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infinite illusions dot com
Ferret is a Professional Cjer working the Medieval Faire circuit in FL. U.S.A. since 1992. His sole purpose in learning this art was to be a performer at those Fairs, and found contact juggling to be a unique avenue to accomplish that goal. But along the way found that he not only loved what he was doing, but also found a fondness for teaching. His style in CJing is Not traditional, but than again neither is his wardrobe. His instructional pages, along with video and stills will be appearing on this site soon. And his insight into the world of Professional performance art involving nothing but Contact Juggling as the visual portion of his show, should not be overlooked! The comedy dialogue that he uses in both his instructional pages and his actual shows are an added plus, and the fact that he wants to teach, and learn from others as well, is what this site is all about.
[ferret1_sm.jpg]

The First Five Steps

step 1 | STEP 2 | step 3 | step 4 | step 5 | the next steps

Now that you can walk around and do things 'Holding' the ball on your hand. Let's try 'losing contact' with the ball. Not to be confused with 'losing control' Of the ball. A trick we can All do, so no explanation is needed here.

Once again hold the ball in the 'cradle' position, by now you should be good enough so let's start focusing on the visual aspect to your audience. Bring the ball to about chest level, elbow held high, almost to shoulder level and your forearm running parallel to the plane of your chest. Try and hold a good 'box' shape so that your chest and upper arm hold a 90o angle and your upper and forearms hold a 90o as well.

Now 'springboard' the ball up into the air.

*Warning* the Author Does Not condone or recommend doing this trick anywhere near bare feet, small children or glass products. And if there's an aquarium in the same room as your in, YOU NEED TO BE IN ANOTHER ROOM!!!

Over head fans can however, be amusing, but donít tell anyone I said that.

When you first throw the ball up from the back of your hand. Don't throw it up high. Just nice easy pushes, you want the ball to clear maybe only 4or5 in. at first, cause remember you have to catch it in the cradle position when it comes back down.

If you find the ball bouncing when it hits your hand then your holding your shoulder too stiff.

While still keeping your fingers, wrist, and elbow stiff, relax your shoulder more and as the weight of the ball hits your hand, ease it down gentle to the original 'box' shape position.

If you're catching the ball, but you're wavering around a lot before you steady it up. Than you need to focus more on your "Three Finger Spread/Cradle" position, back in step #1

Working good so far? OK, now try throwing it a little higher till you can consistently catch them on 'cradle' from about head height.

This is all the height you need to be good at to go on to step #3.

If you want to throw it higher, go ahead, it's good practice for the 'unconventional flyaways' that will come later.

And even as I wring my hands in anticipation of bending your minds with those tricks, I will exercise some self control here and continue.

So now that you're getting better and better at this, let me ask You something. Have You Been Working Your *Weak Hand* as Well?

Good! So let's get back to the 'contact' thing.

If you haven't already started to follow the ball up with your hand after you toss it up, then let's give that a shot.

Try to stay about an inch below the ball until it apexes and comes back to rest in the cradle. This will require a little more up and down movement of your shoulder, but more importantly you must bend at the wrist to keep your palm parallel to the ground when your hand is up by your head.

When you reach the point where you can Juussst keep the ball above the backs of your fingers but still have it in mid air up to it's peak height, give yourself a round of applause, or give yourself a round of Whatever Your Drinking - 'cause you get to go on to steps #3 & #4 in which you finally get to learn a trick.

Step 3