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'Bungee Jumpers' Bring Crowds to Their Feet

The Bungee Jumpers amaze crowds all around the area with their jump rope skills, which they've been honing since 2008.

They kick, they twirl, they turn around.

They swing fast, they swing slow. They move from a v-shape into a straight line.

And they do it all while jumping rope in perfect unison.

They are the Bungee Jumpers, a team of kids who perform jump rope skills that drive crowds to their feet.

They jump rope while doing pushups.

They jump rope while sitting on their bottoms.

They jump rope in groups, in pairs, and as singles.

The Bungee Jumpers grew out of an effort that began in fall 2008, under the tutelage of an energetic young man named Justin Pillmore. 

Pillmore had just taken a job teaching physical education at Groveland Elementary, in the Central Bucks School District. He started a morning club so kids could come in early before school to jump rope.

"It was just for exercise, but the parents said they’re interested in a team," Pillmore said Wednesday. "I said, why not."

That year, the Groveland Jump Rope Team drew 40 kids, and the following year, about 50 kids, Pillmore said.

Amanda Cigol was one of them.

Now 12, Amanda was in third grade when the jump rope club started. She couldn't wait to give it a try.

"I thought it was very interesting and a good source of exercise," said Amanda, now a sixth-grader at Groveland. "Plus, my friends were doing it and we sort of encouraged each other."

But in 2011, Central Bucks laid off Pillmore and a couple other PE teachers.

Pillmore didn’t let that hold him back.

"It ended up being a blessing in disguise," said Pillmore, who grew up in Doylestown and now lives in Perkasie. "We were able to open the team up to the community, and I was able to have more flexibility with shows."

This year, the Bungee Jumpers are comprised of two teams, a select team and a developmental team. Each team has 13 children, who range in age from third graders to seventh graders.

Team members still come from Groveland and other Central Bucks schools, Pillmore said, including Cold Spring Elementary and Kutz Elementary, but others come from other districts, including one boy from Yardley.

The teams travel all over, performing their tricks and stunts at school assemblies and sporting events from local high school basketball games to college and professional sports.

Amanda said the team runs through a ritual before each performance.

"I still get nervous, but Mr. Pillmore always gives us a pep talk, and my nerves fly away before I go on stage," she said.

On Tuesday, the Jumpers performed during the boys’ basketball game between CB West and CB South, and on Wednesday, they performed at Buckingham Elementary School.

Their next performance is scheduled for Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at the boys’ basketball game between CB East and Pennridge, at CB East.

Today, Pillmore teaches PE in the Bensalem Township School District. But he remains dedicated to the jump rope team, which continues to hold its one-day clinics and week-long summer camps in Doylestown, at First Baptist Church near Lenape Middle School.

In its first year, the Just Jumpin' Jump Rope Camp drew about 40 kids, Pillmore said. The summer of 2012 brought 500 kids – 100 each at 5 separate camps.

Pillmore chalked up the success to the sport’s wide appeal.

"Any kid can do it," he said. "Plus, it’s cheap, and they can do it anywhere. You don’t have to have a gym; you don’t need a soccer ball. You can do it alone, but you can make it fun and exciting with other kids."

For more information on the Bungee Jumpers, visit the group's website.

Jules January 10, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Awesome! Thanks for sharing.
Angeli Francescangeli January 10, 2013 at 04:24 AM
These kids are amazing!!
Pat Achilles January 10, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Great job, kids! Terrific to watch!
Lisa Walsh, SmartFitnessByLisa January 10, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Justin does more than teach the kids jump rope--he builds their self esteem! Great job, Justin and kids!
Daniel January 13, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Thanks Edward for pointing out this "Bad Mistake"...How about just point out the mistake and move on instead of adding you useless judgemental "bad mistake" comment

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