Juggling and (some) unicycling at Cliffwood Elementary

Well my daughter Emma had her performance debut during her gym class today. The gym teacher arranged for all the 3rd grade classes to have gym together and we put on our show for them.

It was a smashing success!

The show was divided into 2 sections. For the first Emma and I did some juggling with each of us having a solo, a 3 ball sharing bit, followed by 6 ball passing. One drop during the sharing and one during my solo. Emma was virtually flawless. At the end of this portion came the highlight of the morning: The entire 3rd grade class, 75 kids or so, all of Emma’s peers, spontaneously began chanting her name in unison. I was one beaming dad.

(Of course, it’ll be a few days before her head gets back down to size, but for the time being she should enjoy the fame!)

The second section was me doing a routine that builds from one club and hat, to two clubs and hat, to a hat, cane and clubs routine. (I botched the last bit pretty badly, but the kids didn’t seem to mind). It ended with me riding around the gym on a 20" uni, forwards and backwards a bit, and then Emma handing me 3 clubs which I ride and around and juggle. This part went well. (After freemounting difficulties this weekend with the giraffe I definitely was not prepared to chance trying it.)

After all this the kids got to try various different juggling props which Emma and I helped them with.

Later we did the same show for one 5th grade class who also enjoyed and asked some good questions about the juggling and unicycling. Mostly they wanted to know how long it takes to learn to ride and how one manages to balance on it.

One lesson learned is that it is one thing to practice and quite another to perform. Many of the nuances that we worked out for the routine got a bit lost in the trying to keep it all together. And one bit of comedy that we were quite happy with I completely and utterly left out both times.

The other is that it is extraordinarily wonderful to have a kid with whom to share juggling and (soon) unicycling.

The gym teacher took photos and I will scan and post them as soon as they’re ready.

Off to Emma’s favorite restaurant, Friendly’s, for a celebration dinner and ice cream!

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ