Balancing Skills for Jugglers
Balancing skills are something that all jugglers should learn.
When balance is incorporated into juggling, it makes it much harder. If you know how to juggle and you know how to balance, you won’t necessarily be able to do both at the same time. Most likely you won’t be able to do it the first time you try. I haven’t put a lot of time into practicing balancing while juggling, mostly because its so difficult. It is something that intend to learn though… eventually.
Balancing something on you or you balancing on something?
When we talk about jugglers balancing, we need to be clear. You may see jugglers balancing a juggling club on their nose while juggling. This is the most common type of balancing skill to see. There are many other feats of balance though like, unicycling, rola bolas, balancing balls, spinning balls, spinning plates, cigar boxes… and whatever else you can think of balancing.
Learning how to balance on you nose
Let’s start with the basics. Every juggler worth his salt can juggle clubs an pop one up onto the nose and hold it there. This trick takes some practice but there is an easy way to learn.
Before you even think about balancing a juggling club or any other juggling prop, go and grab something long, thin and not too heavy. A broom stick is perfect to practice your balancing skills. Just unscrew it from the broom and you are all set. Even if you can’t unscrew it from the broom, you can still use it.
Before you go any further I’ll explain the reason why you want to learn with a broom stick instead of a juggling club. The reason is because the longer something is, the easier it is to balance. So balancing an egg on a tiny stick on your nose like the guy on the left is much harder than balancing a juggling club on your chin like the guy on the right.
Ok! Now grab the broomstick and put it on the tip of your finger and focus on the tip of the top. Don’t look at anything else but the very tip of the top. Now just practice that.
Once you get that down, go ahead and put it on you nose or your chin. All you have to do is focus on the top and nothing else. Once you learn how to balance a long object like a broom stick, you can go ahead and try a shorter object. Go ahead and try a juggling club if you have one. Try a spoon on you nose if you want to see how difficult shorter objects are.
Incorporate balance with juggling
The best jugglers can balance while juggling. The key there is to be so good at juggling a cascade, that you don’t even focus on the balls. The only thing you should be focusing on is the balancing object.
That comes later….. much later. What you need to learn first is to juggle three clubs and then put one on you nose or chin… pause… and then drop it off back into your cascade pattern.
Once you learn the basics, there is no limit to how creative you can get. You can really challenge yourself by incorporating balancing skills into your juggling!