting grape seed extract facials and Botox injections, and lunching with friends after a hard morning of shopping and sending the kids off to school with the nanny. But if you ask her (and we did), that kind of lifestyle, frankly, leaves much to be desired. Monterrosa, captain of the OC Roller Girls travel team, prefers to spend her time at the skating rink, where the niceties of polite society are discarded in favor of a pair of roller skates, outlandish outfits and 14 women on an opposing roller derby team trying to pass her on an oval track.
It’s not so unusual these days. Women all over the country are joining roller derby leagues as an outlet for the tribulations of day-to-day life. “After high school and college, there are hardly any organizations or contact sports for women,” says Monterrosa.

“After they leave school, many women don’t know what they’re about, but then they get here and they get to pick their name and their outfit and they become individuals again.” (Monterrosa’s derby moniker is “Dirty Deborah Harry.”) But for Monterrosa personally, joining OC Roller Girls was a way to distract herself from the superficial rut in which many women often find themselves.

“Honestly, it helps to have some issues [when you join OC Roller Girls],” she says, laughing. “When I wasn’t skating, I was one of those women who got together with her friends to talk about bad relationships and eating disorders and why we think we’re fat.”

Letting go of those hang-ups can even lead to unexpected personal freedom. “Some women don’t know they have it in them, but then they get out there and have a little bit of contact and can’t get enough of it. I’ve seen transformations like you wouldn’t believe.”

Having joined OC Roller Girls at its inception four years ago at age 38, Monterrosa knows more than most the power of a confidence boost that comes from being part of a group of diverse women that range in age from 18 to 52 and come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. And that’s not to mention the fact that these same women consistently sell out venues to crowds of devoted fans.

“Once people come, they want to come again,” she says. It’s something you haven’t seen before, and let’s face it, it’s girls. Plus, when women get hit and roll into the crowd, that’s just a good time, period.” What more could a spectator ask for?

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