Back to Recreation

Bettie Brigade Spotlight: Melicious Beast

Melissa Provencio is one busy lady

Melissa Provencio, aka Melicious Beast. Courtesy photo

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

The active-duty staff sergeant is a mom to two young sons (ages 2 and 11) and is also raising her young nephew (also 2). Like many families, Provencio and her fiancé work hard to maintain work life and care for the children. She doesn't mind being busy and having an active life. However, this family has a couple of interesting differences: Adjusting to living in Washington State and Provencio's choice of a downtime activity.

A California native, Provencio was stationed in Hawaii before coming to Washington less than a year ago. The typical Washington fall weather upon the family's arrival was a bit of a shock.

"The weather got us," Provencio said with a smile. "We had no pants, and we had no jackets. We had to go shopping right away because we were freezing! I mean, my boys literally had no pants! But, we've gotten used to it and the cold weather. I like Washington. It's quiet here."  

In addition to acclimating to the cooler climate and overhauling her family's wardrobes, Provencio has found a unique way of getting her "me" time. She skates by night as Melicious Beast for the JBLM Bettie Brigade, an all-female, flat track, nonprofit roller derby team that trains in Lacey. All participants have ties to the military community.

Provencio is what's known as a Belle Ringer - a newer skater that is going through what is called fresh meat training. She has been with the team since the end of March of this year. In fact, she's expanding her role to include a new gig as the team's marketing director. She adores being on the team and fell in love with the sport and the team right away.

"I was out driving around and drove past a flyer talking about a women's wellness event," Provencio said. "I picked up the flyer and read about the Bettie Brigade. I got in contact with them, and they invited me to a practice. I just loved it. I joined roller derby for selfish reasons, but it's more than that. I'm able to be in a sport and be aggressive and not take away from being a woman.

I mean, we can beat each other up and still be cool with each other. And it's also about friends; they are like extended family. I really needed support, and they are quick to help out."

And that support couldn't have come at a better time. Provencio's sister passed away last year, and it was a really difficult time for the skater.

"I really do love the Betties as if they were my own family," Provencio said. "My sister was killed last year, and when I got to Washington I felt pretty alone, lost and mad at the world. I am very grateful for the friendships I have made here. They gave me a shoulder to cry on and listened to me vent plenty of times. Roller derby has given me a chance to heal. That is another reason why these women are awesome!"

Provencio continues, "These women have really been there for me. Being in the military and moving around a lot, it's really rare to find people like them. They really are extraordinary, and I see it rub off on new recruits as well. Being nice is actually contagious!"

To learn more about the JBLM Bettie Brigade and its upcoming events, check out the team's website at or find them on Facebook or Twitter.

Read next close

We Recommend

Through Sept. 26: "Ex Voto: Painted Images and Objects"

comments powered by Disqus