Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jeremy the Juggler

We’ve hosted plenty of circus themed events in the past and one of the most popular circus activities is juggling! On July 18, Jeremy the Juggler came to the Children’s Museum in Easton to perform a spectacular juggling show and he was lovely enough to speak to us more about juggling!

Jeremy learned to juggle around the age of nine and began practicing it more seriously when he entered Vassar College in 2003. After college, Jeremy set out with some friends to create a professional performance group saying: ”The knowledge and critical thinking skills we got in school really enabled us to succeed not just as performers but as promoters and businessmen. Without those skills, we never would have been able to pull it off.” From there, Jeremy just never stopped juggling!

Now, he practices with a four person group. “Most of my practice is with a four person group. We get together for several hours every week to practice club passing, fire spinning, and group choreography,” Jeremy expands excitedly, “Earlier this year I got a set of two flaming nunchaku (nunchuks) that I’ve been bretty excited about. For regular circus props, I really enjoy diabolo tricks that involve letting go of one (or two!) of the hand sticks.” [see right]

Jeremy believes that the art of juggling is still relevant today, especially for children. “I think any kind of live performance is a great thing to experience, and I think hands-on circus arts demonstrations are especially great because they let kids see that even though the skills they see on stage aren’t easy, they’re still something that anybody can learn to do. It’s not on TV, it’s happening right in front of you and you get to try it yourself!” Jeremy explains.

He goes on to talk about how children are a great audience for juggling and circus acts: “Kids aren’t afraid to let you know they like something, or to come up and ask you to teach them. Adults and even college students are often afraid of looking silly, and so they miss out on a lot of opportunities. I love teaching kids because kids still have fun learning.”

Socially, Jeremy says, “I think juggling is neat in that it’s something anyone can do that produces something, even if that something is only a few seconds’ worth of entertainment. In the same way that youtube lets anyone put themselves on the internet and say ‘hey, look at me for a second, let me show you something I made,’ juggling lets anyone have a skill that they can use any time, any place. I’ve had dozens of conversations with strangers just because I was standing around in an airport juggling. It’s a nice alternative to sitting by yourself on your phone.”

As Jeremy reiterated, juggling has many benefits. For children, learning the art can teach self discipline, motor skills, social skills, and much more.

If you want to learn more about juggling, other circus activities, or simply get involved in another circus themed event you’re in luck! The Children’s Museum in Easton is hosting the Vegetable Circus on Thursday August 29! Stop on by between 10am and 3pm for more circus fun!

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