Double-Dutch! & Malcolm McLaren

I’ve had jumprope on the brain since I took this jumprope/ weight training class at the gym. I remember jumproping a lot as a kid and loving it. This class really made me want to learn how to double dutch because: a) it’s rad b) it’s good for you c) I like how it’s a part of early hip hop culture.

I also wanted to learn about the history, so I did a little researching online about it. Long story short, various ancient people had their own version of jump rope, and the Dutch brought it over during the 1600s to New Amsterdam (now New York) and the Brits dubbed it “double-dutch”. It became big in the inner cities, especially for young black girls. It’s now been made a varsity sport in some NYC high schools. Here’s a great NY Times article about double dutch in schools.

The NY Times video about Brooklyn’s“Jazzy Jumpers”, a kid double dutch team, is pretty heart warming and great. Check it out!

It’s also interesting how international double dutch has become. At the Double Dutch Holiday Classic competition, the Japanese team seems to win consistently, and features double dutch teams from around the world.

I was also trying to see if there were some double dutch groups in LA. The only one I found,”The Jump Squad” has been around for two years, but doesn’t seem to meet quite consistently. I plan on checking out the next meeting though. It’s in Culver City, which is on the other side of town for me. I’m perplexed as to why Silverlake/Echo Park/Downtown doesn’t have something like this going on. C’mon, hipsters in LA should be all about double dutch!

Here’s a meet up link for the Jump Squadandtheir myspace for Angelinos interested in getting their jump on.

Although double dutch isn’t big in LA, I’m glad it has a following in San Francisco. Here’s a video of an SF double dutch group.

I also found this Malcolm McLaren video when I was looking for double dutch vids. Malcolm McLaren is probably best known for managing the Sex Pistols and being part of the 70s punk scene in London. Thus, this song and video came totally as a surprise. I expected a black dude to be singing, and the white Malcolm McLaren presence in the video threw me off because I wasn’t thinking that it was the same guy. This song was a fairly big hit for him, and I had no idea he was even a solo artist. Enjoy!


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