Double Dutch Holiday Classic’s returns to Apollo Theater

The Double Dutch Holiday Classic returned to Apollo Theater for its 31st year on Sunday.
Teams from New York, New Jersey, Belgium, Japan and more competed in the festivities.
"We can bring different cultures together and what better place to do it than New York City at the Apollo Theater in Harlem," said Lauren Walker, president of the National Double Dutch League, which puts on the Holiday Classic each year.
"We have old teams trying to break records and new teams trying to start their own legacy," Walker added. For her, double dutch isn't just a sport -- it's her life, and it's all thanks to her father.
"My father was David Walker. He was a New York City police officer that in 1970 saw young girls jumping double dutch in the school yard and thought double dutch would be a great activity for young girls," she explained.
Her father went on to turn double dutch into a world class sport in the 1970s and later founded the National Double Dutch League.
Decades later, the sport is still going strong with the Holiday Classic attracting teams from as far as Belgium and Japan.
"It means a lot. It shows my dad's vision of the sport of double dutch has resonated around the world, emulated in different aspects," Walker said.
The jump ropers competed in different styles of double dutch, like speed, which determines who can jump the fastest, and freestyle, which combines jumping and dancing.
"I was really nervous at first, but when you got into it, it was really fun, and you just think about having fun instead of being competitive," said Kayla brooks, of the Swagga Jumpers.
Several teams, including the Swagga Jumpers from Crown Heights, took home trophies.
As for Walker, she said her team is already planning next year's competition.