Juggling as a Career: Professional Jugglers and Circus Performers

Juggling as a Career: Professional Jugglers and Circus Performers

Are you fascinated by the art of juggling and dream of making it your career? In this article, we will explore the world of professional jugglers and circus performers, shedding light on the skills, training, and opportunities available in this exciting and unique field. Whether you’re a seasoned juggler looking to take your talent to the next level or someone considering a career change, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and resources to help you succeed in the world of juggling.

The History of Juggling as a Performance Art

Origins of Juggling

Juggling has a long and varied history, with its origins dating back thousands of years. The earliest known depictions of juggling can be traced back to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Greek pottery from around 2000 BC. In these early cultures, juggling was often associated with religious rituals and ceremonies, with performers using objects such as balls, clubs, and knives to entertain and mesmerize audiences.

Evolution of Juggling in Circus Performances

Juggling continued to evolve over the centuries, becoming a popular form of entertainment in medieval Europe. During the Renaissance period, juggling began to be incorporated into circus performances, with jugglers showcasing their skills alongside acrobats, clowns, and other circus acts. The modern circus as we know it today emerged in the 18th century, with jugglers becoming a staple of circus shows around the world.

Famous Jugglers Throughout History

Throughout history, there have been many famous jugglers who have captivated audiences with their incredible skills and performances. One of the most well-known jugglers of all time is Enrico Rastelli, an Italian juggler who gained fame in the early 20th century for his unmatched dexterity and precision. Other famous jugglers include Anthony Gatto, who holds multiple world records for juggling, and Francis Brunn, a German juggler known for his innovative and daring routines.

Overall, juggling has a rich and storied history as a performance art, with its origins dating back thousands of years and its evolution continuing to this day in circus performances around the world. Famous jugglers throughout history have helped to elevate juggling to a respected and admired form of entertainment, showcasing the incredible skill and talent required to master this ancient art.

Skills and Techniques Required for Professional Jugglers

Professional juggling is not just a fun hobby but a challenging and rewarding career. To succeed as a professional juggler, individuals must possess a unique set of skills and techniques. Here are some of the key requirements for those aspiring to make a living as a juggler:

Hand-Eye Coordination

One of the most essential skills for a professional juggler is hand-eye coordination. Juggling involves keeping multiple objects in the air simultaneously, requiring precise timing and control. Developing strong hand-eye coordination through regular practice is crucial for mastering complex juggling routines and tricks.

Different Types of Juggling Props

Professional jugglers often use a variety of props in their performances, each requiring different techniques and skills. Common juggling props include balls, clubs, rings, and even unconventional items like knives or flaming torches. Aspiring professional jugglers must become proficient in handling different types of props to create diverse and engaging performances.

Training and Practice Regimen

Becoming a professional juggler requires dedication and hard work. Jugglers must commit to a rigorous training and practice regimen to improve their skills and develop new routines. Many professional jugglers spend hours each day honing their craft, practicing new tricks, and perfecting their performances. Consistent practice is key to mastering the skills and techniques necessary for a successful career in juggling.

By mastering hand-eye coordination, becoming proficient with various juggling props, and maintaining a disciplined practice routine, aspiring jugglers can work towards building a successful career in the world of professional juggling and circus performance.

Career Paths for Professional Jugglers

When it comes to pursuing a career as a professional juggler, there are several different paths that individuals can take to showcase their skills and entertain audiences. Whether it’s joining circus troupes, street performing at festivals, or teaching juggling classes, there are various avenues for juggling enthusiasts to turn their passion into a rewarding career.

Joining Circus Troupes

One of the most traditional career paths for professional jugglers is to join circus troupes. Circus companies like Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus often feature juggling acts as part of their performances. By auditioning and securing a spot within a circus troupe, jugglers have the opportunity to showcase their talents on a larger stage and reach a wider audience.

Street Performing and Festivals

For those who prefer a more independent route, street performing at festivals and events can also be a lucrative career path for professional jugglers. Street performers have the freedom to choose their own locations and schedule, allowing them to connect with audiences in a more intimate setting. Festivals and events provide a platform for jugglers to attract crowds and showcase their skills while earning tips and gaining exposure.

Teaching Juggling Classes

Another career path for professional jugglers is to share their expertise by teaching juggling classes. Whether it’s at local community centers, schools, or online platforms, juggling instructors can pass on their knowledge and skills to aspiring jugglers of all ages. Teaching juggling classes not only allows professionals to give back to the juggling community but also provides a steady income stream and the opportunity to inspire the next generation of jugglers.

By exploring these different career paths, professional jugglers can find a fulfilling and sustainable way to pursue their passion for juggling while making a living doing what they love.

Challenges and Rewards of a Juggling Career

Physical Demands and Risks

Juggling as a career requires a high level of physical dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Professional jugglers often spend hours practicing and perfecting their craft, which can lead to strain on the muscles and joints. Additionally, the risk of injury is always present, especially when performing complex and dangerous juggling tricks. It is important for jugglers to maintain physical fitness and take necessary precautions to prevent injuries.

Income and Job Stability

While juggling can be a lucrative career for some, it is not always a stable source of income. Professional jugglers may struggle to find consistent gigs and may face competition from other performers. The income of a juggler can vary greatly depending on factors such as skill level, experience, and demand for their act. It is important for jugglers to diversify their income streams and build a strong network of contacts to ensure financial stability.

Community and Recognition

Despite the challenges, many jugglers find great satisfaction in their career due to the sense of community and recognition within the industry. Jugglers often form close bonds with other performers and share a passion for their craft. Additionally, professional jugglers have the opportunity to showcase their talent on a global stage and receive recognition for their skills. Being part of the juggling community can provide support, inspiration, and opportunities for collaboration.

Tips for Aspiring Jugglers to Start a Career

Becoming a professional juggler or circus performer is a dream for many individuals who have a passion for the art of juggling. Here are some tips for aspiring jugglers to kickstart their career:

Building a Diverse Skill Set

To stand out in the competitive world of juggling, it’s essential to develop a diverse skill set. Apart from mastering the basic juggling techniques, consider learning other circus skills such as acrobatics, clowning, or aerial arts. Having a wide range of skills will not only make you a versatile performer but also open up more opportunities for gigs and collaborations.

Networking within the Juggling Community

Networking is crucial for aspiring jugglers to connect with fellow performers, event organizers, and circus companies. Attend juggling conventions, workshops, and festivals to meet like-minded individuals and build relationships within the juggling community. Collaborating with other jugglers can lead to new performance opportunities and help you learn from experienced professionals.

Creating an Online Presence

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for promoting your juggling career. Create a professional website or portfolio showcasing your performances, videos, and upcoming events. Utilize social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to share your juggling routines, engage with fans, and attract potential clients. Building a strong online presence can help you reach a wider audience and increase your visibility in the juggling industry.

By following these tips and continuously honing your juggling skills, you can embark on a successful career as a professional juggler or circus performer. Good luck on your juggling journey!


In conclusion, the world of professional juggling and circus performing is a fascinating and dynamic field that offers a unique opportunity for individuals to showcase their talent and entertain audiences around the world. From mastering complex juggling routines to performing daring acrobatic feats, professional jugglers and circus performers truly exemplify the essence of skill, dedication, and showmanship. As the demand for quality entertainment continues to grow, the future looks bright for those who choose to pursue a career in juggling and circus performing. Whether you’re juggling fiery torches or flying through the air on a trapeze, the world of professional juggling and circus performing is sure to captivate and inspire audiences for generations to come.