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Kids Will Move and Groove to the Rhythm of the Rope at Double Dutch Contest

By Dartunorro Clark | December 2, 2016 4:24pm
 The 25th annual Double Dutch League Holiday Classic will take place at the Apollo Theater. Pictured here: Double Dutch Aerobics in Fort Greene Park.
The 25th annual Double Dutch League Holiday Classic will take place at the Apollo Theater. Pictured here: Double Dutch Aerobics in Fort Greene Park.
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Facebook/Double Dutch Aerobics

HARLEM — Hundreds of kids will mix gymnastics with dance and music this Sunday at the 25th annual Double Dutch League Holiday Classic on the stage of the legendary Apollo Theater.

Lauren Walker, 43, the league’s president and event organizer, said she’s proud of how far the event has come since her father, David Walker, started it.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue the legacy of my father and to fill the world with this activity,” she said.

David Walker, a former NYPD officer, helped transform the street game into a sport enjoyed around the world and formed the American double dutch league in 1974.

The classic dual jump-rope game was brought to the New World by the Dutch. 

When the English saw Dutch children playing, they gave it the name, according to the National Double Dutch League's website.

Walker said the goal of the annual competition is to highlight that double dutch isn’t just a street hobby anymore, but virtually an Olympic-style contest.

“Traditionally, double dutch was a female sport, now you see more and more males participating,” she said.  “Double dutch is known as a recreational activity, now it has grown into a competitive sport.”

In years’ past, teams came from New Jersey, New York and even as far as France and Japan to compete at the landmark theater.

She said it’s also a chance for the teams to come up with creative routines that stay true to double dutch as an inventive urban street sport.

The teams this year will spar over who’s the fastest and most imaginative with their routine to wow the judges, she said.

“Teams from the past that want to continue their legacy and new teams that want to break new records,” she added.