IJA eNewsletter, January 2018

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost

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  • Chair’s message
  • IJA Festival info and registration coming soon — pay close attention!
  • IJA member-services survey: we need your opinions
  • Entire Juggler’s World magazine collection digitized, discounted to IJA members
  • Another new entry in the Vendor Discount Program: GigSalad
  • Prop up enthusiastic beginners
  • 2017 IJA Festival DVD 2-Pack available
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


Chair’s message, by Nathan Wakefield

So you wanna be a juggler, eh? Well, you’ve come to the right place, kid.

With your new IJA membership in hand, you have a plethora of tools available at your disposal to put you on the fast track to juggling success.

First, you’re going to need some props. As an IJA member, you can take advantage of the savings offered in our Vendor Discount Program and get juggling props at discount prices from companies like Gballz, Sport Juggling Co., Flying Clipper, Pass the Props, and more.

Once you’re stocked up on supplies, you’re going to need an educational outlet to enhance your juggling abilities. Fret not, for all you need to do is check out the playlists from our bi-annual Video Tutorial Contest to view hundreds of juggling tutorials.

After leveling up your skills, you may be caught with an insatiable urge to showcase your abilities in front of an audience. However, you’re going to want to be prepared for whatever comes your way. Fortunately, as an IJA member, you are eligible for inexpensive performers liability insurance through our group policy.

Now that you’re covered, how will you get these gigs? Well, the IJA has recently partnered with both GigMasters and GigSalad, both of which give IJA members 25% off select packages. While you’re at it, you might want to consider getting some crowd-pleasing props, such as some of the danger and fire props offered by Three Finger Juggling and Frye Gear (see VDP page).

So you’re got the props, the skill, and the outlet to showcase yourself. Surely at this point juggling is going to be on your mind non-stop and you’re going to want an outlet to kick back and relax while still enjoying juggling in some way. You are in luck, because the IJA’s entire library of both JUGGLE magazine and the recently added Juggler’s World magazine are available digitally via the VDP program with a 25% discount to IJA members. You can also watch exclusive juggling content, including the recently released 2017 IJA Festival video, for free as a members-only perk on eJuggle.

Now that you’re living the juggler’s life, you’ll want to come out to our annual festival, watch the shows, take workshops, and meet fellow IJA members, as your juggling obsession cements its hold and you become the very physical embodiment of object manipulation.

Obviously I’m being somewhat facetious with the above, but the IJA membership benefits are accurate! My point is that we offer a variety of ways in which jugglers of all types can benefit from being an IJA member. We’ve got something for everyone, whether serious performer or just someone looking to get some new props and enjoy some exclusive content.

Not only that, but most importantly, your IJA membership helps us fulfill our mission of rendering assistance to jugglers. Memberships help us to fund our operational expenses and keep our programs running, such as our youth education program and our worldwide IRC events. We’re delighted to promote jugglers on our social media, such as our Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as our popular Tricks of the Month series, which continues to showcase many unique juggling talents.

By being an IJA member, you’re a part of this all. You’re helping to support the greater juggling community, and we’re here to render assistance to you.

Grateful for your support,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman



IJA Festival info and registration coming soon — pay close attention! by Martin Frost

IJA festival registration is slated to open online around February 5. All IJA members will receive a special email announcing fest info before that opening. Stay tuned!

NOTE: This year, Adult Event Packages at the Early Bird price will be limited in quantity, so don’t delay registering after you see the announcement if you want the Early Bird rate.

After Adult Early Bird packages have sold out (or after February 19), Adult Event Packages at the Advanced price will be available, also in limited quantities until they sell out or through March 5, whichever comes first. (Sales of Youth Early Bird and Youth Advanced Event Packages will not be limited.)

Event Package Pricing Per Person

Dates (Eastern Time)TypeAdultYouthNotes
 Feb 5 – Feb 19 Early Bird $220 $160 Only 150 Adult Early Bird packages will be sold
 Feb 20 – Mar 5 Advanced $240 $180 Only 60 Adult Advanced packages will be sold
 Mar 6 – Jun 15 Regular $260 $200 Jun 15 is the last day to pre-register for the fest
 July 17 – July 21 On-Site $280 $220 These are the prices of Event Packages purchased at the fest
 Feb 5 – Jun 15 Youth Group $100 $100 Minimum 10 youths; max 2 adult chaperone packages per 10 youths
 Feb 5 – Jun 15 VDP Vendor $100  Only 2 VDP Vendor Event Packages per VDP vendor

Youths are ages 11-17. Adults are ages 18 and up.

Fest pre-registration will only be available online.



IJA member-services survey: we still need your opinions, by Martin Frost

Our apologies if you had trouble getting to our survey. We hope the instructions below will work better. If you haven’t taken the survey, we’d really appreciate your filling it out.

Help the IJA find out what you want, or don’t want, from the organization by taking 5-10 minutes to fill out an important member survey. You’ll get to say what you like or don’t like about a number of IJA programs. (You may even discover a program in the survey that you like but didn’t know we had, or perhaps vice versa.) Please let us know your opinions.

To take the survey, first log in at: https://ym.juggle.org/login.aspx and then go to: https://ym.juggle.org/surveys/?id=member_services_survey.

If you don’t know your IJA password, click on Reset Your Password on the login page and then supply the email address that this eNewsletter was sent to.

If you’re still unable to get to the survey, please contact us via the form at https://juggle.org/contact/.

We greatly appreciate your taking the survey by February 18. Thanks.


Entire Juggler’s World magazine collection digitized, discounted to IJA members, by Martin Frost

The complete collection of all issues of the IJA’s Juggler’s World magazine (1981-1997) is now available digitized in one inexpensive package for purchase and download, with a 25% discount for IJA members from Lybrary.com. (This is separate from the digitized package of JUGGLE magazine issues (1998-2011) also available from Lybrary.com.)

Each page of each issue appears in full quality just like it did in the printed magazine, and the resulting PDFs can be quickly searched for included text (try that with your printed magazines :).

There is one PDF file to download per volume (year), with separate issues shown within each volume. The complete Juggler’s World package includes 17 volumes and 66 issues. Because the PDFs include full quality page images, they are roughly 125MB each. You can download as many or as few volumes as you want once you’ve purchased the package, and you can re-download any whenever you want. (Individual volumes are not offered for sale.)

The complete digitized Juggler’s World package is available to IJA members for $30 (non-member price: $40). To get the IJA member price, go to the IJA Vendor Discount Program, and if you’re not already logged in, click on SIGN IN at the very top. Once logged in, click on “CLAIM VDP DISCOUNTS” to get to the member page, where the Lybrary.com Juggler’s World offer is near the top. Make your purchase by following the directions under “HOW TO USE”.


Another new entry in the Vendor Discount Program: GigSalad, by Martin FrostGigSalad 25% off

We have another new gig vendor in the IJA Vendor Discount Program this month: GigSalad. Here’s how they describe their service:

“Promote your show, connect with event and party planners, and get booked for private and public gigs ranging from weddings and parties to corporate events and festivals.”

GigSalad gives IJA members a 25% discount on monthly or prepaid Pro or Feature Level GigSalad Memberships. To get the IJA discount, look for GigSalad in the IJA Vendor Discount Program.


Prop up enthusiastic beginners, by Don Lewis

Last month I encouraged you to take pity on the hapless beginners who were gamely trying to do something (anything!) with their unexpected Learn to Juggle kits.  In addition to those folks, there are almost certainly a bunch of people out there who learned to juggle a basic cascade and now have no idea what to do next.  Is that all there is to it? is a phrase I’ve heard all too often.  Of course there is more to it and IJA members are well placed to gently nudge people to greater levels of success.

We all know that a talented juggler can do a lot with poor props, almost in spite of them.  That is almost never true of a new juggler.  And going further with hopeless props just makes it harder to eventually adapt to the good stuff that everyone else is using.  Just try teaching club passing to an enthusiastic person at their first juggling club meeting who has only juggled badly balanced short handled clubs.  They basically have to learn the cascade all over again before they can get anywhere, and they have to borrow props while they’re there.

You have to try to be a bit discrete when telling the new juggler that the shiny plastic clubs he or she got at a garage sale that finally stay up in the air are basically crap.  Or even worse, those prized clubs came from a respected family member and they need to feel good about them rather than dejectedly dragging them home to the oblivion of a dark closet. First props have a place in everyone’s life and they deserve some respect.  That must be why I still haven’t thrown out the first clubs that I bought, even though they were downright painful to use.  Or perhaps I’m secretly afraid that someone else would find them and hurt themselves.

Good props seem expensive to beginners.  They probably seem even more so to parents who are doubtful about funding enthusiasms of the moment.  There are, however, good options for growing towards good props without wasting money. 

People who were excited to buy dollar store balls are downright skeptical about paying ten dollars or more (each!) for juggling balls.  Once they’ve tried your properly weighted and sized balls, they may be ready to concede the point, but their budget just isn’t there at the moment.  The resistance is even higher with clubs.  Cheap hard clubs are painful when caught wrong.  My first set nearly convinced me to abandon juggling right at the start.  When I finally bought a good set of Dubé clubs, I was astonished by how much more comfortable juggling became.  Even if people understand the role of good props in the process of becoming a better juggler, they don’t really believe that they deserve the good stuff because they themselves are not yet good enough. 

Happily there are alternatives that can fill the middle ground between frustration and professional custom props.  The popularity of Russian style weighted balls has spawned do-it-yourself videos on YouTube that produce good balls.  There are patterns around the internet for sewing juggling beanbags which allow you to customize the size and weight. Students can probably get bits of cloth and the use of a sewing machine from a home economics (maybe it is called something else now) teacher.  It could even be a good class project.  Everyone should know how to sew, at least a little bit.  The old notion that only girls should ever touch a sewing machine is crazy.  Apparently a lot of girls agreed with the crazy part of that premise, since most of them don’t know how to sew now either.  You don’t have to be a couturier and make your own clothes, but knowing the basics can save a lot of time and money.  I digress, but you can make good juggling beanbags for not a whole lot of money.

Lots of people have made things that look like juggling clubs out of broom handles and plastic jugs.  Some of them are surprisingly good.  Many of them are dreadful objects that terrify anyone on the other end of a passing pattern.  Quite by chance, at a juggling festival long, long ago, Bill Giduz introduced me to Jon Poppele who had just written up a set of instructions for do-it-yourself juggling clubs — known as Green Clubs.  I was astonished that these were properly balanced clubs with a professional flexible handle, made from pop bottles, a wooden dowel, a tennis ball, a chair end, and some tape.  I made a set myself and was still impressed.  Greg Phillips worked with Jon to produce a digital set of plans that the IJA makes available under Green Clubs.  A frugal person can probably make a set of three of them for about ten dollars.  Rather than lend my good clubs to beginners, I often just give beginners a set of Green Clubs to take home and practice.  Some of them disappear,  but many others eventually make an effortless transition to real clubs.

To help make professional props a little bit more affordable, the IJA has a Vendor Discount Program that offers IJA members a discount on new equipment from various vendors.  And if you have old props that you are not using, consider donating them to another IJA program called Props2U that supports juggling in developing areas of the world.



2017 IJA Festival DVD 2-Pack available, by Martin Frost2017 IJA Festival DVD cover

The DVDs for the 2017 IJA Festival in Cedar Rapids are available for purchase from the IJA Store. Containing about 4 hours of video from the fest on two DVDs, they’ll give you a sampling of pretty much everything that went on, even Water Skuggling (juggling while water skiing). The full routines of all the Stage Championships competitors are included.

The 2017 IJA DVD 2-Pack is $30 for members, so if you see a $40 price, it means you’re not logged in. In that case, just click on SIGN IN at the top and then you should see the $30 price.

The full 4 hours of official 2017 IJA Festival videos are being released free to members in the eJuggle members-only section in installments.


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Latest articles in eJuggle


Upcoming juggling festivals

Below is a list of some upcoming juggling festivals.  For a list of even more fests, check our worldwide juggling event listings.

To get a festival listed here for free, just drop a note to us at ijanews@juggle.org.  Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests.  Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.

40th Annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival
    2 Feb – 4 Feb 2018
    Yaarab Shrine Center Recreation Building, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 USA

Brno Juggling Convention 2018
    9 Feb – 11 Feb 2018
    University campus Brno, Kamenice 5, 625 00, Czech Republic

Belfast Juggling Funvention 2018
    15 Feb – 18 Feb 2018
    Queen’s University Students’ Union, University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NF, United Kingdom

New Zealand Juggling and Circus Festival 2018
    15 Feb – 18 Feb 2018
    Hawkes Bay A&P Showgrounds, Kenilworth Rd, Hastings 4122 New Zealand

Mondo Juggling & Unicycle Festival
    16 Feb – 18 Feb 2018
    Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota USA

Austin Jugglefest XXV
    23 Feb – 25 Feb 2018
    1102 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704 USA

Passing Juggling Convention in Moscow 2018
    3 Mar – 4 Mar 2018
    Moscow, Russia Russia (Россия)

26th Annual University of Waterloo Juggling Festival
    23 Mar – 25 Mar 2018
    University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 Canada

The 25th Israel Juggling Convention (IJC)
    1 Apr – 5 Apr 2018
    Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sahne), Israel Israel (ישראל)

British Juggling Convention 2018
    3 Apr – 9 Apr 2018
    The Langton School, Langton Lane, Canterbury, Kent UK

41st RIT Spring Juggle-in
    6 Apr – 8 Apr 2018
    1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester NY USA

Tucson Juggling Festival 2018
    6 Apr – 8 Apr 2018
    Catalina State Park, Tucson, Arizona 85737 USA

Congress of Jugglers 2018
    20 Apr – 22 Apr 2018
    Ritchie Coliseum, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland USA

71st Annual IJA Juggling Festival
    16 Jul – 22 Jul 2018
    Springfield, Massachusetts USA

41st European Juggling Convention 2018, Azores
    28 Jul – 5 Aug 2018
    Sao Miguel, Azores Portugal