Toss Juggling While Jumping Rope

Many jugglers jump a rope while bouncing a ball on their head. This has been a standard trick for a long time. Probably the best juggler at this skill at the present time is Paul Ponce, who includes variations such as shoulder bounces and cross armed rope work. You can see examples of these near the beginning of the following video.

There are two quite famous juggling tricks that feature a juggler doing toss juggling while jumping a rope spun by one or two assistants. Let’s take a look at these amazing tricks, followed by some newer tricks that allow toss juggling to be done without the need of an assistant.

Enrico Rastelli’s Trick

Enrico Rastelli performed many amazing tricks and routines, but certainly one of his most impressive ones involved him juggling 6 plates while spinning a hoop on his ankle and jumping a rope spun by his wife Henrietta and his assistant, Umberto Schichtolz. Fortunately, we have two films of this incredible feat, which you can see in the video below at 1:23 and at 5:54.

At least five other jugglers have done amazing variations on that trick.  All five have replaced the six plates with the slightly easier six rings, but have made other changes to increase the difficultly. Italo Medini, whom you can read about by clicking here,  performed the six rings with one on his ankle with the jump rope, but instead of having the rope go over the top of the entire pattern, the rope went under the top four rings following each pair of throws.  You can view this variation at:

This same version, with the rope going under the top four rings, was also performed by Edoardo Raspini, whom you can read about by clicking here.

Edoardo Raspini

Another variation on this already incredible trick was done by Angelo Picinelli, Sergio Chiesa, and Alberto Sforzi. In this version, the rope is again jumped while six rings are juggled and another is spun on the ankle. The addition of a ball balanced on a head pedestal makes this version quite impressive. You can see pictures of Angelo Piccinelli  and Sergio Chiesa doing the trick below and video of it performed by Alberto Sforzi below those.

Angelo Piccinelli

Sergio Chiesa

Watch Alberto Sforzi performing the jump rope trick at the 4:03 mark.


Franics Brunn’s Trick

Another famous jump roping juggling trick was performed by Francis Brunn. He learned to juggle three medium-sized balls while catching a large ball on the top of his foot, alternating the foot that caught the large ball each time. Juggler and prop maker Claude Crumley was watching Brunn practice one day in the early 1950s. He noticed that there was just enough time between foot tosses and catches that it would be possible to jump rope while doing this already very difficult trick, and so he told Francis about his observation. Years later Crumley saw Brunn perform the trick while jumping rope, with one end turned by his assistant while the other end was attached to his prop stand. Crumley reminded Brunn that he had been the one to suggest the addition of the rope to Francis. Brunn responded by calling Crumley a derogatory name and complaining that the trick had taken him four years to learn. You can see Francis perform the trick without the rope by clicking here and with the rope by clicking here.


Peter Irish and Jorden Moir’s Footbag Trick

Well-known jugglers and footbaggers Peter Irish and Jorden Moir have brought a new toss-juggling jump rope trick to the juggling world with their ability to juggle two beanbags with one foot while jumping rope. You can see Peter do it at the 1:54 point of the following video.

You can see Jorden perform it at 4:48 in the video below.

This same trick has been done by Jarleko-Sebastian Ceballos, whom you can see below.


Bounce’s Trick

Bounce is the acrobatic juggling team consisting of married couple Svetlana Ivtchenko and Gennadiy Fedounov. They do many tricks in their act using a jump rope, including standing side by side with their inside hands juggling three balls while their outside hands turn the jump rope. You can briefly see the trick near the beginning of the following video and in the video below it.


Marco Bonisimo’s Trick

Based on an idea and suggestion by Olivier Caignart, Marco Bonisimo has learned to juggle three balls with his hands while also jumping a rope that he turns himself. The rope is tied around his wrists.


Rob Lewis’ Trick

Check out the original trick shown below, performed by Rob Lewis.

If you know of any more impressive examples of toss juggling while jumping rope, please let me know.

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 16 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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