Double-Dutch treat

Champion jumprope team from North Carolina offers kids’ workshop at Rondout Valley High this Saturday

by Ann Hutton
March 31, 2011 10:51 AM | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the Bouncing Bulldogs
Members of the Bouncing Bulldogs
Jump for good health. Jump for teamwork and camaraderie. Jump for joy. Whatever reason you can come up with is good enough, if it gets the heart pounding and the body moving in pleasurable rhythm. On Saturday, April 2, a workshop for kids will be held in the Rondout Valley High School gym that focuses on single and double-Dutch jumprope skipping techniques. And at the end of the session, the world famous Bouncing Bulldogs Rope Skipping Demonstration Team will show us how it’s really done. Made up of boys and girls from 5 to 25 years old, and based in the Chapel Hill and Durham Metropolitan Triangle in North Carolina, the Team performs hundreds of synchronized tricks, maneuvers and dances using a combination of single and double-Dutch ropes. Their innovative style includes fancy footwork, flips and other acrobatic skills with ropes of various lengths.

Each year, the members of the Team perform worldwide in front of thousands of spectators, including sports fans, health and fitness professionals, corporate employees, students, educators and the general public. Bouncing Bulldogs Team members have performed in Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, England, Sweden, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Africa, the Virgin Islands, China and many of the states within the US. Coached by Ray N. Fredrick, Jr., they practice up to six days a week and are expected to maintain a good grade point average and an even better attitude while participating with the Team.

The goal of the Bouncing Bulldogs program is to promote rope skipping to help children grow physically, emotionally and socially. Education, good sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork are emphasized for participants – and for anyone nostalgic for the carefree magic of childhood, the emphasis is on having fun.

When Kim McEvoy, a senior accounting clerk for the Rondout Valley School District, heard of the Bulldogs, she traveled to Chapel Hill on her own dime to see what it was all about. Then she came back and proposed inviting the championship jumpers to come to the Hudson Valley for a demonstration of their awesome skills.

McEvoy says, “They are an incredible group of kids dedicated to wellness and to respecting each other and their parents and community. Rondout Valley received a grant to do things for this community, and it’s my hope that we can start a program here that will not cost the kids anything except giving back to their community. No one will be turned away. It’s all about taking care of each other.”

She notes that while many of us grownups literally grew up jumping rope, you don’t see kids outdoors playing and being physically active these days. Childhood obesity has become an alarming challenge. While physical education is a part of most curricula, a program like this one is about kids teaching and inspiring other kids – to learn, to move and to have fun with each other.

Sponsored by the Ulster County Health Department, the workshop will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rondout Valley High School gym on Kyserike Road between Stone Ridge and Accord. The $15 workshop entry fee includes a jumprope. All funds raised will be donated to the Bouncing Bulldogs. Registration starts at 10:15 a.m. For further information, please contact Kim McEvoy at (845) 687-9049.

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