IJA eNewsletter, February 2016

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost



  • Chair’s message
  • Open board position (Feb to July) – call for interest
  • Board nominations open
  • IJA Festival registration opens March 1, Early Bird prices end March 14
  • More special guests announced for the IJA fest
  • 2016 IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, July 25-31 – hotel information
  • Room and Ride Sharing
  • Out in Front
  • 2016 Groundhog winners
  • Amazon Smile program pays dividends
  • eJuggle ads
  • 2016 Championships: Big prize money, April 1 entry deadline — getting closer!
  • 2013 Fest DVD 2-Pack available from the new IJA Store
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals

Chair’s message,
by Nathan Wakefield

BAM! BOOM! POW! Do you hear that? That’s the sound of our 2016 Festival planning kicking into high gear! BASH!

Festival Director Jim Maxwell and company continue to work tirelessly on what will no doubt be a festival for the ages. Now, we are pleased to be able to make more and more news of the fruits of their labor public!

Just what kind of news you may ask? How about not only a return of, but a new and improved Gauntlet obstacle course? Oh yeah. Not to mention a special workshop by headlining act Emil Dahl! For those not immediately familiar with that name, perhaps you recall his viral performance video ‘Magnet Opus’ which made its way online a couple years ago (he will be performing this piece at IJA), or if you follow juggling records, you may remember him as being the first person in recorded history to flash nine clubs!

In addition to Emil Dahl, we have a whole list of special guests confirmed for the festival! Rather than me trying to mention them all here and failing miserably at doing them justice, just go to our Special Guests page and read all about them in detail. Trust me, go now!  Many special guests are also listed below.

As a reminder, the deadline for championship entities in April 1st, and Early Bird Registration opens up in just a few days on March 1st and then ends on March 14th.  Festival info, including registration starting March 1st, is available at:

Juggle on,
Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

Open board position (Feb to July) – call for interest, by Don Lewis


Board member Warren Hammond has resigned his seat before the end of his term.  The IJA bylaws allow the IJA Board to appoint a member in good standing to the Board to serve the remaining term, which ends in July 2016.  If you are interested in helping the Board for a few months, please contact Nathan Wakefield.  You could fill this temporary position and/or also be nominated for a regular Board position in the upcoming election.


Board nominations open, by Martin Frost


Want to help steer the IJA?  Got some good ideas for what the IJA should (or should not!) do?  Run for the IJA Board, or if you think you know someone who would be a good Board member, talk to them about running. 
The current volunteer directors on the IJA Board are working hard to keep the IJA alive and vibrant.  Each year the IJA needs new volunteers to join the Board and help decide the directions the IJA will go.  About half of the seven Board seats are up for election each summer for a two-year term.  You help out for two years and then you can relax and let someone else step up if you want to.  Or, you could offer to run again.  The best person to nominate may be staring at you in the mirror.  Serving on the Board can be very rewarding.  Submit a nomination to ijanominations@juggle.org by the May 15th deadline.  Email that same address if you have any questions about serving on the Board.  For more details, see: https://juggle.org/business/nominations.


There are lots of things happening to prove that the IJA is still relevant.  Help promote the IJA and build on a legacy of success.


2016 IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, July 25-31by Jim Maxwell, Festival Director

Early Bird registration is opening on March 1 and will only be open for two weeks. 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get the full week of epic shows and historic Championships prize money at an impressively low price.

For the best discounted Event Packages,
register by March 14 at:

Event Package purchase date
March 1-14Mar 15-Jun 30At the fest
Adult (age 18-64)$199$239$259
Youth/Senior (11-17, 65+)$139$189$219

All your favorite events are back: Stage Championships (with much bigger prize money!), XJuggling, Renegade, Numbers Championships, Joggling, Welcome Show and Cascade of Stars, plus the return of the Gauntlet.

We have special IJA rates at three top-tier hotels, all within an easy walk of the beautiful El Paso Convention Center.  See the hotel info below.


Emil Dahl will perform his ground-breaking Magnet Opus in the IJA Cascade of Stars gala, as well as offer a two-day special workshop.

More special guests have recently been confirmed to appear at the IJA fest:

Aleksandra Savina
Institute of Jugglology
Peter Irish
La Flaka
Amanda Crockett
Zak McAllister

Previously confirmed guests performing during the week are:

Emil Dahl
Team Rootberry
Kelsey Strauch

as well as these IJA Regional Competitions gold or silver medalists from Latin America:

Braulio Lopez
Jorge Vilchis
Gabriel Estrada
Fernanda Sumano

Among our emcees for shows and championships are:
Dan Holzman
Bekah Smith
The KamiKaze FireFlies
Scotty Meltzer & Katrine Spang-Hanssen


Aleksandra Savina
Cascade of Stars Performer
Amanda Crockett
Welcome Show and Cascade of Stars Performer


Institute of Jugglology
Cascade of Stars Performer
La Flaka
Welcome Show and Cascade of Stars Performer


Peter Irish
Cascade of Stars Performer
Zak McAllister
Welcome Show Performer
Team Rootberry
Welcome Show Performer


Emil Dahl of Sweden
Performs his ground-breaking Magnet Opus in the IJA Cascade of Stars Gala


The KamiKaze FireFlies
Cascade of Stars Emcees
Fernanda Sumano
2011 IRC Mexico Gold Medalist


Bekah Smith
Juniors Championships Emcee
Braulio Lopez
2015 IRC Mexico Gold Medalist
Dan Holzman
Welcome Show Emcee


Jorge Vilchis
2013 IRC Mexico Silver Medalist
Kelsey Strauch
Welcome Show Performer


Gabriel Estrada
2015 IRC Central America Gold Medalist
Scotty Meltzer & Katrine Spang-Hanssen
Individuals and Teams Championships Emcees


2016 IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, July 25-31- hotel information

Our three El Paso hotels are taking IJA room reservations for next summer at IJA rates.  Go to the IJA festival website, move your mouse over Festival and click on Lodging to see all the details.

See this hotel information grid for a summary of all three official IJA festival hotel options in downtown El Paso.

Camino Real Hotel El Paso – $89.00 + tax
DoubleTree El Paso Downtown – $95.00 + tax
Holiday Inn Express El Paso Central – $89.00 + tax

Room and Ride Sharingby Jim Maxwell 

If you’re going to the IJA festival and are interested in sharing room and/or transportation costs, but don’t yet have people to share with, we can help.  Just fill out this simple survey. Someone will be in touch: 

As we’ve provided in past years, we also have a Rideshares & Roomshares Forum on our website if you want to seek out people to share with there.  You need to be a logged-in IJA member to post in the forum.


Out in Front, by Don Lewis

Sometimes it just seems like I keep running into the same problem week after week in club passing patterns.  Recently it has been jugglers whose pattern is way out in front of them.  In a way, this is a totally normal reaction to a problem that beginners tend to subject themselves to.  They worry about getting hit in the face by their clubs, so they throw them way out in front in a narrow, high cascade.  Their shoulders are up around their ears, their arms are outstretched, and their neck is cranked back so they can see the their cascade off in the distance.  Well, you can juggle like that but it isn’t very comfortable.  You can even pass like that, as long as it is to just one person.  Once additional people get into the act, the airspace tends to get too crowded for success. Consider a simple triangle with inside throws.  You can’t throw to someone if the rest of their cascade is blocking their catching arm, at least not without forcing a collision.  Sure, you can work around that with lofty passes, but the problem is still there. This sort of problem frustrates many jugglers who want to move up to more complicated multi-person patterns but don’t understand what is going wrong.

So, how do you fix it?  Exaggerate the basics.  Your arm describes a circle when you are juggling three clubs.  A cascade throw is the lower part of the circle.  You catch at the outside (just outside and slightly in front of your hip), continue down and around bringing the club across in front of your body and releasing on the upswing.  The club moves in a horizontal plane.  There is literally nothing happening in front of your face.  You carry the club down and across your body and throw it up so that it eventually lands in the catching hand which is beside your hip and a few inches in front.  Your elbows remain at your waist. NO reaching out in front.  If you have to reach out, your throw is bad.  Throw the club so that it lands in your hand without your having to reach for it.  

Find a column or a tree.  Juggle in front of it.  Get close.  Get really close.  That forces you to throw to the side and up, not out.  Get within a foot of the tree.  Really!  When that feels comfortable and right, you are ready for more complicated passing patterns.

The other thing that is good is the three club chase, or three around.  I’ve belabored this one many times, but it really is a great exercise to bring someone up a level quickly.  What you are looking for is a clean self throw that is sufficiently wide.  Along with that you want a straight pass that isn’t blocked by the self throw.  Get that self – pass – catch rhythm smooth and automatic. When it works with three, add a fourth.  A lot of people find adding the fourth club incredibly difficult for some reason. They will block on throwing the fourth club.  Persevere!  It is just six club two-count with two clubs missing.  If four clubs just won’t work, go to six clubs and see how two-count feels.  It usually seems surprisingly easy after working on the three club chase.


2016 Groundhog winners, by Don Lewis 

The 2016 Atlanta Groundhog Juggling Festival has a unique competition format.  The general public is invited to watch the competition and the judges are selected from the audience.  Only non jugglers are eligible to be judges.  The prize categories vary somewhat from year to year.  This year they were Most Amazing, Most Inspiring, and Most Astronomical.  The prizes are groundhog statuettes named “Phil” after a famous groundhog.  The whimsical prize names belie the fact that the competition is serious and the prizes are much sought after.  

This year the winners were Keith McNeil (Most Amazing), Delaney Bailes (Most Inspiring), and Liam Halstead (most Astronomical).  

For a complete description of the weekend, check out Charles Shapiro’s review of the festival.



Amazon Smile program pays dividends, by Don Lewis 

The IJA has been registered with the Amazon Smile Foundation for a while now.  Every few months Amazon sends us a modest amount of money that represents .5% of eligible purchases on Amazon by people who have selected the IJA as the non-profit they support on Amazon.  You simply go to smile.amazon.com when you want to purchase from Amazon.  

The first time you access Amazon via that URL, you’ll be asked to select an organization from a long list.  The IJA is there!  Your purchases are from the same Amazon.com.  The prices are the same, and there are no administrative fees, but the benefits are enjoyed by the IJA.  

We know some of you have started using smile.amazon.com because we can see the results.  Thank You!  This is a program that does not cost you or us anything.  So start to feel better about those impulse purchases by using smile.amazon.com.  We’ll be smiling too.


eJuggle ads, by Don Lewis 

eJuggle is the IJA’s electronic magazine.  It has become the world reference point for information about juggling and jugglers.  As part of our out-reach program, access to some parts of eJuggle is unrestricted.  Premium content is reserved for members of the IJA, and there is a lot of it.  eJuggle does accept ads which are presented alongside the content in an unobtrusive way.  The fees for ad placement are very reasonable.   eJuggle receives *hit stats* per *time frame* and can be a great way to promote your upcoming juggling festival, products and services. To learn more, visit: https://ezine.juggle.org/advertising/.

2016 Championships: Big prize money, April 1 entry deadline — getting closer!

There’s going to be a lot more prize money given out to the Championships medalists at the 2016 IJA fest in El Paso, thanks to generous support from anonymous donors iiWii and Unna Med.  Over $35,000 will be on the line!  That includes $10,000 for the IJA Individuals gold medalist and $10,000 for the winning IJA Team!

Get your routine polished now!  The deadline for entering the Championships, including submitting a video of your full act, is April 1, 2016.  That’s a bit earlier than in the past, so don’t let it sneak up on you.

For complete information, go to https://juggle.org/championships.

 2013 Fest DVD 2-Pack available from the new IJA Store

The 2013 IJA Festival DVD 2-Pack is available for purchase, from the new IJA Store.  The price is $30 for members ($40 for non-members).  To get the member price, sign in at ym.juggle.org.  Once you are signed in, go to:


We have DVDs for sale from the IJA fests in: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Each year includes two DVDs and roughly two hours of video.

2013 IJA fest DVD cover 


eJuggle logo

Latest articles in eJuggle

Juggling Trivia Contest # 1
The title of this article and contest may be a bit misleading. While I use the word trivia, I don’t believe juggling history is trivial at all. In fact, I think it’s quite important for us as a community to know and understand our history. It’s for that reason that I put together the following quiz. […]

IJA Tricks of The Month February 2016 Mexico by: Roch Olivas
Francisco Olivas (Roch) has been juggling for 5 years. He likes improvisation and to deeply study his ideas.
5 años haciendo malabares. Me gusta la improvisación y el meterme a fondo a investigar mis ideas.

Juggler’s Scoop – February 20th, 2016
Juggler’s Scoop is a bi-weekly collection of the latest juggling videos and news bits from around the web.  Here’s the latest scoop! – Michael Menes manipulates rings in ‘Arc-Flo.’ – The Flow Arts Institute has posted an interview of Wes Peden from the 2015 FireDrums Festival. – Jorge Petit has uploaded highlights […]

Erin Stephens on “Drop Everything” podcast with host Dan Holzman
Host: Dan Holzman Guest: Erin Stephens talks about her style of juggling, the IJA regional competitions, and this year’s upcoming IJA festival. Also on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/il/podcast/ejuggle/id1063204159 

Stiff Neck Comic

Bert Holt And Chyrs Holt – Aerial Jugglers
Bert Holt Bert Holt was a well known juggler from Freiburg, Germany. His actual last name was Bertholt, but he split it up to create his stage name. He began juggling at a young age and originally did a ground act, as you can see in the following rare photograph from the collection of Erik […]

Juggling Masters – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
With Luke Burrage having recently finished conducting and compiling his annual Top 40 Jugglers list (see video below), it got me thinking about jugglers from the past and who would make such an “all-time version” of the list. I spoke with my brother, noted juggling historian David Cain, and we came up with a list […] 

A Message from the Chairman, January 2016
A new year is upon us, and we’ve got some great things coming up for 2016!  We already have nearly the full year’s lineup solid for our highly successful Tricks of the Month videos. There are some great contributors slated for this year.  On top of that, we’ve started a new video series to complement […]

Juggler’s Scoop – February 7th, 2016
Juggler’s Scoop is a bi-weekly collection of the latest juggling videos and news bits from around the web.  Here’s the latest scoop! – Lisa Komatsubara unloads a variety of four ball tricks that she has been working on. – The Canaval Twins demonstrate their signature passing style in their latest video. – The Winter 2016 […]

Jugglers at Cirque de Demain 2016 – Review
The 37th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain was very interesting for object manipulation! Besides diabolo and club-passing there were a few disciplines making their festival début: Kendama, levistick, and pendulum juggling all made an appearance on stage. On January 30th, 2016, I witnessed both the A and the B shows of the festival in […]

Dream Tricks Challenge # 2 – The Results
About four months ago, I challenged the juggling community with ten tricks of which I was unaware that anyone had accomplished on video, as well as tricks from the first Dream Tricks Challenge that no one had done. A number of intrepid jugglers did succeed in meeting the challenge of these very difficult tricks. Below […]

Upcoming juggling festivals

For a list of even more festivals, check the worldwide juggling event listings on our website at: www.juggle.org/events.

If you’re organizing a juggling festival (or if you simply know of a juggling fest) and you want to advertise it in the IJA eNewsletter, just drop a note to eNewsletter editor Don Lewis enews@juggle.org. Such listings are free.

The eNewsletter generally comes out near the end of each month. Your festival can be listed for a few months, and you don’t have to be an IJA affiliate to have a fest listed. Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests. Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.

Austin Jugglefest XXIII
    26 Feb – 28 Feb 2016
    Seeger Gymnasium, Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA


University of Waterloo Juggling Festival 2016
    26 Feb – 28 Feb 2016
    University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 Canada

Winter Juggling Convention 2016
    26 Feb – 28 Feb 2016
    Gravin van Schönbornlaan 4 6431 Hoensbroek Netherlands

New Zealand Juggling and Circus Festival 2016
    4 Mar – 7 Mar 2016
    Parakai Springs, 150 Parkhurst Road, Parakai, New Zealand 0830 New Zealand

Swedish Juggling Convention 2016 in Lund
    25 Mar – 28 Mar 2016
    Kastanjegatan 13, Lund Sweden (Sverige)

British Juggling Convention 2016
    30 Mar – 4 Apr 2016
    Bell’s Sport Centre, Hay St, Perth, PH1 5HS UK

Tucson Juggling Festival 2016
    1 Apr – 3 Apr 2016
    11570 N Oracle Rd; Tucson, AZ 85737 USA

39th Annual RIT Spring Juggle IN
    8 Apr – 10 Apr 2016
    RIT, 1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester NY 14623 USA

UCSCJC – 2016 UC Santa Cruz Juggling Convention
    22 Apr – 24 Apr 2016
    Santa Cruz, California USA

26th Dutch Juggling Convention
    5 May – 8 May 2016
    Arnhem Netherlands

Bungay Balls Up 2016
    20 May – 30 May 2016
    Hulver Farm, St Michael South Elmham, NR35 1NF UK

Second Russian Juggling Festival
    1 June – 5 June 2016
    Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

French National Juggling Convention – Jongl’ô Païs 2016
    13 Jul – 17 Jul 2016
    Vanosc France

69th Annual IJA Juggling Festival 2016 – El Paso
    25 Jul – 31 Jul 2016
    El Paso Convention Center, El Paso, Texas USA

39th European Juggling Convention, Almere, Netherlands
    30 Jul – 7 Aug 2016
    Topsportcentrum Almere Pierre de Coubertinlaan 7, Almere, Netherlands

2ª Convenção Caipira de Malabarismo e Circo
    7 Sep – 11 Sep 2016
    R. Daniel Antônio de Freitas, 115 – Distrito Industrial, São José do Rio Preto – SP Brazil