LEARNING THROUGH THE ROPES: Double Dutch For Personal Development

Project Description: Some of us remember Double Dutch as a childhood game in which participants  learned to jump two ropes simultaneously. There was a real art to it, ensuring the jumper knew when to enter the turning ropes and how not to fall, while performing for herself and others. It was a huge amount of fun.

What few people realized, however, was the lesson it provided. Jumpers learned how not to allow themselves to be tripped up by others, how to concentrate and how to understand the rhythm of the rope.

These days women in their personal and professional lives are being forced to jump over ropes designed to block their ascent or jump through hoops intended to delay their growth and development. The skill of double-dutch can be transferred. Women learn to move to their own rhythm even as they carefully master those of others. They know when or how to jump into an arena when things are already at play. They also come to understand that sometimes the rope is there to trip them up and what they can do to prove they are not so easily distracted.

As a pre-cursor, participants are encouraged to embrace their dreams, claim their space and unique rhythm by developing their own personal rap. The rap is the beat they will use as they enter the double-dutch arena. Participants will be led in developing an affirmation that can shaped into a rap. Catchy jingles and rhymes are well suited as techniques for reinforcing an idea that is easily and solidly retained. By teaching participants to create their own personal raps, then anchoring those messages with physical activity and muscle memory by reciting them while jumping rope, we are amplifying the positive messages and affirmations.

Funded by Washington, DC (February 2020)