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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/KEITH BRYANT Kids in the audience practice their balance with Kelsey Philo and Jeremy Philo during the Juggle Whatever show at the Bella Vista Public Library.

BELLA VISTA -- The lights grew dim as a pair of performers prepared themselves and their props to put on a show full of color and dexterity.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/KEITH BRYANT Jeremy Philo (left) twirls LED-illuminated hoops for a crowd at the Bella Vista Public Library for the Juggle Whatever show.

Kelsey Philo and Jeremy Philo, co-owners of Norman, Okla.,-based entertainment company Juggle Whatever, went on to twirl, juggle, swing and swish their illuminated props, some drawing patterns in the air and others flashing and leaving after-images for the gathered crowd earlier.

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They've had the company three years, Kelsey Philo said, and this June 12 performance was their second time at the Bella Vista Public Library.

"We really love this library," she said.

They travel all over the country during the summer, she said, working with many libraries' summer programs.

During the act, a close eye could catch the occasional mistake -- even the professionals were not immune to dropping a ball or pin.

The performers addressed their mostly young audience after taking a bow.

"Did I cry, did I get upset?" Kelsey Philo asked. "No, 'cause I've dropped thousands and thousands of things."

Throughout all her practice, she said, she's made more mistakes than anyone could be expected to count, and building these skills has taken a lot of work. The important thing, she said, is not getting discouraged.

"You guys can do anything if you're OK with being bad at it at first," she said.

Then the Philos gave their audience a chance to be bad. They started with plate spinning, then moved to the basics of juggling -- starting with one ball, then two, before moving on to passing balls in a pattern with a partner.

"You're going to have to drop before you can juggle," Jeremy Philo told attendees.

Everyone needs to learn the basic pattern of tossing a ball up and controlling where it goes before they can learn to juggle properly, he said.

Learning to balance, learning to fail and learning to work with others are all key skills that translate well to everyday life, he added.

Sue Lawrence brought her two children, Cassi Lawrence, 5, and Tyson Lawrence, 7, as well as her sister's daughter, Brooklyn Zebley, 6.

"They loved it," Sue Lawrence said. "It was so good. And I loved that they talked about failure."

NW News on 06/22/2017

Print Headline: Kids taught to juggle failure into success

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