A Basic Guide to Plate Spinning

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If you can beat an egg you can spin a plate. Spinning Plates are available in our Juggling section.

Position

With your dominant hand, hold the wand at the non-tip end.  You may find it helpful to better control the wand by extending your index finger up the shaft of the wand.  Your hand should be about chest high with your wand pointing upwards near vertical.  Let the plate hang on the wand tip inside the rim on the underside of the plate.  Focus your sight on the plate hanging on the tip of the wand.

Additional hint

You may find it comfortable to rest the base of the wand in the palm of your hand while extending your index finger up the shaft of the wand.

Action

Rotate your wrist clockwise or counter clockwise, in the direction that feels most comfortable to you.  As you rotate your wrist the plate will move from a near vertical plane to a horizontal plane.  Until you get the feel and learn control the plate will likely fall off a lot.  Remember the action is all wrist motion. Try to emulate beating an egg except that you are doing it in a vertical position.  Once you have the plate spinning fast stop rotating your wrist and freeze the wand in an upright position.  The wand tip will naturally move to the center of the plate and the plate will continue to spin.

Additional hints

Your wrist must move in a loose, fluid and quick motion - not tight like a cranking motion.  Your wrist motion must be circular so that you are spinning the plate and not back and forth as if you are chasing the plate.  By extending your index finger up the shaft of the wand you will greatly improve your ability to develop the necessary circular motion.  If your plate immediately starts to fall off as you start your motion try holding your wand at about a ten degree angle.  This will only allow the tip of the wand to come in contact with the rim of the plate.

Rewards

Once you get the knack and feel of spinning a plate you will never forget it and you can only improve and get creative.  After getting the plate spinning try balancing your wand on your finger tip and move your hand side to side as the spinning plate stays stationary.  Try balancing the wand on your chin as the plate spins.  Try tossing up the spinning plate and catching it on the tip as it comes down.  Hand a dull pencil to a child and transfer your spinning plate to their pencil, instruct them to move their other hand over the spinning plate, then move the pencil from one hand to another and finally hold the spinning plate high up in the air while standing on one leg.  As the child is in this position, lead the crowd in a big applause for your new assistant.

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