275 posts
Location: ati: on: She: ffi: eld: UK:

Basicly, the idea is to jump while spinning the staff between or under your legs.

Easyish one: wall plane, spinning clockwise in your right hand, lift your right leg, the leading end of the staff goes under this leg... now lift your left leg, pass the staff to your left hand, and the trailing end of the staff comes out from under your left leg. After a bit of practice, it becomes lift left leg, throw staff under leg, jump to swap legs, catch staff, and looks quite cool.
Watch out if the staff contacts your legs while you jump over... it'll either get slammed into the floor, or speed up and fly off somewhere. pass the staff between your hands to start with.
You can also land facing the other way, with the staff behind you, which would be the perfect place to do one of those illusions that baton twirlers do, if you had the flexibility...

Harder one. Slowly first...
Wall plane, spinning anticlockwise. Lift and sweep your right leg towards the left. The leading end of the staff goes under here. Turn 180' anticlockwise during the sweep, and put your right leg down. You should be bent over holding the staff behind you between your legs. lift and sweep your left leg behind you to continue turning anti clockwise. The trainling end of the staff goes under this leg. Put your left leg down, and you should be facing the way you started, spinning anticlockwise in your right hand.
Done like this, it's a move in its self, and you can add extra spins when you are bent over, or do it continuously and travel sideways, and add in hand swaps... loads of stuff. Needs quite a lot of room to practice.
Done quicker:
Lift and sweep your right leg, leading end under, jump and sweep the other leg, trailing end goes under. About half the body spin is done in the air, half pivoting on the foot on the ground, and you end up in the same place as before. Always look down your arm, at the staff. You can see your legs, and the ground, you don't seem to get dizzy as much and you can see where everything has to go. Practice only turning 180' rather than 360' to start with, so the staff comes out behind you which looks cool anyway, it's a bonus move free with this one.
All the spin is in the air. Kick and sweep your right leg to generate the first part of the spin, then when you jump to change legs, whip your torso and shoulders round in the same direction as the staff is going to get more spin. Keep looking at the staff. Your left leg should come around and land nicely, pulling you back upright. Should work in both hands, forwards or backwards, just lead with the leg on the same side as the hand holding the staff, and keep watching the staff. Getting a mat to land on and learning to tumble really improves your confidence... although imminent concrete can make you learn quicker.

Demented frog BTL figure 8:
staff in right hand, spinning backwards. lift right leg, throw staff from right hand to left hand under this leg. jump to left leg, throw staff from left hand to right hand under this leg. repeat. Works forwards or backwards, extra spins on the outside are possible (depending on how long you staff is and how high you jump.) Can be done for ages, but you look a bit of a tit bouncing around like that. You can add 180' turns into the jumps as well, but you either need to hop or add in spins outside to make it work.


CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Another interesting move is to spin the staff behind you back and quickly change the rotation from wall plane to 50% horizontal.

Then grasp one end of the staff (not the burning bit though) and let it do a big loop as if it was going to hit the back of your heels.

Jump at this point and the crowd thinks you have jumped over it, especially if you lift one leg first and then the other as the staff 'passes' underneath you.

It's quite complex to explain but quite simple to execute...And the crowd really likes it!

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