Competitive Jump Roping Helps Michigan Youth Soar Higher
As an inaugural member of the Jumpin’ All-Stars competitive jump ropers, Trevor Krayer learned more than the highly-choreographed routines that regularly put the team near the top of national rankings.
The Livingston County-based team taught Krayer about leadership by helping put younger jumpers through their paces. He improved his coordination, which helped him successfully compete as a multi-sport athlete in high school. He learned the value of teamwork, as every individual plays a vital role in the group’s success. Through traveling the country and abroad spreading competitive jump rope to new teams and locales, he grew to understand himself better which helped him be comfortable and confident.
“It expanded my world view,” Krayer explained.
Now a University of Michigan student, Krayer has brought the sport he loves to campus through the founding of the A2 Code Blue jump team, along with other Jumpin’ All-Stars alumni. He was able to coach the students he recruited to perform and was proud of their efforts.
“It was really rewarding to see all their hard work pay off,” he said.
Producing well-rounded athletes who also happen to perform gravity-defying and jaw-dropping moves with a simple jump rope is what the Jumpin’ All-Stars do. The group consists of about 50 performers ranging in age from eight to 26. Coach Renee Nix and team manager Julie Wing said the kids they train often go from being intimidated to try classic Double Dutch moves to performing amazing feats.
“When they leave the team they’re just so confident in themselves,” Wing said.
Community Workshop Oct. 28
The group is hosting their 10th annual JumpStart! workshop, a fun-filled day geared toward teaching different jump rope skill levels on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brighton High School. They’ll be taking their show on the road the day before through a series of school assemblies. Registration for the workshop, which is open to the public, and information about booking a school assembly can be found on their website.
Competitive jump rope has two main components. Freestyle competition includes several events where individuals and small teams perform a choreographed floor routine. Teamwork and precision is critically important to present a cohesive and stunning show. The team also competes in speed and endurance rounds, which are also something to marvel at. For context, jumping rope for ten minutes is roughly equivalent to running a mile in terms of physical exertion and endurance.
“What they can do with a jump rope is just amazing to me,” Wing said.
Nix started the team 20 years ago after some successful American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart events at her daughter’s elementary school. Students, including Krayer, were interested in learning more about what they could do with a jump rope and Nix took the reins. She said the sport has really evolved in the years since she started the team, even popping up on shows such as “America’s Got Talent”. She and her charges have traveled to Brazil, Israel, Paraguay, Spain, Portugal and France to help other schools start their own teams.
“Jump rope has really evolved since Trevor started with me in second grade,” Nix said.
Besides the physical benefits, most of the competitive jump ropers in the U.S. are in the top ten percent of their classes academically, Nix said.
Want to see the Jumpin’ All-Stars in action? Check out the videos on the homepage of their website.
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Photos courtesy of Jumpin’ All Stars