Focus Pocus (Cedar Rapids Roller Girls)

By Danielle Fairbanks | June 25, 2012, 5:08 p.m. (ET)

Focus PocusJuly 2012 Roller Derby Spotlight

Diana Ferguson AKA Focus is currently the coach of the Cedar Rapids Rollergirls as well as an accomplished vet.  Focus takes the time to plan and run practices every week while also trying to participate herself. Her actions ALWAYS reflect her dedication, love and respect for the sport of roller derby and for her sisters; she works extremely hard both on and off skates. She is starting her fourth season with CRRG. Diana leaves the drama at the door and she is all about the fitness and sport of derby. 


Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Occupation & current employer: MOM of 4yr old Son - Owner/Operator Studio 5 Photography

- Production Artist YellowbookUSA to pay the bills.


Career goals: Full-Time Photography Studio/Self Employment


Current league: Cedar Rapids Roller Girls Inc.


Derby name & number: Focus Pocus 1/500


Focus PocusYears involved in derby: 3 Yrs – Going into my 4th Season


Coaches name: Myself, Team Captain: Flashdance YerPantzoff  & Co Captain: American Pie


Favorite derby position (blocker, pivot, jammer): Blocker/Pivot – Jammer in a crunch


When did you begin skating: As a kid, I skated everywhere. My first skates were tall boots w/ metal wheels. I still have my first pair of “real” skates I bought myself, including the skate case. I took pride in never missing a school skate, and never falling. When I tried out for Derby, I had not skated for over 15+yrs

Fondest memory of skating: Roller Disco as a kid, my baby blue satin roller disco jacket, selling tickets to my “figure staking performances” to neighborhood kids, bout road trips w/ my team mates. CRRG has endured some turnover and we have done some rebuilding in the last few months. One of my best memories this season is from our first away bout. We were behind 20pts with just minutes left. We pulled together and brought home a win with a 23pt Jam!


Focus PocusOther sports you currently participate in: Derby was my first Team sport, as we all know derby does not leave a ton of free time, I cross train 3 days a week & I try to run a few 5K’s in the summer & fall. Before Derby I completed a Sprint Triathlon in the late 90’s and the Chicago Marathon in 2003.


Who is your favorite sports figure: Olympic Athletes: Love the personal interest stories, overcoming personal obstacles, and the fact they do it for the love of the sport. Dorothy Hamill, Mary Lou Retton, Picabo Street, Dara Torres.


Who is the person you most admire/greatest influence in your life and why: My parents, for their work ethic and unconditional support.


List your hobbies: Thrifting/upcycling, anything creative, running


What music do you listen to during training or competition? A bit of everything: Barenaked Ladies, White Stripes, Neil Young, Joss Stone, Dar Williams, Pieta Brown, Train, Blues Traveler etc. I am all over the place, even Olivia Newton John – Xanadu.


What makes you a unique and special person: I have a photographic memory, so don’t give me names of streets for directions, I need landmarks. For Derby, I learn a lot from reviewing still images, both of myself or others. I look to see if I am actively watching for the jammer, communicating w/ the pack & my form when hitting & blocking. I look at other skaters to see their form when they are hitting, blocking or jamming and I try to do the same in the mirror to get the form down.


Favorite food before a competition: Water, Subway, sometimes a coffee for a little boost.

Favorite movie: My All time fave is Grease, the original. Others: Something’s Gotta Give, Love Actually, Bridgette Jones Diary, pretty much anything w/ Drew Barrymore.


Favorite place to shop: Consignment/Thrift Stores, Target


Most prized possession: Besides my Son/family, & my Dogs. I guess my portfolio/photos.


If you could pick one word to describe you, what would it be: Loyal


Focus PocusAnything else you would like us to know about you:

Motto I live by:

I may not be the strongest, I may not be the fastest, but I will be damned if I am not going to try my hardest. It’s about Drive – Determination - Dedication


My reality is that I cannot do & think derby 100%+ of the time, as much as I would like too. I have to pick and chose what I can afford to commit myself too from day to day. As we all know, Derby can take over your life. Each day my goal is to find the balance & have fun.