On a trip to Cape Cod with my family a few years ago, I went to the Barnstable County Fair. Along with the cotton candy, exotic animals, and midway rides they also had entertainers. One of the acts was a family of jugglers called Bounce, Ooo La La, and Daniel. As I watched them juggle in amazement, I realized that Daniel, the son, was just a little older than I was, yet he could juggle balls and clubs, toss them back and forth with his parents, ride a unicycle, and do other stunts. After the show was over I couldn’t stop thinking about that performance. I went back and watched the same performers two more times that day, and each time they did something new.
Even days later, I was still thinking about their performance, and I decided that I wanted to learn to do what they did. My dad, who knew how to juggle, taught me the basics. At first I had a hard time learning to throw and catch at the same time. The balls kept creeping away from me and falling out of my reach. But I kept at it, practicing several times a day, and soon I was better than my dad. From there I taught myself and continued to practice.
Later that year my family moved to a new city in a new state – Sarasota, Florida. I was sad to be leaving my old friends, and terrified about going to a new school. But my dad told me about a permanent youth circus in Sarasota called Sailor Circus. I was extremely anxious to join.
At Sailor Circus kids from fourth grade through high school practice acts in a building without air conditioning, under a huge blue and white tent ceiling. In one ring kids might be practicing tumbling, in another people work on clown acts, and above the floor kids carry long poles as they carefully step across a wire.
At the circus I made new friends and improved my juggling, and also learned other circus skills. I’ve worked at clown routines, unicycling, and low wire. I made some of my best friends here thanks to circus. I had worried I wouldn’t fit in or be able to make friends, but I was wrong.
As I got better at juggling I began using my talents for other things. I juggled at old age homes, street fairs, community gatherings, birthday parties, and fundraisers. I started my own business for juggling parties, got friends from circus to help out, and started making some money.
Because of my juggling, my life has improved so much. I have great friends, a great family, and a great life. If I hadn’t participated in circus my life would have been totally different. And all because of one short trip to Cape Cod. It just goes to show how travel can change your life.
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