Teaching Strangers Double Dutch on Brooklyn Streets

These ladies love to double dutch and love teaching new people how to do it. They call themselves the “Elite BKLYN Jumpers” and every week they jump with tons of people to give them an opportunity to have fun and grow in the community.

“I think that when you create a space for people to feel joy, they’re more inclined to just move through life in a more positive way.”

Video Transcript

Beneewa Bonsu: When I say “jump,” I want you to jump up and down real high like a pogo stick. Like this. Let me see you do it. Little higher than that. Yes.

Tashima Flowers: 1-2, 1-2.

Beneewa: Ready, set, jump!

Tawa Bakarey: Why do I love Double Dutch? Because that’s the only sport I’m good at! Now I can tell people, I sucked at every other sport — not Double Dutch. And because I am a decent human jumping, I can teach you how to do the same.

Let’s see if that guy wants to jump. You want to jump? Come come come!

Guy: Nah, I can’t do it.

Tawa: How do you know if you never try it?

Guy: I can’t!

Tawa: We can teach you!

Beneewa: When someone is from the outside looking in and they’ve never tried it, they don’t really see it as a form of fitness. But once they actually get in the rope, and they jump for even 30 seconds, they’re like, “Whoa, that was a workout!” They can barely speak afterwards.

Tashima: I injured my right pinky toe on Father’s Day, jumping Double Dutch. But I just bring my crushes, and I turn Double Dutch, and we go on as usual.

To see the smiles on people’s faces after we teach them how to jump — it’s priceless to me.

Beneewa: It’s really interesting how open minded so many people were to actually trying for the first time. When we would randomly stop people and say, “Hey, you want to jump?” And I think part of them just wanted an opportunity to really bring out their inner child, and Double Dutch just gave them an excuse and a reason for them to do that.

(Cheering on girl jumping)

For me, COVID honestly was just such a lonely time, and usually I’m by myself, but there’s a difference between being by yourself and being alone. And during COVID, I really felt alone. So when we started Double Dutch jumping with the community, I really needed that.

Tashima: Great job, look at that! She just showed you all. So you got to do it.

We bring communities together, right? Because we out here jumping every Tuesday, people see what we’re doing and they’re like, “Oh, how can I learn how to do that?” Or, “I never learned how to do that.” Or, “I was always intimidated by doing that.” And make them feel comfortable enough to actually come to the rope and listen to our instructions and actually jump.

Beneewa: Spin around, spin around, spin around.

There are so many images that we’re bombarded with that keep people insecure. And I think that when you create a space for people to feel joy, they’re more inclined to just move through life in a more positive way. We’re all interconnected with people. And so I think that when you exude joy, you then pass that on to other people because you give people permission to also express their joy.

Tawa: So yeah, between the months of April to October-ish, we’re out here. It gets kind of chilly. You know, we bundle up a little bit. We might have gloves on and people are looking at us like “they’re crazy”, but they come in and get a jump. Yes. Yes, Tony, they do.

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