IJA eNewsletter, March 2016

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost

 Was this issue forwarded to you?  Click here to join the IJA to get your own copy each month, and get full access to eJuggle too!



  • Chair’s message
  • 2016 Championships: Big prize money, April 1 entry deadline is almost here!
  • Seeking volunteers for 2017 Festival Registrar – Earn a full Festival Package
  • Board nominations open
  • Online fest registration ends at 11:59pm EDT on June 30, 2016
  • Special guests for the IJA fest
  • Festival update: The Gauntlet 3
  • 2016 IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, July 25-31 — hotel information
  • Festival room and ride sharing
  • Pass it on!
  • Mr. E’s Night of the Jugglers – Saturday, April 2nd, 2016
  • 2013 Fest DVD 2-Pack available from the new IJA Store
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals

Chair’s message,
by Nathan Wakefield

You know those moments when you are at a juggling festival and you witness tricks so amazing, so breathtaking, and so epic that they completely BLOW YOUR MIND? Yeah, it can get pretty intense. We’ve recently started a new video series dedicated to this very theme, aptly named ‘Mind Blown’. The idea behind this collaborative video series is to have a trick theme for each video and have selected jugglers from all over the world that specialize in that particular style contributing their best tricks for that theme. The result: an in-your-face viewing experience so extreme that it will BLOW YOUR MIND! Check out the recently released first video in this series on pinball and BBB tricks.

In IJA Board news, Jared Davis has re-joined the IJA Board of Directors, filling in the vacant Board seat. Jared was an IJA Board member from 2013-2015, and we are glad to have him back in the mix!

Speaking of the IJA Board, nominations are open for the upcoming election. If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in the IJA or know someone that you think would be a good fit, send a nomination over to: ijanominations@juggle.org

April 1st is the deadline for Stage Championships entries (not an April Fools joke!). This year, we are going to make a point to announce the names of those competing in the stage championships earlier than we have in recent years. With so much prize money on the line this year, who wouldn’t want an early sneak peak at the competition?! Just what sort of competition will we see in the championships this year you may be asking? While I do not know specifically at this point, one thing is for certain, the championships will BLOW YOUR MIND!

Festival info, including registration, is available at: https://juggle.org/festival.

Juggle on,
Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

2016 Championships: Big prize money, April 1 entry deadline is almost here!

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!

The deadline for entering the Championships, including submitting a video of your full act, is April 1, 2016.

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

Seeking volunteers for 2017 Festival Registrar – Earn a full Festival Package, by Mike Sullivan


The IJA is seeking a couple of dedicated volunteers to be the Festival Registrars for the historic 70th Annual IJA Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, set for July 10-16, 2017. Volunteers can earn a full Festival Event Package for their efforts and be part of the core team that makes the festival so much fun for hundreds of jugglers from around the world.

After reading the description of the role below, if you think you might be interested, please contact 2016 Festival Registrar Mike Sullivan at registrar@juggle.org soon so that you can possibly get some hands-on training with Mike this year, both before and at the 2016 festival.  He’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

The effort for next year begins early in 2017 with the setup and testing of the online event registration system. Work with the festival team to get festival registrations ready around February or March, and then provide weekly registration reports until online registration ends in June. Once set up, the system is run by automation through the end of online registration, requiring no administrative effort except weekly reports and a few customer service requests.

After that, you’ll help the festival team with data processing and logistics for the festival registration desk, including:

– Preparing festival packets for pre-registered jugglers
– Giving festival team members data on vendor, juggler and guest registrations
– Handling customer service for jugglers inquiring about the fest or their registration
– Coordinating with event directors on event registrations for joggling, numbers, etc.

Registration setup and testing requires about 30 hours of work spread across a couple of weeks in January and February. Once registration opens, 2-4 hours/week should be all that’s needed to monitor and report on registrations as well as handle the few customer service issues that come up.

Once on-site at the festival in Cedar Rapids, you’ll lead the IJA registration desk team, including

– Staffing the desk from 9am-4pm daily along with 3-4 other IJA volunteers
– Checking in pre-registered jugglers and sell gym passes & other fest items
– Working with the Square Register system to record and process all transactions
– Preparing and making bank deposits of cash and checks received daily
– Updating the festival team and Treasurer on daily sales each night
– After the fest, preparing summary and detail sales reports

It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding and you’ll be part of the core team that makes the 70th annual IJA Festival an unforgettable week of fun in a beautiful, small Midwestern gem of a city.

If you’re interested, please email 2016 Festival Registrar Mike Sullivan at registrar@juggle.org. Hands-on training is available starting now and continues with on-site training at this year’s fest in El Paso.

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. 


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.  Help promote the IJA and build on a legacy of success.  For more details, see: https://juggle.org/business/nominations.php.

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

Online fest registration ends at 11:59pm EDT on June 30, 2016.

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.  If you miss the online registration deadline, you’ll still be able to register at the fest.
Fest info and registration:  https://juggle.org/festival

Event Package purchase date
March 1-19Mar 20-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.

Special guests confirmed to appear at the IJA fest include:

Aleksandra Savina

Amanda Crockett

Institute of Jugglology

La Flaka

Peter Irish

Zak McAllister
Team Rootberry
Kelsey Strauch
Emil Dahl

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

Festival update: The Gauntlet 3by Jim Maxwell

This year’s festival is shaping up to be one for the ages. If you didn’t make the Early Bird registration, never fear — online registration is open through June 30.
If you’re planning to compete for this year’s historic prize money in the 2016 IJA Stage Championships, you have only a few more days before the April 1 deadline. Special thanks to our anonymous donors, iiWii and Unna Med, for their significant contributions to this year’s payouts. For full details including Championships rules and how to enter, see: 

The same team who brought you Gauntlet 1 and Gauntlet 2 are hard at work designing and planning a whole new set of obstacles to test your juggling agility and nimbleness. But to do it up right, they could use your help. Go to this website https://ym.juggle.org/donations/fund.asp?id=14311 to join the Gauntlet 3 crowdfunding campaign. Unna Med has graciously agreed to match your contribution dollar-for-dollar. Here are some of the challenges you can expect to see in Gauntlet 3.

  1. “Ball Hall” – Contestants run down 12 feet of balance beam while balls drop from a ceiling above them.  This obstacle is as much a challenge for the contestant as for the builders.  Engineers will marvel at the yet to be constructed ball return system.  Possible ideas include either an Archimedes screw, conveyor belt or blower system to move balls from the floor to the ceiling of the ‘ball hall’.
  2. “Math is Hard!” – Yeah, but jugglers are so smart…or are they?  Jugglers will face a massive computer driven multiple choice wall.  Contestants will have 3 chances to punch the correct answer to multiple choice arithmetic equations which briefly flash on screen on the wall.  This summer, we finally test contestants’ brain power.
  3. “The Volcano” – Contestants have to throw one ball up high through a giant, narrowing conical ‘volcano’ suspended overhead and then catch the ball on the rebound as it navigates its way down the side over various foils, cantilevers and ledges on the outside of the giant volcano cone.
  4. “The Car Wash” – Giant spinning wheels of pool noodles confront and confound the juggler as she runs through the field of spinning styrofoam ‘blades of death’.
  5. “Tie Run” – It works for training Marines, so why not jugglers.  It’s the classic test of agility and speed, all while juggling.
  6. “Giant Slide” – Contestants will test their nerve as they climb up stairs to an 8 foot high platform to slide down a 12 to 14 foot custom-built slide, all while juggling.  Don’t worry, there will be railings on the stairs, but will they contain the contestant’s fear of heights and free-fall speed?    
  7. “Ring Mover” – Ring neck pull downs may have gone out of style on the main IJA competition stage in 1986, but they very well may be back in style this summer when contestants need to move one juggling ring hanging from a peg on a wall, across an 8 foot gap, and hang it to rest on a peg on an opposing wall, all while juggling.
  8. “Teeter-Totter” – The crowd pleasing obstacle from Gauntlet 1 is back as contestants race up and then crash down the other side of a giant teeter-totter.
  9. “The Bike Rack” – We will push contestants’ precision coordination to the edge as they are forced to make one catch and one throw in their cascade from in between each of the vertical slots of a long run of vertical PVC pipes.  Sound easy?  Go try it at your local bike rack right now.  Don’t worry, we’ll wait right here for you while you drop 6 million times.
  10. “Sleepy Time” – Don’t get too sleepy for this bouncy, shaky obstacle.  Contestants have to run across a giant field of inflatable mattresses.

Check out the new G3 promo video:
Start training now, and see you in El Paso!

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

Festival 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.

Pass it on! by Don Lewis

All juggling festivals seem to have one thing in common.  There are budding club jugglers who are just itching to pass like the experts.  But, they’re shy.  They’ve probably been learning to pass with local jugglers, who are all juggling with people from away that they haven’t seen for awhile.  Maybe the beginners are practicing drops with other beginners and just getting discouraged. Probably they are standing around just watching you, even if you’re only doing a basic four count.

Once you are comfortable passing clubs, a festival is a great place to meet up with old friends and try insanely complex patterns.  After all, that is one of the great benefits of a festival.  Who can blame the local jugglers for abandoning the beginners who have been frustrating them for months while they seek out their own challenges?  But you can fill in the gap by seeking out some of those that are eager to learn but too shy to ask.  

A good place to start is by seeing if there is a basic club passing workshop.  If you don’t mind following the lesson, you can offer to partner someone trying to learn.  If there isn’t a workshop, you can offer to teach one.  Or just let whoever is coordinating workshops know that you’re willing to do some one-on-one with beginners.  Usually you just have to look around to see who needs some help to move up a level in confidence.

Sometimes you get surprised.  Some years ago I attended a weekend festival in New York.  There was a guy standing around with clubs in his hand so I asked if he wanted to pass.  “Oh, no.  I’ve only passed a couple of times, I wouldn’t be good enough” was the answer.  My response was, “OK, let’s see what you can do”.  It turned out that he could do a shaky four count, but he had a stable cascade and a decent sense of the count.  Five minutes of the three-around exercise took most of the shake out of four count passing. Pickups started to become routine once he got the idea that you don’t have to rush.  By the end of half an hour he was confidently returning left and right doubles and beginning to throw doubles back at me.  On to three count, since I don’t like to see people stuck on one side forever like too often happens.  Once he convinced his left hand to throw to me somewhere close to where I could catch it we started in on doubles there too. I’d never seen anyone advance that quickly.  At the end, we actually got through several rounds of Jim’s 3-count.  All that in an hour!  It would have been fun to be a fly on the wall the next time he passed with the locals.

Noblesse Oblige.  A whole bunch of people probably taught you how to pass clubs along the way.  Take a few minutes to pay that forward at every festival you attend.  The people that you help today will probably be juggling the arms off you next year.

Mr. E’s Night of the Jugglers – Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Mr. E’s Night of the Jugglers will be Saturday, April 2, at 7:30pm at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center (UDPAC), Upper Darby, PA.

The show stars Jen Slaw Napolitano, Michael Menes, Michael Lane Trautman, and Michael Karas and is hosted by Mr. E (Jackie Erickson).

The all-juggling format, immensely popular in each previous show in the ten-year run, will highlight the varied talents of each performer and showcase an excerpt from the off-broadway show “Perfect Catch” featuring Karas and Napolitano as a couple that meets because of juggling and proceeds to … well … be a perfect catch for each other.
Tickets are available online at UDPAC or at the box office and are $12.50.

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

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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.

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

10ª Convention di Giocoleria della Brianza
25 Apr – 1 May 2016
    Imbersago (LC) 23898 via Adda Italy (Italia)

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

Isla Vista Jugglers Festival
    6 May – 8 May 2016
    UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA USA

Congress of Jugglers 2016
    6 May – 8 May 2016
    Ritchie Coliseum, College Park, Maryland 20740 USA

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

Galway Juggling Convention 2016
27 May – 29 May 2016
    Áras na Mac Léinn · Galway, Ireland (Éire)

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

Eindhovens Jongleer Festival 2016
17 Jun – 19 Jun 2016
    Sportcentrum van de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat 1, 5612 Eindhoven Netherlands (Nederland)

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