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Author
Ray Bowers
ray@bowers.com
  [Acrylic Ball]
Contact Juggling - An Online Tutorial

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Before the end of the Century? Ok, it has been 2 years since I put the initial cut of this page up and the lesson only had an outline and the beginning of the first lesson talking about how to hold the ball and an simple exercise on catching the ball on the back of your hand. I've gotten a lot of e-mail, answered many questions but not made any progress on new pages. Dancing and women have taken a bit of a lead, but I am trying to balance my interests. I'm going to start by adding in come notes at first -- mainly just things I have typed over the years in responses to people's questions. I will then add pictures as I get time and work up to polishing it. I figure I just need to get the basics up and don't worry about making it polished right away, otherwise the perfectionist in me will procrastinate till I have time to get it just right and it will be 2001 before I know it...

So, no promises on when things will get done. I still want to complete these pages, plus I want to put together a simple video. The first cut at it was just over an hour, and only took me one afternoon to do, but it was not well organized. I have not decided when I finish it if I will just give it away for free (charging to copy/mail it to people, but encouraging them copy and distribute it freely) or sell it, only charging a small amount ($15?) to try and make a little money off it. Given that I am not really into juggling like I use to be, and I have a well paying job, I don't need the money and would probably be happier just getting feedback and postcards from people, hopefully all over the world... Guess that would make the video "Postcard-ware"? *chuckle*

Anyway, the following are a couple of the test clips I made last year. Hopefully these provide some idea on what contact juggling can look at for those who have never seen it. Each is about 45 seconds and shows me running through quite a few advanced tricks:

Well, off to work on a couple new parts for the page. Can't be long since I have to get ready for a big dance competition in Albuquerque next week, but at least it is a start! Good luck to all trying to learn and feel free to e-mail me with any questions!

-Ray Bowers, September 19, 1999


List of the sections I have finished or at least started putting text in for. As you can tell, this is still a work in progress...

Balls to use
Section 1 - How to hold/control the ball.

Outline of overview and general information sections which I will be working on:

  • Introduction & Purpose
  • What is Contact Juggling/Dynamic Balancing?
  • Scope of this tutorial
  • Balls to use?
    weight, size, texture, material, types
    dangers of acrylic (my poor glass coffee table, burned things, hurt foot, etc)
    care and cleaning, costs, where to get balls
  • motivational speech
    time it takes to learn
    why it is longer than 3 balls
    why anyone should be able to do it
    all it takes is practice and determination, you do not have to be born with it
  • Other Resources?
    this page and the video
    my workshops at conventions or anywhere (I would not turn down a chance to teach a workshop or two at Microsoft or Netscape if they flew me out some week...),
    The Book "Contact Juggling", http://www.cheapass.com/contact.html
    Vendors, JIS, IJA, etc...
  • How to practice!
  • Conclusion - contacting me, goals, future, thanks . . .

Outline of main sections which I will be working on:

  • Section 1 - How to hold/control the ball.
  • Basic motion
  • Most Common Mistakes
  • Extended movements
  • Practice the basics!!!
  • Hand to hand transfers
  • Simple Circle
  • Regular Circle
  • Large Circle
  • transfers from hand to hand (palm to palm, back to back, basics, side to side, circle,
  • tricks galore, described step by step - this will be the largest section
  • rolls - arm, both arms, shoulder, body, why bigger balls are easier, practice strategies
  • holds - various on hand, arms, head, etc
  • using more than one ball - with and without transfers
  • style notes - slow, graceful, elegant like me, or not. make your own style suiting your needs, no one style is right

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Contact Juggling - An Online Tutorial / Bowers.com / ray@bowers.com / September 19, 1999