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Double dutch competition returns

Teams from all over the world compete in the annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic at Apollo Theater. This year’s Dec. 2 competition will celebrate 27 years.
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The tournament of the ropes returns.

The annual double dutch competition returns for its 27th edition at Apollo Theater on Dec. 2. The yearly event hosts teams from all over the world to take part in the competitive show, which celebrates the sport and judges jump ropers in the art of double dutch. Returning for another year keeps the culture of double dutch alive, said the president of the National Double Dutch League.

“Double dutch is about community, and not only is this event dedicated to my father — it’s an opportunity for new teams to break some records, and for old teams to continue their legacies,” said Lauren Walker.

Her late father David Walker founded the organization and created the very first competition in 1974.

This year there are 220 teams registered to take part in the show. Many of them are locally based, but many teams from Connecticut, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio will be present. There are also a few international teams joining from Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, and South Africa, according to Walker.

The competition judges teams in three categories: Speed and Compulsory, Fusion Freestyle, and Best in Show, which observes speed, creativity, and best overall performance, said Walker. She says the competition follows the same tradition and rules it always has, and adds that participating teams always look forward to it.

“Double dutch is just like tennis and basketball — the rules stay the same and we try not deviate from it,” said Walker.

The speed test sees how quick a team can perform in a short time, the fusion freestyle looks for creativity, and the final category awards the best team.

“Our most coveted category — the Best of Show, is where we see how teams combine gymnastics and dance in double dutch,” said Walker.

Walker says every year she is surprised at the new creativity she observes from the teams, and adds that over the years, she has seen how every generation presents unique and special techniques, which help boost the sport.

“It’s a recreational urban game, and every year we see that in the talent that exists in this new class of jumpers — and it’s inspiring,” she said.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.
Updated 11:50 am, November 29, 2018
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