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Redding jump-ropers to showcase skills in national Thanksgiving parade

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:16:29 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 21 2013 07:00:00 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

Two local girls are taking part in a national spectacle.

Jessica Stenger, 19, and Julie Swendiman, 22, are taking their jump-roping talents to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

The two members of the Shasta Skippers have been jumping rope for more than a decade. They wanted a chance on the big stage and they're seizing that moment.

"It’s such a big parade and it's such a good opportunity for us to show what we do," said Stenger.

They sent in a tape and were picked as two out of 150 on the nationally-grouped team known as Jumpers United for Macy's Parade or JUMP based in Ohio. They girls will skip rope with that team on the two-and-a-half mile parade route.

"The two of us from Redding, California, it's a huge opportunity for us to stabilize our abilities to jump-rope,” said Swendiman. “It's great to get the sport of jump-rope out there because people really aren't aware of it."

But being the only participants from Northern California, according to the girls, has led to some difficulties. While face-to-face contact is beneficial for teammates, Stenger and Swendiman have not had that luxury. That is where technology comes in handy. A YouTube video of the routine has become their coach and guide.

"We have the routine down for six months now, and now we get to put it together with 150 extra kids," Swendiman said. "I don't think something like this really ever happens with as small of a town as we are. But our families and our friends and everyone that we work with and go to school with has been extremely supportive."

More than 400-people applied to be on the national team.