A nail tech at Essence Hair Salon in Pasadena, Calif., Dori Swope first learned to juggle at age 16 when she was taught by a cute boy who lived nearby. “It was just something I did once in a while when I would see three objects lying around,” she says. “I would juggle to make my friends laugh.” A few years later she bought a set of juggling clubs and thought it would be fun to learn. “It was anything but fun! Every time I picked them up to practice I ended up with bruises everywhere,” she says. “Every couple of years I would drag out those clubs and give it another shot. I never mastered the skill. Two years ago I decided to buy new clubs — I was just sure the clubs were the problem!”

 After searching the Internet, she came across Bryan Langholz. “Bryan has a juggling group that meets in South Pasadena and he invited me to come try out some of the clubs they use so I could see what my options were in purchasing new ones,” she says. “I found a fun, diverse group of people who were very friendly and welcoming and I have been part of the South Pasadena Juggling Club ever since.”

Though not as consistent as she’d like to be, Swope has finally mastered the clubs, and learned a few new tricks as well. “I have learned to pass clubs and enjoy learning new patterns. It’s always challenging and sometimes very frustrating,” she says. “I’ve been practicing throwing doubles. I recently learned to do a spin while passing and I’m trying to perfect three-ball juggling over my shoulder.

“One of the best things about joining the juggling community is the friends I have made — people I would have probably never met if it weren’t for our common denominator of juggling.”

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