By Courtney (grade 7)
The Woodside One Wheelers started out with only three members in the first performance. It was at Williams Cone Elementary school and Marie was the first stilt walker, Tucker and Michael were the first jugglers. Michael and Tucker also did devil sticks. The Woodside One Wheelers have grown a lot since then. It’s amazing when you look back and think about how we started and where we are now.
Every year the Woodside One Wheelers have a community performance at Woodside Elementary school. It’s a lot of fun performing for your own community. It seems like every year the community performances get bigger and bigger! It started out with mostly parents and a couple people Mr. Pulsifer invited. But now a lot of other people that don’t even go to Woodside come to the show to see us perform. It’s a lot different now we have so many more kids getting excited and most of them at least a little nervous. But, Mr. P. is still as stressed as ever before performances.
We went to the Y.M.C.A a couple times. They liked it so much I guess they wanted us again! The Y.M.C.A was a great place to have a performance. We had plenty of space. Space has always been an issue for the Woodside One Wheelers. Either we don’t have enough space for the unicycles or the big circus balls or we have too much space (it has happened before at the halftime show, but more about that later)!
Until last year (2008 – 2009) we had one practice a week. Every Monday all of us would stay after school (or get off the bus for the middle schoolers) and go to the gym at Woodside for practice. Practice is kind of crazy especially when it gets closer to a performance. There are people everywhere. Just last year Mr. P. decided to let 3rd graders into the program (previously it had only been for 4th and 5th graders and any middle schooler). Then we had way too many people at practice. So Mr. P. split everybody into two groups. One group meets on Mondays and the other on Thursdays. All the unicyclists are in the Monday group so we can practice our routines together. I’m a unicyclist, so I have to go on Mondays.
We go to some of the other Elementary schools as well. We have been to Williams Cone School, the Elementary school in Turner, Washburn Elementary School, and of course, Woodside Elementary School. It’s a lot of fun watching the younger kids before, during, and after the performances. They look at our equipment with wonder before we start. During the performance they point and look at us with amazement. After most of them are usually talking to their friends excitedly.
For the past few years the Woodside One Wheeler’s have been in the Topsham/Brunswick Memorial Day Parade. One thing I learned at the 2008 parade was it hurts falling off a giraffe unicycle! We were circling during one of the parade stops and everyone was getting pretty close. I think I fell over one of the smaller unicyclists but if you ask pretty much anyone else in the Woodside One Wheelers they will tell you that I fell over a pebble. Which of course isn’t true! Anyway I had to get on my smaller unicycle and pedal as fast as I could to catch up to Mr. P. who was waiting with my giraffe up ahead. Getting up on a giraffe unicycle is hard enough with a wall to lean on. It’s even harder when all you have is the curb and a shoulder. But, I made it and the parade went on.
Even though I’ve been in the Woodside One Wheelers since the very beginning, it still surprises me when people come up and tell me how amazing what we do is. Yah, I ride a 5-foot unicycle, but to me and everybody else in WOW (Woodside One Wheelers) it’s normal. We ride every Monday (and sometimes Thursdays). When I get up on my unicycle I don’t even think about it. I just automatically know what to do. The Woodside One Wheelers have given me an opportunity to do something that not many people get to know how to do or even try. I love being in the Woodside One Wheelers and hopefully will be a part of this for many years to come.