Elka Meano may not be the flashiest player on the track, but if you have ever been on the receiving end of one of her hits, you will not soon forget that number 454 a force to be reckoned with. In 2009 she was voted runner up Hardest Hitter and 3rd runner up Best Offensive Blocker and has been a staple on the All Stars for the last three years. She is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet- check out Elka Meano!
CRG: What brought you to the Carolina Roller girls?
EM: My friends Sheila and Brian kept talking about how much they loved seeing CRG bouts at the Skate Ranch. I finally attended my first bout and was hooked. I knew Kali before derby and was really excited when she joined the league and began bouting at Dorton. The more I watched, the more I knew I wanted to give it a try.
CRG: How long have you been involved with the sport?
EM: I have been playing derby for almost 3 1/2 years unless you count playing rowdy roller tag in the basement as a kid.
CRG: What is your favorite aspect of playing roller derby?
EM: I really love the hitting. I have always enjoyed contact sports. I enjoyed boxing for the same reason. I like controlled aggression, or aggression with a purpose.
CRG: What challenges have you faced balancing a personal life with the demanding schedule of roller derby?
EM: I had to give up quite a few freelance projects, and more than a few hours of sleep. Derby can take a toll on your body and definitely make simple tasks more complicated. Painting can be extremely painful after a rough string of hard hitting practices. That’s why I am trying to use my hips more frequently. Maybe MC Fyte’s stellar hip skills will rub off on me.
CRG: Who is the biggest supporter in your life of you playing this sport?
EM: My loved ones and co-workers are always supportive of my bouts, bruises, and scheduling conflicts. Thanks Y’all.
CRG: If you could change one thing about how you have trained for roller
derby, what would you change?
EM: More time watching footage of myself from the beginning. You think you know how you skate, or how you played, but only footage lets you know what areas truly need improvement. Someone can tell you to cover the inside line, but seeing yourself get chumped on the line sinks in on a deeper level.
CRG: What do you do to pay the bills and buy the wheels?
EM: I am an arts educator, and freelance theatrical designer. I teach happy energetic students by day, and work with stressed out designers and directors by night. It’s a great balance really.
CRG: What is your educational background?
EM: BFA Theatrical Design, BFA Art Education, and graduate work in Scenic and Costume Design
CRG: Do you watch other sports?
EM: Sometimes I watch football if I happens to be on in a restaurant or bar. I do actively try to watch the X-games. I do love extreme sports. Go figure?
CRG: What hobbies do you have when you aren’t at the rink?
EM: I love music, and pride myself on having a vast and diverse selection of tunes. I do enjoy spinning at parties from time to time and trading music with others. I also have an expensive magazine habit. I am trying to quit, really. Hide your Wallpaper and Objekt mags until I resolve this issue.
CRG: What is one bad habit you wish you could break?
EM: In life: Soft drinks, french fries, magazines. In derby: Hitting with my shoulder. Ouch.
CRG: What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you on a date?
EM: It had to be my first car date. I remember being picked up in a spray painted super beetle that had to be pushed down the hill in front of my house so the engine would start. My Father watched disapprovingly from the front porch. Did I mention that we had to ask my Dad to pick us up?
CRG: What are your favorite places to eat here in the Triangle?
EM: Poole’s Diner and Frazier’s are my current faves. The Village Deli and Neomonde are always quick favorites.
CRG: What is your guilty pleasure?
EM: Chocolate with bacon and Hall and Oates.
CRG: Is it more important to win or to give it your all and learn something?
EM: I like winning. We all like to win, but you can’t win until you start learning from your mistakes. You never stop the learning process.
CRG: So you’ve got three free tickets you can give to anyone, living or dead, and they’ll come to the next bout. Who do you invite?
EM: I would invite my sister and her daughters. They have not been able to make it to any bouts thus far. I would like my sister to see how the roughhousing and butt kickings I battled through as a child have paid off. Thanks for amping my aggression and making me tough, Sis.
CRG: Who has been your greatest inspiration to push yourself and train?
EM: My teammates always motivate me, and my Parents always told me I could succeed at anything. Boxing was tough, but derby is tougher.
CRG: If you could slap a floor down and skate anywhere in the world, where would it be?
EM: Giza, but our bearings would be in pretty bad shape. Oh, how about the roof of historic Dorton Arena. That could be interesting.
CRG: What was your first impression of skating at Dorton Arena?
EM: Dorton is just amazing. It possesses an energy that is indescribable. You can be tired or in a rotten mood, but once you strap on your skates and hit the concrete, you feel energized and ready to kick ass. Our fans are clearly part of this magic..
CRG: Which events in the Triangle do you enjoy attending every year?
EM: Ground Spark Street Painting Festival. Let me give a shout out to Sarah and Rachael at The Visual Art Exchange.
CRG: What was your favorite subject in school?
EM: In High School it would have to be, Art and Drama and Anatomy. I had this amazing Science teacher who took my class on a field trip to the Gross Anatomy Lab at Bowman Gray. Wow.
Photos by Joe Rollerfan
CRG: Where have you traveled, and what place did you love the most?
EM: I have traveled all over really. Some of my trips thanks to CRG. Chicago and Portland are my favorite places to visit without question.
CRG: Where would you want to travel if given the opportunity?
EM: Berlin, Tokyo, Auckland. That would be a start. They have to have roller derby teams there right?
CRG: What do you like the most about living in the Triangle area?
EM: I enjoy the small town feeling inside the beltline, slow pace, and gentle southern accents. Raleighwood is an excellent home base.
CRG: What do you like to rock out to while skating at speed practice or cleaning the house?
EM: Amanda Blank, Princess Superstar, Santogold for starters. Anything on the Mad Decent label.
CRG: What is the one house chore you hate to do?
EM: Fold laundry. I like to wash but not fold. Did I mention I love ironing? Ask any of my derby roomies.
CRG: What are your favorite meals to cook at home?
EM: Takeout with a side of takeout. Did I mention takeout for dessert?
Photo by Craig Lammes
Elka travels with the CRG All Stars (who just broke back into the Top 25 and are currently ranked #23- congrats!) to play #9 Charm City on Saturday. The game is the second of a double header and is expected to start around 8pm. DNN will have video and textcast coverage here
Good luck All Stars!
Contributed by Hot Mess Express