The Texas A&M Jump Rope Team

I jumped for 10 years with the Footnotes Jump Rope Team in San Antonio before going to college at Texas A&M. At Texas A&M I met another guy that used to jump and we decided to form our own college team. In the fall of 1996 we started the Texas A&M Jump Rope Team and recruited some of our friends and taught them to jump. Some of our jumpers had never picked up a rope before joining our team. I’m very proud of what those guys learned to do in just a couple of years.

I believe our team was the first college jump rope team. Certainly there were jumpers before me that continued to jump in their college years, but usually with the same teams they jumped with before college. I think ours was the first actual college team. We practiced hard, did a few shows around town, and even managed to make it to nationals a few times.

As I said before, I used to be able to jump. Well, here’s the proof that I could actually get off the ground once upon a time. This is the double dutch routine that we spent the majority of our time working on.

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Jump In with Corbin Bleu – Double Dutch on Live with Regis and Kelly

The new Disney movie Jump In may be the most exciting thing to happen in Jump Rope since the U.S. Nationals began airing on ESPN in 1996. The entire Jump Rope community is buzzing with the attention that this movie has brought to our sport. According the The Houston Chronicle, the original airing of Jump In had 8.17 million viewers, which makes it the most watched program in Disney history. As a result, interest in the sport of Jump Rope has skyrocketed in recent months.

Corbin Bleu, the star of Jump In, appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly in early January to promote the movie. The impressive thing is that he learned to do his own jumping for the movie in a relatively short time. He demonstrated some of his new skills for Regis and Kelly.

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USA Jump Rope All Star Update

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.

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