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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 Next Steps

steps 1 to 5 | step 6 | step 7 | STEP 8 | step 9

Prayer Passes

O.K. This One Should be Easy to Teach, cause it's really kind of easy to Do!

But for some reason There is No video, or even a reference to the move on This (or for that matter, Any Site! )

And I Know!!! I'm Not the Only person to come up with this move. So I'm wondering if Kae is gon'a leave the video spot, open for Me to fill. When I get the chance, and the equipment is working. *g* or if He'll give me a good example, after I submit this.

The Big Difference Here, is That I'm gon'a take you to a different 'Cradle Hold'

Yes, I Know, I know. Your saying, "What! I have to learn a Different Base Position!? I was Just getting used to the Three-Finger-Spread!"
I went through the same thing, only I had to learn through trial and error. Some tricks are damn near impossible, to do smoothly, in the 'Classic' 'Three-Finger-Cradle' Because that middle finger gets in the way and tends to create a really Horrible Bump during some more advanced transfers.
So at This point in your progress, you should, begin to 'Open up to' the different possibilities of holding a 'Cradle' and 'The Prayer Pass' is the easiest to learn, while getting used to this New Cradle Position.
This also has the added benefit of allowing me ( or anyone else for that matter ) to teaching you, one of those tricks in the future, and merely starting it off with. "You Need to be on a "Two-Finger-Spread" for this one."

First go to the three finger spread that you're Used to, from Step #1. I know that Other people teach this cradle (as a beginning position,) as well, and it is pretty much regarded as the First Step, in 'body-rolling movements, in CJ. But That is primarily due to the maximum stability you get with Three points of contact, on The Back of Your Hand!
As for Palm-spinning, Hey, We All grew up learning how to hold a ball in our palm! Probably, at an age that you can't even remember any more. So I don't consider the First Step of Palm-Spinning, to have Even been Taken, till ya Slap another one in there with It. And start pushing the Two around.
But that's just My personal opinion. I'm Just a Body-Roller, Cjer, what do I know about palm spinning? :-(
Ah! Wouldn't you like to know? ;-j

Fortunately for Me, there are Much Better Palm-Spinners, involved in This Site 'Den Da Ferret!' and if I Have to type up a Lesson on It, I'm gon'a be a little 'Ticked' at My Fellow "Cyber-Manipulators" for their 'word perfect' lethargies. (Yes, I checked, apparently 'Lethargies' is a real word.)
I'll just stick to teach'in Ya'll The Body-Roll'in Steps. ;-)

Now, on That three-finger-cradle, spread your index finger out a little wider, (away from your middle finger.) Bring Up your middle finger and 'shunt' the ball over, to be balanced between Just those Two fingers! They should now be parallel, and the ball should be between your finger nails and the second set (or middle set) of knuckles. Takes a little more tilting of the hand and some extra hyper-extension of those two fingers, doesn't it? But It's Not That Difficult to Achieve!

This Position will commonly be referred to, (in the CJ World) as "The Two Finger Cradle or "Two Finger Spread" (go figure! I don't know who comes up with these names, but it ain't no genius, I'm sure)

Now remember Step #1 in my First Five Steps? When I told ya, to just stand, sit, walk around, so you get used to the position, and the balance needed to keep it there?
Yep! Wouldn't hurt to run through that Again in this New Position!(Both Hands!)

But Hey! You can use a knife to cut your steak, and still spread butter on a roll, with the same utensil, Right? So this shouldn't take Too long to get used to.

Now once you have a confident, and balanced 'Two Finger Cradle.'

Just for shits and giggles, let's Play with this new position.
No, I'm not gon'a talk you into mak'in another sandwich. :-)
I expect that You've learned That lesson by now. (btw, did ya ever get that jelly stain out of you pants? *g* )

You Should have noticed, by now, that you have an extra finger, free in this position. (Remember what I said about 'three-points-of-contact?') Well it works Extremely Well, when you want Another ball in the same hand's palm, during a 'two-finger-cradle' cause you don't have to rely on Just the strength of your pinky and thumb. Now you have your Ring Finger, to add to that Hold! (I know I'm teas'in ya with future moves, but it keeps ya interested, doesn't it?)

So having said that, (or is it typed that?) try curling those three digits down in 'a grasping manner,' while still holding that ball, 'in cradle' on Two Fingers. Kind'a Weird, isn't it? Go ahead. Try and move them around a bit. Experiment with the way different movements change the shape and (more importantly) the level, of those other, two fingers!

Get'in Really weird now, isn't it?
After you're played with this for a little while, try a Butterfly off this position. First with your thumb and All Fingers spread, and when you feel Good with That! Try making a 'half fist.'

First with just your pinky and ring, finger alone, and Than bring your thumb in, and over those two fingers. (Remember the 60's 'Peace Sign?' O.K. maybe some of you don't.)

It's a little tougher with the thumb, cause It's the first thing the ball hits, when you come over from cradle to palm position, and It naturally wants to push the ball towards you, and off your hand! You have to tilt your arm, away from you more. And You also have to concentrate on the Right amount of 'stall!'

But look at the Sphere's presentation to the audience in This position! Even up on a Stage. The position you have to maintain. Forces you to present Maximum View of the sphere!

This exercise also gets you used to more Precise Control of your stalling position, on Both Sides of your hand! Kind of forces you to pay attention to that 'launching speed' I spoke about.

For some of you, this may be easy, because of the Path you took back in Step #4. (I Know Kae uses This 'Two-Finger' Style frequently.) It wouldn't surprise me if a number of you are already, familiar with the 'two finger cradle' as a Base Hold.) But I'm Sure that there are Some who are Not!
So go ahead and practice that two fingered butterfly, for a little bit. And Try curling your thumb, and two fingers in, after you've got'in 'happy' with the fully spread position.

Yea, Your Other Hand To!

Comfortable with it? Good. Lets get back to that Prayer Pass. Like I said this one's easy. Once you get comfortable with the two finger cradle.
Now, holding the ball in that position, bring your other hand up and "Mate" your Finger Tips. Don't try to get your finger nails to touch, at least Not Yet! ;-)
Remember, you still have to maintain that Hyper-extension with those two fingers to keep a Well Balanced Cradle. Right Now, focus on 'mating' the Finger 'Pads'. Index to index, middle to middle, etc.......Don't forget your thumbs. (cause 'mating' Them, creates more stability during the movement, even if the ball never actually touches them!)
Try and keep a level horizontal plane with your cradle hand, and your other hand should be almost vertical with That, elbow pointing towards the ground. If you mated all your fingers and kept the 'heel of your hands apart (we'll get to That in a moment) than your 'mirrored' fingers should present a good 95-100 degree angle to each other.

Everything Fits? Ball's Balancing Well? And You're used to work'in the ball on two fingers now?
Alright Then!

Quickly bring your vertically held elbow up to horizontal, drop your horizontally held elbow down to vertical, maintain the 95 degree angle with your fingers, and keep you wrists straight, as you Do This, and just Watch the ball pass, right over your ‘mated' fingertips and over to your other hand! Simple, Huh?

So Now You've reversed your position 90 degrees, and the ball should have ended up on the ‘mirror position' (as in) on the back or your Other Hand! Well then, I guess you Passed It. There-by accomplishing the "Prayer Pass" eh?
Way to go!

Now Send It Back! Did ya land the return, as well?
Excellent!!!

Now at This point I could very-well place my fists on my hips, and in a Deep, Super hero, voice say, "Well, My work here is done."
But I can't fly yet, I can only jump a fairly good distance, and That just looks Stupid

Regardless of the fact, that the whole Visual Effect, of the Gag would more than likely be Lost through This Medium.

More Importantly, I am Not done. And Neither are You.

Look at what you just accomplished. There is the potential to quickly learn not just the Pass, but several other simple tricks Here, as Well!

If you immediately separate your finger tips, and go into another move with the receiving hand, than you have utilized this movement, as an "Aesthetically Pleasing Pass." But if you get smooth with this Pass in Both Directions, and you keep the pads of your fingers touching. You can 'rock' the ball back and forth a couple of times in a row, and create an interesting effect. Isolate the ball in space, while doing this movement and you've learned, yet Another Trick! If you are keeping the heels of your hand apart, and both your wrists straight. Than you should be holding a good 95-100 degree angle with your hands.

But you Know you Don't have to.

That, 'close to a 90 position' I refer to as a 'Bridge.'
Bring the heels of your hands closer together, and relax your wrists more.
When you can do this pass with both your palms touching from the fingertips down to the heels of your hands than you are doing a 'True Prayer.' Another Simple Trick that is Not up on This Site Yet!

Yo! Kae, Marco, What's Up with That?

From there you should experiment with using less elbow movement and more wrist flex. Try and accomplish this pass with the insides of your forearms pressed together, down to your elbows. And use Nothing But, wrist movement.
Neat Trick, Huh?
Unfortunately, certain types of men tend to stalk me, whenever I do this trick, so I rarely use it in my shows.

If you take the 'bridge' in the other direction and separate your palms from each other, even more, by curling all your knuckles, and rolling your fingertips together to the point where your fingernails touch. Than you have created "The Cage!"
A Good example of this is in this site's 'Links' Go to Tokyo_Puu.
That's An 'Outside Cage Hold!' (Yes, there is an 'inside cage hold' but we'll get into that later)
What's more, is this young lady not only does this, with leather gloves on! But she Presents It to Her Audience in a Much more aesthetically pleasing style, by not only, the dark back ground that the ball is placed in front of, but the fact that she uses her middle and ring finger instead of her index and middle fingers, for the two points of contact!
A much more difficult hold, and even more so as a 'transfer'!
Kudos-to-ya, Miss Tokyo!
The young Lady also presents a good lesson in 'Performance Art' Over-All!

Your interest should Not be what You see................But what THEY See! And what You, FEEL!
If They can't See the Ball, while your do'in all this cool stuff. Well, let face it, The Art Form, becomes pretty lame! Like your Just mov'in your hands around and occasionaly They get to see a 'glimmer' or piece of The Sphere!

Also! If you don't Feel good about the Trick or Move. Than They will see THAT as Well!
They will see it, in your movement, they will see it in your Facial Expression. And they will see it in your eyes!
Once again Confidence, in the movement. Is the Key!

Having typed that, let me show you what I'm talking about!
You will also get to see an ‘Outside Cage' transfer, and an ‘Inside Cage' with an escape, and It won't be ‘a still' this time. Remember what I said about Confidence in your Face and Eyes as well as your movements?
Well, This Man's got It!
Go to video, (not the Moves page, but Video.) And load-up "Goldfrost's Cage" mpeg.
Now watch this Man closely.
Impressive, Eh?
Can you tell that Gary's done this move before? The whole thing is a combination of fluidity and surety of movement. Goldfrost Knows, he can do this trick Well, and it shows, even Before he preforms it! Where do you acquire this confidence? Well hopefully It's laying right in front of you, and all you have to do is pick the Damn Thing Up! ;-)

There is Much for you to play with at This Point! So I will leave you to it for the time being!

Remember, in the next Two Lessons, we're gon'a start using more than just your hands. So Get Good at All the Hand movements now, and the Body Rolling Movements will be that much easier, when you go to send it down a longer path. *g* Like your Forearm!