Woodside One Wheelers Community Show 2015

BY DARCIE MOORE Times Record Staff

At the Woodside One Wheelers first community show nine years ago, the highlight was a three-person star formed by students on unicycles in the show.

At Friday night’s annual show, however, the crowd will be awed by as many as 50 unicyclists connected and going around in a circle.

Open to the public, the show will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the gymnasium at Mt. Ararat High School, located at 73 Eagle’s Way in Topsham. The cost is a donation to support WOW for their upcoming trips to Philadelphia — an April 8 performance at the 76ers halftime show — and Washington, D.C. — as part of the Cherry Blossom Parade on April 11.

Established in 2006, the Woodside One Wheelers is a performing circus arts troupe based out ofWoodside Elementary School in Topsham. Members range from grade three to grade 12.

“Our first year we had eight kids out of about 40 riding (unicycle),” WOW Coach Eric Pulsifer said Tuesday. “This year we have 72 of about 80 kids riding.”

The WOW members also juggle, stilt walk and walk on a circus ball; they have three WOW songs based on wellknown songs. The group has performed more than 80 times at multiple venues before thousands of people.

Pulsifer said the annual community show, which features the skills of the WOW members, grows in intensity every year along with the “wow” factor.

The kids are competitive with one another, Pulsifer said, but “one of the really cool things is, they want to be the first one to do it but they want their friend to be right behind them. They want everyone else to do it; they just want to do it first.”

The show highlights each member’s talent. On one of the WOW bus trips, 10thgrader Elliot Bowie “broke out a Rubik’s Cube and solved it in about a minute,” Pulsifer said. “The next step was, ‘OK Elliot, can you do it on a unicycle?’ He brought a unique skill to the table and now that’s part of the show.”

One thing Pulsifer is most proud of is the increasing number of kids who stay with WOW in middle and high school.

“Tonight at practice, we had 20 to 25 kids that are in middle and high school here, practicing and working hard to hit their goals and to achieve the next level,” he said.

The kids learn confidence through the performances with WOW and Pulsifer said he is now working to make the trips more involved so that in addition to the performances, he wants to add visits to educational landmarks.

“Not many people in this country get to go visit the White House or Arlington,” Pulsifer said.

A GoFundMe crowd funding page was started to help raise funds for the WOW trip in April. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/wow2015 and to learn more about the Woodside One Wheelers, visit https://woodsideonewheelers.org/about.

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