My name is Lahapa Brown. I’m 57 years old, have raised 3 wonderful children, and have 3 beautiful granddaughters. I live with my amazing boyfriend of 9 years, along with my youngest daughter, and his 3 youngest children.
I’ve loved dancing my entire life, though I’ve never done any ballroom. My dancing has revolved around my Hawaiian heritage. I started dancing at the young age of 3 years old, when I would perform the same dances as those of the dancers in my father’s Polynesian troupe. My first public performance was at the age of 5 and I’ve been performing Polynesian dance ever since.
When I was 8 years old, my best friend invited me to go roller skating with her. I was eager to go, even though I’d never tried to roller skate before. I laced up my rental skates, wobbled around the floor, and fell in love with roller skating! I became, what is affectionately referred to as, a rink rat! I couldn’t go to the skating rink often enough! I tried joining the speed team, but I wasn’t very fast. I tried singles free style, but wasn’t very good at that either. Then I tried roller dance, and found my niche. When I was 12, my skating partner and I won the state championship in roller dance for our division. A few years later, I hung up my skates, for what became a 30-year hiatus.
In February of 2006, the sport of roller derby, literally walked into my office. I had watched roller derby every Saturday morning as a kid, and vowed that someday I’d play roller derby. Then, at the age of 44, I was getting that chance. Over the past 12 years, I’ve poured my blood, sweat and tears into the game of roller derby with my league, the Fort Wayne Derby Girls, Indiana’s first all-female roller derby league.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this event and realize another life dream of learning to ballroom dance, while also supporting Riley Hospital for Children.