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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Juggling club shows off versatility

Published: January 28, 2011
Section: Features

PHOTO BY Haley Fine/The Hoot

When Skyler Kasko ’14 arrived at Brandeis, he knew how to juggle and sought out the Brandeis Juggling Society. “It’s a pretty small club, so I’m one of the few regular members,” he said. “I learned something from the club though. The first meeting I went to, I learned to juggle clubs.”

The juggling club meets weekly, but meetings are very informal. The club members hang out and joke around, clearly very comfortable with each other. They spend two hours each week practicing juggling, teaching each other tricks and techniques, and showing off newfound skills.

“We just hang out and have fun … and throw things,” President Simona Dalin ’11 said.

The majority of club members didn’t know how to juggle when they arrived at Brandeis.

“I’ve wanted to learn how to juggle since high school,” Elena Livak ’13 said. “I realized Brandeis had a club and I decided to check it out. It was the first time I seriously tried to learn how. I had tried before, but the balls ended up in three different corners of the room.”

The Juggling Club has been on campus for more than a decade. Although they focus on juggling balls, beanbags, clubs and more, the members are incredibly versatile. The group’s myBrandeis page describes them as “[a] group of people who share an interest in different types of object manipulation, including poi, staff spinning, juggling, contact juggling, yo-yo, devil sticking, diablo, and whatever else members are interested in learning.”

All three members of the executive board are able to ride a unicycle and walk on stilts. The board includes Dalin, Vice President Phil Lessans ’11 and Secretary Noah Fields ’12, who is currently abroad in Israel.

“Now if only I could juggle,” Dalin joked, saying that her goal for the year was to finally learn to juggle well. She’s been trying since she was a first-year, but she still ends up with balls behind a table leaning against the wall. Dalin makes up for it by practicing poi, a form of juggling with balls at the end of strings, often with tails attached, that create illusions when swung in special patterns.

Until 2007, members of the club were able to juggle fire, but Dalin explained that a Waltham ordinance against open flame prohibits it.

The Juggling Club practices every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. in Winer Lounge, to the right of Levin.