The butterfly is the basic contact juggling move. It requires one ball, preferably about 3". Be careful when selecting a ball for contact juggling; one that is too large or small will be needlessly difficult to control.

The move is one in which you move your hand in a figure eight motion while the ball rolls on the top of your hand.

Practice each of the steps until you are comfortable with them before advancing to the next step. Make sure that both hands are equally trained. The whole learning process, from start to finish, will probably take you two months, although you can move much faster if you practice frequently.

Warning: Do not practice near computers, windows, delicate china, &tc. (Especially not if you live in the 18th story of a New York City skyscraper. Not that I'm speaking from prior bad experiences...)

  • Put your arm in front your chest. Position your arm as if you were saluting, but a foot lower. Practice balancing the ball on the back of your hand. You can let your middle three fingers dip slightly, but not so much that you have little control.
  • Balance the ball on the back of your hand and then throwing it several inches into the air and catching it on the back of your hand. (Although you are probably very good at catching with your palm, the back of your hand has no such skill naturally.) You can follow the ball with your hand slightly below it, if that helps. Practice until you can throw the ball a good nine inches.
  • Balance the ball on the back of your hand. Throw the ball twice the distance to your elbow, in that direction. Make a windshield wiper motion with your arm and catch the ball on your palm, which is now facing up. Then throw the ball back, make the reverse windshield wiper motion back, and catch the ball on the back of your hand.
  • Follow the ball with your hand and try to reduce the distance between the thrown ball and your hand, until the distance that you are throwing it is effectively zero and the ball is actually rolling along your hand as you do the windshield wiper.
  • Smooth the windshield wiper motion so that your hand follows a figure eight motion.
There you have it!