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A Juggling Primer

by Raphael Lasar

Juggling is commonly defined as keeping two or more objects in the air by tossing them. Jugglers, however, know that this is a very limited idea of the vast possibilities available to those who pursue juggling as a passion. Juggling includes:

  • Toss juggling - throwing one or more object such as balls, clubs, or rings
  • Contact juggling - rolling one or more objects in a controlled manner along the body
  • Hat juggling/manipulation - rolling, tossing and flipping one or more hats along the body or juggling them
  • As well as diablo, devil sticks, antipodism, and more

More to the point here, though, is the combination of unicycling and juggling. Together these activities offer an array of choices almost as vast as each on its own. Almost all of the juggling styles listed above can be done while unicycling.

A typical street act includes a performer riding a unicycle or, preferably, a giraffe (tall) unicycle while juggling clubs or even torches. Perhaps one performer juggles while riding on the shoulders of the unicyclist.

Exceptional professional performers who have included the combination of unicycling and juggling include Francis Brunn and Ernest Montego. Both of these astounding masters included multiple balances, ring spins, and juggling feats while idling (riding in place) one footed. Rudi Horn, a German performer, would idle one footed on a giraffe while tossing 10 cups and saucers to a balance on his head.

It is quite possible, however, for an amateur unicyclist and juggler to learn to ride or idle and juggle at the same time. An ideal unicycle for this is a light weight, therefore manueverable, 20-inch unicycle. Most freestyle unicycles are suitable. Read the section on freestyle unicycles if juggling in combination with unicycling is of interest to you.


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