Many folks know that Dale Obrochta, aka Magical Balloon-dude Dale, has been educating the world with balloons for years as an entertainer and as host and principal writer of several online sites like the MBD2 site, which includes a Forum, Store, Dale’s Blog, the MBD2 Article Section, and the Balloon Animal Database; a MySpace directory; the EWN or Entertainer’s Website Network; and the GrandOpeningHelp.com site.
What many folks do not know is that he has been teaching others since he was 13. Was he teaching neighbor kids the art of balloon twisting? No. Was he teaching his dog new tricks? No. He was a ballroom dance instructor! “My sister took disco dancing in the ’70s,” he said, “and when her teacher decided to leave, she asked my sister to take over.”
Obrochta’s sister then asked him to be her assistant. “My parent’s remembered how I held out for three weeks to make $5 an hour,” he said. “But that’s because I knew she was making $13 an hour!” He taught ballroom dancing for a couple of years then taught again while going through college.
Obrochta has been performing professionally for over 25 years but is not one to attend the popular twister conventions. “People always wonder why I‘m never at a convention. This is what I do for a living. I don’t want to go twist more balloons somewhere,” he said. “But if anyone wants to get a hold of me, just send me an email or give me a call. I’ve got a long-distance, and it’s only pennies per minute!”
Before he began performing professionally, Obrochta regularly got together to practice tricks and have fun. “Back when I was going to college, a bunch of us would play in the school parking lot,” he said. The people that would meet up included Paul Bachman, Roger Siegel, Ken Schultz, Andy Head, Bobby Hunt, Mike Vondruska, and others. Circus and variety arts were learned like juggling, bullwhipping, unicycling, fire eating, fencing, stilt walking, magic, and balloons. In fact, he put his abundance of energy and entertainment skills to good use, performing as a clown named Hyper.
In addition to performing professionally, he has written two books titled Faces, Faces, Balloon Faces, and Mardi Gras Bead Twisting. He will have a DVD out by November of this year aimed at children called Balloon Twisting. “It will be educational, instructional, and entertaining in format,“ Obrochta said. The DVD will include balloon safety, the presentation of 10 balloon designs, spelling, and after each design, there will be a fun fact.
Although he no longer performs as Hyper the clown, he has lots of energy and enthusiasm with no shortage of challenges. For example, hosting and writing for his many sites comes with the ongoing challenge of getting higher rankings. “Right now I’m going through Michael Clay’s SEO online class,” he said
“My biggest challenge is trying to juggle a career and a family with two kids,” he said, “ plus my dog has a cast, and my taxes are due!”