University students pride themselves on their ability to juggle their commitments, but a select group of students are taking their juggling skills a step further.
The Villanova Jugglers, founded by freshman Nicki Schluter, is one of the newest clubs on campus.
After gaining 12 signatures and finding a faculty adviser, the club was approved and Schluter’s longtime ambitions were realized. The club meets twice a week in Bartley to practice together and share juggling technique. However, ‘Nova Jugglers have an intention that might differ from expectations though. Instead of focusing solely on juggling, they also stress the importance of a strong community.
The club works to provide an opportunity and safe environment for jugglers of all skill levels to practice together and learn from one another. People on campus who have heard of them are anxious to see their skills in action.
“We’ll give performances when everyone gets good,” Schluter says, “but the basic premise is to teach people who want to learn how to juggle.”
Current members range from those who are just learning to those who have been juggling for over a decade.
“Joining this club helped me remember a part of my childhood,” club-member Adam Butchey says. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a clown, and I thought clown college was actually a thing. My dad told me it was very selective, so I had to practice really hard when I was a kid.”
Schluter only learned to juggle when she was 16, but juggling has since become a large part of her life. She planned to start a juggling club before she even came to Villanova.
“I knew if there wasn’t one already, I was going to start one because I love it so much and I want to share it with people,” she said.
Villanova Jugglers is quickly growing. The Facebook page for the group boasts 30 members, and the innovative club has been nominated for the SLICE New Organization of the Year Award.
Nonetheless, Schluter still makes sure to continue to publicize the club and recruit new members.
“I think it’s a lot of fun to juggle in public to get my performance skills up,” Schluter says. “So I like to juggle by the Oreo, and every once in a while people will come over and be like ‘Oh, that’s so cool’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, I have a club, want to join?’”
Schluter also gains club members in more traditional ways and has encouraged her friends to join.
“Nicki sits next to me in physics and she told me to join. It wasn’t really an option at all,” Butchley says.
Villanova Jugglers offers a number of benefits for the soon-to-be jugglers that Schluter recruits.
Besides regular instruction by experienced jugglers, those learning how to juggle can borrow juggling balls to practice with between meetings. While it is fun to practice with random objects like orances and baseballs, learning on real juggling balls is the best way to perfect the art. Once the members learn the basics of juggling, they can learn new tricks, called throws.
Members of the group are looking forward to what the club has offered Villanova as well as the future the club has on campus.
There are potentially many functions that will be able to benefit from the entertainment of the Villanova Jugglers. Juggling is a discipline that is fun when it is perfected.
It also, however, teaches many lessons during the process of learning it. The group looks forward to applying lessons learned in juggling and throughout other aspects of life.
Interested potential members can contact Nicki Schluter at email@example.com for times and locations of future meetings.