Our relationship with Dirty Deborah Harry goes back to the heydays of roller derby. Rolla Co-Founder LuluDemon had been invited to coach at RollerCon Down Under, a 5-day roller derby convention and training camp in Caloundra, Australia in 2011. Arriving at the coach accommodations after many hours spent flying, Lulu learned that she was to share a small room with the one and only Dirty Deborah Harry.
Excited but also slightly intimidated, Lulu headed on in to meet her new roomie. Now, if you’ve ever watched her YouTube videos, you’ll have gotten a sense of what a funny, kind and talented rollerskating coach Dirty Deborah Harry is. Well, it isn’t an act! After spending many days in close quarters laughing and learning from each other, LuluDemon and Dirty became lifelong friends.
When Rolla Skate Club was officially born in 2018, we were looking for a trainer to help us learn how to teach beginner rollerskaters. From her time spent coaching with Dirty, Lulu knew she was one of the best technical rollerskating instructors out there, plus a super fun person to spend time with! We called up our old friend, and she flew in for our first 2 days of intensive Rolla Instructor Program here in Vancouver, Canada.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Covid pandemic. With her family’s rink Fountain Valley Skating Center closed, Dirty Deborah Harry teamed up with her nephew to create instructional rollerskating videos for YouTube. Her combination of straight-talking, humour and experienced coaching technique has proved to be a winning formula, gathering her 150 thousand subscribers on her Dirty School of Skate channel and video views hitting the millions.
Now we are excited to be teaming up with Dirty to bring her awesomeness to Rolla Skate Club regularly! Learn from her LIVE on our monthly Zoom classes with a Virtual Rolla Membership and watch this space for more exclusive Rolla x Dirty videos coming soon. “Snack area tight people!”
So Dirty Deborah Harry, when did you start rollerskating? I started skating in the early 1970s, around age 3. I am a third-generation skater and skating instructor. Both of my parents and grandparents on both sides were skaters and skating teachers. My family has owned and operated the Fountain Valley Skating Center since 1976.
What do you love the most about rollerskating? The pure and utter joy it brings me. I love the freedom of movement. I love the combination of power and grace it creates.
What about coaching do you enjoy? I believe self-esteem is built on achievement. Not necessarily the traditional markers of achievement, though. I consistently see students overcome obstacles and challenges in skating, and I see the change in their self-esteem, which affects every facet of their lives.
What types of skating do you do? e.g. artistic, derby, park etc. I have done figure, freestyle, speed, park, derby, dance, R&B, show, outdoor … everything but hockey.
What’s your favorite skating move right now? Inner backspins
What is your skate set up right now? Boots: Vintage Riedell Ice (hand painted) Plate: Snyder Advantage by Sure-Grip Wheels: Sure-Grip Motion – outdoor wheel Bearings: Qube Ceramic by Sure-Grip Toe Stops: Sure-Grip Web
Tell us something random and non-rollerskating about you. I am the product of a Catholic School education … take from that what you will 😉
What drives you? My mission is to bring quality skate education to the masses. I absolutely LOVE beginners, and I support all on their journey that I hope lasts a lifetime. Never stop rolling, my skater friends.
Want to learn from Dirty Deborah Harry? Try our Virtual Rolla Membership FREE for 7 days and get exclusive access to live Zoom classes with the lovely lady herself!