By day, Lacie Matthews is an educator at the Utah Diabetes Center and a professional dietician.
But by night----she changes. Gone are the professional suits and demeanor. Gone is the quiet, well mannered Miss Matthews. Now she wears fish net stockings and turns into--- HONEY DELUNATIC!
'Honey' is a Derby Girl. She roller skates in "bouts," derbies where the girls skate around a hockey-sized rink to the wild screams of rabid fans. She uses her elbows and shoulders to knock other women out of the way.
"It's so much fun There is real friendship between the girls, the ones on your team and the ones in the leagues. You get 60 new best friends when you join the league. You can have a nemesis on the track, and go hang out afterwards," Matthews says.
But it's not all fun and games. To be on one of the growing number of teams, skaters must practice with the team twice a week and do one promotional event a month. They have to appear at every bout, whether as a skater or just helping out. There were nine bouts last season.
"Our league is run by the skater for the skaters, so there's many jobs that need to be done during a bout," Matthews says.
But the "alter ego," the identity each girl designs for herself, is a big part of Roller Derby, and part of the reason some skaters join. Even when working as a ticket taker, skaters keep their alter egos.
The league expects over a dozen new athletes to come to the tryouts November 11 at the Hollywood Connection skating rink. Skating ability is not all that necessary.
"We are looking for basic skating skills, balance, agility, the ability to propel yourself forward, we're not looking for aggression," Matthews, captain of the season champion team "Bomber Babes," says.
The skaters will be divided into to small groups at the tryouts, with different 'stations,' each manned by one of the team captains. A different skill will be tested at each station, such as balance or speed. The tryouts are relaxed and cheerful. Most women wear a skirt or shorts and a tank top for the tryouts. Age, weight and size are not a factor.
"If they become a Derby Girl, we teach them how to hit and how to fall. Once they make a team, they have a kind of vetting period, where they get used to playing and skating around other girls before they get into full contact," Matthews explained.
With the cheering fans, it's easy to imagine new skaters getting stage fright. Matthews just laughs.
"I believe that is someone wants to be a Derby Girl, they know they will be skating in front of a crowd. It might be a way to help someone come out of their shell. Honey Delunatic is truly an alter ego of mine," Matthews said.
The women who slam into each other on the track come from a variety of professions, from bartenders to accountants. But when they lace on their skates, they are just Roller Derby Girls, ready to bash and dash with the best of them. Given the incredible growth of both new teams and new fans, Roller Derby may have come back to stay.