Hoppin’ Hawks jump into Macy’s Day Parade
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Two members from the Hoppin’ Hawks Precision Jump Rope Club were invited to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City along with 200 nationwide jumpers.
Alyssa Newton, a freshman at Bel Air HS, and Coach Megan Reith were lucky enough to be invited because only two spots from their team were available.
“It was a big shock to me seeing the original email from USA Jump Rope and I just thought that would be really cool to do that,” said Newton. “When I got the call that I actually could do it, I was really excited.”
This is the first year since 2009 that there will be jump rope included in the Macy’s parade. Reith received the opportunity to jump in the parade in 2009, but could not attend and has regretted it ever since.
She has been jumping for 19 years and has traveled all over the east coast by attending workshops, competitions, and camps as a staff member or camper.
Newton has been jumping for seven years and her biggest inspiration is NH graduate Sydney Billings who is also a jumper.
“She always taught me that no matter what you do, even if you mess up, you should smile, and just perform the best that you can,” said Newton.
In addition, all the jumpers will arrive a few days before Thanksgiving and practice together as a group in preparation for the parade. They have to jump a three mile parade route which will be challenging.
“[My fear is] Knowing where you are because if you mess up, you can’t just start jumping randomly when you get back in, you just have to pick up,” said Newton.
The routine was sent through YouTube and they have practiced jumping in their neighborhoods for miles to prepare their bodies for the length of the parade.
“We can do it all we want here. It’s completely different when we get there and I’m hoping the adrenaline kicks in,” said Reith.
Despite the nerves, Reith and Newton are excited to meet all the new jumpers because they will all be staying in a hotel together.
“There will probably be a lot of familiar faces that we have known from workshops and competitions,” said Newton.
“Maryland has a lot of jumpers. There are like five teams in the state of Maryland and they are all within an hour of each other so the jumpers from those teams will be like seeing old friends,” said Reif.
The parade will be aired live and viewers will be able to see the jumpers perform on television on Herald Square in New York City.
Hoppin’ Hawks is able to perform at many different venues such as in parades and sporting events, but they are excited for their next event which is performing at the Naval Academy for the mens basketball game against UMBC on November 23.
Newton and Reith’s jump rope club has already performed at college level sporting events and even at the professional level. They recently performed at NH on November 8th during the halftime show at the student teacher basketball game.
“My favorite part is working with the younger kids and teaching them to jump and watching them learn more,” said Newton.