Dita D’Stroia – League Profile
Tagline: “She may look sweet and innocent but she’ll rip you to shreds”
Home league: Aurora 88s, League President
Home Team: Divas de las Muertas
How did you get involved with roller derby?
I had heard about Windy City Rollers from a friend of mine. When I finally caught a game for the first time, I was in love. I became a BIG fan and Star, my wife, and I would catch a game whenever we could. A couple years later we were at Aurora Skate Center and saw that there was a track painted on the floor. I found out that there was a league there, and joined shortly after. It was reassuring when I found out that Devi Metal was the one running practice because I sort of knew her through a mutual friend. Since then I’ve been hooked!
How long have you been playing roller derby?
A little over a year
How did you come up with your derby name?
I had recently cut my bangs, and many of my friends were calling me Dita because of Dita Von Tese. I liked the idea of doing something that had to do with a siren, and since Dita is a modern day “siren” I wanted to keep that. I also wanted to toughen it up a bit. It just so happens that there is a poem about sirens written by a guy with the last name Van Damme… also Jean Claude Van Damme is pretty tough (in a funny kind of way), so that’s what I went with. I skated as Dita Van Damn for awhile, but I never really felt like that was IT. I finally changed it to D’Stroia because I liked that it sounded kinda menacing (destroy ya) and also that it still goes with the siren thing… a destroyer, sailors, etc. So you see it was an easy process.
Can you talk a bit about your rookie year and how you learned to play roller derby?
Technically, I’m still a rookie. I have yet to play a public bout. I started with the Dupage Derby Dames last September. I knew how to skate, but Devi helped me get better and become more confident on wheels. I was also fortunate to be able to train with Ivy before I got preggers, and she helped build up my endurance and taught me some new strategies. I hope to be bouting by the next home season.
What is your roller derby playing position of choice?
What is your skate gear of choice?
Hopefully, when I come back I will be purchasing Vanilla Vandals, not sure what plate yet, but I’m pretty sure I want heartless pushers. I’ll be keeping my Sure Grip fugitive wheels and Bones Swiss bearings. My Triple 8 Brainsaver helmet still works for me, and everything else I have is Pro-Tec, which I will probably switch out in the near future too.
Do you have a pre-bout ritual?
Because I’ve been bench coaching- I freak out about the line ups and try and make sure everyone gets a chance to play… and also pee about 300 times because I’m pregnant.
What is your favorite derby moment?
Seeing the crowds at our first public bout was a really proud moment for me. It took me back to when we split with the Dames and we’re trying to pull everything back together. Devi, Rage and I sat in Rage’s shop for practically a week straight trying to re-formulate a new league as fast as possible. We had all thought at one point, “is all this work worth it?…or maybe we should just give up?” Seeing all of the efforts of the league members coming together, and all of the skaters playing so well after training so hard was probably one of the best moments of my life. I put in just a little bit of work compared to all the efforts that it took by everyone to get the league to that point, and yes… it was worth it.
Who are your derby heroes?
Suzy Hotrod of Gotham and Team USA is my derby hero. I had a chance to see her skate during nationals last year at Uproar on the Lakeshore. She is incredibly talented, and totally ripped, not to mention a hard hitting blocker and a badass jammer. It was love at first sight.
I also kind of have a derby crush of Varla Vendetta of WCR and also Team USA.
Do you have a motivational quote?
I’m not a Star Wars geek by any means, but “do or do not, there is no try,” is my inspirational quote thanks to Yoda.
What do you think about when you’re lacing up your skates?
I don’t know if I’ve ever thought about one thing in particular when lacing up, but now that I’m currently not playing derby and in a pregnant state, I think about how my playing roller derby will affect the daughter I’m about to have. I want to show her that yes women can be gentle, kind and caring but they can also be active and tough. That and I wasted too much of my life wishing I could do something instead of actually doing it, and I want her to see me being an active participant in my life so hopefully she’ll do the same in hers.
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Devil in Disguise by Elvis Presley
What are some of your other hobbies/passions outside of derby?
I have too many! For the last year it’s mostly revolved around getting ready for the baby… sewing her crib set, making the mobile, and organizing and decorating the nursery. I also like to read, scrapbook, paint, and crochet when there’s time. My next project is going to be to remodeling the doll house that my grandpa built for me so I can pass it down.
How has your involvement in roller derby affected the way you live the rest of your life?
Profoundly. I have always been the quiet one, I never joined clubs or sports before, and I would have in no way ever considered myself an athletic person in the past. Not only did derby change all that, but it made me want to be a leader. I was always afraid to speak up or make decisions because I was afraid that I would be wrong and I had absolutely no confidence in myself. I never would have ever considered the possibility that someday I would be the President of a derby league. It has changed my entire outlook on myself, and on life, to be totally honest. I am a much more capable person than I ever gave myself credit for in the past.
Any advice for girls who want to join roller derby?
Do it because you want to PLAY roller derby, not because you want to BE a roller girl… and then prepare for the best addiction you’ve ever had.
What do you love best about being an Aurora 88?