Kyle Johnson: Gballz and Multiplexes

Kyle is a friend of mine, my former juggling instructor, and was a great help teaching with me at The Nueva School. He is also sponsored by Gballz, and put out this incredible video recently where he takes his Gballz for a spin. Kyle is more commonly known for juggling large Dube’ stage balls, so this video is full of crazy multiplex tricks that aren’t really feasible with stage balls but become possible (for him…) with beanbags. Enjoy!

Ryan Mellors: Using Motion to Spice Up Your Act

This video by Ryan Mellors is a great example of how you take what could have been a relatively standard juggling video, and by adding movement and style you turn it into something much more. If you study dance or gymnastics, think about how you could incorporate it into your juggling to make your juggling more interesting. If you don’t, but you enjoy juggling, think about whether dance might give you a whole new perspective on things.

Slight language warning: I noticed at least one inappropriate word in the soundtrack to this video, and I usually try to steer clear of such things when sharing videos with students. In this case I decided not to let that stop me from sharing an otherwise really interesting video. Just be forewarned.

Juggling with Hands and Feet

Today in class, someone asked me if it was possible to juggle using both your hands and feet. In general these days, when the question is, “Is it possible to juggle like ?”, the answer is usually yes. In this case, it definitely is, and I mentioned two jugglers I’ve seen personally who are incredible in this area. The two I mentioned were:

Peter Irish

And Jorden Moir

(That second video behaved sort of strangely for me; hopefully it works better for you)

Start of a new year

This past Friday was our first class of the 2013 school year at The Nueva School. Welcome to our new jugglers, and welcome back to our returning students! I think our first class went great; our newcomers are learning fast, and people who could previously juggle jumped right back into the swing of things. I had told our new jugglers that I would post some ideas on making juggling balls. If you don’t currently have anything to practice with, try any of these:

  • Take 3 tennis balls. Use a utility knife or something similar (carefully!) to slice a hole in each one. Fill them part way with rice, sand, or pennies. Try to keep all 3 balls about the same weight. Glue up the hole you cut, or stretch balloons over the entire ball. The latter looks and feels better, but is kind of a pain to do.
  • Take 3 sandwich bags. Fill each one part way with rice or sand. Tie them shut. Stretch a few balloons around them to give them a bit more uniform shape and better grip.
  • If you happen to have Play Pit balls (those hollow plastic balls in the play pit at McDonalds or whatever), you can make russian juggling balls out of them. My current technique is to use a power drill to drill a small hole in each one. Then squish the ball in upon itself at the point of the hole. You’ll end up kinda making a funnel into the ball out of the ball itself. Dump sand or salt into the little “well” you made in the ball until the ball is about 1/4 to 1/3 full. The smaller the hole, the slower this part goes, but the less likely the ball will end up leaking. Once the ball is sufficiently full, squish/knead around the edges of the “well” until the ball is round again. Then seal up the hole. Putting electrical tape over the hole is quick and easy, but may not look that great. Using something like hot melt glue can be pretty inconspicuous, but is more of a pain and can leak if you don’t get it right.
  • I do have some sets of juggling balls “in stock” to sell to students. I occasionally buy them at wholesale pricing, and pass on the savings to students. You can see what I have for sale by browsing the Props listings here on this site, and if you see something you want, drop me an email and I’ll bring them to the next class.

And remember – when you are first learning, practice by walking up to a bed so you are juggling over the bed. When you drop, you won’t have to bend over as far to pick up. I actually don’t recommend learning while sitting/kneeling, because it tends to encourage holding your hands too high.


FDB97531 – First time I’ve seen one

And perhaps the first time it has ever been done? This is the 8 ball version of the “tower series” of siteswaps. In these tricks, each throw goes lower than the previous one, so that the balls all land in the reverse order they were thrown. The 3 ball version, 531, is a pretty reasonable trick to learn early on – if you take lessons with me, I’d be happy to help you with it sometime. I’m getting close to my first 97531 (the 5 ball version), but haven’t quite landed it yet. You can see Alex do a few DB97531 in this video as well. Enjoy!


Wes Peden Show Extracts

Wes is one of the most popular jugglers performing today, and this video will give you an idea why. Aside from being an outstanding technical juggler, his acts are full of so much creativity. I’ve watched him perform with non-jugglers, and had them ask me, “What is that he just did?”, and the answer is usually, “I have no idea. Nobody really does. That doesn’t have a name; that’s just Wes doing his thing.” Watch how he makes use of the entire stage, incorporates body movement, has a wide variety of throws and catches, moves between props, mixes props, etc. etc. I think this was filmed at the 2012 St. Louis festival, where I first saw him perform live.