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Juggling club provides students with a unique, creative outlet

Juggling club provides students with a unique, creative outlet

Denton, Texas 10/13/2016 Leon Watson (right) and Timothy Walker (left) juggle at the Library Mall at UNT. They are the President and Vice President of the Juggling and Flow Arts organization at UNT. The group meets every Thursday at the Library Mall to practice their skills. Credit: Jennyfer Rodriguez

Juggling club provides students with a unique, creative outlet
October 16
16:30 2016

It was a cool Thursday evening as Timothy Walker sat in Library Mall, fiddling through his backpack. It didn’t hold textbooks, pencils or notebook paper. The bag was full of juggling pins, small balls and a unicycle.

Walker is part of UNT’s juggling club and spends his time practicing new skills and tricks.

When thinking about juggling, Walker said, a lot of people tend to think people who do it are training to become a clown or some other circus act. For UNT’s juggling club, the end game is to just have fun.

Juggling is a craft called flow arts. The term encompasses movement-based art that integrates dance and creative expression of movement along with skill-based manipulation. Flow arts can be seen all around us in many cultures and includes fire-dancing, martial arts, hula-hooping and circus acts.

“We do sometimes juggle with fire, but we don’t actually perform with it,” said Walker, a media arts sophomore and the club’s vice president. “There would just be too much going on and we always stress safety first. We would never advocate for someone who is not ready to pick up and mess with fire, you have to respect the flame.”

Denton, Texas 10/13/2016 Timothy Walker juggles at the Library Mall at UNT. Walker is a Media Arts sophomore and the Vice President of the Juggling and Flow Arts organization at UNT. He started juggling four years ago and to him it is something he loves to learn more of and teach others about. Credit: Jennyfer Rodriguez

Timothy Walker juggles at the Library Mall at UNT. Walker is a Media Arts sophomore and the vice president of the Juggling and Flow Arts organization at UNT. He started juggling four years ago and to him, it is something he loves to learn more of and teach others about. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Recently, Walker sat in Library Mall, waiting for the rest of the club arrived for their 5:30 p.m. meeting. Some zoomed in on skateboards, while others walked. The group was diverse and they all greeted each other with warm smiles or embraces.

The juggling club meets from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday in the Business Leadership and 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays in Library Mall. Once the meetings start, they attract many stares. The group is relaxed, and its members want people to stop by anytime to learn.

“Joining the juggling club is easy,” Walker said. “All they have to do is get on their phone or computer and go to UNTjfa.com and put in their email. If they want to become an official member, they can pay $10 and also get one of our yearly shirts.”

One exercise they do is balance pins on their noses, looking straight into the sky without dropping. Practices last about two hours, sometimes longer. They all meet somewhere to flow together, laughing and decompressing the stresses of the week.

Watson, a computer science senior, has been a member since 2012 when the club was initially started. This is his first semester as president of the club.

“We’re definitely more of a come-to-learn type of club,” Watson said. “We want people to come and be around like-minded people who have similar interests in the flow arts.”

The juggling club does not require any sort of membership. If someone wanted to simply come by one of their meetings and try juggling, they said they would be more than happy to educate people and help them learn tricks and tips. They are open to people who are interested in the craft, whether they are new jugglers or masters.

The club has already begun pulling in new members that could potentially carry the torch of what UNT juggling club is all about. One such member is biology freshman Amandeep Sandhu. Sandhu had never participated in juggling before but was able to pick up the craft quickly.

“I really enjoy it because it’s about learning new things,” Sandhu said. “I was not a juggler before I joined the club, but I know a little bit and as long as I have time, I’d like to stay and learn.”

Some consider flow arts to be on the rise, calling it the new form of dance and a unique way of interacting with the physical world.

The use of flow arts is also considered a meditative practice and requires serious dedication and mastery for those who see it as a hobby and creative activity. Walker said UNT juggling club provides just that, as well as a kinship to anyone who is interested.

“We are an open group,” Walker said. “Anyone who is open to hanging out or learning about this amazing craft can stop by and learn.”

Featured Image and video: Timothy Walker, left, and  Leon Watson juggle at the Library Mall at UNT. They are the President and Vice President of the Juggling and Flow Arts organization at UNT. The group meets every Thursday at the Library Mall to practice their skills. Jennyfer Rodriguez

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Cierra Edmondson

Cierra Edmondson

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