June 18, 2008 Arts » Cover story

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Women Who Rock 

Presenting six ladies who make Charlotte a cooler place to live

Page 2 of 4

When she shows her subjects the finished product, Moye says she hears a lot of people say, "that's not me."

"I get a lot of 'Wow.' I explain to people what I've managed to do is capture a side of you that you've never seen or that you didn't know existed."

But the best reaction, she says, is silence. "I think I'm really making people reflect on themselves and where they sit within the grand scheme of our world. Those are the times I like the most. When they're just looking instead of giving me a lot of words, I can just feel where they are."

Rock, skate ...

The Charlotte Roller Girls are the closest things to superheroes we have in this sometimes-bland banking town.

You may even work or live next to a Roller Girl -- because from 9 to 5 they are attorneys, mothers, business owners and even mild-mannered bankers. But head south on I-85 to Kate's Skating Rink in Gastonia on a practice night and you see just who these women are: hell on wheels.

Though the Charlotte Roller Girls is a young roller derby team, they are a group of winners. In their first season, the players have won four bouts and lost only one. What other sporting team in Charlotte had that kind of success right out the gate?

Rosemary Gardner -- aka Rosie Cheeks -- started with the team in January 2007. She'd seen a recruiting flyer around town for a meet-and-greet that had already passed.

"I thought: 'This sounds awesome. I wonder if it's full,'" says Gardner, who works as a photography assistant by day. "I came to a meet-and-greet with a friend and put some skates on and skated around and decided, 'I think I can do this.'"

Within a couple of weeks, Gardner went to a match in Raleigh and saw just what Roller Girls really do. "It was really awesome." Before long, she purchased skates and joined the team.

"It was a great way to work out and not in a gym setting. I grew up playing sports, playing soccer and dancing, and I kind of missed that team atmosphere a little bit," she says.

According to Roller Girl Jenna Klauk -- aka Sybil Action -- the sport, "lowers your heart rate and raises your rear end."

"I don't think I've been in this good of shape in my adult life," she says.

Klauk, an attorney, says to be a Roller Girl, you have to be willing to sweat.

"We get stanky!" declares Klauk.

And you have to love team sports and have confidence, she adds. "It's an aggressive sport."

But you don't have to be a star skater. Klauk says the league started with women who could barely stand on skates, and now they are some of the best players.

Cress Barnes -- aka Lucy Quipment -- spends her days as a mother of three, business owner (along with her husband) and a part-time pre-school teacher. She confesses that it's hard to start something this big that requires people drive to Gastonia to participate in something they don't get paid to do.

"I'm very surprised," she says about the Roller Girls' success, "and very happy."

This just in ...

News 14 reporter and weekend anchor Lisa Reyes loves to be on top of things.

"I like to talk and tell stories," she says.

The native New Yorker says watching the coverage of the first Gulf War in the 1990s on CNN solidified her career path. She recalls seeing CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour covering the war.

"I was like, 'Wow.' There's a female reporter out there," she says. "And then when the O.J. Simpson trial started and everybody was on it, and there was the white Bronco chase. There was just something about being on top of what's going on and being able to say I was there. I like being on the front line and being a part of history -- and sometimes being a part of justice being served."

Reyes says luck and family brought her to the Queen City from Florida, the site of her previous job.

In Charlotte, Reyes -- the first Hispanic anchor on the local cable news network -- has become a role model to young people in the Hispanic community.

"When I first started here about four and a half years ago, I went to a school, and one of the principals came up to me and said, 'We really love watching you on TV because we have so many students with the last name Reyes. And for them to see you doing what you're doing is really inspiring,'" she says. "It is important for young people to see somebody who looks like them on TV because then they think they can do it, too. It's really an honor and humbling to be the Hispanic anchor for News 14 Carolina and to be able to represent the community in that way. Our station is still very young. I carved out that little piece of history, and I have that imprint. So, it's nice."

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