Plate Spinning is a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning. Spinning plates are sometimes gimmicked, to help keep the plates on the poles.
Many Chinese acrobatic troupes feature plate spinning usually combined with contortion or acrobatic skills. These usually feature performers holding several plates in each hand spinning on sticks.
Western plate spinning performers usually present comedy acts and typically feature one performer with an assistant, spinning multiple plates on sticks held vertically in stands.
Other forms of plate manipulation include plate waltzing, where plates are spun on their edges on a table top and plate juggling where plates are manipulated and thrown by the performers. Some performers have combined several of these elements into restaurant or kitchen themed acts.
The unbroken world record for spinning multiple plates, verified as a Guinness World Record is held by David Spathaky, assisted by Debbie Woolley, who spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand on television in 1996. He had previously held and broken his own record four times since 1986.
It was one of the favorite routines of Signor Blitz.
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