Story by Lindsey Chester, photos by Lindsey and Patrick Norris of the Cary YMCA.
Cary, NC- Cary’s Super Skippers took part in a special workshop on Monday led by world jump rope record-holder Adrienn Banhegyi. The jump rope star is a world class athlete and touring member of Cirque du Soleil.
Banhegyi’s current gig is touring with Cirque Du Soleil’s Quidam show which arrives in Raleigh’s PNC arena July 10-14. On June 10, Banhegyi paid a visit to the Cary Family Y and worked with the very talented Cary Super Skippers to teach them a trick or two.
Quidam is the third touring Cirque du Soleil show for Banhegyi. She auditioned several years ago by first sending a tape of her routines after receiving a casting call. She went through a full audition process in France, and then Banhegyi was placed in their queue. Four years later, she was called up to be a part of a Holiday production.
Only a few Cirque du Soleil shows actually incorporate jump rope skills, and Quidam was the original. Audiences are familiar with the acrobatics and more circus-type aspects of the performance, but as jump rope becomes more mainstream, it too has been incorporated. In this show, 2 soloists jump and are joined by as many as 20 acrobats on stage.
Like any Broadway production, touring with Cirque du Soleil is a full time job consisting of 8 shows per week, with 10 weeks on and 2 weeks off, year round.
Benhegyi’s message to the Super Skippers was one of possibilities. She asked the group “Who ever thought of skipping for a job?”
This Super Skippers team of jump ropers is very talented, and that talent and love of the sport does not need to end with competitions in a gym. Her own love of the sport led her to artistic performance that she loves, taking her all over the world.
Before Adrienne performed for the group and led a workshop, she had asked coach Gary Anderson if the kids could perform for her. Coach Gary cued the music and the Skippers ripped into one of their crowd pleasing routines.
Benhegyi’s publicist, Jessica LeBoeof, told CaryCitizen that usually on an advance tour Adrienne will work with health clubs or Boys & Girls clubs, generally groups with little or no jumprope experience. She wanted to better gauge the team’s level of skill before attempting a workshop. She was impressed! The Cary Super Skippers performed many of her best tricks. She does hold the world record for a skill called a “triple under jump”, however and at 330 consecutive jumps, I don’t think anyone in the room was going to be breaking that record anytime soon!
After the workshop, Jessica and Adrienne flew out to Dayton, and will then head to Louisville, Nashville and Charlotte, landing to perform in Raleigh’s PNC arena from July 10-14 at the PNC Arena. From here, the show travels to Fairfax VA, Brooklyn, and two stops in Florida before heading to Europe for a year.