Professional jump-roper and Cirque Du Soleil coch Rene Bibaud is amazing… to put it plainly. This woman can do things with a jump rope you didn’t know were possible. We’re lucky to have her here in our fair city, and even luckier to share her with all the incredible families who will attend the Seattle Children’s Festival. Find her at the Fisher Pavilion at 4:00 p.m. (all ages!) and in our Discovery Zone throughout the day, but first, learn a bit more about her below!
SCF: Why jump-roping? What got you into it?
RB: When I was 10 years old, a jump rope team came to my school and did a performance. I LOVED it. My PE teacher started a jump rope team, called the Hot Dogs. I didn’t make the team the first year, but after some hard work, and willingness to keep at it, I got chosen. I’ve been a “Hot Dog” ever since. I toured nationally with the team, won several world championships and then was fortunate enough to be recruited by Cirque Du Soleil. I toured professionally with a show called “Quidam” Performing with Cirque was a highlight and experience of a lifetime, but when I returned home, I decided to turn my focus to youth motivation and fitness. That’s when I started Ropeworks. Now I teach kids the joy of rope jumping for fun and fitness. And I love it. Jumping rope is an incredible lifetime fitness activity. Inexpensive, portable and perfect. I love teaching kids the tools to embrace this awesome activity.
SCF: How can parents and teachers promote exercise in children?
RB: Helping kids make a positive connection with any form of physical activity is key. Putting pressure and focus on skill acquisition or setting expectations way beyond their skill set can create tension and disappointment. Rather, focus on goal setting, best effort and avoiding comparisons. Let your kids know that when they make mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process. And finally, emphasize what I call “frequent small successes” This process helps kids recognize that small steps toward a big goal can be rewarding. So, when a child does one thing right (ie – spins the rope over their head without catching their body) help them recognize that success, celebrate and then move to the next small step. Finally, parents are the ultimate role model. When you are active, your kids are active. When you mess up and can laugh at yourself, your children will learn to do the same. They are always watching our coping skills. There are numerous online resources that can get you and your kids excited about any type of physical activity. www.learntojumprope.com is my site dedicated to helping kids, parents and teachers jump rope skills. Check it out!
SCF: What is the mission behind your company, Ropeworks?
RB: To share the joy of rope jumping for fun and fitness, through goal setting, best effort and learning to celebrate our differences.
SCF: What message to do you want to send to kids through jump roping?
RB: Practice and patience.
SCF: What can parents expect for their kids with Ropeworks at Seattle Children’s Festival
RB: Kids will see me perform, but then get the chance to be involved through audience participation in double dutch and single rope jump rope tricks. I hope kids will embrace rope jumping as a lifetime fitness activity and understand the importance of the character points made earlier.