If you can throw a ball from one hand to the other you can do this workshop.
“As participants learn to partner juggle they are somatically engaging in a dialog of understanding, cooperation and interdependence. This results in a deeper connection and stronger empathy for each other. This workshop breaks down barriers, fosters connection and cultivates empathy…something that is so needed in the world today”
Lindsay Misakian, 6th Grade Teacher, Miwok Valley School: As a teacher, it was cool to see students bond with each other as they worked to make their own juggling balls and then as they took on the challenging task of team juggling. John was patient and kind with the kids and he and his partner took time to connect and support each and every one. They were really thoughtful about making juggling accessible to all of the students regardless of their level of experience and ability. The students were so proud of their accomplishments and have begged me to build in some practice time each day since!
Glenn Berry, 6th Grade Teacher, McKinley School: It was wonderful to see the kids work with partners they don’t usually work with work on a difficult task and having a great time; it was a very worthwhile experience.
The Aqus Juggling Project is an interactive and innovative way of using the activity of juggling to inspire self-growth, focus and determination while creating community. We work with both adults and kids to create environments of teamwork that build on cooperation, trust and interdependence.
Why Juggle? Juggling is an active form of meditation that helps strengthen mental focus and healthy brain function while improving and maintaining hand-eye coordination. Researchers and physicians believe that people over 50 who juggle regularly can stave off degenerative brain diseases, such as Dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Educators have also found that juggling increases the capacity to maintain focus in students and as such, it is especially beneficial for those with Dyslexia, ADD and ADHD. As an effect, it also improves determination and builds discipline while providing the benefit of movement and physical agility.
How can juggling improve social skills? Juggling in teams or “Partner Juggling” can serve to break down social barriers and provide the opportunity to create positive relationships. Through social coordination, this exercise helps people exercise cooperation and interdependence by providing a common focus.
Does it work? Yes! Take, for example, a case of juggling implemented at Petaluma High School. The Aqus Juggling Project was asked to organize a juggling activity for 130 students for their first day of the new school year. For these students, it was not a typical first day of school. Rather than experiencing the usual anxiety-filled day worrying about how to fit in, navigating the social norms, finding friends, etc., these students found immediate ease through the ice-breaking activity of partner juggling. By the end of the first hour, they were teamed up with someone new, laughing and enjoying a new activity together.
What does ‘Partner Juggling’ consist of? Participants are randomly paired up into teams of two and are then set to the task of creating their own juggling balls from the materials provided. Once the teams have created 4 balls each, participants are shown the basics of partner juggling where partners stand facing each other with a ball in each hand and learn to juggle by throwing and passing all 4 simultaneously in circular pattern. Depending on the age and coordination of the participants, each team is typically able to juggle anywhere from 2 to 4 balls.
Is juggling difficult? While there are countless variations on juggling, everyone can gain satisfaction and reap the benefits of this practice by juggling even 1 ball. Typically, most people over the age of 8 can learn to partner juggle with 4 balls within an hour. And most importantly, everyone has fun! Through this exercise, participants learn to relax, laugh and make new friends. In the process, they are practicing cooperation, focus, interdependence and building social capital.
Made possible by a generous grants from
The Youth Juggling Project
Since 2016 we have been doing regular programs at Petaluma High School, Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, Novato High School, Montessori Middle School in Petaluma and Liberty Elementary school. We have also brought partner juggling to the Petaluma Rivertown Revival festival and to the Redwood Ramblers for multiple years. The students spend 20 minutes working together in pre-assigned pairs to build juggling balls from recycled tennis balls, pinto-beans and latex balloons. During this time the students are getting to know their partner and starting to form a relationship. We work with the students to demonstrate partner juggling With in about 25 minutes the students realize that with a little concentration, dedication and perseverance they can master something new. Can you imagine your child having a great time on your first day at high school? Learning to help and be helped by a stranger and opening the possibility of turning that stranger into a friend?
Juggling helps other sports, especially baseball, basketball, lacrosse and tennis:
For information about having us come to your school/business/organization/festival contact email@example.com