Boston Mess

In this pattern the balls rise up & down in columns while the arms cross & uncross underneath to the same rhythm as Mills Mess. If you have not already learnt Columns you may wish to do so to get used to making vertical throws.

Before writing each tutorial I juggle the pattern for twenty minutes or so to get the feel of it & think about the best way to explain it. In Boston Mess the balls are thrown up in three separate columns one after the other, I've always performed the trick with the throwing sequence left, middle, right without giving it any thought. So I thought I'd try right, middle, left as well, which feels really awkward at first but is interesting to learn. In this tutorial I will describe the left, middle, right version but I do recommend that you learn it both ways.

For this pattern all throws are made straight up in the air, while learning it is best to make all throws peak at just above head height. With practise you can reduce the pattern to below shoulder height. Also just as you do when juggling a cascade, wait until the previous ball has peaked before throwing the next one. The pattern is much more manageable if you keep a nice even rhythm, throw, peak, throw, peak, throw, peak...

One last thing to think about before you have a go is what your hands are doing. There are several stages in this pattern & by following this tutorial you will learn the trick a stage at a time. Each stage is made up of a throw in one of the three columns then a catch of a ball in another column. Each stage is performed by one hand only & the hands take turns to do so.

Start with all three balls, hold two in the right hand & one in the left. Cross your arms right over left so that the top hand is holding two balls & the bottom hand is holding one. Imagine three columns in front of you, one on the left, one in the middle & one on the right. Now work your way down the following list of instructions in order. Start by just practising the first two stages & then move up to the first three & so on until you get to the end of the sequence. Then when you do so jump back to the top of the list without breaking the pattern. You'll soon memorise the sequence & won't need to refer to the list.

When you can get the full pattern to run you will be able to watch one hand moving along the line of balls catching & throwing one after the other before snapping back to the start again like an old typewriter, first on top then underneath the other arm.

Should you wish to learn the right, middle, left version here's the mirror version of the list.