Message from the Chairman, December, 2014

The end of the year is upon us.

I often like to take the holiday season as an opportunity to look back on the year and reflect on what I’ve learned, things I’ve experienced, and what I am anticipating for next year. It’s fun to apply this concept to different categories of interest in your life. With juggling, I like to take a look back and reminisce about the festivals I attended this year, make a note of new tricks I learned during the year, who I learned them from, performances I witnessed that inspired me, and if there are any goals I want to accomplish with my juggling in the coming year.

In terms of what went on with the IJA this year, and what is on the horizon for next year, there is no shortage of activities going on. Here is a quick year in review of the IJA for 2014, and what we can look forward to for next year.

This year, our annual festival was held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, and saw about 438 jugglers in attendance. Next year, we step away from college campuses and go outside the United States altogether as our 2015 festival will be held at The Québec Circus School in Québec City, Canada. The final registration details are being worked out now, and we plan on opening up registration by April 1st.

In the realm of video, we saw the addition of several great videos to our members-only video library featuring the likes of Tony Pezzo, Wes Peden, and Alan Jacobs. Our annual Video Tutorial Contest transpired once again and saw 22 entries from six different countries. Tricks of the month videos went through the roof this year both in terms of number of videos and the number of views our submissions received. We are working on our 2015 Tricks of the Month video lineup now, and trust me, there is a lot of great video content coming your way next year!

Our Youth Education Program (YEP), was rebranded this year into the more logical name of the Youth Juggling Academy (YJA). The program also introduced a merit badge system to reward students and to denote their specific accomplishments. Under the guidance of one half of this year’s Teams Championships winners, Ellen Winters, the program is slated to introduce new approaches and expand further next year to better bring quality juggling instruction to youth all around the world.

This year also marks the time when the wheels were put into motion for a complete website overhaul. We have already begun working on implementing our new system behind the scenes, and in early 2015 we will have a much more modern and user friendly website! Throughout the year, we plan to bring further improvements to the site and implement more new features.

I am really excited to see what 2015 holds for juggling as this year comes to a close. Wherever you are in the world, have a safe and fun holiday season.

Happy Holidays,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

Nathan Wakefield

Nathan is a juggler from Southeast Michigan. He first learned to juggle in college, and has written for the website Streetjuggling.com. Currently, he is The Chairman of the International Jugglers' Association. When he is not frantically trying to learn new manipulation skills, he enjoys producing music, acting, and watching horror films.

Leave a Reply