Geli Jams U Up – Skater Profile
Tagline: I don’t think your ready for this Geli, she’ll knock your sweet tooth out
Home league: Aurora 88s
Home Team: Divas De Las Muertas
How did you get involved with roller derby?
I started out as a spectator, the first bout I went to was a Chicago Outfit game, from then on I was just going to their games and WCR’s. Then one night creeping through craigslist I saw one was starting in the burbs and I just had to jump on it.
How long have you been playing roller derby? About a year and a half now.
How did you come up with your derby name? Everyone already calls me Geli short for Angelica so I knew I wanted to keep Geli somehow. Originally I was Geli Sais Quoi after the French saying “Jenna Sais Quoi” meaning you have that certain extra special thing about you. But after it confusing a bunch of peeps and being butchered by an announcer I changed it to Geli Jams U Up, and I think it fits me and my personality on the track since I l like causing jams ups on the track with my booty.
Can you talk a bit about your rookie year and how you learned to play roller derby? I did not know how to skate, period. In fact for the first couple months I had to use the rinks rental skates. The hardest part and still the hardest part for me is getting comfortable with your skates and trusting your skates.
Learning the actual sport of roller derby didn’t seem too much of a challenge since before I did go to games to watch and got the general concept. Now it’s all about the small details that you need to be aware of when playing, like how to enter the track from a penalty box, or what happens if a jammer drops her panty during a star pass. Gotta know these things now.
What is your roller derby playing position of choice? Pivot/Blocker. This past season my team has really let me grow as pivot. At first I was nervous to do so because I don’t want to come off as bossy, or mean. I had a concern about girls just not caring what I had to say because I felt like the response would be “who’s she to tell me what to do?!”. That wasn’t the case at all and my team encouraged me to be that loud voice on the track. I feel that I have a good sense of awareness, who’s where, how far away, are they on the in or out and I am able to communicate it. I’m also more for positional blocking and plays other than the big hits, I’ll save those for the jammer. At a WCR game watching I had Ivy Sedation tell me that I have a mind for a pivot, and that I could be a star pivot. I keep that as my goal
What is your team theme song? Rob Zombie- Living Dead girl but we also have adopted a winning song and that’s Harry Belafonte Jump in the Line
What is your team motto? Divas NEVER Die!
What is one thing that really inspired you about playing with your current team? During a scrimmage we go around reminding each other what to do, what to look for and other tips. I gave a mini speech about a previous scrimmage we had where we felt like we killed it. Where every time skating off the track there were high fives and good jobs left and right. I was reminding the girls how great and awesome that felt and how to keep that positive thinking and momentum. I was so happy for us talking about this moment I started to tear up. Cough Cough ….I mean
I love when I’m able to look the left and right of me and know my team has my back and we can pull of AMAZING things together.
How does your team stay focused and motivated during bouts? Everyone has their own method. Personally I like to just keep the fun going. This can be joking around or busting a move at the pivot line, positivity is key for me. Also good feed back from bench coaches and captains help, telling me what I missed or need to do next time.
What is one derby training tip you would give to derby girls and/or teams just starting out? Derby is not for the faint, you have to be really committed. People think it’s just practices and game days but there is so much that goes behind the scenes. You are a business, and you are employees of this business. You have to run marketing, sponsorship, fundraising, promotions, renting chairs for seating, music, lights, computers, training, articles, complaints, street teaming, printing, websites, photos, refs, NSO’s, volunteers, gear orders, uniforms, meetings, upon meetings and it’s all so you can skate. Derby becomes your life and it’s not for everyone but be honest if you have the time and dedication to do it and the pay off is great, for you get to meet the most gorgeous, fascinating smart women, and grow yourself as a wonderful skater and human.