Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, "Whip It," throws a spotlight on the resurgence of all-girl roller derby - a rough-and-tumble contact sport in which women on roller skates circle a track in a blur of fish nets, tiaras, tattoos and trash talk.
But the sport's long been alive and brutally kicking in the Valley.
The Arizona Derby Dames (AZDD), a league of gritty-and-pretty girls on wheels, has been whirling around and wiping out on Valley roller tracks since 2005. They'll celebrate the opening of Barrymore's film with events kicking off Wednesday in Chandler.
More than 100 women - who skate under aliases like All The Way Mae and Rogue Kill - belong to the league's five teams: the Brutal Beauties, Coffin Draggers, Bombshells, Runaway Brides and Schoolyard Scrappers. In their bouts, players called jammers and blockers skate in a tight pack around a track, scoring when jammers whip through the melee to lap blockers.
Here's where you can join the fun, without fear of getting hurt. For details on each event, visit www.azderbydames.com.
"Whip It" Night
8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday at USA's Skateland Chandler, 1101 W. Ray Road, Chandler; (480) 917-9444.
Skate with the Arizona Derby Dames and get derby lessons at this special showing of the "Whip It" movie trailer and a video previewing the AZDD's 2010 season. You can also win tickets to the movie. $6 admission includes skate rental.
"Whip It" Official Viewing Party
9 p.m. to midnight Thursday at Harkins Theatres Tempe Marketplace 16, 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe; (480) 557-0027.
Meet the Derby Dames and win movie tickets, AZDD T-shirts and skate art before seeing the movie at midnight. AZDD events are free; movie tickets are $9.50 for adults.
Meet the Dames
7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at Harkins Theatres Tempe Marketplace 16 and Scottsdale 101 14, 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix; (480) 538-1707.
Visit Derby Dames in the theater lobbies to learn about the league and sign up for tryouts later this fall. AZDD events are free; movie tickets are $9.50 for adults.
Bout and open skate
6:30 p.m. to midnight Oct. 17 at USA's Skateland Chandler.
Watch a live roller derby bout, then join an open skate with the players. Advance purchase for $5, or $8 at the door; fee includes skate rental.
7 p.m. Nov. 5 at The Arizona State Fair, 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, Phoenix; www.azstatefair.com.
See live roller derby inside Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a mini-tournament featuring all five AZDD teams. Free with paid admission ($10 adult) to the state fair. Bring your Harkins Theatres "Whip It" movie ticket stub to the gates and receive half off of fair admission that day.