New Skater Training

We are pleased to announce that our ten week long Skating 101 Program will be back for 2024!    

2024 Skating 101 Sessions 

The Fall Session starts September 5th

at the Alliston Memorial Arena, 49 Nelson St. W, Alliston

For more info, email: skating101 @ renegadederbydames .com or or message us on Facebook

Drop by our Meet & Greet on August 15th, 6-7 pm!

(Event links coming soon!)

Skating 101

Sign up now and start enjoying all the health benefits that come from roller skating.

Join the community that is flat track roller derby today!!

What is the cost of Training?

Our Skating 101 program is $150 for 10 weeks of lessons, plus insurance fees. 
Roller derby insurance can be purchased from Roller Derby Canada Services (RDC).  Click for details.

When does the training program take place?

Practices are 6-7 pm on Thursdays, with extra skate time on the sidelines of the intermediate and up class which runs 7-9pm.

Where does the training program take place?

Allison Memorial Arena at 49 Nelson Street West (between Church & Paris) in downtown Alliston.

How do I sign up?

Please fill out our Online Membership Form

What do I need in order to train?

Here's everything you'll need to have before you can practice:

Please refer to the WFTDA Equipment Guide for more details. 

What do I need to know about skates before I go shopping?

Skates used in derby are flat or very low heeled quad-style skates that are also used in speed skating.  That's not to say you can't wear those stylin' Moxi skates on the track, but you should know those style of rec skates are designed for jam skating and skate parks, and can hinder your mastery of some derby skills.  That's mostly because the weight distribution pushes you onto your toes and not onto your heels where you want to be when you take a hit. 

You get what you pay for.  This especially true when it comes to skates.  Cheap-o recreation skates found for discounts online are not recommended for roller derby because they aren't sturdy enough with their poor construction and weak plates, they also generally don't have adjustable toe stops (and worse yet, they're often bell-style with less surface area), and they often come with dance heels rather than the flat speed-style skates that are most effective for derby.  We recommend shopping for derby-made skates by a trusted brand such as Riedell, Antik, Bondt, or Sure-grip.  If you have any questions about the quality of what you're buying, please ask someone who plays derby.  Feel free to email us or message us on Facebook if you want advice.

We know, investing in even low-end derby skates isn't cheap especially when you add on the rest of the gear and the cost of training, but the biggest advantage to getting decent gear is that it lasts a long time, and you can always re-sell it.  So whether you decide derby isn't for you (what!?! 🤯), or you want to upgrade to better skates that fit your newly-discovered style and preferences after skating a while, being able to sell old skates (and safety gear) allows you to get something back out of your investment.

Wish-list Accessories:

Where to get gear:

All derby shops offer starter packages, including full sets of safety gear and sometimes including the skates too.  We highly recommend checking return policies in case you need to trade something in because it's not right for you or doesn't fit right.

Loaner Gear:

 We have some used gear available to for skaters who want to try it out before investing in the gear.  We have lots of safety gear available, but spare skates are harder to come by, and we only have limited sizes.  Please let us know if you'd like to borrow anything to get started when you sign up, and we will try to find items to fit you.  Sorry, but we cannot lend mouth guards (for obvious reasons).

What will I learn during Skating 101?

Even if you’ve never tried on skates before, you will learn how to skate, stop properly and fall safely. You’ll learn fancy footwork like gliding and weaving on one foot, and changing from a forward direction to a backward direction.  You'll learn how to balance, how to hop over obstacles, and how to improve your stride for speed.  You'll learn about basic strategy and about the rules of flat track roller derby.

What you'll learn as a Skater:

You’ll find out how to deliver a powerful hit, how to take one, and how to counter hit.  You'll learn how to push and pull someone safely.  You’ll learn to work with your teammates and skate in a pack as well as how to navigate through it.  You'll learn how to cross the track quickly, how to lean an opponent out of bounds, and how to deal with unexpected obstacles.   Basically, you’ll learn all the skills you need to start playing roller derby.  Most importantly, you’ll learn how capable you are of kicking ass, and having fun while doing it!

What you'll learn as a Referee:

You’ll learn how to interpret the rules, and to apply to them to game play happening on the track.  You'll practice the hand signals and verbal cues used to issue a penalty, and learn how to blow a whistle properly as part of a referee crew.  You'll learn about the Officiating Standardized Practices and the referee positions such as Head Referee, Inside and Outside Pack Referees, and Jam Referees.  You'll learn how to work with Non-Skating Officials, to how share data with them during games.  Basically, you'll learn all the skills needed to start officiating at scrimmages and games, and gain the confidence necessary to be part of the awesomeness that is Team Zebra!

What if I don’t know how to skate? 

Just because you can’t skate yet, doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to play roller derby!  Our training program is designed for skaters of all levels, and we start out  covering the absolute basics, from gliding forward, to stopping, to falling safely, and after just a few weeks, you may be surprised at how well you’re doing.  (Please note, we encourage beginning skaters to attend as many sessions as possible and stay for the extra skate time.)  You can also practice on your own to work on your basic skills if you want to improve even faster. 

What happens during training?

You'll start off learning to skate, stop, and fall safely, then, as you go, you'll move on to practicing skills and doing drills that build on what you've learned so far.   Your coaches will discuss your progress with you at every stage, and make sure you are developing your skills safely.

You'll be expected to try hard and to never say "I can't" unless it's followed by "yet."  You'll be offered advice and support from veteran skaters.  

As you progress, you'll learn how to use what you know so far to play derby, and how the rules apply.  You'll have homework that involves reading the WFTDA Rules, doing take-home quizzes, and watching roller derby videos.  

You'll be encouraged to only compare your progress only to your earlier self rather than others, and to be proud of your accomplishments.  You'll discover that everyone learns at their own pace and will develop some skills easier than other skills, mostly depending on sports or skating background, fitness level, and dedication to training.  There is no time limit to developing your skills, and the Derby 101 program is only the start of your adventures in roller derby!

What happens after training?

Once you have completed Skating 101,  you'll join in with our league practices where you'll start to learn the tactics and strategies that we use to play roller derby.  You'll join in for warm-ups and drills right away, and participate in practice scrimmaging when you and the coaches feel you're ready.

The next step is to join a team.  There are no tryouts, but you will need to have reached a safe level in your skills, as determined by the coaches.  You will start out as a member of the Bombshell Battalion, our "B" Team, and you will be given the opportunity to try out for our Charter ("A") Team: the Striking Vikings if and when you decide you are ready. 

We currently hold one league practice a week in Alliston, one Vikings practice every other week in Angus, with frequent scrimmages and bouts, both home and away.  

Regular league dues are $60 per month, and Regular Skater Insurance coverage costs $55 for a year.

Please note: Only women and gender neutral skaters are permitted on teams under WFTDA regulations, but anyone of any gender can be a referee.  

What if I want more practice time?

You are welcome to skate on the sidelines during any of our practices.  There are also roller rinks nearby that offer open skating (and skate rental) on various days and times: The Skating Place at ODAS Park in Orillia ($10 including rental) and Scooters in Mississauga ($16-$18, +$5 rental), in addition to pop-up skate events at various locations.  In the winter, there is a free pop-up at Union Station in Toronto called Roller Express, and SUSO Skate Co currently has one open at Don Mills in North York and one at the City Centre in Brampton until June 2nd  ($12-14, with rental skates and safety gear available for a few dollars more), with one at the Bentway in Toronto starting June 14th that is free with your own gear, but also has skate rentals (starting from $18 for one hour).  One in Oshawa is also coming this fall.

For more information, email us at:  skating101 @ renegadederbydames .com