Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Juggling and Swing in NYC

Today, woke up at 8am, got a hearty breakfast sandwich, and began volunteer work at Archives. I love this job. When I am not doing data entry, Abby and Sarah (the SLC Archivists) show me how the archival organizational system works, and I get a bunch of ideas for how I am going to create a filing system in my room over the summer. I got a bunch of filing crates from the Salvage Drive (stuff SLC students had thrown away upon moving out) and once I get another paycheck I am going to buy hanging folders to fill them.

After Archives, ate lunch with Ned, Zac, and Nick, then work at College Events. And then at four thirty, took my juggling equipment down to the train station and went to Manhattan for the Bryant Park Juggling Club!

I spent two hours in Bryant Park juggling with other jugglers. I learned some incredible new tricks and I made several friends. I loved it and I definitely want to go back. The park was packed with people, many who stopped to take photos or to ask how to juggle. We gave simple lessons and people tried it out of they had time. I met a man who tried to get me to join his origami club.

"There's this guy who does origami and juggles. You should check him out," the guy tells me. "He's a good friend of mine. His name is Jeremy Shafer. Are you into origami?"

Me: "Yeah, I read a great book, 'Origami to Astonish and Amuse' is by far the best origami book I ever read. If anything, that's the one that got me into folding."

The guy waves his hands in the air. "That's Jeremy Shafer! Jeremy Shafer wrote that book! He told me it was a doozy to get published. He said that his editor's notes primarily were post its on every other page that said, 'are you being serious?' He's a great guy."

Small world. Big city. Or maybe hobbies like juggling and origami are just bound to collide.

I learned how to "ultimate juggle" (six balls, two people, every throw is a pass) which impressed everyone. I felt incredible. I definitely want to go back.

Afterwards, met up with Arizona to eat pizza in the city and then to go swing dancing. On Sunday we paid $40 for a four-hour swing lesson, and with that package is free dance practice in the city every Tuesday at nine. So, we stopped in.

Swing music was playing, people were dancing. I realized two things. 1) Arizona and I were the youngest people there. 2) I had forgotten how to swing dance.

I have been practicing swing dance almost every Saturday for the past two months, and in this room I was overwhelmed and I couldn't even remember basic steps. I danced with Arizona then told her that I had to sit down. I sat alone and watched, and unfortunately when you are at a swing venue, sitting alone is an invitation to dance. I tried to look busy on my phone, but an older woman came up to me and asked if I would like to dance.

"Sure! But I'm a beginner. I don't know... anything," I said.

"Do you know basic steps?" she asked.

"... yes."

"Then let's do that!"

I danced with her and another woman that night, along with Arizona, and all of them were incredibly understanding and patient. I think when each song ended I told my dance partner "thank you for being understanding and patient."

When we left, I made a promise to take some more lessons and to gain confidence, so I can return to Tuesday night swing and actually lead, instead of having kind, older women whisper instructions in my ear.

Arizona and I left early and got tea. It was a full day, and now I am back in my dorm, eating Triscuts and Naked Mango Juice, and not wearing a shirt.



  1. Here for the shirtless pics. That's all. Duh. *woo*

  2. I must take you contra dancing next year.