Juggling junkies

From left to right facing camera: Andrew Duffy 11, Logan Gutwein 12, and Alec Blair 11, practice their three-ball juggling skills in Scott Hinsley’s classroom. They also juggle scarves and bowling pins.

Alex Helm

From left to right facing camera: Andrew Duffy 11, Logan Gutwein 12, and Alec Blair 11, practice their three-ball juggling skills in Scott Hinsley’s classroom. They also juggle scarves and bowling pins.

 

Little white balls with yellow smiley faces fly through the air. One, two, three. Around, up and over. The balls fly back and forth between students and over desks. Next, colorful scarves float in flowing patterns. This is the juggling club.

AP biology teacher Scott Hinsley started the juggling club last year after a student asked him to teach him how to juggle.

“I was juggling some [markers] in class and I had a student say, ‘hey, can you teach me how to juggle?’” Hinsley said. “And then I had other students who said ‘okay, I want to do this, too,’ so it just started and has taken off from there.”

Hinsley said the club is open to anyone who wants to learn a new skill. Students do not need prior juggling skills to join. He said that he teaches students the basic pattern, which is juggling three balls at a time. Some more advanced jugglers, like seniors Jared Marxuach and Logan Gutwein, have learned more difficult tricks, like passing the ball between each other.

“[We can] partner juggle,” Gutwein said. “And joggling is pretty cool, too. Joggling is juggling while jogging.”

According to Gutwein, there’s even competitions for jogglers. Participants run a mile joggling, and if the ball drops, the runner must stop, go back to where it dropped, and start joggling again.

“So if you get a bunch of juggling nerds out there, you can get in a little juggling Olympics,” Gutwein said.

For the students in the club, it’s just something fun they can do after school.

“It’s loads of fun,” Marxuach said. “I love seeing what new tricks you can do and how difficult you can make it.”

But for Hinsley, teaching students how to juggle means more for him. He said that he’s teaching kids a skill that they can pass down to their own kids.

“I just like seeing people enjoy juggling,” Hinsley said. “It’s weird to some people that something like juggling is so fun and entertaining and relaxing, but it’s a neat skill.”