Appendix II - Balancing

Balancing and juggling are two separate skills which are often seen together, and people who are good at one also tend to be good at the other.

The golden rule of balance is this: long objects are easier than short ones. When you are just starting to learn use something long, thin, and light. Since a long pole placed on its end takes longer to hit the floor than a short one, you have more time available to correct it. As your skill develops use progressively smaller objects, some people are able to balance teaspoons or pint glasses.

There is really only one more useful piece of advice to give about learning to balance, and that is to watch the highest point on the object - that is the part which moves the most, and so you will notice when and where it starts to fall a lot sooner than if you look at the middle or bottom.

The easiest place to balance an object is in the palm of your hand, or on a finger. If you can do this already then try some 'club on a club' balance tricks. A head balance is more spectacular but also more difficult. Try placing the object on your chin, your nose and also your forehead, see which you find to be most comfortable position. There is no secret 'trick' to balancing, it just needs lots of practice!