This month’s featured skater is a fan of all things spooky and Star Wars. She’s a wily jammer who doesn’t need to use her Jedi mind tricks to get past opposing blockers on the track. We can all agree that the Force is definitely strong with this derby player! Introducing #237, Jyn Hurtso!
Jyn has been involved with Queen City Roller Derby since she joined boot camp in 2017. Jyn was soon drafted to the Saucies in her rookie season as a blocker. After the scramble, she was picked up by the Alley Kats where she seamlessly transitioned from blocker to jammer. This cat mom of two enjoys playing a myriad of instruments and geeking out over Harry Potter while she’s off-skates, but her skills on-skates (thanks to many years as a figure skater) are most impressive!
Where are you from?West Seneca, NY
What is your day job?
How did you get involved in derby?
I’ve always loved the movie Whip It, and I joined roller derby because of it. I also had an eating disorder and wanted to use my recovered body in a healthy, positive way! I jumped right into boot camp!
What are some of your hobbies outside of derby?
I play a lot of instruments. I play piano, guitar, violin, cello, and mandolin. The piano is the one I’ve been with the longest, and I’ve been playing since I was six. I also like skiing. I used to ski a lot, then derby got in the way.
What is the significance of your derby name and number? Why did you change your number this season?
Jyn Erso is from Rogue One, and I’ve loved Star Wars since I was a kid. She’s a good, strong female character. I’ve changed my number this season to 237 because that’s the room from The Shining. I changed it from 710 (seven Harry Potter books, 10 Star Wars movies) because it got confusing. People were saying 716 instead of 710, and I just needed a change.
Last season, you transitioned from blocking to become a jammer. What’s your favorite thing about jamming?
Blocking is about slow, steady concentration, while jamming is fast paced and quick thinking. I love blocking, but there’s nothing like coming at the pack full speed!
Growing up, you used to be a figure skater. How has that experience helped you with roller derby?
Tremendously! I’m very comfortable on my skates. I was four years old when I started and took lessons all throughout high school. I learned a lot of tricks but I wasn’t graceful enough. Being used to being off of my feet helps! I’m comfortable with spinning, turning fast, and edges.
You’re a huge fan of the paranormal and haunted places. What’s the scariest place you’ve visited and why? Which one is your favorite?
Iron Island in Lovejoy, NY. It’s a church, turned funeral home, turned museum. I have solid evidence and I’ve had experiences each time I’ve been there, about five times now. It’s also my favorite haunted place. Little ghost children follow me around. I think they come across because they know I don’t like kids so they’re going to annoy me.
You’re known to be quite the concert goer. What are some of the best concerts you’ve ever been to?
I’d say THE best concert I’ve ever been to was Linkin Park in 2015. I loved it so much! Just 150% effort and pure talent (RIP Chester Bennington). I love Evanescence. I’ve seen them twice now and she always puts on a good show. Perfect vocals. I really loved Barenaked Ladies, they were my band in middle school! I just love how funny they are. Fleetwood Mac is my most viewed concert (four times!). I was really impressed with Lindsey Buckingham when he came to the Riviera Theatre. Lindsey Buckingham solo was incredible and he’s my favorite guitar player. It’s incredible what he can do.
Other than being a big Star Wars fan, what are some other fandoms you’re a part of?
Harry Potter (Go Slytherin!), Lord of the Rings for sure, Tim Burton, and I really love the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney. They’re basically all of my tattoos.
Tell me about your two lovely cats!
Their names are Bellatrix, who’s a black, fluffy cat, and Stevie, who’s many colors. They are my babies and the only children I will ever have. Bellatrix is named after Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter and Stevie is named after Stevie Nicks.
Who is your favorite skater and why?
I’d have to say Necromatrix. She has always been supportive of me, she’s very knowledgeable, and we can just be weird together and it’s great! Outside of QCRD, I like Freight Train (Jammer for the Texas Rollergirls Texecutioners). I like how she hits and I like how goofy she is, too.
Do you have any advice for new skaters?
Don’t give up! Keep at it and don’t get discouraged, everyone starts somewhere! Skate as much as you can and you’ll only improve.
– Interview by Thrash Bandicoot