~ CJC 2001 ~
sponsored by Infinite Illusions
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 | step3 | step4 | step5 | the next steps

Since I will be explaining this to you via. text. I will have to be rather detailed in my explanation. And yes, I can be "long winded" sometimes. But please bear in mind that there are many people out there that may need that detailed mental picture, where as others my not, but I would be remiss in my teaching skills if I didn't provide those individuals with that detailed explanation. So let's begin.

Bring your 'strong' hand out in front of you, where ever is comfortable for you, about the level where your chest meets your stomach is what I would recommend palm down, fingers and thumb extended and spread slightly from each other, forearm parallel to the ground. Position your hand to where your fingers are pointing directly opposite of the direction that your elbow is pointing in other wards, keep your wrist straight, as for the direction of your thumb, whatever you chose is fine, we will get into that later, you may note in some of my still photos that Iím not really a purist when it comes to holding my fingers in that ridged "karate chop" position.

By all means, you should learn that position, as some tricks look better done in that style. But right now what ever works for you, is best to do.

Now holding that position, tense your whole hand and forearm, and in so doing you should cause the tips of your fingers to rise to the same level as your wrist bone. The point where your fingers attach to your hand, (your punching knuckles) should be lower than the finger tips and the back of your hand. Now lower your 'middle' finger slightly below your 'index', and 'ring' finger, still keeping your hand and fingers stiff, place a sphere onto the back of your hand letting it rest on this 'Three finger, spread position'.

This position is predominantly referred to as "The Cradle"

Hold the sphere in this position............

That's it.

Just stand/sit, whatever, get used to the ball, the weight of it, take notice of the way you have to tilt your arm to keep the sphere from falling You can expect to be a little wobbly at first, I don't remember seeing anyone who wasn't for the first min.

When you can hold the ball steady, try walking around, just a quick note here, * depending on the ball your using, wearing good shoes at this point is a wise move indeed.*

When you find this to be easy, try doing something more difficult, phone a friend with your other hand, while still 'cradling' the ball. When your friend picks up, Tell them what your doing, more than likely they will think that you've finally gone off the deep end and will cut the phone call short, letting you get back to the task at hand.

When I was at this stage I remember trying to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with one hand, trust me on this one. You Don't want to go there!

Now try the same thing with your weak hand, and Yes, you will need to put more time in there, than you do with your good side.

What this accomplishes is two things. One; It strengthens the muscles in your hands and forearms, preparing you for future practice sessions. And Two; It develops your sense of feeling. Not only how the ball feels on your hand in a static position (standing very still) but how centripetal force will alter that feeling, (like when you turn quickly with the ball in the 'cradle'.)

All-in-all you're increasing your ability to *feel* the ball as if it were a natural extension of your hand.

Step 2