Students Take a Spin With Chinese Culture in Chinese Yo-yo Club

Jenny Xu, Executive Editor

A faint humming noise can be heard as brightly colored plastic yo-yos are thrown into the air before landing on a taut string held between two sticks. Barbell-shaped and hollow, the unique toy provides a source of entertainment unlike any other. The art of Chinese yo-yo has been around for centuries, and still continues today in Chinese yo-yo club.

Stephen Shiue ’19 shows off a unique yo-yo trick.

Every second and fourth Thursday of each month, students gather to learn challenging new tricks while perfecting dazzling routines. Unlike the usual yo-yos, the Chinese yo-yo is unattached to the string, allowing versatility and a world of possible tricks.

The club, founded by Stephen Shiue ‘19, began as a way for others to explore Chinese culture. Since then, many more members have joined, eager to learn about the popular pastime.

“I chose to join because I thought it would be a fun way to learn new things and destress,” Bianca Widjaja ‘19 said. “We really do get to learn a new talent, and it’s something that we’ve never really done.”

Shiue entered his journey with Chinese yo-yo from a young age, taking lessons at The Love of China School of Dance. Many of the club officers began the same way — by taking classes at Chinese school.

“We all had to do it at Chinese school, but I was left-handed,” David Sieh ‘18 said. “They all teach for right-handed people so I ended up learning on my own.”

Shiue teaches a new technique.

Each club meeting consists of officers and more experienced students helping the new members learn tricks that involve spinning, tossing, and even jump roping with the yo-yo.

While Chinese yo-yo club hasn’t performed as a group before, they plan on displaying their talents in the Taste of Asia show on Friday, March 3.

“I think it’s [important] letting people know how fun this can be,” Sieh said. “A lot of people see it and think it’s cool, but they don’t really know what it’s about so we should let people know what it’s all about.”