We are getting ready for a big weekend here at Rose City Rollers! With the Betties and Juniors playing at home and Wheels of Justice duking it out for top seed over in Columbia SC at WFTDA D1 Playoffs, we couldn’t be more excited. But before the madness begins, let’s take a moment to chat with another newer Wheels Skater, Ariel Quigley.
Name – Ariel Quigley aka Quigs
Day job – Veterinary Technician
Position played – Blocker/pivot and after party twerk team captain extraordinaire.
You don’t use a derby name, did you ever? I haven’t skated under a derby name in a long time but way back when I was, Crash Dance. Like Flashdance. The movie. I have a “She’s a maniac” tattoo to commemorate these roots.
How long have you been skating? I have been skating since 2007. I had my 9 year derbyversary this past February and am currently skating in my 10th season.
How did you discover derby? I watched the the reality show about Texas in 2006. I was about to graduate from college at the time and knew that my competitive softball career was nearing an end. I watched one episode of that show and knew instantly that derby would be my next sport. I went to a Denver Roller Derby (formerly Denver Roller Dolls) bout in December 2006 and joined the league in February 2007.
Did you play sports before derby? Yep. I mainly played soccer and softball growing up. Softball became my primary sport and I played through college. I was also a dancer. My mom owned a dance studio, so I started dancing at age 3. I took classes and performed through high school.
Fun fact: I had dreams of becoming a hockey player at age 5 or 6. I had hockey skates and a stick and practiced with my dad. When it came time to join a team my only option was to play with the boys. I was shy and declined because I didn’t want to be the only girl. That sounds like a not-so-fun-fact now that I write it down, but it allowed me to have some sort of skating background, which proved to be really valuable when I started playing derby. I continued to ice skate and rollerblade for fun too.
What do you love about the sport? I love the physicality and athleticism. I never played a contact sport before derby, and it’s simply amazing what we can do with our bodies. I also really love how dynamic the sport can be – high speed, powerful walls, crazy edge work, stopping on a dime… I could go on and on. I’m just glad I get to play such a unique and challenging sport.
Photo credit: Frank Lavelle
How do you balance life and being on TT? – My husband (Scott “Scott Free” Paul) and I both coach and play derby, so it’s a big part of our lives. In fact, we met through derby. I don’t really see a life/derby balance that needs to be achieved, but rather choosing to do derby as part of life.
What derby/skating skill did you or do you struggle with the most? I actually had a hard time t-stopping when I first started. For whatever reason, it just didn’t make sense to me. I finally learned in 2009 when I decided it was silly I couldn’t execute a basic stop.
Why did you move to Portland? Simply put: I came on a lot of derby trips here, made some friends here, really liked the city, and decided it was time for a change.
The T: My husband may have planted the seed a few years back and kept pestering me to move here until I agreed it was a good idea.
Favorite thing to do outside derby? Hang out with my ridiculous dogs (check out #lexandkima on Instagram). I also enjoy shaking my ass and eating pizza.
Who was the object of your most embarrassing teenage celebrity obsession? I don’t consider this embarrassing, but I was WAY into the Spice Girls in high school. I went to their concert and dressed up as Scary Spice for Halloween.
Things you want to accomplish in 2016?
1. Sell house in Denver, move to Portland, buy house in Portland. Check.
2. Fail miserably at retiring from roller derby and skate for Rose City. Check.
3. Win the Hydra!
Advice for any new skaters out there? Focus on skating skills! Having proper form and being really good at roller skating is the best foundation for derby. I feel like a lot of people want to learn derby and strategy right away, but it’s hard to execute those things if your skating skills are lacking.
Tune in to WFTDA.tv this weekend to catch Quigs skating with Wheels of Justice!!