The colorful pins ascend in numerous directions, soaring through
the air in a seemingly uncontrollable mass. What appears to be an
astonishing task to the average viewer is merely an ordinary
Saturday afternoon activity for Lansing resident Paul Wolberg, a
member of the Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Club. While trying to
describe how he accomplishes such remarkable tricks, he noted,
“Don’t think, thinking is bad.”

Beth Dykstra
The Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Club teaches new recruits its special talent. (TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily)

While certain members perform professionally, others simply have
an affinity for the activity and enjoy partaking in the club for
recreational purposes.

Juggling Club member Dave Lewis says, “We are a group that
consists primarily of hobbyists. We juggle mostly for
fun.”

Whatever the individual’s reasons for joining this
enthusiastic group may be, the group offers a little taste of the
circus, right here in Ann Arbor.

The club members gather regularly to brush up on their juggling
skills, work on multi-person juggling sequences and learn novel
techniques from each other. Although interest in the group has
fluctuated throughout the years, the organization has been
particularly resilient for the last six.

The club also performs at its annual festival, Cascadia, the
weekend of May 15 at the Wide World Sports Center at 2140 Oak
Valley Drive in Ann Arbor. Lewis noted, “There will be games,
workshops, vendors and lots of open juggling with lessons for those
who are enthusiastic about learning.” This promising event
will show the unique unit in action and allow people to experiment
with the hobby for themselves. The group expects about 200 jugglers
from around the Great Lakes region to attend, since admission is
only $1.00 per day.

University alum Bruce Fields commented on his best experiences
with the club, saying, “The soap-bar juggling at last
year’s Cascadia was a pretty good time.” Soap-bar
juggling, one of the festival’s endurance games consists of
competing members juggling three bars of wet soap without dropping
one.

Ben Sturm, a club member, said, “I found that using cheap
bars of soap are the best kind because they tend to be more
slippery.”

The Juggling Club asks spectators to participate. The
organization meets on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and people are
encouraged to join regardless of skill level. The club does not
collect membership dues, but they do accept donations. For more
information, visit the Juggling Club’s website at
“www.umich.edu/~juggle”>www.umich.edu/~juggle.

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