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 Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: Kae Verens 
Date:   03-22-02 14:19

In response to a post on rec.juggling relating to Dick Franco's method of learning head rolls, I replied mentioning Ryan's animations here. In response to that post, Dick Franco contacted me with some hints on catching a ball on the temple. Here they are:

If you are having trouble catching it on the temples...I assume you are
tossing it to the temple... you havent learned where the left and right
:"down" position... which can best be learned facing a mirror... placing the
ball on the temple and then lifting the nose and chin... maybe tipping the
head as well to get the ball to "balance" against the ear without rolling
down and over your cheek. Its important to flex the knees too to avoid
stress on the neck and aid with spreading the balance out over your body.
This is the first step... to find both points... left and right... and I
would start with your worst side first to bring it up to the other side.
Once you find these points... still in front of the mirror.... bend quickly
and place the ball at the point... alternating left and right... until you
reach the point without having to correct. From that point... the toss is
all that's important so that the ball reaches the point. Combining this
practice with the actual should all come together so you can
toss the ball to any point of the forehead or temple on the way down and
still be able to reach the bottom point without having to adjust the
balance. Important is a good warm up....flexing the legs.... practice your
bad side first.....and not OVER practicing. Headroll is hard on the neck...
some guys like to isolate the head and not move the body... it looks nice...
but for me... I hope to set the record of being the oldest working
juggler... avoiding injury is the important to reach that goal. Personally,
I like the look of the whole body bending and the legs flexing... on a big
stage it is very visual.
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 Re: Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: Dick Franco 
Date:   03-23-02 09:47

Another important part of tossing a ball to the temple is the cushioning you have to do to keep the ball from bouncing away.... its a little more delicate than the throw to the temple... you have to cushion more. This takes time to learn because each side will be different... the ball comes from different polint of views.... I learned with a dead ball... a tennis ball with no air... a bean bag would be a good way to catch it successfully, allowing you to cheat a little... then move to a dead ball...and finally to a regular ball. The cushioning effect comes from the bending of the neck waist and legs. If you can do these catches and the headroll from ear to ear... try tossing it from ear to ear so that the ball doesnt touch the rest of your head.

Kae asked me as well about the path that the ball follows when I do the head roll. I didnt know that for sure my self... but tonight I paid attention during my warm up and asked the stage crew to watch when I did it on stage. The ball stays on a flat vertical plane... moving up and down and left to right over top of me. I plant my feet and move underneath the ball... the ball travels left and right to the same degree my head does with feet planted and bending comfortably to the left and right. There is no forward or back movement of the ball. Sometimes my neck has to bend more to compensate if I am off for some reason...but in general I try to spread the movement out over my neck and back to avoid injury. I used to pivot under the ball more... but I'm 49 now and my neck doesn't like that any more... so I do it the way my body suffers least by putting the stress on the ball...which can be replaced. I use a 3 1/16 inch Fakini silicone ball. Fakini (Frank Radke of Toledo, Ohio) is the inventor of the silicone juggling ball.

I don't do back to front rolls in my act... or roll arounds... but I do them in practice for exercise and the stretch they provide.
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 Re: Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: ian pugh 
Date:   03-23-02 21:52

great info, guys. i've been toying with headrolls for the past 2 years, but was just trying to learn it on my own. it still sounds real hard, but compared to how i was trying to go about it, it seems much easier and sensible. thanks for the concise descriptions.

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 Re: Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: Ryan 
Date:   03-23-02 23:35

Wow. Dick Franco!

Thanks for the advice!
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 Re: Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: Dick Franco 
Date:   03-25-02 05:31

Headroll ear to ear is a group of individual skills, all of which must be well mastered before they can be put together successfully.

The forehead balance
the left temple balance
the right temple balance

the forehead quick place and balance
the left temple quick place and balance
the right temple quick place and balance

playing with the balance at all points

the toss to the forehead balance
the toss to the left temple balance
the toss to the right temple balance

these are the most important points to learn perfectly... the rolls between points are quite easy once the above are mastered.

Learning a good headroll is about a three week process, more or less, with dedicated practice.
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 Re: Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: Kae Verens 
Date:   03-25-02 13:56

Have you learned any interesting ways to get a ball into a headroll other than placing it or tossing it into position?

The only way I have managed so far is a rather shaky roll down the arm and up behind the ear to the forehead.

I hear that a certain world-record-holding toss juggler regularly rolls a ball straight over his head from a neck hold to the forehead hold (while juggling n balls in his hands). When I try this, I tend to give the ball too much momentum, and the ball just flies upwards.

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 Re: Head Rolls - Temple Catches
Author: calum harvie 
Date:   03-27-02 15:26

All this help on the head roll is great - it was me who posted on rec.juggling. Dick, I've been going through your book and am getting the hang of it now. Thanks! I unfortunately have dodgy vertebrae in my neck as a result of a car accident resulting in a rather loud "crack" has my head lurches from side to side. Come to think of it, maybe I should develop a new street act as the Human Metronome!


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