Are you an aspiring juggler with nowhere to practise? Look no further, as NAIT finally has its first ever Juggling Club. Jay Chun, currently an international student in Architectural Technologies, and founder and president, explains why he felt the need for the club.
“I started this club because it wasn’t there, juggling helped me get through things in life … I thought it would be nice for a school setting.”
The new club meets at the entrance of the Shaw Theatre in the X-Building every Monday from 6-8 p.m. The Juggling Club is a “practical mix of art and engineering,” said Chun. Currently, there are nine members in the club, including Chun, who hopes to increase the numbers within the near future.
The Juggling Club may have some difficulty in finding new members because “when you say ‘juggling,’ people think three balls and clowns” and “there’s a stigma around juggling towards being just dumb,” said Chun.
However, Wikipedia describes juggling as “the manipulation of objects for recreation, entertainment, art or sport,” which does not limit jugglers to just three balls, nor does it require them to be a clown. With a similar mindset, the Juggling Club and Chun strive to create a new working knowledge of the performing arts and a new community within NAIT through the art of juggling.
The club runs workshops and training sessions or “juggling jams” to practise, have fun and learn new types of juggling. Some of the types are toss juggling (three balls), club juggling, poi, devil stick, hula-hoop, folding fans, diabolo and more, including riding unicycles. These skills are not solely honed by Chun himself but are divided among club members. Their acquired knowledge and skills are shared.
Students who are interested in joining the club do not require any prior experience. For example, Chun began juggling three years ago after a short career as a magician but soon found passion in flow art or juggling. He started by practising contact juggling, a balancing act of optical illusions and suspension. After he was introduced to this world of flow art, he began to explore all the types of juggling he could get access to.
Eventually, the club would like to be involved in performances and fundraisers to build awareness for their group.
“After we build a reputation, we might be able to perform for other faculty groups around NAIT campus,” said Chun. Perhaps next year the club could participate in the open house exhibition. Chun stresses that the Juggling Club is “open for everyone to learn” and needs more members. Chun looks to the Juggling Club as a way to become a travelling artist around the world.
“I want to be good enough that language wouldn’t be a barrier; to just go anywhere.”