Freshman Jack Denger participates in juggling competitions


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How did you get started juggling?

When I was seven, I got a book. Actually, it was after I saw Cirque du Soleil in Orlando, FL.


Who inspires you to juggle?

Right now it’s just various people that I met through juggling, my friends that I met through juggling. I wouldn’t really give a name in particular because I don’t really have one. Sometimes I even inspire myself. I like seeing myself progress and get a lot better, and that inspires me.


How do you practice juggling?

There are a few ways to practice. I guess it depends on what you want to get better at. You can just do whatever you want with it, or if you’re working on a single trick, you can just work on it over and over and over again. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the practices can last between a couple minutes to maybe two hours.


How does practicing reward you?

Like I said earlier, I like seeing myself get better. And I also enjoy myself through competitions.



What do you do at national competitions?

They give you two minutes to do 10 tricks, and they score how well you do the tricks and everything. There’s a lot of different kinds of competitions, like endurance (and) freestyle, whoever can do the best or hardest trick.


What’s your favorite category at these competitions?

I like doing clubs. Freestyle is really fun.



What are all of the objects you can juggle?

You can juggle pencils if you wanted to, but the three main things are the balls, like beanbags, and then the clubs, which a lot of people call pins, but they’re actually called clubs, and then rings, which are hoop-looking.


What’s the most dangerous object you’ve juggled?

Torches I did this summer, actually. They have torches built for it. They soak them in kerosene and light them on fire at the ends.


How many objects can you juggle at once?

Nine is the top (number for) balls.


Do you ever juggle in class?

Not in class. I do juggle at school sometimes. People at marching band can’t juggle a lot, and I juggle for them. At the talent show I’ll probably juggle.


What should people know about juggling?

A lot of people mistake juggling for a circus art. It was originally a circus art. A lot of circuses, I think, get juggling wrong. It’s kind of a good way to put it. It’s not just what clowns do. It’s actually tiring sometimes, and it’s sometimes physically challenging. And Cirque du Soleil, which I talked about a couple of minutes ago, is the only circus I’ve seen get juggling right.


How do you plan on improving your juggling in the future?

The way I’ve done it in the past is just keep practicing. That’s how I plan on improving. Once I see other jugglers do really hard or cool stuff, then that inspires me more, and that helps me get better.