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Contact Juggling Lesson 1, Cradle, Wiper, Butterfly

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Published on Feb 8, 2010

Amazing Kenny teaches basic cradle, calibration, hand flip, and wiper/butterfly
This is the first move in contact juggling. It is the basis of body rolls and hand passes. The teaching procedure is inspired by "Ferret's first five steps," a contact juggling tutorial at Contactjuggling.org

Masterclass write-up, Key points and extra steps:

1. Create the Cradle by dropping the middle finger minimally.
2. Do not strain your wrist. Keep it horizontal with the ground, chest-waist height, a linear extension of your arm.
3. After Linear Calibration Training (side side up down), draw a circle slowly .Stop (parabolic-ly decelerating and accelerating) Reverse.
4. Repeat slightly faster, adjusting angle of hand for momentum of the sphere.
5. Draw a Nautilus (a spiral) on a vertical plane in front of you spiraling in. Next repeat, spiraling out.
6. Swift up and down motion, having sphere leave and return to cradle in the smallest possible distance.
7. Increase distance to one inch.
8. 1 inch toss vertically, to catch in the palm, then 1 inch toss vertically from palm to cradle. This is the "Hand Flip)
9. To begin the WIPER:
A. Hold sphere in three finger cradle level with chest, elbow bent, wrist straight.
B. Toss in an arch, throwing the ball from the back of the hand to the palm, in the position where the hand would be for a "low Five" not as if you've been uncomfortably defeated in arm wrestling.
C. (the "HARD" steps C-E) accelerate your arm/hand from the palm in the "low five" area through the path it will take to return to the chest position, allowing the sphere to leave the open palm.
D. As soon as the ball peaks 1 inch above your fingertips, move your hand in that split second to create a cradle (by dropping the middle finger, making a "nest" for the "egg") under the ball before it gains momentum.
E. Settle the ball in the cradle as your hand decelerates back to the position, horizontally in front of the chest. (please do not get into the habit of cradling at eye level with wrist bent, truncating the motion, you may style as such as a choice, LATER [As per Edward Norton in "The Illusionist"].
10. Try the same wiper, but when the sphere is airborne, straighten the fingers as an extension of the hand/arm and tuck the thumb against the side of the hand Karate Chop style. Point the fingers at the sphere at the apex, the highest point of the tiny toss, before creating the cradle and soft catching the sphere, lowering to the chest height cradle position with the forearm horizontal.
11. Repeat these steps, reducing the "toss" until the sphere never loses contact with the hand. You may roll the ball over the tip of the middle finger or transition through the "two-finger track" allowing the sphere to remain in contact with both pointer and middle fingers.
12. Repeat ALL STEPS in the other hand. Muscle memory must be learned on both sides independently. Cerebral understanding is necessary, but repetition and muscle memory must be trained. You are not your EGO.

There is a subtle distinction between the "wiper" and the "butterfly." The wiper makes an arch, returning on the same path in space that it traveled. Any "butterfly motion" draws a figure "8"
infinity symbol by carrying the sphere through two archs rather than 1.

"Do you know how you beat your heart? Do you know how you pump your blood? No...." -Alan Watts-

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