A family of world record holders provided some educational entertainment, in addition to some relief from the sweltering heat and humidity, at the Calkins Barn as the Hanson Family performed some of their favorite tricks as part of Wyoming’s summer library program July 2.
The family has been staying busy, performing three shows a day all over the Midwest.
Christa Faye Hanson holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest paper snowflake, 15 feet across, and broke her own record just a few weeks ago with a snowflake 20 feet across. Her daughter, Christa Berit, broke a long-standing record for the tallest unicycle to jump rope on. She broke the record of 9’2” and is the only person to have jump roped on a 10-foot unicycle. Mark Hanson also holds a world record for being the fastest juggler in the world.
The show was titled “Reach for the Stars” and told stories about how they learned to perform at the high levels. During the show, Mark said he wasn’t always so quick with his hands and nearly gave up on juggling as he started.
“I was tempted to give up right away because it was so much harder than I thought it would be,” he said. “I said, ‘I don’t care how long it takes. I don’t care how hard it is. I’m never going to give up.’”
Daughter Christa described how she first learned how to ride a unicycle, wanting to surprise her unicycle-riding friends after she got back from camp. From there, she joined a club and practiced constantly because she was not a “naturally talented unicyclist.” After one year, her hard work paid off with a national championship.
Her hard work didn’t stop there. Some tricks took her literally years to learn. One trick even took her an entire decade to learn.
Throughout the talk, the Hansons highlighted books that helped them along the way and encouraged the kids in the audience to check out books that dealt with the themes of perseverance.
During the course of the show, the family performed a couple of tricks with audience participation, including spinning three on a volunteer and juggling around another pair of volunteers.
The performers closed out their performance with a trick they had performed at halftime of the Harlem Globetrotters and the Minnesota Lynx games.
After the show, the Hansons spent time teaching the kids the basics of plate-spinning, juggling and using balancing sticks. Kids were also treated to a root beer float. The program was made possible by the Friends of the Wyoming Library group.