Page 19                                               Summer 1996

Aside from that, it's up to the individual. Maybe you just want to teach the cascade and a few variations. Perhaps you've been juggling for 50 years and want to get rid of some of those old devil sticks. Run a devil stick workshop! Loon's juggling club at Lowell Elementary is now divided into a beginning, intermediate and advanced workshops. The monetary rewards are really nothing compared to the joy of turning someone on to juggling.


And if you think doing your first show was a rush, wait until you see someone you've taught do their first show... and hear their first applause. Smiles don't come any bigger, on them or on you!


The Juggling Way to Fame

Two such successful students are David and Daniel North. They took the Juggling Enrichment Program at Hawthorne Elementary when they were 10 years old, dreaming of performing before crowds, pictures for the media, fame and fortune.

Almost all of it came true. (They're still waiting for the money! )


In the workshop the boys learned the basics of diabolo, contact juggling, devil sticks and balancing, but what really caught their interest was the cascade. They diligently practiced and were up to 50 throws and catches by the third week. By the end of the workshop, they were doing simple tricks such as a two person juggle. This was especially eye-catching since the boys are identical twins. Their first performance came a week later at a gathering of after-school programs in front of a crowd of about 250 parents and peers. "The Karate Kids of Juggling" were the showstopping finale.


That was only the beginning, though. Last February their teacher took them to Madfest, the Madison Area juggling festival. A reporter from the local paper was there to cover the action, and the boys managed to not only catch her attention, but her camera and pen as well. They ended up being interviewed, and the story was printed - along with their picture - the next day. They even taught the reporter how to juggle. "She was pretty good," David said. "She caught on quick. But she still needs some practice."


Don't we all, David. Don't we all!


Top Ten Tricks and Tips for Teaching Trajectories...

1. Be flexible.

2. If you raise your voice, you've lost control. Wait for them to be quiet. (Exception: "YES, THAT'S IT!! YOU DID IT!!!).


3. Have a basic format in mind for what you'd like to get done. Don't let the noise and confusion throw you off track.


4. Be prepared to throw the aforesaid format out the window if it doesn't work. (See # 1).


5. Make the workshop a positive experience. Don't set anyone (including yourself) up for failure.


6. If a student is having trouble with a concept, break it down into little parts. Then break those down, too.


7. Often a person who is stuck in a rut will throw from the dominant hand. Make them switch hands.


8. Teaching various ways to start and stop a pattern helps students feel they are in control.


9. Positive Reinforcement. POSITIVE reinforcement. Positive REINFORCEMENT. Don't let a negative come out of your mouth.


10. Keep in mind: everybody is an individual. People begin at different levels, learn at

different speeds, and therefore require different teaching strategies. Again, see # 1.

Workshop instructor and author Jeff Miller surrounded by students Kathryn Ryker, Chloe Moushe, Daniel North, Marla Diaz, David North and Andrew Austin-Peterson.

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