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To learn Mills' Mess

Mills' Mess with 3 balls
5 balls Mills' Mess by Simon Horsot (Castres 2000) Splendid Mills' Mess with 5 balls by Simon Horsot
(Castres' Convention June 2000)

Invented by the juggler Steve Mills, Mills' Mess is one of the most visual tricks which is. The continuation without end of 3 balls which are rolled up around an imaginary wave, gets an unreal feeling for the witness unable to follow the movements of arms continuously. Indeed, the succession of crossed and uncrossed give to these 3 balls a great impression of weightlessness. The juggler who carries out it is him even astonished by the impression by lightness by the balls obeying his will completely.

We will see together the techniques which will allow you to carry out Mills' Mess. It is obvious that you must have perfectly the cascade 3 balls (you connect at least 50 consecutive throws) before trying it.

Stage 1    Stage 2    Stage 3   Stage 4

4 and 5 balls

Stage 1 : first of all let us try to understand the trick

The rate/rhythm of Mills' Mess is exactly the same one as that of the cascade (the siteswap is identical and notes 3); i.e. that one carries out successively a left throw then a right throw then a left throw etc.... In fact Mills' Mess is a distortion of the cascade where the crossing of the balls is replaced by the crossing of the arms, indeed the balls never cross but are followed indefinitely.

To note!
Some comments
The arms are successively crossed and uncrossed Observe well, each ball has its own position and is launched always in the same way.
The ball number 1 This ball n° 1 is launched towards interior with arm cross (the hand which launches above), one uncrosses quickly and one recovers this ball while recrossing; attention the hand which receives is above, lends thus to started again in opposite direction  etc... 
The ball number 2 Cross arms the ball n° 2 are in the hand of the lower part and are launched at the time when the arms are uncrossed, it is then recovered by the other hand as soon as one recrosses (hand below) ready to set out again with opposite  the etc...
The ball number 3 The third ball is a little particular, it is launched cross arm but by the hand of the lower part ( contrary to ball 1) and more vertically and is recovered arms uncrossed by the other hand which then will be found below at the time of the crossing following  etc...
You can try each one of these 3 throws separately, the least obvious to understand is the n° 2. I propose to you to pass then at stage 2. This first stage being made for understanding well that each of the 3 balls has its place in the trick. What makes the difficulty of this trick, it is that contrary to the cascade there are 3 throws and 3 different catches, stage 2 proposes you some useful training to control to make a success of Mills' Mess.
Stage 2 : some useful tricks

If you have these 3 tricks perfectly, you will have well more facility to carry out Mills' Mess.

Some comments
 "Under the arm" " The ball blue is launched under the opposite arm (just like the ball n° 3 of stage 1)
Reverse Cascade Here all the balls are launched outside towards the interior; in Mills' Mess the balls make also outside.
Reverse Cascade with cross arms As previously but with the cross arms. It is this trick which approaches more of Mills' Mess

Stage 3 : test with 2 balls...

A valid receipt some is the trick " if with 3 balls it is too hard, I test with 2 ". Tries to juggle with the balls 1 and 2 presented to the étape1. Lapses of memory not that for Mills' Mess, the arms more often cross than are uncrossed.

To note!
Some comments
Ball 1 (blue) precedes ball 2 (green) Animation being theoretical, you can notice that the arm which launches the blue ball crosses the arm of the green ball literally; in fact it must come into contact with the opposite arm and this until the blue departure of the ball

Stage 4 : add the red ball...

It remains you to add the 3rd ball, I do not have too many consultings to give you to this level; on the other hand if you has stage 3 perfectly as well as the cascade reversed with the cross arms of stage 2, you should not have too problems.

To note!
Some comments
[ cross ] D G D [ cross ] G D G [ cross ] D G D [ cross ] G D G  etc ...
such is the tempo...
To start the trick, 2 balls (red and green) in the right hand, cross arms (arm right below), red lance vertically it under the left arm and connect with the left hand (blue ball) then uncross and launch (green ball) with the right hand.
With an effect of vagueness Try not to remain static in order to walk your trick of right-hand side on the left, if you can moves the top of the body, you will give even more effect to your Mills' Mess.

4 and 5 balls: let us add difficulty...

Mills' Mess 4 balls and 5 balls are complex tricks which apply the same principle as with 3 balls. There, no miraculous formula, only hard working. A good asset is to make a success of without problem the reversed fountain 4 balls and the reversed cascade with 5. In theory Mills' Mess can be made with any number of balls but I think that 5 is the limit for us human people (but not for a data-processing automat). As much to 3, one can carry out the trick while remaining fixed, to 4 and to 5 one is obliged to balance itself of right-hand side in order to " return on the left " in the trick.

Mills' Mess 4  seen in slow motion
Some comments
With 4 balls We can notice that all the balls go down about the middle from the trick (just like the fountain reversed) and that 3 balls (alternatively of right-hand side on the left) go up.
With 5 balls Same remark for 4, but it is even more visible here with 5 balls.
With 9...
to dream...
We notice well here the continuous flood of the balls which go down in the center as well as the 3 balls rising from right-hand side then from left side.(this property is independent of the number of balls). When the number of balls is a multiple of 3, the trick is easier to follow, for the balls do not shift compared to their position in the trick.

(animations made with the excellent software JuggleAnim de Jack Boyce)

JugleAnim is a software (based on applets java) of generation and animation of tricks of juggling, written by  Jack Boyce which is a researcher in physics of the university of Berkeley, impassioned juggling.

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