Juggling is one of the most ancient art forms known to man, the earliest record of it goes back to the 17th Century BCE. Drawings on the wall in the 15th Beni Hasan tomb in Ancient Egypt showed people throwing numerous balls up in the air at the same time in a remarkably similar way to juggling as it is today.
As me moved in to modern times juggling had more of a chequered history, it was popular when the Roman Empire was in existence but as it began to decline and we moved in to the Middle Ages juggling was even seen as a form of witchcraft by some religious clerics. Jugglers were known as ‘gleemen’ at the time and later became Jesters when kings used to hire them to entertain. Their skills back then were mainly vocal, they were more like stand up comedians/poets who occasionally juggled.
We now find ourselves in the 21st Century where the art of juggling has dipped quite substantially. Nowadays our primary forms of entertainment revolve around music, movies and sport but there are still many circus’ that travel around the world with incredibly spectacular performances. Perhaps the most infamous is the Cirque Du Soleil which visits only the biggest locations around the world from Las Vegas to Paris and London. Cirque Du Soleil was started in 1984 by two street performers who wanted to combine circus arts such as the trapeze and juggling with street entertainment, it is now seen as the pinnacle for people in the profession.
If you would like to get involved in juggling and try it out yourself there is no shortage of aids to help you. With the internet being as big as it is today you can quite easily visit 20 websites with ‘How To’ tutorials on or even watch some videos on YouTube, it makes learning so much easier and something you can do from your own bedroom. Your first stop for juggling equipment should be PassePasse, they stock a wide range of juggling items and aids to help you on your way.
When you become more confident and have mastered the basic skills consider joining a juggling club, there are a surprising amount of these around the UK and they are always happy to gain new members. It will enable you to learn off more experienced jugglers and master some new, more advanced techniques such as ‘contact juggling’ and ‘toss juggling’.