The Smoking Scandals

Here is an article about a group of gentlemen (one of which is a co-founder for the Dormitory) that went out and spread the Faith through preforming.

All Relating to the Fools for Christ Series that I put together a while back.

  1. Fools for Christ: I
  2. Fools for Christ: II

LANDER, Wyo. — A scandal isn’t always a bad thing. It’s something out of the norm. It makes you pause and stare. And, in certain cases it might make you laugh.

At least that is the goal of “Smokin’ Scandals,” a Lander performing group made up of students at Wyoming Catholic College.g1

Members of the group of seven hail from Nebraska, California, Montana and New Mexico. Yet several years ago, they all found themselves at St. Gregory’s Academy, a boys’ boarding school near Scranton, Pa., with a rich history of performance, including juggling, singing and riding unicycles.

The religious school taught its students that juggling and performing gave people happiness, a gift worth sharing, said Scandals member Nicolas Dalimata, 21. Juggling wasn’t hard to learn, and boys who attend the school know to expect it as part of the curriculum, Dalimata said. For many, that’s part of the school’s appeal. The challenge was learning to perform together and dedicating what little free time they had to practicing.

The seven perfected their skills with their respective classes and after graduation went to Spain, making the Way of St. James pilgrimage, a religious journey that dates back more than 1,000 years. They traveled without money, performing for food and donations along the way. It was the final act as a class together, the ultimate show.

“It was a chance to show the world the importance of joy and the effects joy has on people,” Dalimata said.

People would say they didn’t want a performance, but when the group started, people would stay and often feed them, said 20-year-old Sebastian Macik, another member of the troupe.

They saw the impact performing had — both in their ability to garner food, but also in the reactions from people. Watching people laugh and smile became addicting.

When the seven all decided to attend Wyoming Catholic College, they brought their juggling equipment without discussion — they do, after all, bring it with them almost everywhere.

Recently on a camping trip in Zion National Park, kids asked what the clubs were in the back of the group’s car. The group put on an impromptu show, complete with the kids, creating a “circus,” Macik said.

A surprising number of people have never seen juggling, said Clayton Lang, 19. Lang remembers one particular man in New York City, who asked what juggling was and seemed awed by the demonstration.

“He freaked out,” Lang said. “He loved it.”

Members of the group have juggled everything from knives to brooms. Yet it’s always that initial shock and wonder on the faces of the audience, no matter the object being thrown in the air, that keeps them wanting to perform.

They see performing as a way to share love and happiness and, in a way, their faith.

“It’s an expression of everything we live,” Lang said.

When they perform, the clubs smack in their hands and whip above their heads. They take turns darting amongst the flying objects, “stealing,” or taking over mid-routine. They move around each other, sliding on the ground and still managing to catch a club and continue the rhythm. They juggle on each other’s shoulders and with flaming sticks. They continue to juggle when Macik weaves in and out of their patterns on his unicycle.

Lang whips devil sticks, juggling a baton with two control sticks in a clattering blur.

The group also sings.

Each show is an original. Though they have a routine, they never know exactly what will happen.

Since coming to Wyoming, they’ve placed first in the adult division of the Wyoming Winter State Fair talent show — twice.

They’ve performed at

schools and children’s events and sung at the Union Bar in Hudson.

But often they end up performing impromptu.

Because when people hear they juggle, they usually have one response:

“Let’s see it.”

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