Microadventure #101: Jump Rope Spectacular with Ranya

One of my favorite types of Microadventures is the type where I get to experience something that I didn’t even know existed! 

I knew about jump roping, of course, but I had no idea that jump roping had evolved into so much more than the simple jump roping games I’d played in second grade. 

Ranya, who I’d reconnected with last week at her Halloween Party, had invited me to this unique event.  Her daughter competes with the Bouncing Bulldogs and Ranya said the school was hosting an International Jump Rope Spectacular the following weekend.

As advertised on their site: “International Jump Rope Spectacular takes place annually on the first Saturday evening in November.  Top jumpers from around the world perform on one floor in front of hundreds of sport enthusiasts.  This one-night-only event also brings in leaders from various fields such as fashion, culture and education to truly show the power and dynamics of what jump rope can do to inspire young people to be their best.” 

I’d met a new friend, Skip, on Friday and asked if he’d be interested in joining me (after all his name is “Skip”!) It turns out his daughter had also been part of a jump rope team and he happily accepted my invitation.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we both agreed that anything with “Spectacular” in the title, was bound to be something worth viewing.

The show didn’t disappoint.

From the beginning, there were high-energy vibes as the kids performed what looked like “Jump Rope Dancing.” (I’m sure there must be more official names for the various dances, stunts, and competitions they all performed throughout the show.)

The kids were world class, not only entertaining us with their dancing, strength, and flexibility, but with their talent and speed in competitions. At times the ropes were rotating so fast, they seemed invisible.

Kids from Korea, Germany, and France joined the Chapel Hill Team as they jumped, flipped, and bounced through the gym.

When I told Ranya that I wanted to blog about the event and experience, she was all for it! It was obvious that Ranya had a huge respect and admiration of the coaches, the team, the sport, and the Bouncing Bulldogs

“It’s about much more than jump roping,” she said.

She talked about how the experienced kids help and mentor the newer team members. They learn about teamwork and gain leadership and coaching skills as they progress.

I was curious about the history of the sport, wondering how long it had been around and what types of competitions there were. It looks like competitions include both speed and freestyle events that are about presentation and entertainment.

I’m guessing it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing jump roping events at the Olympics! And I bet when that happens there will be someone from the Bouncing Bulldogs of Chapel Hill on the US Team – maybe even Ranya’s daughter. But whether or not they make it to the Olympics, I feel so lucky to have been able to witness such a spectacular performance!

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