Bouncing Team: 2006 Tryouts, St. Paul Winter Carnival, January 31, 2006. (The
2007 Bouncing Team Tryouts will be held at Harriet Island Pavilion, on January
31, 2007; registration for the contestants is at
7:00 p.m. and the Try-Outs begin at
photos of the St. Paul Bouncing Team
We had a chance to attend the St. Paul Bouncing Team Tryouts event at the
Landmark Center, St. Paul, MN, 060131.
This past December, Tom Geng, President of the St. Paul Bouncing Team, told us
that the St. Paul Bouncing Team --- A female member is tossed high in the air
using a blanket --- has been attending the St. Paul Winter Carnival
since the very first one. As you know, the St. Paul Winter Carnival has a long
history and is very famous across the country. It's really interesting to learn
the fact that the Bouncing Team originates from the hunting traditions of
Eskimos (the Inuit people). The team will also perform in many events such as
the Saint Paul Winter Carnival parades (Grande Day Parade & Torchlight Parade)
and the St. Patrick’s Day parades in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN.
Tom has been a puller for 16 years. The 2006 Royal Family showed up with
Klondike Kate. Klondike Kate sang a song for the bouncing girl candidates, the
Bouncing Team members, and the crowd. In the middle of the tryouts, Vulcanus
Rex (the god of Fire) and his Krewe showed up to entertain the crowd.
According to Tom, the blanket for tossing a girl is made of canvas with 28
handles. A bouncing girl usually weighs around 100 lbs. Most of the time, 14
pullers pull the canvas. The pullers shout “One, Two, Up she goes” (sort of On
Three) to toss the bouncing girl up high in the air (their web page says “our
Bouncing Girls can travel anywhere from 20 - 35 feet above the 'pullers').
Eskimos use animal skins rather than canvas. It looks like a bouncing girl can
perform for three years. There have been no accidents since the very first
performance. We asked Tom, “Why are you guys called, a “puller” instead of a
“tosser” or something like that? He replies, “Actually, we pull the canvas
parallel to the floor to toss a bouncing girl rather than tossing the canvas up.
And we are called pullers, accordingly.” We thought to ourselves, “A canvas
blanket is so elastic that a bouncing girl will be tossed as long as pullers
pull the blanket in the horizontal direction. After all, this has the same
structure as trampolines. Hmmm…, by any chance did the Inuit people invent a
trampoline?” Wait a second! Let’s check “trampolines” online… “Hey, We’re
right.” Here is the answer <
At first, the Bouncing Team tossed current bouncing girls. The performances were
awesome. Then, around 20 contestants competed in the Tryouts event. After the
first trials, six girls were chosen. Then finally two girls were chosen as new
bouncing girls. It’s also fun to watch very young girls trying out the tosses
for their future challenges. We didn’t stay until the end of the event, so we
didn’t have a chance to ask bouncing girls how they feel while high in the air*.
St. Paul Bouncing
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival <
may we get their answers? That would be cool!” Tom kindly e-mailed to us, “I will be happy to introduce you to some of
our bouncing girls so that you can ask them about their experiences on the
blanket.” Cool!, we’ll get the info from bouncing girls soon.
we really appreciate your info on the St. Paul Bouncing Team. As you’re saying,
‘HAIL THE BOUNCE!!!’”
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