Juggling Facts

Juggling is a skill which throwing objects for enjoyment or sport. The juggler throws objects up to catch and throw up again. Jugglers often call the objects they juggle as props. The most common props are balls or beanbags, rings, clubs, and special bounce balls. See the fact file below for more information about juggling.
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  • Juggling has been around for at least 4,000 years. The first recorded evidence of juggling has been seen in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics in the Beni Hassan tomb. Evidence of juggling has also been seen in other cultures throughout the world, including the Ancient Chinese, Ancient Greeks, Aztec Indians and Native American Indians.
  • During the Middle Ages, jugglers were looked down upon by the church, so they would only perform in marketplaces, streets, fairs, or drinking houses.
  • Eventually, Kings began to find men who could entertain, and they became known as “jesters”, or “court jesters”. Many jesters used juggling to entertain their audiences.
  • In 1768, Philip Astley opened the first modern circus. A few years later he employed jugglers to perform acts along with the clown and animal acts. Since then, jugglers have been associated with circuses.
  • The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling, in which objects are thrown into the air, caught and thrown again. Jugglers often refer to the objects they juggle as props. The most common props are balls or beanbags, clubs, and rings.
  • Today, Some performers use more dramatic objects such as torches, knives, and even chainsaws.
  • Juggling can have many benefits. It develops concentration, hand-eye coordination and patience. When heavier balls are used, juggling can help to improve upper body strength and agility.
  • When beginning to learn to juggle many people start with scarves, then move to bean bags and finally graduate to balls. Rings are the easiest to use when juggling a large number of items. In 2002, Albert Lucas set a world record by juggling 13 rings.
  • A normal juggling pattern is called a “cascade”.
  • In the early to mid-20th century, variety and vaudeville shows decreased in popularity due to competition from motion picture theatres, television and radio. Juggling suffered as a result. Today, juggling has become a sport and a hobby. There are many clubs and associations for people to join who have an interest in juggling.