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Freedom of the Ropes

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

Double-Dutch has always been the cohesive glue that has bound women of color to their community, creating unspoken bonds with other women that share the same passion for the the art of Double-Dutch.

As a child, double-dutch was not only my escape -- it freed me. After school, I’d quickly scarf-down a snack before peering outside to see if other girls from a nearby building were gathering outside. If it rained, we would sneak to the basement and jump rope, all the while praying we didn’t get caught. If only two of us were there, we’d tie an end of the rope to the black gate that surrounded the small patch grass in the community to make up for our missing friend and her needed pair of hands.

We used double-dutch as a therapeutic way to deal with conflict, abandonment, isolation, assault and other hardships that came with growing up in poverty. When the ropes were turning, there was nothing that we couldn’t do; we were invincible to the hardships of life and double-dutch was our saving grace. We “mumbled” through our anger and did “pop-up’s” for our freedom, all the while twirling each end of the rope, creating an irrefragable connection.

The art of jumping double-dutch has been a phenomenon for decades; people still wonder at the rhythmic thrusting of the body as it propels over two twirling ropes. Personally, after years of jumping double-dutch, teaching the art feels like handing down a precious gift, a gift that women of color have nurtured and gracefully passed down from generation to generation.

Jump4Jax has provided a platform, not only for women of color, but for anyone trying to keep the legacy of double-dutch alive. We want young girls to come and mumble through their anger, pop up for their freedom and partake in the unparalleled legacy left to them by the mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters all over the world.

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