Juggler's World: Vol. 38, No. 3

Tips and Tricks

Ideas for your act

(from a list by Dave Castle)

The following juggling ideas were collected during years in different phases of show business. Some are old, some new, some changed and some will suggest other novel effects to you. I hope you can find at least a couple that you will use.

Three Ball Tricks

Special Effects

Dress and Decoration

Six Ball Juggling

Most people trying to do six balls would initially try three in each hand, as a logical extension of four ball juggling. However, a crossing pattern where balls are thrown almost simultaneously might be easier.

Dan Bennett uses it in IJA numbers competition. Edward Jackman, who reported on the pattern in 1977 in an IJA Newsletter, said he learned this pattern up to 24 throws before he could do three in his left hand.

Start with three balls in each hand. Raise one hand slightly above the other so throws don't collide and then make the crossing throws in unison. All throws pass in front of your nose, which makes them easier to see. Eight balls can be done in the same manner.

Mathematical Daydreams: Exploring Mixed Passing

by Phyllis Chinn and Danny Sleator

At a mathematics meeting in Kyoto, Japan, we began exploring the mathematics of passing three balls and three clubs on an "every other" count. We noted that the progression of who had various numbers of balls and clubs seemed to depend on the starting configuration. We analyzed the possibilities theoretically, then checked our predictions by juggling.

Let us think of the pattern of six objects as forming a circle, with objects moving around the circle clockwise as they are passed. With three balls and three clubs, there are only four basic distributions of the objects.

With every other passing, in the first three configurations each juggler always has two clubs and a ball or two balls and a club. In pattern A, the number of each type changes with each exchange. In B and C each juggler has two of one type for three exchanges in a row, then switches to an excess of the other for three exchanges. In D, each juggler goes through as regular pattern of -- 3 clubs, 2 clubs, 1 club, 0 clubs, 1 club, 2 clubs, and back to 3.

Throwing a right-to-right double in the pattern causes similarly interesting results. Given the following configuration of objects:

|       2      |       2      |       2      |       2      |
|       @      |       @      |       @      |       @      |
|              |              |              |              |
|   1 O   O 3  |   1 @   O 3  |   1 O   @ 3  |   1 @   @ 3  |
|              |              |              |              |
|   6 @   @ 4  |   6 O   O 4  |   6 O   O 4  |   6 O   O 4  |
|              |              |              |              |
|       O      |       @      |       @      |       O      |
| A.    5      | B.    5      | C.    5      | D.    5      |

The following table can be constructed showing the resulting patterns of a right-to-right double given the starting pattern indicated:

                      (object number)
              1     2     3     4     5     6
        A     A     A     A     A     A     A
        B     B     D     C     C     D     B
        C     D     B     B     D     C     C
        D     C     C     D     B     B     D
        (down the side are listed pattern type)

By the way, at two math meetings where we juggled, in Kyoto and Hakone, many Japanese people gathered around, interested in watching and anxious to learn. We're sure they look forward to their next juggling encounter!

Dr. Dropo's Comic Dictionary

by Bruce Fife

Tips and Tricks / Index, Vol. 38, No. 3 / jis@juggling.org
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