Emma Phillips of Whangarei, New Zealand, is the only performer in the world that can juggle both umbrellas and tables with her feet!
After seeing a Cirque du Soleil show at 16 years old, she knew that was the world in which she belonged. Four years later, she began training at prestigious performance schools in China. She was discouraged from trying to juggle both tables and umbrellas, as they use opposing muscles and techniques. However, her hard work and perseverance paid off, and she now travels the world performing her one‑of‑a‑kind juggling act.
Impressed with her feats of balance, Ripley’s sat down with Emma to ask some questions about her act for our newest book, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! A Century of Strange!
Q: How heavy are the tables you juggle?
A: The table I juggle is 30 lb with metal reinforced edges that can really do some damage if you drop it!
Q: What’s harder to juggle—tables or umbrellas?
A: Juggling umbrellas takes the smallest adjustments of balance, so small that even when it looks like I’m holding it still you can see up close that there are still tiny adjustments happening to keep it balanced. Table juggling takes extreme focus, determination, and power. And a very high pain threshold! It took me months to adjust my balance with umbrellas after I began using the table.
Q: What else can you juggle with your feet?
A: I also studied carpet spinning contortion in China, so I would twist my body and balance, all while spinning a small carpet on my feet. It’s also fun sometimes to just play with random objects with my feet to test out my balance and challenge myself!
From conga-dancing dogs and bicycling ballerinas, to hair-raising feats of strength and death-defying motorcycle stunts, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! A Century of Strange! is sure to delight readers of all ages. With over 1,200 weird-but-true stories from around the world and 256 pages of wild and wonderful photography, this year’s collection of all things odd is not-to-be-missed.
Don’t miss out on being an ODDthority on everything strange, get your copy on Amazon today!