As both the Portland Juggling Festival (I’ll be teaching at Hoop Camp, sniffle) and Circus Artemis all-women circus (get’cha tickets at A-WOL Dance) approach, I am reminded that there are some badass female object manipulators in the world.
While hooping seems to attract a largely female population, juggling and other forms of object manipulation are the exact opposite. I’ve been to enough juggling events now to testify. It’s mostly dudes. So I wanted to spend a moment highlighting a female juggler I admire.
Jen Slaw not only has incredible technical skills. She executes difficult moves while seamlessly interweaving dance. I know first-hand as a female performer that there can be a maddening focus on appearance. (I mean that sometimes, when you climb on stage to manipulate objects, it’s easy to feel that somehow, from the perspective of a drunk, male audience member — you yourself are also an object.)
Here, it’s hard to avoid the fact that Jen is beautiful. But what’s even harder to miss is that she’s a badass. I really admire her combination of precision and fluidity. Cheers to women with mad skills.