Mills Mess

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images/mills3.gif Mill Mess is a gorgeous three ball Juggling Pattern, although it can be done with four or even five balls. It's actually just a cascade (or fountain) but with the hands moving around underneath it to create a oscillating, flowing motion unlike any other Juggling Trick. There has even been a notation developed specifically with the aim of being able to describe it clearly: see MM STD.

There are several tutorials on the web on learning Mills Mess and we're not going to add to them here. What follows instead is a careful description of the pattern without any attempt to offer instructions on learning it. To see the pattern in action download the Juggle Krazy package and load Mills3. You might also look at this analysis showing the normal cascade, Mills Mess and the reverse cascade side-by-side. images/mills3b.gif


Here's a frame-by-frame analysis.

Outline Instructions

Start with the arms crossed, right over left, with two balls in the right hand.

  1. Toss one ball from the right hand on the left side of Juggle Space so it will come down in the middle and as you do so, uncross your arms.
  2. Toss the ball from your left and on the left side of Juggle Space so it will come down in the middle, and as you do so cross your arms left over right.
  3. Toss the ball from the right hand on the left side of Juggle Space so it will come down in the middle and as you do so, move your arms so your left hand is on the right side of Juggle Space.
  4. Repeat, exchanging left and right.

If you followed these directions faithfully you'll have done three consecutive throws on the left side starting with the right hand, and each ball will have come down in the middle. Repeating this on the other side means you'll have the three balls snaking around, rising on one side to descend in the middle, and then rising again on the other side. The track the balls follow is that of the Reverse Cascade, but they are closely bunched rather than evenly spaced.

More help

In case you want a tutorial on how to learn then here are some sites to try:

The pattern itself also comes with the Juggle Krazy package, both full and ShareWare, but the full version includes a complete step-by-step tutorial.



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