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The Spindrifters captivate a K-4 audience in Wells

posted Jan 31, 2019, 4:27 AM by Michael Richards
On January 24th, Wells Elementary School welcomed the South Bristol Spindrifters to perform rope-jumping routines for the student body assembled in the gym.  The team is sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) and performs throughout Maine to entertain and motivate elementary students to get involved and participate in the annual AHA’s “Kids Heart Challenge” (formerly “Jump Rope for Heart”), a fundraiser in support of heart research.  

Over a 30 minute period, a mix of 4th through 8th-grade students performed a series of basic and complex jumping routines that dazzled students and staff.  They performed individual and partner synchronized jumping with a long rope and beaded rope.  There were routines performed with such names as Double Dutch, the Triangle, and the Egg Beater.  There was even a student who tap-danced as part of a jumping routine. 

The team is coached by Liz Giles-Brown, a retired physical education and health teacher from South Bristol Elementary School.  Giles-Brown said that she formed the Spindrifters 21 years ago making it the first AHA Demonstration Jumping team in Maine.  The group has performed at schools from southern York County to northern Aroostook County.  

For the past 32 years, students at Wells Elementary School have participated in the former Jump Rope for Heart under the direction and guidance of physical education teacher Kathy Calo.  From gathering pledges and skipping rope, thousands of WES students have raised $230,000 overall for the American Heart Association.

“It brought our building together,” said Calo of the Spindrifters’ performance.  She believes the show provided an incentive for students to participate in the upcoming Kids Heart Challenge to be held at WES on March 7th and 8th.
Spindrifters in action
The current line-up of the South Bristol Spindrifters with Liz Giles-Brown at left holding a microphone.  Also present at WES (but not in the photo) was Erin Michaud who is learning from Giles-Brown to be the next Spindrifters’ coach.

Spindrifters running through a routine
Out front and performing a short rope synchronized routine are Maya Redonnett (at left) and Freya Drum.  
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