How did the Beat Freaks levitate the Magic Ball(America’s best dance crew)?

It was freakin’ awesome but…HOW??

43 Answers

  • Actually, it is in fact done with a “string”. It was done with a method known as “Don Wayne’s Floating Ball” (or “Okito’s Floating Ball”). It is certainly more complicated than just a ball hanging from a string, but for all intensive purposes that is the simplest explanation. Many explanation ideas I have found deal with a series of rings and setups that the thread is run through to avoid the “jerkiness” that one would expect from a “ball on a string”.This does not involve anti-gravity, magnets, or anything like that.

    As with almost all magic tricks worth anything, you will likely not find a video explanation of how this works on the internet for free, but you can purchases DVD’s that explain the method. For some basic understanding, you can guess at the details using the source I sited below (several magicians discussing options and “rigs”).

    In regards to the suggestion that the dancer moved her hands completely around the sphere, that is either a cleverly played illusion or it involves the rig from behind her head (possibly a line down her arm). A lot of the “magic” with this trick is with misdirection (paying more attention to other thins going on, like the dancing) and a well practiced routine that allowed the crew to work in a pattern that the assistant (up near the “flies” in this case) knew to follow. It has also been said that some setups are programmable (automated). Do not be naive and think that there is no string because Shane Sparks said there wasn’t, he is a paid entertainer who certainly would not want to reveal how the trick worked. That’s the thing about “magic”, there is ALWAYS a practical explanation if you are able to find it. You can believe that it is not on a string if you want, but nothing else can explain the control they have when the ball flies around the crew or up to the stage ceiling.

    Lastly, some have said this Braco’s Floating Ball, but from everything I have found, Braco’s trick was a hoax. See my second and third sources below for more info.

  • I have no F***ing way how they did it, all I can do is disprove theories. Magnets wouldn’t work because magnets lose attraction as the distance increases, so for magnets to be strong enough to have an affect when the ball is ten feet away from them (which would be impossible to control the ball) that would mean that the ball would stick to the magnets where ever they were (hands, hat) and not separate.

    I have watched it many times to see if I can see any strings and I can’t at all. I ruled out strings because the movements of the ball are so sharp and move in all different directions that strings wouldn’t be able to create such precise ball movements. There is a a chance if there were many multiple strings attached to the ball in different areas and they were coordinated by people operating the strings, that they might be able to generate the ball movements that transpired. However, I believe you would need many strings, which should be much easier to see and would make it tough for the dancers to avoid; they don’t look like they are watching out for strings around them.

    Static from the ball is an interesting theory. If you look at the girl holding the ball right before they start is looks like she is rubbing the ball on her clothes (it’s dark stage so i’m not sure) which would create a static charge to the ball. This could definitely account for some of the minor ball movements but would be tough to have static move the ball up and down.

    My standing theory is that the ball is being levitated by both a string on top of the ball (a very very thin) and static force. The string would move the ball up and down and the static could account for the side to side movements. Again the ball’s movements are so perfectly timed and these girls are obviously not magicians that I wouldn’t even bet money that my theory was right, but that’s all I’ve been able to hypothesize after many many times of watching the performance, which was really sick.

    Hope someone else can offer a better explanation because I wanna know.

  • For the people who said strings, you’re pretty close. Its not strings but fishing wire. Fishing wire is very thin and quite strong. Add to that the mirrored surface of the ball, then the fishing wire becomes almost invisible (unless you’re up really close) because the reflections mask the wire and thus the position of the ball. i.e. if the ball is spinning you won’t really notice because it has a mirrored surface. e.g. imagine the ball as a mirrored version of earth, and at the two poles there were invisible strings emanating out. No matter which direction the poles are pointing, the earth still looks the same from the sun’s perspective so the sun will never know if the poles are pointing towards it or away from it. I hope this is understandable, I know, my analogy kinda sucks but its the only one I could think of.

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    How did the Beat Freaks levitate the Magic Ball(America's best dance crew)?

    It was freakin' awesome but…HOW??

  • I love Yahoo! Answers…I have been trying to research that ball all day…can’t come up with anything.

    All I know is that Beat Freaks KILLED it last night. I also played their performance back several times.

    I’m going to find out how that ball works, if it’s the last thing I do. I would love to have one of my own.

  • It is 100% absolutely not string! There are people here saying that the girls never put their hands over the ball which is totally false. At the beginning if the routine, the first girl to hold the ball moves her hands ALL around the ball as it is floating. No way strings are involved! But I have replayed this tons of times and am completely stumped. I was also thinking static, but there is no way the ball could be controlled by static so precisely with that many girls around… HOW did this work!??

  • I have been looking into this and the only similar trick I have seen involves a soup ladle held under the armpit. Clearly, this is not what’s going on with the beat freaks, so I the only thing I can think of of is that there is some sort of magnetism going on. But even that doesn’t really explain how it works because even if they had magnets in their hands, it wouldn’t explain how they could move the ball around in a circle above their head while the one girl did flares. If someone could answer this, I would be very happy because this trick has really piqued my interest.

  • They used what is called like a Zombie Ball, In this ball it uses Kinetic Energy, Thats why they can put their hands all around it and it stays in place. To do the tricks that they were doing there is no way it was strings, it would take to long to train people to do the choreography of the ball in such a short time. Notice that when they do their performance when its a single person doing a trick with the ball none of their hands are pointing toward the ball, because that would throw off the ball.

  • Beat Freaks

  • It’s string manipulated by pulleys and such to the ceiling or sides. Shane gave it away and tried catching himself. The ball itself is extremely light to avoid pendulum action from such abrupt motion that it was going through in its performance. At first I thought it was some kind of motorized fan and some stage handler controlling it but the change in direction and precision it had couldn’t be done with a miniature helicopter with that shape and size. But instead its just a string connected to a pulley system like the cameras used in football games to get those aerial views. Youtube Don Wayne Ball.

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