"IJA Newsletter"              



April, 1973                                  Volume 25 No. 4

This Newsletter is the official publication of the International Jugglers Association. Editors, Ken and Carol Benge,  Hanover Park, Ill.




Several months ago one of our members wrote in asking about the balancing of objects on the head. I believe this is a portion of the juggling art that most jugglers overlook. Some jugglers do include a small balancing feat in their act, however, compared to the unlimited possibilities of objects that could be balanced, very few performers have taken advantage of this skill.

Two performers who I can immediately think of that have received world recognition due to their balancing abilities are Rogana and Marco Polo. Both are performing the sword and dagger balance with great success. .

Also, I understand that the Russian Circus School now requires it's juggling students to take up the balancing of objects on the forehead. I personally believe this may bring some new balancing routines into being.


Enough about the unlimited possibilities of object balancing on the forehead. How do you start? First you need to get a 4 to 5 foot house broom, making sure that the end away from the straw end is a non-sharp, rounded end. Now, I would suggest that you begin by learning to balance the broom upright in your right hand (left if you are left-handed). To do this, with your left hand, place the broom upright in the palm of your right hand. Now, let go with your left hand and keep the broom upright by moving your right hand under the object. Also, it is important that you watch the top of the stick, by watching the top of the stick, you will be able to notice the slightest movement of the stick and therefore will be able to adjust the movement of your hand. When you first begin practicing this, the stick will move quite a bit. Try and keep the stick upright as long as possible. The more you practice,

the longer you will be able to keep it upright. Also, as you become better and better at it, try and keep the top of the stick as still as possible.

Once you have control of balancing the broom in your hand you are ready to begin work on learning to balance the broom on your forehead or chin. With your right hand holding  the broom in an upright position, tilt your head back and place the broom on your chin or forehead. With your right hand make sure the broom is in a perfect upright position and then let go.

Now, just as you watched the top of the broom and moved your hand under it when you were balancing the broom in your hand, you now again watch the top and simply move your head under the broom. Work to keep the broom up in the air. At first it will move all over the place and your head will really have to move to keep it upright. However, as you become more and more skilled, work to keep the brooms movements less and less.

Once you become competent with the broom balancing, try balancing different kinds of objects such as I umbrellas, spinning plates on sticks, swords, balls on long sticks, trays of glasses on poles, tennis racquets, etc.

Return to Index

Next Page --->