For the members of Stanford Jump Rope, jumping rope is not about skipping their feet to the beat of a schoolyard rhyme. Jumping rope is their art, their sport.
Stanford Jump Rope is one of the newer student groups on campus, offering an unconventional take on student performance groups. The group choreographs and performs shows centered entirely around jumping rope.
Their first performance as a group was last year at Dance Marathon and since then, the group has had steady requests for performances, showcasing their group at last year’s Admit Week, a freshman dorm and a talent show.
Although Stanford Jump Rope was founded just last year, the idea for forming a student jump rope club had previously been lingering in the minds of Agatha Bacelar ’14 and Josh Siegel ’14.
“Agatha and Josh met each other during admit weekend freshman year and realized that they both like jump rope, but it didn’t take off from there,” said Stanford Jump Rope President Stewart Isaacs ’17. “A couple years later, Justin came to campus, then last year I came.”
With the four students on campus bonded by a mutual passion for jump rope, the idea for starting the club became more tangible and the students embarked on the process of forming a jump rope voluntary student organization (VSO).
“Josh, Agatha and I would meet and throw around the idea of starting the club but we didn’t have the time. Then Stewart came along and got things rolling and pushed the paperwork through,” said Vice President Justin Meier ’16.
Currently, the group has five members representing class years from 2014 to 2018, and each member has at least 10 years experience of competitive jump-roping. Some members started their career in elementary school.
Meier picked up jump-roping after being turned on to the sport by his P.E. teacher.
“It was in second grade and my elementary P.E. teacher was the jump rope team coach,” Meier said. “I would see the team all the time, so I joined a jump rope club and later tried out for the team.”
Stanford Jump Rope’s members have similar stories but with slightly different settings. Bacelar originally began her competitive jump-roping career with the Miami Super Sonics after her family moved to Florida. Siegel jumped with his local club the Iowa Skippers, a performance team that performs shows for non-profits and during half-time shows at basketball games. The club’s president, Isaacs, began his career in the first grade–from there, he went on to compete in international competitions. The club’s newest member, Mason Rogers ’18, “got sucked into the sport” after seeing his 6-year-old sister join a jump rope team.
Despite their humble beginnings during the younger years, most of the members have years of competitive experience with several regional, national and world titles among them, including speed jump-roping records.
Given their competitive accolades and that the world of competitive jump rope is quite small, many of the groups members actually crossed paths before they ever stepped on the Farm.
“We had been competing against each other for 10 year[s],” Rogers said. “In jump rope, it’s everybody-knows-everybody kind of sport.”
Despite their impressive competitive history, Stanford Jump Rope is currently a performance group with its efforts being focused on increasing membership to sustain the group rather than entering competitions just yet.
“If people want to jump for fitness, for fun or for competition, we want to provide opportunities for students to jump rope,” Rogers said.
A previous edition of this article spelled Justin Meier’s name as Justin Meir. We have corrected the spelling of his last name. The Daily regrets this error.