Devin Meek, UMBC student and pro jump roper.
Defying gravity outside UMBC’s chem buiding. Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11.

Monday through Thursday, rising sophomore Devin Meek is your average media & communication studies student. But once Friday rolls around, he packs his bags and does a forward 180, traveling the world for his part-time job: professional jump roper. Here are five things we learned while exploring the rapidly growing world of competitive jump rope.

Jump rope can open some pretty exciting doors for an entertainer:
“I’ve been on Nickelodeon, jumped in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade twice and the Chinese New Year Parade in Macau, and even performed on a Disney Cruise.”

The jump rope community is an extremely supportive one:

“We don’t look at competitions as a way to beat someone. It’s more so that you’re there to show off what you’ve learned and, in turn, learn from someone else. It’s a sport that’s still developing, so there’s a ton of room for creativity.”

Jump ropers are starting to get noticed. In a BIG way:

“Flight Crew Jump Rope competed on season nine of America’s Got Talent. They were huge inspirations to me, so it was amazing when they asked me to join their group in 2016. Since then I’ve been traveling and performing with their team, as well as starting my own local group.”

Just like every other sport, yes, you can get injured jumping rope:

“I’m actually recovering from my first injury right now. I hurt a disc in my back because I didn’t warm up and stretch properly before a performance. Pretty lame injury, but it taught me a lesson!”

Professional jump roper might be the coolest part-time job in the world:

“I have tried out other jobs before. I’ve flipped burgers and even worked as a mascot for a while and, although they were fun, none of it beats jump rope.”

— Kait McCaffrey

Videos of Devin’s Jump Rope Styles

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