The first circus skill I learnt was stilt walking when I was 10 or 11. My dad made simple hold on wooden stilts for my brother and I, and I soon got the hang of them.
I started juggling in 1985 at the age of 15 during my summer holidays when I had nothing much else to do. At first I practiced with tennis balls bouncing them off walls and in this way eventually mastered the 3 ball shower. Later I bought some books on juggling, learnt many more 3 and 4 ball patterns, and started to acquire various juggling props: beanbags, balls, rings, clubs, etc.
In 1989 at Leeds University I joined the Juggling and Circus Skills Society and learnt quite a few new tricks, including the 5 ball cascade, multiplex with up to 7 balls, and passing balls and clubs. I also had a go at unicylcing, but never really got the hang of it.
After moving to Brighton in 1999 I took up a number of other circus-related activities, including devilstick, poi and staff spinning. In 2001 I finally got round to buying myself a unicycle, something I'd been intending to do for many years. It took me about six months to learn to ride it with confidence.
Then I had a go at combining unicycling with juggling and other things, which I'm still working on. I can juggle 3 clubs or up to 5 balls when on the unicycle. I can also do some poi, staff and devilsticks while unicycling.
In 2016 I joined the Bangor University Circus Society and go along to it whenever I can. I really enjoy meeting other jugglers, learning new tricks and skills, sharing what I know, and practising things like passing with clubs, rings and balls.
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