What is your name? Your derby name?
Marie Bencze, aka Manic Breeze
When did you join KDG?
I joined on day one, when the league started! Way back in 2009. I have never looked back.
What is your role in the league (skater, ref, NSO, etc.)?
I skate with the Disloyalists as well as the new charter team!
What committee(s) are you on?
I am on the Design and Merchandise committee this year. Previous seasons have seen me wearing a variety of different hats: peer coach, Training committee, Board of Directors (secretary), Mutual Aid Committee member, Volunteer Action Group member.
What do you love most about derby?
I love the the contact. Contact sports are rare, as an adult and even more so as a woman. I love hitting people, being hit hard. Derby provides a platform for a beautiful aggression, one where the person who falls will high five the person who took them down. I love how it is a full body sport, where your feet, ankles, obliques, shoulders, ALL of you is engaged, growing, forming new muscles and new muscle memory. I love how versatile skates become on my body, just an extension of me that allow me to move quickly, sneaking past people or smashing into them. I love jumping, spinning, learning. Speaking the language of body contact.
And I love that derby is a space that supports marginalized sexualities and identities, especially queer and trans identities. The most recent gender policy published by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is killer awesome, welcoming skaters to play women’s derby if that’s where they feel most comfortable, and keeping gender identities confidential. Killer policy!
I love the kitsch factor. I love wearing face paint. We cover our faces to uncover ourselves…I love how sexy it is. In the words of Golden Hurl, “derby girls make me feel so gay/ checking out their hips as they skate away/ tattoos and fishnets may look so tough/ come here girl, i like it rough”.
What do you do in your “real life” (for fun, for pay, for others… tell us a bit about you!)?
I am an organic vegetable farmer by trade and in 2015 I kicked off my dream project, Rad Kids, where I run Farm Camp and other food & farm education events.
I enjoy crafting, sewing, baking, reading, fighting patriarchy and other -isms, community organizing, traveling with a backpack, speaking Spanish, cooking, spending time with my partner. I am going back to school in the fall, going to work on a Master’s degree doing a community-based participatory research project with children & youth on food & farm education.
What are your derby and/or real life goals for the next year?
Becoming a more organized and effective person, being efficient in my work life, and making lots of space in my schedule for creativity, road trips, and good meals.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I was on the Girl Guide cookie box all through high school! True story.