Social Passing

"Teach a juggler a pattern and he can use it, but teach the juggler how to make a pattern, and he can juggle for life." - Dave Davis

"Social passing" is the practice of including as many jugglers as possible into juggling patterns, allowing for the skills and desires of each. The goal of these pages are to make more jugglers into social passers.

If skills are mismatched between two jugglers, working on a simple pattern can be boring or frustrating (as opposed to calming and centering... which is how some react to them). There are a number of ways to make a pattern more challenging, including:

  1. Work on accuracy. Make sure you deliver the club to the beginner exactly where it is needed, at the right time, right spin, etc. (This should always be your goal, even when including techniques below, until you intentionally start to expand the Zone of Catchability for the beginner) this would be a good topic! Uplifting a passer.
  2. Do your part left-handed. (techniques for this need to be suggested or included)
  3. Juggle at a different speed/count. (Doing a 4-count with someone? Try doing a fast six-count on your side!)
  4. Have incoming club thrown to the wrong hand, forcing hiccups (hurries) or shuffles (hand-across)
  5. Add tricks: tomahawks, doubles, triples. Make them perfect !!
When there are more than two passers, you can
  1. Work on the skills in the previous section.
  2. Exchange clubs on the extra beats. For example, in a standard four-count feed, where clubs are exchanged on beats 1 and 3, they could also be exchanged (opposite-handed) on 2 and/or 4.
  3. Add movement. Passers can exchange places, do run-arounds, etc.

How to add another juggler to a pattern

So, you're happily passing clubs amongts yourselves, and another juggler shows up. Of course you want to accommodate, so you...
  1. Have someone pass with one of the jugglers who has unused beats (self throws)
  2. Replace a juggler with two jugglers (splitting duties, like being fed)
    1. use the same clubs (run-around while passing)
    2. Movement (two jugglers orbit or piston into the passing position)
    3. Stand next to each other and the passers differentiate (feed)
  3. Add another juggler in a chain
    1. Triangle
    2. Drop-back line
    3. drop-forward line
    4. feed line

Simple social patterns

(The following sections are from a separate set of (handwritten) notes... the material needs to be merged with the above and both expanded...)


  1. Accuracy (watch the catches)
  2. Timing (colliding/crosses)
  3. left hand
  4. fast
  5. slow
  6. throwing/catching from 2 people
  7. hiccups (diagonals)
  8. shuffling
  9. doubles/triples
  10. stringing patterns together
  11. "catch across" (e.g. using RH to catch pass to left shoulder)

Random Pattern Generation Technique

  1. stand in positions at random
  2. discuss what tricks you want to work on (including drop-back, drop-forward, passes to side, etc.) and work them in
  3. assign passing lanes
  4. Adjust count/add/subtract tricks to make doable.

Notes for this info were compiled/created for the workshop on Social Passing at the 2002 IJA Festival.

Last updated 20 May 2004. Part of the "Passing Wisdom" of the Aerial Mirage Jugglers
Copyright 2003-2004 Dave? Ron? Aerial Mirage?
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