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Roller-derby classes offer killer workout

September 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Derby Dolls are real crowd pleasers, with all the high-speed skating and spills. Now you have a chance to get in on the action, too. It's not just fun - it's a killer workout.New classes allow men and women to learn from members of the L.A. Derby Dolls. Whether your goal is to get in shape or make the team, Derby Por Vida classes will get you rolling.

Taking place in L.A.'s Doll Factory, roller derby is a full-contact sport at high speed, thanks to a banked rink which propels you faster and encourages lots of action.

"When you see blood in roller derby, it's real. If you see broken bones, it's reall ? the game's real, nothing's scripted, our focus is athleticism," said Janis Choplin, who is the captain of one of the five league teams.

Roller Derby events may be real, but learning the derby skills is also a great way to work out.

"Derby Por Vida is great for cardio fitness, it's great for strengthening your legs," Janis Choplin said. "It's a great way to build confidence."

The instructors are actual team members. They'll get your heart rate up, teaching specific skills like duck-walking, taking off, and of course, falling with style.

"If you can fall and get up and smile about it, it's pretty easy to do any other sport after this," Janis Choplin said.

Derby Por Vida beginner classes last for 8 weeks, and they offer female-only and co-ed options.

Protective pads and mouth guards are required, while lip gloss and fishnet stockings are optional.

"This is the only place you can be aggressive and still stunningly beautiful at the same time," said Cannon Doll X, a member of the L.A. Derby Doll team The Sirens. "How could you not want to be a Derby Doll?"

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