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Workshops for the Adults:

Clown - Juggling - Magic - Balloon Sculpturing

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Since 1994 Larry Rettig, AKA Flippo the Jugglin' Clown, ( and for 2 years also Flippo the Juggling Magician) has taught 8 different adult education classes for the City of Worcester, MA Public School's "Night Life" Program and a couple of different classes for Assabet Valley's Center for Continuing Education "Assabet After Dark" Program.

March 17, 2011
Section: Education
Edition: Web Edition   

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They go for the Juggler

Catherine Buday/Gatehouse News Service

The MetroWest Daily News

The rows of chairs in the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School auditorium are empty. But veteran juggler Larry Rettig is still performing llike he's playing to a crowd.

With the enthusiasm of a three-year-old discovering fingerpaint, Rettig takes three softball-sized juggling balls and begins demonstrating his art. He throws one ball back and forth and juggles the other two in one hand, creating an impression that two of the balls are following each other in a magnetic field. He keeps four balls bubbling up into the air like a water fountain. And Rettig himself bubbles over with tales of the great jugglers he has known.

"The big boys can do up to nine balls," said Rettig.

Watching Rettig are students in his adult education class, "Cardio"-Juggling & Stress Reduction with a "Twist"

Sue Hopkins, from Worcester, is graduating to her third ball after two lessons. She concentrates as she keeps trying to keep the balls in the air, dropping them often. As she juggles, Rettig talks about how he sometimes juggles machetes and torches.

"I'm not doing that," Hopkins said firmly.

Juggling is not just for circus people any more. Rettig said plumbers, lawyers, teachers, and even a surgeon have taken his class, which has been part of the Assabet After Dark adult education program for five years.

"The types of people who sign up for my class are the fun-loving kind," he said. "Their ages start at 16, and last semester I had a gentleman 82 years old who was juggling up to four balls." A typical class includes 15 students, he said.

Juggling also attracts highly intelligent people skilled at math, science, and physics, and M.I.T. is nationally known for having one of the most prestigious juggling clubs in the country, Rettig said.

He says it's a good workout for the body as well as the mind.

"You can burn 800 calories in one tenth the time that it would take you at any gym with any program," he said, adding that only experienced jugglers who keep moving reach that point.

His current students agree. "It's a great workout," said Hopkins. "It's a great stress reliever after a tough day."

Rettig said it takes thousands of hours to learn to juggle many balls, and that the sport can never be mastered because jugglers only want to keep adding an additional ball or "club", which resembles a bowling pin.

"No matter how good you are, you can always get better, which is why ALL jugglers refer to themselves as "addicted," he said. "In other sports - water skiing, baseball, bowling, you name it - progress is experienced every week, or every two weeks, or every month. With juggling, progress is experienced every two minutes."

Juggling also brings some therapeutic benefits. Rettig said he once worked part-time at a hospital and introduced it to patients, and it cheered them up. He has also performed 15 shows for the Autism Resource Centers around Massachusetts.

Many students who've taken his course find a lifelong passion. Some of them have launched the Assabet Juggling Club (see on Facebook), which meets twice a month at the Parish Church at 40 Church St. in Northboro, every other Tuesday evening..

When he's not teaching juggling, Rettig performs as Flippo the Jugglin' Clown at many local events. He also entertains as Flippo the Juggling Magician at Moe's Southwest Grill Restaurant in Worcester and Shrewsbury every Thursday evening and at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill in Fitchburg every Wednesday evening. He also teaches the Clowning Arts at the Worcester Night Life Program.

And he puts another of his talents to use after each jugling class, where when he sits down with his students to teach them Balloon Sculpturing. He can create a Parrot on a Perch in about 40 seconds, and even a novice can create a rabbit resting on its hind legs.

Student Julie Sealy, of Shrewsbury, says she enjoys the balloons the most. "It makes people happy," she said.

Copyright 2011, CP Media Inc. d.b.a. Community Newspaper Company. No content may be reproduced without the owner's written permission


Larry Rettig, AKA Flippo the Jugglin' Clown, teaches 8 different Adult Education classes for the City of Worcester, MA Public Schools "Night Life" Program, two classes for Assabet Valley Center for Continuing Education "Assabet After Dark" Program. These classes involve many different aspects of the Clowning Arts.

Flippo also teaches Clowning Arts Seminars by request at local schools and companies. Seminars can be customized according to your needs and can range in length from 2 hour mini-seminars up to 16 hour/ 2-day seminars. Read more about the Clowning Arts Seminar format here. In addition, Flippo offers on-site private lessons, by appointment. Flippo comes to you!

To inquire about a Clowning Arts Seminar or to schedule a private lesson, e-mail Larry Rettig at flippotheclown@yahoo.com or call 1-888-FLIPPO-5.


 

Night Life— City of Worcester Public Schools

BEGINNING JUGGLING & BALLOON ART

The basic introductory course will teach the student that the art of juggling is for everyone. Learn the 3-ball cascade juggling pattern. See why this ancient sport offers not only incredible fun, but also stress relief and cardiovascular exercise. Also discover simple Balloon Magic. Learn the "twists of the trade" and learn how to make elaborate multi-balloon sculptures such as flowers, hats, mermaids, banana trees, and even the Pink Panther on his motorcycle.

INTERMEDIATE JUGGLING & BALLOON ART

Knowledge of the Cascade is a pre-requisite for this class. Learn 3-ball tricks such as the 'Half-Shower" and "Shower", the century-old "juggling-on-a-string," and the "Reverse Cascade." Discover the fun of 4-ball juggling and passing
6 balls with a partner. And to make "inflation" work for you, learn the more difficult balloon animals such as the poodle, kangaroo, deer, teddy bear and much more.

CLOWNING ARTS

Learn how to create smiles, laughter, and happiness for others (not to mention yourself!) by making sunny days even brighter! Get an introduction to clown antics including kids magic, juggling, balloon twisting, face-painting, as well as applications in creating a unique clown character. Warning: the "Giggles" bug is highly contagious.

COMEDY JUGGLING ANTICS

Experience the fun and excitement of indulging in such antics as juggling, plate-spinning, balancing, and lots more. See why juggling is really "catching" and discover the comedy end of real juggling buffoonery! This ancient sport is tremendous fun and is also great cardiovascular exercise, so be prepared to lose those unwanted calories!

"WAY C-O-O-O-L" BALLOON SCULPTURES

Learn the "twists of the trade" and be a hit at any party or event. Dazzle anyone from your kids to your co-workers with balloon creations including: the stupendous shamrock, the "eggs" -traordinary Easter bunny, the awesome blossom, the swan centerpiece, the pink panther, the 10 gallon hat, and much more. This is one way to make "inflation" work for you.

JUGGLING WITH A "TWIST"

Learn why the ancient sport of juggling is not only incredible fun, but also great cardiovascular exercise and meditative stress relief. This course will serve as both an introductory approach to the art of juggling as well as touching upon some more advanced patterns, or "tricks" with three balls. For some added smiles, this class will also show how to "twist" and create some dazzling balloon sculptures, making "inflation" work for you!

CLOWNING 101 "LOL"

Want to have fun like you SMILE about? This class shows how to not take ourselves quite so seriously and teaches Some-Strictly-Silly-Skills typically employed by those red-nosed buffoons with the BIG feet! Learn Juggling, Balloon-Sculptoring, and Close-Up Magic in a really fun class for all ages involving "Complete Clownishness" along with some real "Serious Laughter!" Join the "We're All Kids Anyway Club!"

"CARDIO" JUGGLING

Want to discover a dynamic method of developing a healthy heart? How about experiencing an awakening of endorphins of the brain in such a way that you are left with a feeling of total invigoration beyond your wildest dreams.

Assabet After Dark

IN THE NEWS:

2008-2009 Schedule at The Assabet Valley Center for Continuing Education— Marlboro, MA

INTERMEDIATE "CARDIO" - JUGGLING

Knowledge of the basic cascade juggling pattern is a pre-requisite for this class. Learn some more advanced 3-ball tricks such as the Reverse Cascade, Tennis, Juggling-On-A-String, the Flash, as well as many others. Learn some various 4 and 5 ball juggling patterns and then go for some extreme fun with 3-Club Juggling!
Get "Cardio-Vascularly" Challenged by learning to pass 6, 7, and 8 balls with a partner; the ultimate in some serious, high-energy exercise fun!

"CARDIO" JUGGLING & STRESS REDUCTION

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Discover a fun and unique method that will promote a healthy heart and entertain your friends. This class will awake the endorphins in your brain, reduce your stress level, and leave you feeling totally invigorated!

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You'll learn:


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And Finally… call 1-888-52-CLOWN and join C.O.A.I.
(Clowns of America International)

CAUTION: The "Giggles" Bug is highly contagious!!!

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