~ CJC 2001 ~
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.

The First Five Steps

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

Well I'm sure that all of you went right to this step after reading steps #1 & #2 and saying to yourself, "Geeez, throw the ball up and catch it on the back of my hand, that's easy" I did the same thing, at first.

But I did go back to those first two steps later, to help correct some problems that I could see were beginning to form. You may not have those same set of problems. But believe me when I say that the exercises in steps #1 & #2 are Important!

And by doing those exercises, you will only help yourself out in the long run.

Now for the tough part.

Not for you....For me! Explaining this with no pictures is not going to be easy, so here we go.

You've gotten pretty good at throwing the ball up and down in a straight vertical line to the back of your hand 'the cradle' and in the process I'm sure that you have also gotten pretty good at throwing the ball up in a Not so straight vertical line to the back of your hand, to the floor, into some cabinetry, onto the floor after a desperate attempt to save it with your foot and thus causing it to go under the couch...

Yes, I've been there as well.

But I digress, Now what I want you to do is from 'cradle' throw the ball up in a gentle arc to your outside, follow the ball with your fingertips as it reaches it's apex your forearm should be vertical and your upper arm should be almost horizontal as if you were about to arm wrestle a friend on a taller than normal table.

Let the ball continue through it's arc following it all the while, until you catch it in your palm.

Your arm should now look like you're almost Finished arm wrestling your friend, And You're Losing!

This position is commonly referred to as "The Palm!"

Why they called it that, I have not a clue. I ranted and raved, I begged and pleaded, but the juggling community just, Would....Not.....Budge. So I guess we're All Gonna Call It, "The Palm!"

In getting to this position you have to focus on two things

  1. Is your hand following the ball just under it's arc, so that your fingers are never more than an inch or two away from the ball during it's flight?
  2. Is your elbow staying pretty much in the same place? The movement of your arm should mimic that of a windshield wiper on a car. Much, if not All the work here should be done by rotating your shoulder or 'rotary cuff', you will have to bend the wrist back a bit to 'palm' the ball but the more limber your shoulder, the less wrist needs to be used. And the better the visual to your audience.
  3. OK 3 things, You Have to Catch the Ball!

Now from this position, ( drum roll ) 'The Palm!' ( big fanfare ). Throw it back to the 'cradle.'

Try to follow the same path that the ball on it's way to 'palm' traveled, only in reverse. Unless of course that first toss to 'palm' just plain Sucked! In which case I don't recommend trying to do that backwards.

Try to do the same movement in reverse, with your hand and arm as well.

Just nice easy arcs back and forth, back and forth, cradle to palm, palm to cradle. You want the ball to go about the height of your forehead and your hand should pass in front of your face.

Working? Good, now let's learn that trick!

Step 4