Valley Falls student has become The Juggler
by Holly Davis
Juggling school, friends, sports, and playtime, Valley Falls High School student Noah Schmeissner is also pursuing a career in juggling at age 15.
When Schmeissner was 12, his mother had asked him to help load wood. Instead, the distracted seventh grader wandered off and found some hedge balls to play around with. As he began to toss them in the air, he experimented with adding several balls. Schmeissner found that he could manage juggling three balls at a time. The challenge and thrill of learning something new excited him and a hobby was found.
Schmeissner went home and looked up juggling videos on the internet to improve his form and learn new tricks. As he practiced non-stop, his skills and love for the sport increased. His mother saw his love and talent for juggling and began making him juggling balls to practice with. The homemade juggling balls were made of bright colored tights and pantyhose filled with rice.
As a seventh grader, Schmeissner participated in the school talent show as a juggler. His skills intrigued the audience and kids his age wanted to learn as well. The Schmeissner house was filled with orders of rice-filled balls soon after.
Now, as a freshman, Schmeissner continues to juggle and has improved his skills and broadened his inventory. His juggling bag now consists of professional juggling balls, rings, and clubs. His highest amount of balls juggled is seven with a total of 40 throws and catches, but he is focusing on improving five balls as well as tricks and stunts.
To improve his skills and collaborate with other jugglers, he attends juggling festivals all over the country. Juggling festivals provide an open gym for jugglers, gymnasts, magicians, and anyone who has a unique talent. World class famous jugglers are often seen at such conventions. It is a place for people who love their hobby and want to share or improve on it. Competitions are also held where jugglers are judged on form, stunts, and number of balls thrown and caught.
“I like going to juggling festivals because I get to meet so many new people and make friends. I also enjoy attending the workshops they have there because I get to learn from professionals who have been juggling for a long time. Overall, it’s just fun to be there,” Schmeissner said.
Schmeissner has attended juggling festivals in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Madison, Wisc. This coming year he will also be participating in juggling conventions, festivals, the International Juggling Association, and World Juggling Federation in Illinois, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Florida.
He plans on continuing to juggle for as long as he can with hopes to become a professional juggler like many of his idols.
“I love juggling because it’s never-ending. I will never be the best because I can always improve no matter what. There are always new tricks to learn and new challenges to face,” Schmeissner said.
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