Story last updated at 6/15/2012 - 6:46 pm
What do you get when a bunch of empowered women, comfortable knocking each other over at speed, and have them throw a party to celebrate their first two years as the Juneau Roller Girls (JRG)? If you’re Rotaract, KXLL and Night Moods, you pitch in and make it a dressed-up, booty-shaking celebration of strength, courage and down-and-dirty fun. At least, that’s what I imagine Roller Prom will be. What it is (beyond Jungle themed) is ultimately up to those who come to the Juneau Arts and Culture Center at 9:00 p.m. on June 16 to celebrate with Juneau’s own derby girls.
This is the third iteration of Adult Prom to be put on by Rotaract and KXLL, and it has already been solidly established that the event is one not to be missed, even if your only suits are Carhartt’s and the birthday variety. Adding the attitude and energy of the Juneau Roller Girls — fresh off a phenomenally close bout against the Fairbanks Roller Girls Raven Rebels and the Season Finale “Brawl in the Family” — will only step up the Adult Prom game. The athleticism, determination and drive that the women of JRG have shown over the last two years promises to bring a level of no-holds-barred celebration to the jungle-themed party.
The B-Team All Stars will be performing for the event — although they play separately as Playboy Spaceman and Tiger Pilot, this is a unique opportunity to see these two talented groups perform together. Rumor (i.e. derby girls) has it that there will be booty-shaking music care of KXLL’s In Dekline (a.k.a. Andy Kline) during set breaks, so there’s sure to be something to get any human butt moving. The ladies of the JRG will also putting on a performance early in the night, but unless you had ring-side seats to any of this season’s bouts, you’ll still be missing out on the excitement that is women’s flat track roller derby. But don’t worry, the girls are still practicing, and will be back on their skates in the 2012-13 season.
The skaters and refs involved in roller derby risk life and limb to bring this sport to Juneau, and the sold-out crowds at Centennial Hall have brought a huge amount of enthusiasm for the game, even when they don’t have a clue what’s happening on the track. I suppose that there is just something about strong women having fun, skating fast, and knocking each other over while wearing booty shorts that just gets a crowd going like curling never will. It is also a testament to our community’s support for what is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country that although the Juneau Roller Girls have sold out every one of their local bouts. We found the venues in Anchorage and Fairbanks strangely empty, with vacant seats abounding and crowds that reacted more strongly to an offer of a free t-shirt than to a power jam or massive pile-up on the track. In Dekline has announced play-by-play action for the 360° North and KXLL broadcasts of two JRG bouts – a first-in-the-world alignment of public radio, TV, and roller derby – and this has allowed roller derby to reach an Alaskan and even world-wide audience, which may explain why the excitement about Juneau roller derby is bigger than any facility in town.
Rotaract and its members have teamed up with KXLL on both of the past Adult Proms, noting that KXLL is actively involved in and supportive of a wide variety of events in the community; JRG, like KXLL and Rotaract, has a strong connection to our community and a proven record of supporting local non-profits. Of course, as a relatively high-profile event that attracts both attendees and attention from the community at large, some of the wilder happenings at the event may not be exactly what the organizers had in mind – when I asked Rotaract members if they had learned any lessons from past events, I was told that they want “to keep the festivities at the festival and preferably, not in the news paper. Some pictures aren't meant to be news.” With Night Moods an event sponsor, Juneau Roller Girls the main attraction, jungle-themed decorations and attendees “encouraged to come fully dressed in the animal print, flora and fauna that reminds us of the deep green jungle,” this year’s Adult Prom should pass as local color, but will hopefully stay off the front page (unless those jungle outfits bring out the wild side in everyone, in which case, expect to see a picture of a zoo on the cover of the Empire on Monday).
Adult Prom with the Roller Girls costs $10 each or $15 for couples, attendees must be 18 years or older, and Marlintini’s will provide a no-host bar for those 21 and older. Tickets are available at www.jahc.com <http://www.jahc.com/> ; www.capitalcityrotaract.wordpress.com <http://www.capitalcityrotaract.wordpress.com/> – if you purchase tickets soon, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a limo ride to prom for you and five friends, as well as corsages and a trip to the photo booth at the event. All proceeds benefit the Juneau Roller Girls and KXLL Excellent Radio, and you can get your photo taken with your favorite derby girl(s) at the booth.
For more information on Juneau Roller Girls, visit www.juneaurollergirls.com <http://www.juneaurollergirls.com/> , where you can find information on upcoming intro to skating classes, practice schedules, and other information on women’s flat track roller derby. They’re recruiting for fresh meat (new skaters) now, so join the women of the JRG at Adult Prom in your very best leopard print, and make this night in the jungle the first night of your derby life.