FORMER Fleetwood schoolboy Thomas Senior is juggling with a new career...in juggling!
The 16-year-old ex-Rossall pupil has succeeded in the ultimate juggling act – turning what used to be his passion into his profession.
At the weekend he presented his first ever Circus Works workshop under his newly-registered business Thomas Bounce Juggler.
Thomas hopes to extend the workshops over school holidays if the idea takes off.
His interest started when he was a child, thrilled by his first sight of juggling at a circus at four years old.
By 10, he had mastered the craft himself, pestering parents into buying him professional weighted and softly-padded juggling balls.
On a family holiday, he practised endlessly in front of a mirror until he was juggling his way into breakfast, to the beach, and the shops.
Thomas had the juggler’s knack, crucial hand-eye coordination. Now he’s working on his upper body strength, using weighted power balls to build his stamina and skills up.
He said: “Power balls are the juggler’s equivalent of weight lifting.”
Thomas admits his dream would be to join Blackpool tower Circus.
He added: “It’s simply the best, although I love Cirque de Soleil too.
“The circus world is a bit closed to newcomers if you haven’t any family tradition for circus.”
He’s visited virtually every travelling circus to come to the Fylde and also had a short summer job at one.
“I used to love Eclipse, at Blackpool Pleasure Beach too, “ he added. “It was a shame that went.
“The jugglers were brilliant. They took juggling to another level, which is what I would like to do.”
Thomas, who lives at Great Eccleston, left Rossall at the start of the summer holidays.
“I think my teachers and friends were a bit surprised when I told them I wanted to be a juggler and wouldn’t be continuing in education.
“They knew I could juggle, they enjoy it. I have taken part in the school talent shows. But I aim to make a living at it.
“I don’t see the point of sixth form or university for me. I’m not particularly academic.”
Thomas says juggling has also improved his fitness levels.
He added: “I wasn’t into sports but this has it all as I have to be able to do at least a half hour routine.”
Thomas juggles silks, batons, knives and even fire, thanks to a series of presents from his parents.
Thomas’ sessions are £3.50 a time – the first is free – at st John’s RC Church hall on Breck Road, Poulton, every Friday in term time, from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Beginners to advanced are welcome, for seven year olds upwards.
Thomas’s website includes a performance video clip: see www.thomasbouncejuggler.com.