By Chris Barylick

For The Diamondback

The University of Maryland Juggling Club held its annual Congress of Jugglers at Ritchie Coliseum last weekend.

The three-day event consisted of guest performances and walk-in sessions where attendees played with juggling equipment, such as balls, balance boards and unicycles. The club hopes the event will help expand the club’s membership by teaching aspiring and experienced jugglers about the art of juggling.

Brian Cherin, a senior computer science major and the club’s president, hoped to create an inclusive and inviting environment at the weekend’s festivities to encourage students who may feel intimidated about joining the club.

“For people who are completely new to this, or only have a little bit of juggling know-how, we will have people available to teach them the basics,” he said.

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During the event, club members walked attendees through juggling basics and taught several new tricks, Cherin said.

Many attendees cited the importance of the walk-ins to introduce newer jugglers to the art.

Jeremy Yun, a freshman electrical engineering major and club member, emphasized the importance of the event because of juggling’s natural difficulty.

“There are a lot of online tutorials, but showing them in person [is different],” Yun said. “You start with one [ball] and then go to two and then eventually get to three. It’s just practice”

The walk-in sessions also drew praise from more inexperienced jugglers, including junior biology major Lilith Kavalov.

“Everyone is super supportive,” Kavalov said. “If you mess up, they just tell you to pick it back up and try again.”

In addition to walk-in sessions, the event also had several stage shows with guest performers, including many past club members.

During the stage show Saturday night, Mike Rosman, who served as the master of ceremonies for the event, drew significant applause and laughter from the dozens in attendance by balancing a small child from the audience on his shoulders while riding a unicycle.

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Eli Levine, a 2018 graduate from this university and another guest performer, said the stage show brought back many memories from his time with the juggling club.

“I love the juggling club because it brings people from all walks of life together,” Levine said. “It also is just a lot of fun to hang out with people who also like to throw things in the air and catch them again.”

Currently, the juggling club meets Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-6 p.m. on McKeldin Mall.

Moving forward, Nicole Miko, a junior biology and public health major and the club’s treasurer, is optimistic the event will spur many attendees to join the club.

“We get to meet a lot of interesting people who know a lot of different diverse skills,” Miko said. “Different people are able to bring a lot of unique equipment and their skills as well and teach us.”