Bryant Park

Bryant Park Juggling Offers Catharsis During Lunch Break

June 23, 2013
Noelani Montero, DNAinfo

BRYANT PARK — Stressed out businesspersons looking for a way to transcend the crazy demands of a work day, meet your catharsis. 

The Bryant Park Jugglers are offering a creative way to spend your lunch break while learning to sharpen your physical coordination.

The jugglers, a group founded in 2009 by Midtown area office worker, occupy a section of Bryant Park's lawn and offer daily free "lunch break juggle" lessons all summer long from 12 to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Bryant Park Jugglers was founded by Alex Dyer in 2009, who would juggle in Bryant Park every day during his own lunch break. Dyer, who aspires to teach the art to as many people as he can, has been at it since he was ten, and extolls the virtues of being able to wow strangers.

"Anyone can do it," he said. "Everyone wants to."

The group also offers a special after-work juggle on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is open to experts and beginners alike.

Many of the daily participants, including the group's co-founder Seth Magee, also juggle mainly on lunch breaks.

"If another businessman can do it then why not me?" said website designer Magee jokingly.

Though Magee started learning from Dyer back in 2009, he now juggles 7 balls at once. His goal is to be able to do 100 catches of 7 — meaning, to catch each of the 7 balls 100 times all together.  

People come from all over the world to learn and to see the jugglers in action, Dyer said.

Their mainstay visits are largely local, though, like Sophia, an executive assistant, who was meeting them for the first time on a recent weekday. She was already juggling two balls by the end of her lunch break and planning future lessons with them.

"I want to introduce a third ball — it looks so effortless" she said, adding that her goal is to be able to juggle three balls expertly by the end of the summer.   

Ronnie Shaefer, who works in information technology and who was also on his lunch break, said he had always had a heart for juggling. 

"I love it — I always wanted to do it but it's frustrating," said the first time visitor. "It's just about getting the right rhythm and trowing the ball in the right place."

Kyle Johnson, a celebrity juggler visiting from California, checked out the lessons on Friday. He was in town to perform in the "Juggle This!" festival at Barnard College over the weekend.

"I'm just here to juggle and meet the local jugglers," said Johnson, who thought having a juggling break for the suit-wearing set made sense. "A lot of business and IT people are very analytically minded, which is perfect for juggling," he added.

For more information on the free juggling lessons, visit the group's blog at Bryant Park Juggling.