Inclusive Juggling with Craig Quat--Finding the Flow - CircusTalk

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Inclusive Juggling with Craig Quat–Finding the Flow

Internationally known as an innovator in the theory and practice of inclusive juggling, Craig Quat grew up attending a social circus after-school program. When, as a teenager, he started volunteering in the same program, teaching juggling and chess, “I fell in love with the rush of teaching,” he says. But it wasn’t until 2009 or 2010 (he can’t quite remember) that he was able to focus his calling. He saw a video on YouTube called Spark, in which master juggler Michael Karas juggles using an array of props and devices like a set of PVC pipes rotating around a fixed frame, and, says Quat, “it changed my life.”
Juggling for the Masses workshop in Prague. Photo courtesy of David Konečný Starting with his own version of Karas’s “pipes,” repurposed for educational use rather than performance, Quat is now a master of adaptive, or functional juggling, using creatively designed frames and other props to make juggling accessible to anyone willing to give it a go. He firmly rejects the notion that juggling is a skill reserved for an exclusive set of performers. “Society has told you that it’s this elite activity only available to people with talent,” he says, “so when you’re teaching people tell you all this stuff, like ‘I’m not coordinated, I can’t juggle.’” It makes you realize, he says, that people are hard-wired not to believe in themselves...
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Martha Bayne

Martha Bayne is a Chicago-based writer and a senior editor with Cleveland's Belt Publishing; her work has appeared in Belt Magazine, the Baffler, Buzzfeed, the Rumpus, and many other outlets. She is also the founder of the long-running Soup & Bread community meal project, an ensemble member with Chicago's Theater Oobleck, and an eternally hopeful aerialist. For more, see marthabayne.com or @marthabayne.