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The Double Dutch Divas: queens of the jumprope
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Jumprope related topics

Jumprope introduction
Jumprope rhymes
Streetplay jumprope discussion area

Jumping for joy
Streetplay Screening Room

Movie frame
Click to see movie (19 secs., 709 K)


Two ropes are used in "double dutch."



Movie frame
Click to see movie (4 secs., 170 K)


Dig the "right leg" technique shown here.



Movie frame
Click to see movie (20 secs., 750 K)


It takes 2, baby.


Movie frame
Click to see movie (11 secs., 406 K)


It's a jumprope quartet.


Get QuickTime 4
These movies require QuickTime.

What does a woman in her 40s do on a typical Sunday afternoon in New York City? Jump rope of course, that is, if you are a member of the Double Dutch Divas.

The Double Dutch Divas are perhaps the only professional entertainment-oriented jumprope group. They've appeared on several TV spots and are regularly asked to perform at local events. For about 30 minutes, the Divas put on a great show, wowing the crowds with quick-stepped jumps that are an equal mix of athleticism and showmanship. The group formed around 1980, when some friends began to regularly jump rope on Sundays around 72nd Street in New York City, near the rollerskating ring in Central Park. As Diva Willie Sanford (known as Heart) explains, "Back then, there was a large group of women getting together to jump. We might have 100 on a good day. It was wonderful experience for all of us women who had learned these games as children to get together to continue as adults."

Heart said "By the mid '80s, the group had gained a local reputation and then we were featured in an Italian Documentary about different ways to have fun in New York City. The documentary stirred up interest about us in Italy and eight of the members were invited to make an Italian tour. Since then, we've made quite a number of appearances at different events, but we never really tried to make it our vocation. If it was our job, it wouldn't have been as much fun anymore."

Another longtime Diva known as "Lady Di" explains, "it's just so wonderful. Every week we get to have a good time with each other and whoever joins us and then, several times a year, we get to perform for a big event. People love it. And seeing all those smiles on kids and adults makes this truly a blessing."

You can get more information about the Divas at their web site, www.doubledutchdivas.com.


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