A Story of ... A Passion for Juggling!

Ms.Theresa Jones-Heintz a Dublin Elementary Teacher loves to Juggle!
Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
August 24, 2020

According to Dublin Elementary’s music teacher, Ms Theresa Jones-Heintz, learning to juggle is not only a lot of fun, but is a skill that will benefit kids for a life-time as she explains below. Those are just a couple of the reasons she is so excited to share her love of juggling with students in the new “Juggling 101” class we are introducing this fall as part of the DPIE After School Program.

Introduced by a Math Teacher
Asked when she developed her passion for juggling, Ms Jones-Heintz responded, “I love to juggle! I was introduced to juggling by a math teacher, Mr. Zeke Ashley, at an ice cream social at the end of my 6th grade year.  He showed me the basics of a 3 ball cascade and I practiced all summer long before starting junior high and by the time school started, I had taught myself the reverse cascade which is more difficult than the basic cascade that most people learn when they start juggling.”

Ms Jones-Heintz rekindled her interest in juggling as an adult when she introduced her then 8-year old son to the sport.  She said he really got into it and as a result, she enrolled the two of them in a juggling class where she had to re-learn skills from the beginning.  Her son took to it right away and she is enthused that juggling is something the two of them share and she gets joy from creating routines with him and they both have fun challenging one another and developing new tricks along the way.


There’s More to Juggling than Throwing Balls in the Air
Ms Jones-Heintz shared that her son, who is now 9, is the best juggler in the family, but what she’s really been impressed with, is seeing his overall development as he improved his juggling ability.

“It was after taking the class with my son that I decided to offer this course for my students,” explained Ms Jones-Heintz. “I noticed that once he started juggling, my son was more patient with himself and the mistakes he made in all aspects of his life. At the same time his focus, concentration skills and hand eye coordination improved tremendously.”

“That is why I decided to teach a juggling class.  Not just because it’s fun and something you can do for the rest of your life, but because of the learning benefits juggling will offer my students.  Juggling boosts brain development, focus, movement and vision.  In fact, research indicates that learning to juggle accelerates the growth of neural connections related to memory and those benefits persist long after even without continued practice. 

Its fun mastering new tricks and juggling truly promotes the joy of learning!

Given the inherent challenge of keeping three balls in the air, juggling forces students to integrate mind and body together to master the skill. With the positive developmental skills that juggling can have for young people, maybe it is time for your student to take on a new activity that is both fun and helps them grow their overall personal skills at the same time.  Below is a video from Ms Jones-Heintz showing you how much fun juggling can be!

Researchers Articulate Benefits of Learning to Juggle

Researchers cite multiple benefits of learning to juggle.

  1. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
  2. Serves as great exercise
  3. Improves balance and thinking on both sides of the brain
  4. Improves coordination skillsand rhythm
  5. Increases Brain Power – Studies have shown a gain in both grey and white matter in the brains as students practice juggling
  6. Relieves stress
  7. Enhances Concentration and Focus Skills - A few minutes practicing juggling can clear your mind, renew your focus and allow students to give the required attention to their work.
  8. And most importantly .... Juggling is fun!

Did you Know?
That juggling was practiced by the Egyptians. In The Science of Juggling (Peter J. Beek and Arthur Lewbel, 1995) the earliest depiction of juggling is from antiquity, circa 1781 B.C. In the tomb of an unknown Prince a piece of artwork was discovered displaying Egyptian women juggling amongst each other, clearly indicating this famous ability is an ancient skill.

 Let’s go, it’s time to juggle!    To enroll in Ms Jones-Heintz’s Juggling 101 class, click here!