How to Juggle 5 Balls
HOW TO JUGGLE THE 5 BALL CASCADE
Alright, you've learned how to juggle 4 balls, and now you're ready for the next step!
I've made a video tutorial showing how to learn the 5 ball cascade. You can check that out here! But if you prefer written instructions, continue reading...
(but seriously the video will probably be more helpful. watch it!)
I feel like it's obvious, but you should know how to juggle 4 ball really well before attempting 5 balls. I've heard some people say they want to skip 4 balls and go straight to 5 after learning 3.
DONT DO THAT.
Yes, 5 balls and 3 balls are similar patterns (they're both cascade patterns). And the 4 ball fountain can feel like an awkward weird in between. But the value of learning 4 balls is that it teaches you how to start throwing a lot of stuff in the air. Where you're throwing may be different than the cascade, but the feeling of keeping 4 balls in the air is a lot more similar to keeping 5 in the air than just juggling 3 is.
So learn 4 balls!
If you want to learn 4 balls, check out my tutorial on that here:
Equipment - JUGGLING BALLS!
If you haven't already, I highly recommend you get a set of juggling beanbags. Check out my affordable and durable set you can buy here! (Also available as individual beanbags):
(I recommend buying another small item from the website to take advantage of the free shipping over $20!)
Or if you prefer Amazon:
The 5 Ball Cascade
The basic 5 ball pattern is a cascade, just like with 3 balls. That means you're throwing the balls across your body to the other hand.
Break it Down
THE HEIGHT - 1 BALL:
The most important part of learning 5 balls is the HEIGHT. It's the number one problem beginners have when learning! They don't throw high enough!
To figure out how high your 5 ball cascade should go, I recommend holding your arm straight up, and just above your fingertips should be a good height to make your pattern.
Up until this point, you may not have ever held 3 balls in one hand, let alone throw them from that hand!
Here's a fancy gif to show you how to hold the three balls, and the order in which you should throw them!
3 BALL EXERCISES:
You've got the height down, and you know how to hold/throw them all. Now let's start exercising!
There are more exercises in the video tutorial, but here are the main ones I recommend.
They both have to do with DWELL TIME.
Dwell time is the amount of time the prop is in your hand before you throw it again.
Long Dwell Time:
The first exercise I recommend involves long dwell time. Throw the balls at that 5 ball height we determined earlier, but hold each ball as long as possible before throwing it again. Hold it as long as you can before you HAVE to throw it. This creates a long dwell time.
Short Dwell Time:
The next exercise I recommend utilizes short dwell time. Throw the balls at the 5 ball height, but this time, as soon as you catch the ball throw it back up again. You want to be holding the ball for as little time as possible! This creates short dwell time.
It is crucial that when you practice these two exercises, you make sure you're throwing the balls at the correct height and throwing them accurately! It won't do you any good if your pattern is too low or too high, or if you're throwing the balls all over the place. Throw them intentionally, and it will help your 5 ball cascade a lot!
4 BALL EXERCISE:
There are a lot of 4 ball siteswaps you can do to prep for 5 balls, but the one I find most useful is "552"
(for more in-depth information on siteswap, check out my friend's tutorial here: https://youtu.be/rWQXOHn3sw8)
"552" is a 4 ball siteswap where you're throwing crossing throws at 5 ball height, but you're throwing two throws from the same hand, then two throws from the other hand.
So it goes:
This pattern feels a lot like 5 balls! It's super useful, work on it!
Once you feel up to throwing all 5 balls, you can start by doing a very clean 5 ball flash.
That's where you throw all 5 balls up and catch them all.
And stop. Just the first 5 throws!
Work on these first 5 throws A LOT. Make them solid. Make sure they're all going the same height, and all going high enough!
If your first 5 throws aren't good, you can't expect the next 5 to be good. So really show them some attention!
After you get the first 5 throws solid, you can add a 6th throw. Then when that's solid, add a 7th throw, and so on. That's how you build up 5 balls efficiently!
The last thing I want to say is that juggling 5 balls is really hard. I know that's obvious, but it's worth explicitly stating.