Jym Jam Brings Entertainment with a Purpose
Human towers, daring stunts and a ring of fire can only mean one thing — Jym Jamboree is almost here again, and Asbury University’s Tumbling Team is ready to celebrate.
On Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, the Tumbling Team will present two shows as an end-of-year conclusion to the team’s ministry tours. The shows, known by students as “Jym Jam,” are free and open to the public, and will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the main gym of the Luce Center.
Jym Jam is not only the culmination of a year of hard work — it’s a chance for the Asbury community to see a glimpse of the Tumbling Team’s ministry. On tour, the team uses acrobatics, gymnastics, and stunting to present an hour-long show in public and private schools across the country.
Each year, the show incorporates a different theme. While the presentation of the theme changes for different schools and age groups, the message remains the same. This year’s theme, according to junior team member Rachel Melcher, is self-worth.
“We feel that it’s super important that all kids know that they have value, and that they have a creator who loves them,” Melcher said. “It’s easy to think when you look at a group of acrobats that all they do is sports, but we really place a lot of emphasis on why we’re here and why we’re tumbling.”
Melcher says her favorite part of Jym Jam is getting to share the Tumbling Team’s work with family and friends.
“I love being able to help people understand more about what a sports acrobatic team is,” Melcher said. “My favorite stunt we’ll be doing at Jym Jam is called triple stag — it’s a big formation of people, and in the end we have three people who are almost doing assisted hand stands on top of others.”
At Jym Jam, Melcher says students and community members will have a chance to experience some of the highlights of the Tumbling Team’s year.
“This year’s show, I think is different from anything that we’ve done,” Melcher said. “We’ve really tried to be creative with the stunts, doing fun things and more creative things that really show the talent of our tumblers.”
In addition to showcasing the talent of the team, Coach Holland Michael says she hopes this year’s Jym Jam will launch the team into their fundraising stage for a trip to Puerto Rico in the fall — the team’s first overseas ministry.
“It’s the home show for the tour, the big hurrah, two shows for the entire school and community, but also we hope to raise support for our mission trip to Puerto Rico this August,” Michael said.
While admission to Jym Jam is free, Michael says attendees who want to support the mission trip will be able to contribute at a special kiosk both nights of Jym Jam.
Students’ diverse gifts, interests and backgrounds all contribute to the team’s ability to minister, Michael says, and tumbling gives them an opportunity to use their talents to serve others.
“Our team is a wonderful mix of amazing talents, physically and academically. We have social work, education and media communication majors who use their skills in tumbling, but also in working with people,” Michael said. “God gives us each different skill sets, talents and passions, so this has been a really cool way for students to use these things to glorify God and bring people to Christ.”