I was on my way to the British Juggling Convention when I met Daniel from Opalenica. Daniel is a very entertaining and worldly young man from a small town in the Nowy Tomysl district who joined me for the drive to Gouda in the Netherlands.
The journey was so entertaining as Daniel is well travelled and had many stories to tell. What is more Daniel is really into all forms of juggling and interested in developing his skills and meeting like minded people – so don’t forget to forward any details of meetings and events or reviews to Juggling in Poland so that they can be included on the blog and people from the smaller towns can keep in touch with the juggling scene here in Poland.
At each refreshment stop we popped the boot and shared tricks and ideas. I was so impressed with Daniel’s home made pea filled balls. They were quite light and soft and really easy to catch. Furthermore his tricks spinning a balanced biro blew my mind. Such dexterous fingers! At our final stop I decided to challenge him to his first attempt at passing. I have never seen anyone pick this up so quickly as within only three attempts we had a really good run at 6 ball passing in a 4-count pattern much to the delight of everyone in the fast food chain’s car park in Gouda!
- When did you first start juggling?
I have always thrown and spun items so I guess my adventure with juggling began at elementary school. My first manipulation toy was a pen as this was readily available in lessons.
- You are quite a master at spinning the pen around your fingers, how often do you practise this – were you bored in lessons? Can we use any pen?
I often practise unconsciously so It’s hard to say exactly how long I train. Every pen is good but the weighted pen I have here is much better for this.
- Can you tell us a bit about your trick knife?
After some time the pen I got bored with the pen and picked up the balisong knife. I am self-taught and my skills evolved organically. Before I mastered balisong, I cut myself a few times. It still sometimes happens with higher throws.
- You have some really nice home made thuds. What inspired you to make your own balls?
One day I found a movie on the net with a guy showing off some amazing juggling talent. I thought I could put down the knife and pen for a while and try to emulate the guy. On the very same day I sewed the hacky sacks and learned the basic cascade pattern with three balls in 10 minutes.
- Have you ever been to a juggling event? What would you expect from such an event?
I have been to a meeting of pen-spinners in Poznan. It was a small gathering of 5 to 6 people. As for classic toss juggling – I’m just getting started. I haven’t been to any juggling events yet, but I think this is a great idea for inspiration.
- Did you know there is Europe’s biggest juggling event happening here in Poland this summer? It is the 30th Anniversary of the European Juggling Convention (aka EJC) and it will be held in Lublin. Do you think you might be interested in going?
I have not heard about this festival. It sounds like something I would really like to be at if my work allows me to do so.
- What skill would you most like to try next?
Kendama? Poi? Clubs? Rings? Staff? Trapeze? Aerial silks / hoops / ropes? Hula Hoop? Whip? Knife throwing? Lasso? Rola bola? Walking ladders? Unicycle? Pogo stick? Fire tricks? Balloon modelling?
I haven’t thought about other toys yet. I would like to improve my toss juggling and perhaps In the future I would like to learn to throw bottles.
Daniel, It was lovely to meet you.
Don’t forget to follow Kuglarze Wielkopolski and Juggling in Poland to find out about lots of events near you and around Poland. I am sure you will be warmly welcomed at them all. Good luck with your development.