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 Re: Bring Balls
Author: Aaron A. Gitzen 
Date:   04-01-02 23:09

I have only tried to teach a group once but I think that you may be onto something with the point to point idea. If I had to teach a class today I would start with some type of demonstartion, just to get them fired up with enthusiasm.

Then I would probably give a free plug to the Ernest book and Owen and Greg's video, hey I might even mention this website!

Then I would start to break down point to point by emphasizing sort of a crawl/ walk/ run approach. In the crawl phase they are balancing the ball on a control point. In a walk phase they are walking around and moving with the ball in the control point and finally in the run phase they are throwing the ball to the control point and catching it there.

I say I would do these things because unfortunately it is all in hindsight. I tried to teach a class at IJA in Madison and I honestly believe that I failed miserably. Hopefully you can learn from my mistake. Actually we started with a contact juggling breakout,which is a class where a lot of people just turn up to trade tricks, but quite a few beginners showed up and expressed interest. I volunteered to teach the class and in spite of the fact that I did get some compliments afterwards, I really regret the way I approached it.

The first thing I started with was a demonstration, which a lot of people seemed to enjoy. Then I plugged the Ernest book, which was somewhat complicated by the fact that I didn't have a copy. Then I mentioned the upcomming convention for contact juggling (CJC 2001) and, finally I started to teach the butterfly. I basically followed the format that Ernest does in his book by teaching the cradle first and then building up from there. The problem was of course that most of the students couldn't do it and although they persisted I really believe that most of them probably got discouraged after that one leason. I'm pretty sure I did succeed in demysifying the whole trick itself. I remember when I was showing the steps to the students, and I broke the butterfly down for them, you could really see the lightbulb go on. But when they tried to emulate my moves I'm pretty sure they got discouraged. So basically I don't think the butterfly is a great place to start simply because it leads to frustration at an early stage. You might be able to teach someone this way in a one on one situation, but when you have a large group of people with varying ages and ablilities it's awfully difficult to teach the finer point of the butterly to everyone at one time. It's also hard to keep track of everyones progress. Remember the students are going to want something that they can take away from your class, they really do want to make progress and if they don't it's tough for them to be motivated to continue.

That is why I think Rich's idea about the basket balls is great, or at the very least some large balls. Have them practice some balance excercises and show them the balance points, have them work on some simple arm rolls. They should be able to do those. If they have a little success initially, then maybe it will encourage them later to keep on with it.

In the end my best hope for a class would be simply to break down contact juggling for people into a logical progression, take the mystery out of it, and give them some motivation to learn on their own. I wouldn't expect everyone to walk away from the class being able to do the perfect butterfly because it just won't happen.

Finally please/ PLEASE write us back and tell us how it goes. It would be great if we could come up with some simple steps for teaching contact juggling that produce consistent results. If I had to teach a large number of people toss juggling, I think I could do that, (well I have done it before) but I'm still not sure what the best method is for teaching a group of people to contact juggle.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just dont' want to be there when it happens."
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 Topics Author  Date
 I'll be teaching a CJ workshop!  new
David Kaplan 04-01-02 16:52 
 Re: I'll be teaching a CJ workshop!  new
michael glenn 04-01-02 17:02 
 Bring Balls  new
Rich Shumaker 04-01-02 19:23 
 Re: Bring Balls  new
Aaron A. Gitzen 04-01-02 23:09 
 simple steps...  new
remy 04-02-02 01:32 
 Re: simple steps...  new
David Kaplan 04-02-02 02:35 
 Re: simple steps...  new
David Kaplan 04-02-02 03:54 
 Re: simple steps...  new
Robin Spehar 04-02-02 04:25 
 Re: simple steps...  new
Lance Coombes 04-02-02 04:53 
 Re: simple steps...  new
remy 04-02-02 08:15 
 Re: simple steps...  new
silver 04-07-02 00:35 
 Re: simple steps...  new
David Kaplan 04-02-02 05:32 
 Re: simple steps...  new
michael glenn 04-02-02 10:23 
 Re: simple steps...  new
KTesh 04-02-02 10:59 
 Re: I'll be teaching a CJ workshop!  new
silver 04-07-02 00:49 
 Re: I'll be teaching a CJ workshop!  new
ICU812 04-07-02 00:52 
 Re: I'll be teaching a CJ workshop!  new
mdamelio 04-07-02 01:01 

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