How To Contact Juggle

Contact Juggling is the illusionary manipulation of one or multiple balls that is also called Dynamic Manipulation or Sphereplay. Contact jugglers move balls around their body with dance like grace causing the balls to seem to come to life and move about on their own. Contact jugglers roll, spin, toss, and do all kinds of other actions with deft precision to create these mesmerizing displays. Contact Juggling is a lot like regular toss juggling in the sense that it is perform through steps and requires dedicated practice to perfect. Contact Juggling requires patience, perseverance, and exquisite focus. With time you can easily become a skilled contact juggler. The following are a few beginning skills to get you started on your path of becoming an expert contact juggler.

The Cradle Hold

CradleOne of the most basic techniques every contact juggler begins with is known as The Cradle Hold. To perform the cradle hold you hold your hand out with your palm down and your fingers stretched straight out. You then create a cradle by simply dipping your middle finger slightly. Put a ball in the cradle and get used to the feel of The Cradle Hold. Keep the ball in The Cradle Hold for several minutes at a time and move your hand around as the ball is sitting in the cradle. You will have to adjust slightly for inertia to keep the ball in place but you will probably get the hang of it quickly. The Cradle Hold is an absolute essential for all contact jugglers. It is used all the time in nearly every stint of contact juggling you will perform. Don’t forget to practice being efficient with the cradle using either hand.

Palm to Cradle Over the Edge

edgeThen there are the basic transfers which are palm to cradle over the edge and palm to cradle over the tips. To do the palm to cradle over the edge transfer you need to start with the ball resting in between the third and second knuckles of your hand. While keeping your fingers straight and together you want to lift the ball up a little bit and then turn your hand in towards yourself while keeping your hand under the ball. The ball should roll over the outer part of your index finger and end up resting in the cradle on top of your hand. To do this in reverse simply move your hand in the opposite direction by dropping slightly and turning your hand away from yourself which will roll the ball back over the edge of the index finger and into your palm.

Palm to Cradle Over the Tips

tip transferThe palm to cradle over the tips transfer is very similar to the over the edge transfer. Hold your ball in between your second and third knuckles with your palm facing up. Move the ball towards your fingertips and use your elbow as a counterbalance as you turn your hand towards you like a windshield wiper. The ball will roll over your fingertips and into the cradle. To do the cradle to palm over the tips transfer you simply conduct the opposite action as you did for the palm to cradle over the tips transfer. Practice both transfers with each hand to get truly efficient and skilled as an amateur contact juggler.

The Butterfly

butterflyThe Butterfly is the first true contact juggling trick you will learn. It is simply a rhythmic palm to cradle over the tips transfer done back and forth in a fluid motion. When performing The Butterfly keep your elbow free to move around more often in order to keep the motion fluid. Start practicing The Butterfly slowly in order to get the move down and then slowly progress to faster speeds. Do not grasp the ball at all when it goes over your palm, keep your fingers straight at all times.

Once you have The Butterfly down you can call yourself a contact juggling amateur. There are tons of tricks and transfers to explore and learn as your skill as a contact juggler progresses. The more often you practice the quicker you will begin to excel at contact juggling. All the same rules as toss juggling apply. Stay relaxed, persevere, and  you are sure to become a talented contact juggler in no time at all.