The Kennedy Center

Yo-Yo People


John Higby grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, the youngest of three children. When he was 10 years old, his Grandpa gave him an old yo-yo from the '60s that he found in his attic. His Grandpa showed him three basic tricks, and John took it from there.

John first started performing as a teenager while living and attending school in Colorado, with his first big break at the Denver Busker Festival. Soon, John was performing for U.S. troops stationed in Turkey, Italy and Spain. Employment with a yo-yo company took him to Malaysia for several months to run national yo-yo contests, while busker festivals took him all over Canada, Singapore, and Japan.
In 2000, at age 25, while home in Denver, CO and attending a local store's yo-yo club, he met his future wife and performing partner, Rebecca.

In addition to performing, John is an accomplished artist. His colorful, extroverted art, usually involving his cartoon character, Mr. Yodel, can be seen on his art website,

Rebecca Loomis Higby grew up on a diet of Saturday Night Live in Yarmouth, Maine, the youngest of three children. From an early age she enjoyed sketch comedy and creative silliness, and although active in numerous sports, she never really played with yo-yos or hula hoops.

Rebecca got a degree in Elementary Education & Human Development from Connecticut College. Unsure what to do after graduation and uninspired by teaching in traditional classrooms, she moved to Denver, CO where she worked at a store full of games, costumes, and incidentally, yo-yos.

Rebecca and John moved to Boston in 2001, and Rebecca was easily incorporated into John's show. In 2004, they got married amidst performances in 5 different countries & their appearance on Letterman. And, as of 2009, Rebecca's pretty busy being a mom!
Yo-Yo People