I learned four balls relatively easily after juggling three balls for a few years. I juggled two in one hand. I juggled two in the other hand. Then I juggled two in each hand simultaneously. It was chaotic and messy, but pretty early on I could see how it was possible. It took a long time to get it under control, and it’s only recently that I’ve gotten comfortable enough with four balls that I would juggle 4 in a performance.
Five balls, on the other hand, requires a level of control and precision that I haven’t yet grasped. I practiced pretty intensely over the summer and at my best I was probably hitting about 40 tosses in a run on a consistent basis.
I like what Juggling for the Complete Klutz says about numbers juggling — “It’s a special case, with mental health implications.”
It also makes a comment about desire and satisfaction: “You should recognize that four is not what your friends really want. What they really want is one more than whatever you can do.”
Klutz also offers the difficulty of learning each number on a scale of 1 to 10.
It says learning three objects is a 2. Four objects is a 5. Five balls is 34. Enough said.
But the kind jugglers over at The Magic Cafe offer some encouragement: “Once you’ve cracked five balls, you’ve got it for life.”