Meeting Craig Quat: The evolution in juggling pedagogy

Meeting Craig Quat: The evolution in juggling pedagogy

(Please note that all of the quotes presented here are actually paraphrased, but written as quotes to denote speaking. I don’t have a direct recording to be completely accurate of his word choices, but attempted an approximation for a feel of who Quat is.)   Craig Quat walks into the room with a large bounce in his step. “I need a few minutes to relax before we start, I just had an 8 hour meeting” he says. He was meeting with Cirque du Soleil to consult with them about their new family entertainment centers. “But first, who are you?” he asks. I tell him that I am a juggler, and more recently, a mom. “Being a mom is juggling. Changing a diaper requires bilateral precision through space and time. You have to unfold the diaper and hold a baby while they try to roll and anticipate their movements so you can get it in the right spot.” he pauses.  “Everything is juggling”. It seems to me like this is his motto. Quat is a bundle of passion and vibrance who talks fast about deep concepts with a strong penchant for ethics. He is highly researched with a sureness about the importance of his work, but feels a need to continue researching and do more trials. One thing that’s for sure, he cares for, and understands his students like no other teacher I have ever seen. Most of his energy revolves around helping people learn about juggling. He will tell you a dozen juggling related neurological facts. “Juggling increases the brain mass by 5 percent after 6 weeks of practice...
Mindfulness on Stage

Mindfulness on Stage

The fleeting moment of accomplishment is not the goal of our work. Sure, it’s motivating and it feels great. If all goes well those peaks will be there. But, that moment is only a split second of the real work. The mindfulness is the true purpose of the practice. Witnessing yourself through all the peaks and the valleys without judgement (or letting go of judgement) is what will keep us coming back to the studio. Getting into our body, feeling ourselves and how we relate to the space around us, going deeper and feeling our feelings is the real reason we practice anything in life. Our audiences don’t want to watch someone who shames themselves into being “perfect”. Our audience wants to to connect to us, because for that moment that we are on stage, we let them into our world. We give them permission to feel their feelings through our process of sharing ours. We allow them a moment to side step their own shame, and validate themselves. This can only happen if we give ourselves permission to feel and be ourselves and be free of our own cultural constructs that bring about shame in the first place. The meaning of our practice is in the mindfulness. It’s not about the attainment of each trick. Tricks show the mastery over the our world, it’s true. But honestly, mastery is only interesting for a second. What humans really desire is that connection, and mastery actually creates walls and idols and pedestals that destroy our ability to connect. The progress of ourselves as humans is the real story. How did...
I am back

I am back

I am back! Here’s a Sneak Preview of Dawn’s newest act & tour dates in Quebec and Toronto! View this email in your browser I AM BACK (In Canada) Hey Hey, How are you doing? Things are great here, just wanted to give you some tour dates, a download, and a bit of my story from France. For 2 years I was living and training in France. Moving across the world actually meant a complete deconstruction of all I knew before, and a newly reconstructed view of the world. I re-learned how to walk and balance my body, and by practicing walking and dancing, I learned how to listen to how my body feels. I did this daily. I re-learned how to talk by learning French. I relearned how to write by writing for The Busking Project and the Flow Arts Institute. Understanding tone, speed, and articulation is something I never heard or paid attention when speaking english, but they became became important when learning a foreign language. Most of all, I learned how much attention is required for real listening. Speaking in a second language is an game of endurance of one’s attention span. Who knew? I re-learned how to drive. It was a manual car and I drove through small windy village towns, with the feel of an engine at my fingertips. The space a car takes-up became very apparent when the size of the roads are the size of one lane in Canada. It is still too much to pay attention to driving while speaking French at the same time. It was like reliving 30 years of life in a 2 year time period. Except I am consciously aware of my infantile ways. All of this allows for a deeper...
What is Flow?

What is Flow?

Flow is the essence of spirit, the base of human consciousness, the innocence of a child. It is the full awareness of the moment and yet the slowing of time. It is a healing place, a meditative place, it is a vulnerable place but a place of connection and rebirth. It is essential for humans to feel a sense of flow periodically to feel whole and fully human. The Flow Arts are a way into this essence. These movement arts can help remove the self-consciousness of lived-experience, allowing immersion one into pure focus, of movement, dance and rhythm. The Flow Arts have element of community and therefore a sense of belonging. This gives participants in that community the freedom to be seen while in their essence. If one is in total flow, they are in a place of acceptance of all emotions and they have the freedom to express it. Sometimes the feeling of flow can be so powerful that the realization that one is in a flow state is enough to knock them out and back into a state of self-consciousness. It is difficult to shake the chains of adulthood, judgement, fear and a sense of lack of worthiness. But flow is where this can happen. The Flow Arts help that journey. A flow state allows one to go beyond the knowledge of experience, giving those who are in it a sense of freedom, awe and wonder with the world. It is a place of openness, curiosity, and vulnerability. It contrasts with the worlds demands of being too-cool, stoic, or knowledgable for protection. A flow state allows for...
Call for submissions for the CJ Collab video!

Call for submissions for the CJ Collab video!

For the past 6 years, contact jugglers around the world have been creating compilation videos of the community’s skillz. It is extremely wonderful to see everyone get together in one place to share different ideas, ways of moving and playing with contact juggling. Call For Submissions This year, Darwin Pimentel and I have agreed to share the Contact Juggling Collaboration edit. This is the call for submissions! It’s your chance to be a part of the community. We are looking for contact jugglers of ANY SKILL LEVEL from all around the world to send us approximately 15 second video clips of your best contact juggling to share with the world. Some things to think about: Look for interesting scenery, and good backgrounds.  Working in a group with other CJer’s if you can All skill levels welcome! Seriously, if you WANT to join us COME PLAY! This is for everyone! .mov formats preferred Here’s a few of the past years for more inspiration! 2015 Edited by Darwin 2014 Edited by Darwin 2013 Edited by Sennyo and...
Some 30 Day Challenge Heroes!

Some 30 Day Challenge Heroes!

So many people did really amazing 30 day challenge videos this year, and a lot of them did compilation video edits so we can watch them all in one shot! If you haven’t done a 30 day Flow Challenge yet, I seriously recommend you start now! No matter what prop you use, it will strengthen your resolve, your practice and your understanding of your own work. Here are some of the heroes that made huge progress in their 30 days in January. Juggleheart – Germany – contact juggling She has such a soft, warm touch, yet her style is very fluid and controlled. This is a hard task to complete! She stayed with us throughout the whole challenge, and it was great to have her support during the ups and downs of training. Gonzolo – Argentina – new style ball juggling My new favorite toss juggler, Gonzolo is a beast at sequences! Watching him has helped me level up my own toss juggling game, and inspired me to push farther. Yet, honestly, you would enjoy watching his clean style much more than my own. Mark Williams – New Zealand – Ball Juggler & more Mark is from New Zealand and he is working on some fun and unique work with his 7-11 ball rolling basket ball cascades. He is also a really great juggler in general, and his Contact Juggling moves excite me (always). Despite all his technique, of course I favor the clowny bit with the bum bump… Nick Jack Juggles – 3 ball juggling base patterns He has been learning the base patterns in juggling and it...
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