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“I think for most of us, you just see something and you think that’s what I want. I wanna be able to do that. That motivates you to practice,” says Michael Klinglesmith, director of the 2013 Portland Juggling Festival. Klinglesmith started juggling when he was in 7th grade.
Last weekend, the Portland Jugglers, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing the appreciation and enjoyment of juggling, hosted the 21st Portland Juggling Festival at Reed College.
The three-day festival attracted jugglers from all levels locally and nationally, and featured a series of juggling workshops in addition to the Juggling and Vaudeville Extravaganza performance show.
Throughout the weekend, volunteers from the juggling community taught a variety of workshops and shared their skills with other juggling enthusiasts. “The learning is a big part of why we all come together to see each other regularly,” adds Klinglesmith.
Klinglesmith thinks that part of the reason Portland has a strong juggling community is because jugglers have had access to the gym at Reed College once a week for the past 34 years. The Portland Juggling Club meets every Wednesday night, and both beginners and professional jugglers can learn and practice together.
“I think juggling is very easy to learn … I think it’s just practice. It breaks down into very simple steps and if you just work through those steps, anybody can learn.”