Give & Take 


Who We Are

The Best of Philly! award-winning Give & Take Jugglers have enjoyed a tremendously successful 40+ year career that has been passed down through the Give & Take family. 

We have performed at thousands of events and schools all along the east coast, being asked back year after year, sometimes 10, 20, even 30 years in a row (Peddlers Village, Lahaska PA ~ our record setting run of 39 years and counting!)

Founded in 1976 by Dave Gillies, the Give & Take tradition is being carried forward by husband and wife team Allison and Eric.

continuous line drawing of the give and take jugglers duo

Julianne Sharer (c) 2019 used by permission

Eric & Allison performing at Longwood Gardens

Allison and Eric met during a Give & Take performance in 2011 at the Philadelphia Folk Festival when Eric threw a hat onto Allison’s head. After the show Eric was astonished to learn that Allison was also a juggler! They began performing together later that year, and are now in the midst of their 12th season.  

Eric & Allison married in 2015, welcomed daughter Mira in 2018, and son Obie in 2022.

In the grand tradition of circus families, Mira has already begun learning the craft and has  appeared onstage for a handful of special occasions.


Eric began his performing journey as an apprentice with Dave and Give & Take in 1984 at the ripe age of 14, and became our active manager in 2016.  He graduated from the legendary Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College in 1988 and toured with their Blue Unit in 1989 as a trapeze clown. He is also an accomplished tight wire walker, and adept at stilt walking, unicycle riding, and flying trapeze.  An avid musician in his off time, he plays guitar, ukulele, banjo, and is an aspiring kora player.  But mostly he just loves being a dad and spending as much time as possible conspiring mischief with his kids. 

Balancing 9 mo. old daughter at Philly Folk Festival
aerial silks performer outdoors against a dramatic sky


Allison remembers watching The Give & Take Jugglers throughout her childhood, and never guessed in a million years that she would one day join them onstage.

One could argue that juggling is the reason Allison even exists. Her father regularly attended The Philadelphia Jugglers Club, and through a friend at the club was set up on a blind date with Allison’s mother.

After her father taught her to juggle at a young age, Allison progressed to baton twirling and fire spinning. Later on, she left the safety of the ground and explored the sky through the aerial arts. Somewhere along the way, Allison also got her Master’s degree in Elementary Education.

Allison is forever grateful that she stood up to catch the hat that fateful day in 2011, as that moment unveiled a life for her that is a constant source of awe and joy. She marvels at the privilege of doing what she loves for a living alongside the love of her life.

Learn more

about the origins and history of The Give & Take Jugglers from 1976 to the present.

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