Social Benefits of Juggling and Circus Skills
Please note that the use of the words “Juggling” and “Circus Skills” are interchangeable throughout this article. The art of throwing objects in the air such as balls, rings and clubs, as well as manipulating objects such as diabolo, devil stick, spinning plates all offer the same benefits for willing pupils!
Improves and Increases:
Confidence – Juggling is a great confidence builder! It can be learned quickly and is a very rewarding activity with feelings of ‘that’s impossible’, quickly turning to ‘what’s next’!
Self Esteem – When students can get up and perform successfully for adults or other students, self esteem soars. The key to enhanced self esteem is the realisation of one’s self worth, and this is obtainable from the applause of an audience or peer. Self esteem and self confidence can increase dramatically through non-competitive play and the continual success of learning a new trick, which reinforces internal success mechanisms. Juggling is great for children’s mental health because it boosts self esteem & if you have good self esteem you’re more likely to be able to cope with the knocks that life sometimes brings.
Kinaesthetic and Physically active learners will love to learn juggling especially! If you introduce juggling breaks/intervals into your regular studies/school day, then you will see these types of learners improve academically (and we all know that these learners can be among the ones with biggest behavioural problems, don’t we!)
Persistence/Perseverance – When you juggle, you inevitably drop. The student will move past these drops by persevering with the tricks they are working on until they conquer it. All of a sudden, drops/mistakes don’t matter. They are just a stepping stone to success!
Juggling develops teamwork/teambuilding, as it is a fantastic social activity that requires and develops friendships and trust. As students work towards putting on a performance, they may find themselves working closely with other performers. Juggling develops individuality – people can choose to perform their own solo spot.
Make new friends – Students who take part in juggling workshops, will find that they want to teach others their new skills. They will encourage each other and form friendships.
Develops Hobbies and Interests – As circus skills are so wide and varied, you are bound to find one particular discipline quite addictive and choose to learn more. In learning your chosen skill in more depth, you may find yourself wanting to perform for others. This in turn requires practice and ‘learning your art’ and so you begin to meet other performers and continue to learn.
Juggling improves confidence, because most people will find that they can do something that they previously thought was ‘impossible’. Once the impossible for them has been achieved, they can then have a different outlook on life where suddenly things are much more achievable! This also has a knock on effect on self esteem. Juggling develops hobbies/interests by giving people an enjoyable activity which is an umbrella for so many different activities including diabolo, spinning poi as well as the more usual juggling items.
Communication – Juggling gives students a way to communicate with one another through co-operative work on group tasks, by sharing and teaching skills to others, and by monitoring their fellow students advancements. When jugglers who have just learned a trick, try to teach someone else what they have learned, they can show more empathy towards the new pupil than any seasoned juggler could provide! Performing in front of an audience is another method of communication, and this can help students overcome stage fright, fear of public speaking, and improve confidence also.