Jugglers, Unicyclists bring entertainment


With a unique set of skills and tricks, the SDSU Jugglers and Unicycler’s Club hopes to one day entertain the campus and many others in the Brookings community.

The club practices unicycling, but since the club only has four unicycles, members who are not unicycling attempt to juggle while on firm ground. The members were confident enough to perform in the Hobo Day Parade this year and put on some shows at State-a-thon in 2013 and at the Morningside Community Church in 2013 as well.

The club has a long history of practicing and performing, but the club fell dormant for a while until around three years ago SDSU English professor April Myrick and a few students reestablished the club.

Myrick has been unicycling for five years since she first saw a few students riding around campus on unicycles and decided she wanted to learn how. It took her several months of practice to get the balance required to unicycle without falling. Not long after learning, she helped to reestablish the club.

Last year, several of the members graduated or became too busy to participate in the club. According the Myrick, the club recently got an influx of freshmen eager to learn how to juggle and unicycle and the club entered a “rebuilding phase.”

One of these freshmen, Emily Lawrenson, a civil engineering major, agreed to take over as the new president.

Now the club boasts about seven to eight regular attendees of varying skill levels; many of which are beginners learning new skills.

According to Lawrenson, the group met between the Avera Health and Science center and the Administration Building on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. to practice last semester. Right now the club is disbanded due to the winter weather but hope to start practicing again in March.

Benjamin DeMuth, a freshman member, encourages students to join. 

“It’s just something fun to do after class,” DeMuth said. “You get to relax, have a good time with some other people and just learn a new trade.”

Lawrenson said that the club is a lot of fun and a great way to relieve stress. Myrick and Lawrenson offer several tips on how to not fall off a unicycle.

“Everyone’s going to fall,” Lawrenson said. “That’s why you always bring a friend, so you have someone to hold on to and then you can laugh at each other when you both fall.”

Lawrenson also said that once you get your momentum going it is easier to balance and keep on the unicycle. Myrick related to riding a unicycle to riding a bicycle, if you are going too slow, you are going to want to tip over.

According to Myrick, safety is a priority for the club, but there have been incidents outside of the club where unicyclers have been hurt.

“So far, thankfully, no one has gotten injured during club activities,” Myrick said. “Some of us have experienced injuries while unicycling on our own – I sprained a wrist a few years ago, for example.  One of our former members also cut his head open riding his unicycle down some cement stairs, but again, it happened before he was a member of the club.”

Myrick said one good tip is to sit straight and look forward because you can have the tendency to tip in the direction that you are looking.

Both DeMuth and Lawrenson have high hopes for the future of the club.

They would like to be able to have the club participate in the Hobo Day Parade again. Above all, though, they just want to have fun and help fellow students learn a new skill.

“It’s just a lot of fun to learn new things and go outside your comfort zone,” Lawrenson said. “It’s a really fun club – I really enjoy it.”