Do it Yourself

by Craig Rusbult, Ph.D.

        Yes, it's fun to watch juggling (as in my juggling video) but it's more fun to do it !

        Here is a description from a juggling course I taught, for a decade in the 1980s, for the University of Washington Experimental College in Seattle:
        Juggling is exciting, relaxing, and fun.  It's easy, too!   If you want to learn, I can help.  We'll start from the beginning and you'll develop skill in small, easy-to-do steps.  You'll move from basic patterns to simple yet impressive solo variations, passing between partners, and advanced tricks with 2, 3, 4 or more objects.  I'll show you principles for inventing your own new patterns, and for moving with fluency and style.  We'll juggle with balls and clubs, humor and enthusiasm.

        If this sounds like fun, you can learn how to juggle by using my 12-page juggling booklet* for Do-it-Yourself that begins:
        Most people like to watch juggling.  There is a natural fascination with seeing the balls carve their fluid, moving sculptures through the air, as the juggler makes sense of a situation that, on the surface, looks very confusing.  Balls are flying up and down, all around, but somehow they remain in the air and under control.
        Do you wonder how the juggler keeps it all going?  Well, it's easier than it looks, and doesn't require any special super-coordination.  Yes, it really is possible.  If you want to juggle, you can do it!  And this book can help you learn.  How?  Consider this example:
        Imagine that we're standing at the bottom of a long stairway, and I ask you to jump all the way up to the top.  Unless you're bionic or kryptonic, you'll protest "I can't do it!"  But if I ask you to climb to the top one step at a time, you'll easily make it because what you're trying to do is something you're capable of doing.
        Similarly, the complex actions of juggling can be learned in simple, easy-to-do steps.  Each step you take will help prepare you for the next one, and soon you'll be doing amazing and wonderful things.  This method works remarkably well for learning everything from basic fundamentals to the most advanced tricks.

* I sold these, along with beanbags-for-juggling, at public markets (in Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Costa Mesa) after free 5-Minute Juggling Lessons.

How long did it take me to learn?
        12 years and 45 minutes.  Why did it take so long?   In high school a friend was juggling 3 tennis balls, so I said “wow” so he said “if you want to do it, I can help you learn” but without much thinking I thought “no, I can't do it” and didn't accept his offer to teach me.   12 years later another friend said “I can help you learn” but this time I decided “yes, I can” and with her help (thanks, Lynn!) in 45 minutes I was juggling.   But ...

        In addition to changing from “no I can't” to “yes I can,” a more important change was motivation.  The second time I wanted to learn, so I did.   Four motivating experiences were:  just becoming older and more adventurous;  watching street performers (musicians, mimes, balloon twisters, jugglers ...) early in the summer at the U District Street Fair in Seattle, and enjoying the creative art-in-motion of the jugglers;   a couple of weeks later, a coincidental conversation with a Flying Karamazov Brother (Howard, aka Ivan)* about trombones, entertainment, performing, and juggling;  meeting Lynn, who let me say “yes” to learning.     {* FKB-collage  1983  errors  music  symphony1  ducktown  more }

How to Juggle (in four fairly easy steps) 
Juggling with Style 
Finding New Ways to Juggle 
Learning How to Learn: 

    Your See-and-Do System,
    Relaxation and Coordination,
    How I Didn't Learn to Ski.

Do-it-Yourself Juggling 
Copyright ©1982 by Craig Rusbult

note:  This booklet was the introduction for a comprehensive book about juggling, alone and together, but... unfortunately, after investing lots of time writing it, the manuscript has been misplaced.   :<(

The cartoon was by Frank Clark (he also drew
skiing and tree-cutting) who is now the Creative
Director of Square Tomato Advertising in Seattle.

      cartoon about juggling


If you like this page, you may also like these pages:

my juggling video

make your own music

how I didn't learn to ski

learning from experience

designing physical skills

the joys of thinking

Science in Sports
Science in Arts

This page, by Craig Rusbult, Ph.D.