Have you ever heard of a diabolo? Not the devilish kind. We mean the apparatus that was developed by a Frenchman as a twist on the Chinese yo-yo, has a name with Greek origins, and is an extremely popular part of the Camp Starlight Circus program. In recent years, the diabolo has become a common feature in circus acts and street performances, which has contributed a great deal to its rising popularity. Contrary to popular belief, the name of the instrument is not taken from the Italian “diavolo” or Spanish “diablo”, both words for “devil. The name is actually derived from the Greek words “dia bolo,” which literally translates to “toss throw,” but for which the connotation is “to confuse.”
Recently, some of our lower camp girls spent some time learning the basics of the diabolo, and they were anything but confused. In fact, they were having a great time learning to get the hang of some of the key moves and then having opportunity to perform their tricks in succession as part of a routine. Although many of them started out a little bit timid at first, they were spinning, tossing, and cradling like pros after a little bit of help from Ben, the Circus Specialist. Although most of the girls admit that they’re not quite ready to join Ringling Brothers or Cirque Du Soleil just yet, they really enjoy playing with the diabolo and are surprised at how easy it is to learn a few basic moves that are sure to impress their friends and parents.