By Kyle Petersen

The juggler throws the balls up and catches them flawlessly, executing the most difficult maneuvers with ease. The audience, however, is horrified. The culprit? Juggle face.

Justin Bieber keeps clubs aloft, but can't keep tongue in mouth.

Juggle face is the strange or goofy expression many jugglers wear on their face in moments of deep concentration. Juggle face effects thousands of jugglers worldwide. Symptoms include sticking out tongue, leaving mouth open, and contorting facial muscles. There is no known cure for juggle face, but treatment is available.

When I work with students, I tell them to be mindful of their facial expressions. “That was great,” I’ll tell them, “now do the exact same thing with your mouth closed, and remember to smile.”

According to Andrew “Slammin’ Andy” Peterson, juggle face is caused by “extreme concentration on a physical activity that requires small muscle coordination. People make stupid faces when trying to thread a needle too,” he explains.

In a recent appearance on Japanese television, teen heart throb Justin Bieber demonstrated his meager juggling skills to an adoring audience. But while his teeny bopper fans swooned over his ability to juggle three clubs for almost seven seconds, we were aghast at Justin’s horrible juggle face.

But there’s hope for Justin yet. Slammin’ Andy suggests putting the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth as a way of combating juggle face. My solution has been to always smile while I practice juggling, so a pleasant smile becomes my default juggle face.

Please share any photos, thoughts, or experiences you’ve had with juggle face, we’d love to include them in future blog posts.

  • Dube Juggling

    Has anyone ever had a fly/bee/insect go in their mouth? If not, then someone should work that into an act! lol.

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