Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tortellina Temptress-LVRG's Skater of the Month

With a name that sounds like she is from the LVRG Skate Mafia, Tortellina Temptress is one of those skaters that you will surely remember when she takes you out on the track.  LVRG’s Skater of the Month, Michelle Messa-Hess, also known by the nickname Torte, has been a long time member of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls and is here to stay.
Tortellina started with LVRG in January of 2008 after hearing about the team from co-worker and founder of LVRG, Elaina Borchelt.  Her derby name was certainly intended to be a mobster-esk name (she’s Italian).  She said that she picked the dangerously sexy name, Tortellina Temptress, because it sounded tough and is a spin-off of her favorite Italian pasta, tortellinis.
Torte was asked what inspired her in roller derby. She stated, “the revival of the sport overall is what really inspires me.  Roller derby today isn’t like how it was back in the 70’s where skaters were paid to play and a lot of it was staged theatrics.  The concept of creating and managing a roller derby league that is run by the skaters who play the sport is incredible.  Most sports, like soccer clubs, little league, etc., the dues are paid to ensure a place on a roster and roller derby is nothing like that.  Every little bit of money – dues, fundraising, ticket sales from bouts – goes right back into maintaining the league.  I don’t get paid to play roller derby; I pay to play the sport I love and I’m not guaranteed a place on rosters.  But I will continue to be part of this amazing sport because when I’m out on the track I know everyone’s common goal; their love of roller derby.”
When not hip checking her opponent, Tortellina Temptress works full time as a Dialysis Product Associate for a medical device company in Harleysville, PA.  She also likes to go to the gym to cross train or is found relaxing and hanging out with her husband, Mike (aka “Sprinkles” to the derby community).

Additionally, Tortellina is also the Marketing Manager for the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls. As the Marketing Manager for LVRG, her main focus for the 2013 season is to exemplify roller derby as a legitimate team sport and to expand LVRG’s presence in the Lehigh Valley.  She works closely with our Public Relations team who has been distributing formal press releases to area media networks announcing our home bouts and upcoming events.  As a result, LVRG has been featured on WFMZ-TV 69 News, The Morning Call,, Lehigh Valley Marketplace magazine, and various local media sites and blogs.  In addition to working with Public Relations, she also coordinates LVRG’s participation in community events throughout the Lehigh Valley.  So far for the year, LVRG participated in the Allentown St. Patrick’s Day parade, Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic Parade of Shamrocks, Skindustry Tattoo Expo, and Color Me Rad 5K – Bethlehem.  Our upcoming events include the Allentown Freak Out Fringe Festival and the PBS39 3rd Annual MicroBrew Festival on June 22nd and the Moravian Hall Square Silver Solstice Concert on June 25th.
Tortellina Temptress was asked what it is like to be on the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls. She explained, “it’s almost like watching a child grow up.  In terms of the league itself, I’ve watched LVRG grow out the early days of derby where it was “rough and tumble” with fast skating and hard hits and roller derby being almost like a novelty, to where we are today with the league embodying a legitimate, athletic, and strategic representation of the sport.  As an individual skater, I have gone through various ups and downs, but have also experienced a lot of growth overall with my team.  I am proud to say that I was one of the skaters who voted for LVRG to become members of the WFTDA and have been with the league since then to watch us grow into that role.  Overall, being a part of this league is being part of something so much bigger.  You really just have to join and experience it for yourself the transformations - not only that the league goes through, but what you, yourself will go through.” 
Fast Facts about Torte:
1. She took dance classes - ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, acrobatics, and baton - for 12 years.
2. She absolutely hates coconut, unless its coconut milk used in curry. 
3. Her favorite number is 29 because she shares her birthday with her grandmother – July 29th.  Hence her derby number, “29” and her wedding day - September “29”, 2013.
4. She can wiggle her bottom eyelashes.
Torte and the rest of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls will be skating this weekend in Cumberland, MD to take on the Iron Mountain Roller Girls on June 15th.
Looking ahead, the Hissy Fits will be playing a closed bout on June 27th against United Kingdom’s Auld Reekie Roller Girls, the Twisted Thistles.  

All functions will be held at the Independence Family Fun Center, 4345 Independence Dr, Schnecksville, PA.

For more information about becoming a skater or official, contact us at

A big thank you to all of the volunteers, officials, friends, and family that make our team the best in the Lehigh Valley. This is as much your team as it is ours. Thank you.

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