The Beginning

Michael Moschen

Michael Moschen is credited as the inventor of contact juggling, though he uses the term dynamic manipulation to describe his juggling. In 1980 Moschen performed a routine entitled “Light.” At the end of this routine, he manipulates a single clear acrylic ball without ever obstructing the view of the ball. While using a single ball as a juggling prop was not an innovation, it was Moschen's manipulations of the ball that sparked a new form of juggling. In the routine, he rarely releases the ball into the air, as in traditional juggling. Instead, the ball maintains constant contact with his body, rolling and spinning across his hands and arms.

A clip of the beginning of this groundbreaking juggling routine can be seen at Moschen's official website. The video is on the "Press" page of the site, along with other videos showcasing Moschen's unique juggling style.

Another revolutionary part of this routine was his use of palmspinning, featured in the video as the introductory shot. In this quick shot, Moschen is performing a four-ball palmspinning move. In "Light," Moschen manipulated eight balls simultaneously without tossing one in the air.