There is a Double Dutch Contest taking place in Japan on March 25th at CLUB CITTA’ Kawasaki. This promo video reminds me of the Double Dutch Holiday Classic at the Apollo. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely check it out, especially considering teams from Japan have won “Best in Show” at the Apollo 8 of the last 10 years.
The Double Dutch Holiday Classic is held every year at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Teams compete in speed and compulsory events, but the main attraction is the Fusion event. I’ve only recently discovered the Fusion format online, but I wish I had known about it years ago. Fusion features some of the most innovative Double Dutch Freestyle happening anywhere in the world. Fusion routines can have anywhere from 3-6 team members and are set to music. They combine elements of dance, gymnastics, and jump rope into an electrifying visual display.
Since the format allows up to 6 people, it reminds me of the Double Dutch routines we always saved for the finale of staff shows at workshops and camps. Those were always my favorite routines because that’s where we traditionally had the most innovation. It was in one of those staff show finales where we introduced “The Subway” to the world. Unfortunately we only got to scratch the surface of what was possible because everyone always came from different parts of the country and we never had enough time to practice. Imagine what could be done if you focused on perfecting one of those routines all year long. The result would be a “Fusion” routine.
Here’s a video report on the Double Dutch Holiday Classic from the NY Times:
I just got back last night from judging the 2007 USA Jump Rope All-Star Team tryouts and my adrenaline is still pumping! The future of this sport is in great hands. Out of 50 candidates, we selected 24 jumpers that will spend the next 2 years being ambassadors for the sport of Jump Rope as they travel around the world performing and teaching. These 24 jumpers were selected by a panel of 12 judges that observed each candidate of the course of the last 3 days.
Each candidate had to go through a very rigorous selection process. On Friday they had to dress up for a 5 minutes taped interview in front of our panel of judges. On Saturday they had to teach an all day workshop while the judges observed and scored them on their teaching ability. On Sunday they had to go through a very difficult day of demonstrating their jumping ability. They were judged in 4 separate events. Each jumper had to learn a very difficult single rope group routine. After that they had to do a single rope freestyle. Then they were randomly assigned to a 3 person team and had to create a double dutch freestyle. Finally they had to demonstrate their mastery of 3-person chinese wheel.
I was very impressed at how far the sport has come in the last few years. These jumpers have taken everything I was doing 10 years ago to an entirely new level. They didn’t just pass me in skill level, they leap frogged me and did a backflip TJ triple before landing.
Here is a taste of what these kids can do. I had the chance to meet some of the jumpers in this video this weekend. This video is of the Bouncing Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are the subject of the new jump rope documentary “Doubletime” by director Stephanie Johnes. They are great kids and amazing athletes. I can’t wait to see what tricks they will come up with next.