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Learn to Juggle the Basic Cascade

Yes, you can learn to juggle!  I've taught people of all ages how to juggle, and I can help you learn, too!  Just follow these five steps and you're on your way.  If you have trouble with one of the steps, try practicing the previous step a little longer.  Patience and persistence are the keys!  If you get stuck, send me an e-mail.

Note:  This page has five rather large GIF animations, so please be patient if you have a slow Internet connection.

Step 1

Just start with two balls -- one in each hand.  I'm using large balls so they're easier to see, but you'll want to start with something smaller like racquet balls or beanbags.  It helps to use two different colors like I'm showing here.

Practice tossing each ball straight up and catching it in the same hand until you get a consistent toss and catch -- about 200 tosses should do the trick.  Drop your hand as you catch the ball so it doesn't bounce out.

 Step 2

Now start tossing both balls before catching the first ball.  The rhythm should be toss-toss ... catch-catch ... toss-toss ... catch-catch ... and so on.  Alternate which hand tosses first so that you are as comfortable leading with your second-favorite hand as you are leading with your dominant hand.  Notice how I lead with the yellow ball, and then with the white ball.

 Step 3

Now that you've got the rhythm down, you're ready to toss the balls from one hand to the next using a J-shaped motion.  Practice tossing both balls the same height so each ball lands right into the other hand without reaching for it.  Use the same toss-toss ... catch-catch rhythm and alternate the lead hand.  Notice that I begin each set with the hand holding the white ball.

 Step 4

This is the final step before introducing the third ball.  Notice that the hand which makes the first toss in Step 3 sits idle while the other hand makes the second toss.  To get used to keeping that hand busy, touch something -- your ear, your cheek -- immediately after releasing the first ball.  In the illustration at right I touch my face just after I release the white ball.  This exercise gets you ready to catch the third ball with that hand.

Step 5

Now introduce the third ball.  Place two balls in one hand, and one in the other.  Start the juggle with the hand that has the extra ball.  Toss the next ball before the first one starts falling.  Start with three tosses, then start the juggle from the other hand.  Work your way up to 4, 5, 6 tosses and soon you'll be juggling!  Most beginners start juggling with high tosses.  After you've mastered 20 or so consecutive tosses, work on lowering your tosses and into a more fluid motion like I'm demonstrating here.