June 2014 Roller Derby Spotlight Danger Girl XLR8

June 05, 2014, 3:45 p.m. (ET)


Hometown:  Rapid City, SD

Website/journal/web log (blog) address: rollingsturgis.com

Occupation:  Event Director for Rolling Sturgis, Black Hills Mud Run, The Rapid Pursuit, Developing: Crash Pad Climbing Gym

Career goals: I will continue to bring unique events that require a level of fitness to my community. I think I will be continuously evolving those events. Before long, we plan on opening a rock climbing gym (as a family) and developing youth competitive climbing teams in our region.

Current league:  Black Hills Roller Derby – home team: Black Hills Wildfire

Years involved in derby: 6

Favorite derby position (blocker, pivot, jammer):  Wow, that’s hard, I LOVE all 3.  I was always a jammer by default, this year we have a lot of promising jammers so I get to block and jam and I have found a sincere love for blocking.

When did you begin skating:  2008 - 2009

Fondest memory of skating: I have many, but I can narrow it down to 2!  Skating in Helsinki with Tigre Force. This season BOTH of my daughters are on my home team, Ash Whippin and Sunshiner – it’s amazing to be in a sport with them – I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Future goals you hope to obtain as a skater: I want to help my team/league compete at a higher level. Individually, I just hope to always gain personal skills and agility.

Awards and/or honors received in roller sports: Numerous seasons MVP Jammer, MVP Triple Threat.

Other sports you currently participate in:  Rock Climbing and Mt. Biking

Who is your favorite sports figure:  Natalie Du Toit, the first disabled swimmer to compete in the Olympic Games.

Who is the person you most admire/greatest influence in your life and why:  I admire so many members of my family. My Grandmother, Phylis Reub, definitely helped shape my work ethic by teaching me that something is only worth doing if you are going to do it right.  I blame my perfectionism on her!

List your hobbies: Roller Derby, Roller Derby and Roller Derby.  I think I used to have others but they have escaped me.  Rolling Sturgis might be considered a hobby but I am pretty sure that is also considered Roller Derby.

What music do you listen to during training or competition?   Huge Range… Pucifer, Haim, Cloud Cult, Sleigh Bells, Die Antwoord

What makes you a unique and special person: I have no idea. I have had awesome experiences in life, but not very easy ones – many that most people would even call bad. I take positive from everything and make something out of nothing continuously.

Do you have any pre-game rituals:  Yes.  I visualize everything from warm-ups through the bout. I put my gear on in a certain order – I run through our lines and envision how the girls will work together in each of them.

Favorite movie: Boys on the Side (old but for some reason I love it)

Favorite place to shop: Target. Not much of a shopper

Most prized possession: Things are just things.. I don’t get attached to possessions too often. I would hate to lose photos of my kids and I have a small homemade doll my grandma’s sister made her out of an old sweater. She gave it to my grandma when they were kids because they had nothing, then she passed away from scarlet fever and my grandma just had the doll to remember her. That is pretty special to me.

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

Anything else you would like us to know about you: I have 5 amazing kids and a husband that supports all my crazy ideas with a smile. I am the event director of Rolling Sturgis, which I pour my heart and soul into to make it awesome and unforgettable for all my derby family.  I would never be able to do any of the things I do without an amazing network of love from my team and my family.  They are simply the best anyone could ask for.

Danger GirlFrom the nominator:  

I am nominating Tara Flannery, A.K.A. Danger Girl. She is the co-founder of Rapid City Wildfire and the Black Hills Roller Derby League (which consists of three other local teams).

Tara has been playing roller derby for 5 years, the year before she started playing she spent reffing the sport.  Reasons why she should be highlighted, oh man there is so many! The first year she started playing she came up with the idea of Rolling Sturgis, which is the first week of August held in Sturgis during the rally at the Buffalo Chip. She brings in coaches from all over the world, and team USA players to run 6 days of clinics and bouts every night. So you can do what you learned in the clinic that morning, that night. She has inspired so many of us that know her to become like her. She has a very kind heart and thinks of every aspect of every situation we come across.


Tara has made roller derby in the Black HIlls a very publicized thing. She has also turned it into a community of women who rely on each other, and can count on a second family for those that are "displaced" due to a military service member. Tara now has TWO daughters that also play the sport and are upcoming stars: Sunshiner who is 21 and has been playing for 4 years, and Ash Whippin who is just under a year playing.

Tara is looked up to by everyone in the league and is a fabulous leader. She takes very well of everyone and always keeps her head on her shoulders. Tara is a phenonmal woman and has taught us so much. She is a great role model for everyone. If she doesn't know the answer she will find out and tell you promptly.

Tara is the reason why roller derby is growing so fast in the Black Hills.