When I walked into the gym at the IJA Festival this past July, my twin brother ran up to me and immediately said, “You’ve got to come see the stuff that this teenaged girl is doing. She’s amazing!” He was referring to Delaney Bayles. While I didn’t get a chance to see Delaney juggle very much during the week due to my myriad of responsibilities during the fest, I made a mental note to find out more about this 15 year old juggling phenom. I contacted her and she agreed to answer some questions and share a bit about herself.
eJuggle: Would you please tell our readers a bit about yourself apart from your juggling?
Delaney Bayles: I am 15 years old. I have two older sisters who are 18 and 27 years old. I like to snowboard, draw, and fly remote controlled airplanes. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. My dad is a software engineer and my mom works with refugee kids in high school. I attend the Wasatch Front Juggling Club.
eJuggle: When and how did you get started juggling?
DB: I started to juggle two years ago when I was 13. My uncle was teaching my sister how to juggle three balls and I wanted to learn. I asked him and he taught me. The funny thing is about two years before that I remember I picked up two juggling balls in my room and tried to juggle them with no success.
eJuggle: Did you have any jugglers that inspired you?
DB: Christopher Haaser originally inspired me to do the 5 ball 5 up 360. If it was not for him I would not do 360s and 180s nearly as much. Taylor Glenn was the first juggler I ever talked to and learned tricks from. Thomas Dietz is a great juggler and meeting him at the IJA Festival was really cool. Getting help on tricks from him was amazing this summer.
eJuggle: What jugglers do you look up to the most now and why?
DB: Doug Sayers has been my favorite juggler from the first time I watched him on YouTube. He has perfect patterns, such as 5 ball and 5 club backcrosses, and crazy side swap patterns.
eJuggle: You’ve learned a ton in a very short amount of time. What is your practice schedule like? Do you have a certain system you use to learn new tricks?
DB: I practice anywhere from 1 to 3 hours on school days and 5-7 hours in the summers or on weekdays. To get bigger tricks I just try and break it down into small pieces and master them before moving on. The thing that has really gotten me to my level is just the fact that I really love to juggle.
eJuggle: What would you say are your best tricks and juggling accomplishments so far?
DB: My best tricks are 5 ball 5 up 360 into backcrosses, 5 club 5 up 360, 7 ball 5 up 360, 5 ring pancakes, 5 ball 5up 720, 4 club backcrosses, a 5 ball 5 up 2 stage 540 (original move, I think) and 125 catches of 7 balls.
eJuggle: What performance opportunities have you had so far?
DB: I’ve done a few private parties, one business party, and some busking at the local farmers market. I juggled in a play and I have done some volunteering for retirement homes and hospitals.
eJuggle: What are your short term and long term juggling goals?
DB: My short term goals are 5 ring overheads and a one high 3 low 4 up 360 with 4 clubs. My long term goals are 5 club backcrosses and 7 ball 7 up 360, as well as more performing and competing in some juggling competitions.
eJuggle: How important has the IJA and its festivals been to you?
DB: I really like going to the IJA Festivals because I get to meet new people that like to juggle just like me. I also get to help others with their juggling and get to see the best jugglers in the world. The IJA has great workshops and events that are really fun to go to. They have inspired me to be a better juggler and performer.
eJuggle: You were the 2012 Flamingo Award winner, given each year at the IJA Festival to a very promising young female juggler. What advice would you give to young women who want to become great jugglers?
DB: Practice a lot and find what you are really good at. Then expand on that and experiment with new things. Most of all have fun while you are doing it!