Utilizing the art of juggling

By Jessica Sabbah

DeKALB | Will Petsche, third year law student, began juggling when he was 14. For him, it was only natural to start a club at NIU.

After advertising and garnering interest, Petsche created the NIU Juggling Club last fall. The group was recognized by the Student Association in October.

The club meets at 6 p.m. every other Thursday in the racquetball courts at the Campus Recreation Center. Weather permitting, the club also meets outside in the MLK Commons.

“I just thought it would be a good way to meet new people, be active and teach people to try something new,” Petsche said, who currently serves as president of the club.

After Petsche’s dad and brother started juggling, Petsche soon picked up the hobby. His dad even started a juggling club in Iowa called the Iowa Juggling Society in the 90s. Petsche said he particularly likes that juggling can be both demanding and relaxing.

“There’s always something new to work on, but at the same time it’s really relaxing to just go with your friends and juggle for an hour,” he said.

Currently, the group has about five members. Petsche said he hopes the club gets enough people to continue the group after he graduates in May.

“I think there’s a lot of positive qualities for a club like this to provide a university,” said Scott Peska, faculty adviser of the NIU Juggling Club.

Peska said juggling provides an opportunity for students to showcase an art, work on individual skill sets, enhance communication teamwork and develop leadership skills.

“Anyone can learn how to juggle; that’s the first thing,” Peska said. “Most people will say, ‘Oh, I don’t have the coordination for it or the skill set.’ I can teach anyone how to juggle within two weeks. It just takes a little bit of time.”

While attending ISU, Peska joined the school’s collegiate circus and quickly developed a skill set as a juggler.

Peska has been known to utilize his juggling skills to enhance presentations.

“I’ve been able to see a lot of ways to apply juggling outside of just the sport of it or the art of it,” Peska said.

Phil Garee, vice president of the club and political science graduate student, encouraged anyone interested in juggling to come out.

“Don’t be intimidated by what you see from other people,” Garee said. “Everybody’s got a different skill set, and everybody’s willing to teach you…as one of my friends once said, ‘Juggling is like a room full of children who know how to share.'”