IJA eNewsletter, March 2018

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost

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  • Chair’s message
  • IJA Board nominations are open for the 2018 election
  • IJA Festival info
  • IJA Stage Championships entries now being accepted (rules translators sought)
  • IJA 2019 Festival Director – Call for Letters of Interest
  • 1979 IJA convention video clip posted on YouTube
  • Fixing the Flinch
  • American Youth Circus Organization Survey
  • Twirl Planet joins the Vendor Discount Program
  • Entire Juggler’s World magazine collection digitized, discounted to IJA members
  • 2017 IJA Festival DVD 2-Pack available
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


Chair’s message, by Nathan Wakefield

I’m sure a number of jugglers set goals for themselves each year. It’s something I’ve been doing for a while on a very general level, but this year I decided to try something new.

A few months ago, I got together with a few of my local juggling friends and started a 2018 juggling goals support program. The way we set it up was that we sat down and each created a list of juggling-related goals that we want to accomplish in 2018. Some of these goals were learning specific tricks, whereas others were more related to devising new performances. Once our respective lists were established, we put them all into a cloud-based document that only we had access to, with a column indicating when we had accomplished each goal so that we could check them off throughout the year. Then, every two months, we all sit down and go over our lists with each other, both as a means to encourage each other to stay on track and lend a hand to help one another on some of the goals that may be causing us difficulty.

In the age we live in, there are many resources online right now for learning new moves and theory that can help you achieve juggling goals.  There are numerous online forums and YouTube has countless juggling tutorials that range from mastering the basics to learning highly obscure tricks. The IJA’s Video Tutorial Contest alone has a combined total of over 24 hours of instructional content.

One of my goals for the year was to learn a very unusual variation on a three ball pattern that I had heard about, but I was unable to find any video tutorials on it. Initially, I was not entirely sure how I was going to learn this move with so little information available, and none of the people in my annual goals group knew the pattern either. Then, one day I was looking through the digitized library of JUGGLE magazine and I randomly stumbled upon an old Teach In column that broke down the pattern in detail.  A very fortunate find!

At the IJA, we strive to offer plenty of resources to help you achieve your goals in juggling, no matter what they may be. We even have liability insurance and discounts on gig sites like GigSalad and GigMasters in our Vendor Discount Program, in case your goals are more performance based and less about learning new tricks.

With the friends in my annual goals group, it’s been very beneficial to have fellow jugglers that encourage each other on a personal level and share their unique perspectives to help each other out. Even though when I read through some of the goals I set at the beginning of the year and wonder “what the heck was I thinking three months ago?” regarding my overly ambitious targets, it’s still been a lot of fun having other jugglers there on this year’s goals journey.

With that, there are plenty of ways to connect with other jugglers, such as checking out some of the events listed at the bottom of this newsletter.  Registration is open for our big annual IJA festival which will provide a wonderful opportunity to learn and meet new friends from all over the globe. On top of that, World Juggling Day is just a few short months away. Stop on over to our WJD program page to find events happening near you, or host your own event and invite jugglers to come to you.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the digital tools out there. By all means, enjoy all the resources available to you, but never forget about the best resource of all: your fellow jugglers.

Grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman



IJA Board nominations are open for the 2018 election, by Martin Frost

It’s time to think about running for the IJA Board of Directors, or about nominating someone you think would be good for the IJA.  The Board is a key part of the IJA as it sets the directions we’ll be heading.

Four seats on the Board are up for election this year.  Read what Board members do and how to make nominations.

The nomination deadline is May 15, 2018.  Participate!



IJA Festival info, by Martin Frost

Special Guests at the 2018 IJA Festival

Here are the special guests for this year’s fest, with those newly confirmed in bold:

  • Wes Peden
  • Florence Huet
  • Remi Lasvenes
  • Benjamin Domask
  • Christian Kloc
  • Erin Stephens
  • Fly By Night
  • Guillaume Karpowicz
  • Kathryn Carr
  • Kyle Johnson
  • Michael Karas
  • Pich
  • Salih Mahammed

For all the latest Festival information, please see the IJA Festival website.


Event Package Pricing Per Person

Dates (Eastern Time)TypeAdultYouthNotes
 Mar 6 – Jun 15Regular $260 $200Jun 15 is the last day to pre-register for the fest
 July 17 – July 21On-Site $280 $220These are the prices of Event Packages purchased at the fest
 Feb 5 – Jun 15Youth Group $100 $100Minimum 10 youths; max 2 adult chaperone packages per 10 youths
 Feb 5 – Jun 15VDP 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 is only available online and closes at 11:59pm ET on June 15.  After that you can register on-site at the festival.


Festival hotel info

We have two IJA hotels at the festival: the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel and the Tower Square Hotel Springfield.  Both are very close to the festival venues.  IJA rooms at the Sheraton are sold out (unless they get a cancellation), but as of late March there are still rooms available at the Tower Square Hotel all week.  If you haven’t made your hotel reservation, do it now.

There is no web page for reserving Tower Square rooms at the IJA rate, but you can call 1-844-656-8641 and ask for the jugglers’ rate under group code GIJUGA. If you have trouble getting a reservation at the $99 IJA rate, please let us know.

NOTE: The Tower Square Hotel is no longer a Marriott hotel, but IJA room reservations made before their name change are still valid.


IJA Stage Championships entries now being accepted (rules translators sought), by Martin Frost

Entries are being accepted for the 2018 IJA Stage Championships.

To encourage jugglers to enter, this year for each competitor who qualifies for the finals of the Stage Championships, the IJA will pay half the cost of that finalist’s Event Package, with the exception that for Teams entries the half-price Event Package will be available only to four people on each team. (Such finalists who register for the festival with an Event Package before becoming finalists will be refunded half of their Event Package price.)

The Championships rules and info on entering are available in English, Japanese and Russian, with many parts translated into Spanish and Chinese.  If you want to help us translate the remaining parts into one of those last two languages (or if you see any issues with the translations), please contact Martin Frost at IJAcommunications@juggle.org.

The deadline for entering the Stage Championships is May 15, 2018.  Entrants need to submit an online application form, entry fee and video by that date.  For more information, start with the Applying to Compete section of the rules.



2019 IJA Festival Director – Call for Letters of Interest

The 2019 IJA festival will be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, June 24-30, 2019.  The IJA would like to hear from individuals who are interested in taking on the role of Festival Director. 

The Festival Director works with the venue and the IJA staff and volunteers to create a fabulous week of juggling.  Volunteers help with most aspects of running the festival. Previous festival directors are available to mentor you through the process.  Some aspects of the festival repeat consistently from year to year, such as the competitions and shows.  There is always room to try new things and put your personal stamp on the experience. 

If you are interested in the position or just want to learn more about the job, please contact IJA Chair Nathan Wakefield.

Please respond by May 6th, 2018.



1979 IJA convention video clip posted on YouTube, by Martin Frost

A video segment made for an old TV show called Real People in about 1979-1980 on the 1979 IJA convention in Amherst, MA, has been posted on YouTube. It’s available at: https://youtu.be/DQs7tSwUW2g.



Fixing the Flinch, by Don Lewis

Sometimes you see the same thing so many times in a short period that it just begs for comment.  Spring seems to bring out jugglers who have made the move to clubs but haven’t really been shown good technique.

It is easy to spot.  They may have a stable-ish cascade pattern, but they are watching each club, throwing a narrow pattern in front of themselves, and flinching each time a club comes near their face.  Usually, they are not even aware they’re doing it.  I can’t help but think that they must need a neck massage after each juggling session.  They smile brightly and want to learn to pass. You can learn to pass like that but it usually isn’t pretty or stable.

I often teach a workshop called Basic Club Tricks.  I now automatically spend the first five minutes going over the basics of juggling a stable cascade because so many beginners are juggling their clubs at arms length in front of them.  Most of the tricks just won’t work like that because there is no space in the middle to work with.  Passing is a real challenge if you have to weave the pass through a minefield of self throws.

Happily the situation is usually easy to correct.  Clubs should be thrown on a diagonal angle to the body.  Just like with balls, you catch outside the hip, bring the club down and across the body to then throw up for the other hand.  For beginners, I like to emphasize carrying the club across the body and throwing up rather than out.  Yes, I know that you can throw diagonally and barely move your arms but that isn’t a great way to learn.  Sometimes I see people trying to throw palm down.  It can be done, but it is pretty limiting.  The arm should move from the shoulder.  When the club has moved through the lower part of the circular movement and is on the way up it is already on the other side of the body and just has to go up.  You just have to open your hand and with no additional effort the club will rise and turn over in the air on its way to landing in the other hand.  The wrist is just used for subtle corrections.  I usually suggest not to throw from the end of the handle to start with.  You actually have more control and need less wrist if you throw from further up the handle.

To reinforce the idea of not throwing in front, I stand in front of the juggler holding a club vertically at arms length.  The juggler has to throw diagonally to avoid hitting me.  This makes most of them very nervous because they don’t actually want to hurt me.  They’ll make a great, controlled, first throw and then smash into my club with their second throw.  I can flinch too!  After a surprisingly few throws they get the idea.  The diagonal movement of the clubs means that there is nothing happening in front of their faces and they can begin to relax.  Juggling while facing a tree is a great exercise.

Now that you have fixed this fundamental problem, they still want to learn how to pass.  Most people pick up the basics pretty quickly.  But surprise, surprise, that narrow cascade pattern re-asserts itself instantly.  You can’t throw much of a pass if your own clubs are in the way.  People compensate by trying to move the club to the center before throwing it behind the self throw.  That will often work once or twice, but rather quickly all three clubs are trying to share the same airspace in front of the juggler and it is time to duck and cover.

There is a great exercise to correct this called Three Around, or the Three Club Chase.  I’ve described this before, but it bears repeating.  It is simple.  Start with two jugglers and three clubs.  The student stands with the left hand up in catching position.  You throw a club to them and you’re left with two, one in each hand.  Throw a left to right self throw followed by a right hand pass to the student.  The student then throws a left to right self and catches the incoming pass with their left hand.  Now the student has two clubs, one in each hand and you have one in your right.  Throw the remaining right hand pass when the student seems ready for it.  The student now throws a left to right self followed by a right hand pass to you and catches your pass in their left hand.  The student still has two clubs and you have one in your left.  Now the student throws a left to right self and another right hand pass.  And follows up by passing the third club which has now landed in their right hand from the left self.  The action repeats from one side to the other 1-2-3, 1-2-3.  It can be as slow as you like because there are only three clubs.

The point here is to really concentrate on the self throw.  Make sure it is high enough and wide enough for the passing hand to pass before catching the self throw.  The pass itself should come from beside the hip.  Catch the club and in one motion bring it down beside the leg and then swing it forward to throw straight across and up for the other juggler.  Beginners get totally out of sync initially.  They’ll throw from either hand either to you or themselves.  They’ll pass first and then throw a panicked self throw somewhere on the floor.  They get bewildered at what to throw next.  Remind them that the starting point is always a great left to right self throw.  You can work this up to four, five, and six clubs over time.  In the beginning ten to twenty minutes of three clubs is enough to try anyone’s patience.  Then go back to six clubs and try either 6-count with two colored clubs, or 4-count. It is quite amazing how much more stable their passing will be.  Maybe yours too.  Three around is a great exercise for everyone. 



Circus Group Survey, by Don Lewis

The American Youth Circus Organization has asked for our help.  They are trying to survey circus related organizations.  The survey isn’t aimed at IJA members or jugglers.  IJA members who are involved in regional or local circus initiatives can help make the survey known to those groups, however.  The following statement from the AYCO explains their objective.  If you are involved in an activity that meets the criteria, please pass the link along.

The American Youth Circus Organization and American Circus Educators
are conducting a nation-wide survey of the US circus industry. We
want to know about all of the different companies and programs that
operate in the United States today so we can help it grow and
connect circuses with future performers and audience members. We’re
asking any organization, company, or program related to circus in
the US to fill out a quick set of questions.

The survey can be
found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5GGYTGX. Please feel free to
forward this to any and all relevant circus companies that you might
know. We want to hear from educators, performance companies,
facilities, and vendors too! Results will be anonymous. If you have
any questions, check out our survey info page at https://www.americancircuseducators.org/circus-survey/.



Twirl Planet has joined the Vendor Discount Program

Twirl Planet has joined the IJA Vendor Discount Program, offering IJA members a 10% discount on all orders.  This following description is from their website:

We carry of wide array of top quality twirling batons, made in the USA by established and respected manufacturers. Twirl PlanetWe have a full selection of batons from Star Line Baton, Sharp Baton, Kraskin Baton, Susan Orr Baton Twirling Unlimited and World Twirling. We carry many best selling twirling batons like the Super Star, Starlet, and High Flyer as well as innovative and technologically advanced options like the Lite Star, Sensicore, Heart, and Angel Batons.

Beginning baton twirlers can learn to twirl and more accomplished athletes can advance their skills using our baton twirling video DVDs from Susan Orr and from Star Line. We offer many choices of baton bags and cases. Our lightweight nylon Professional and Standard bags are easy to carry with a sewn in shoulder strap and they come in many colors. We also offer very affordable vinyl twirling baton cases. We are proud to carry instructional DVDs for baton twirlers of all skill levels, and for staff and poi spinners as well. You will also find fire batons, lighted batons, hoop batons and novelty twirling batons in our online store as well. We also sell many colors and styles of dance streamers, praise dance ribbons, and lots of colors of fitness hula hoops!


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”.


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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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.

Pocono Juggle Fest
    2 Mar – 4 Mar 2018
    Panther Valley High School, 912 Coal Region Way, Lansford, PA 18232 USA

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

Humboldt Juggling Festival 2018
    16 Mar – 18 Mar 2018
    Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst St, Arcata, CA, 95521-5820, USA

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

Swedish Juggling Convention 2018
    30 Mar – 2 Apr 2018
    Tranemo sim & idrottshall, Limmaredsvägen 2A, Tranemo, 514 32, Sweden Sweden (Sverige)

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

Nederlands Jongleer Festival 2018 (Dutch Juggling Convention)
    10 May – 13 May 2018
    Sportacademie Bokkeduinen, 3819BD Amersfoort Netherlands (Nederland)

42nd Annual Isla Vista Jugglers Festival
    11 May – 13 May 2018
    Isla Vista and UC Santa Barbara, CA USA

2018 Northwest Arkansas Juggling Festival
    11 May – 13 May 2018
    44 Kingshighway, Eureka Springs, AR 72632 USA

Asia International Diabolo Cup (includes IRC)
    24 May – 27 May 2018
    Taipei, Taiwan

Encuentro Salvadoreño de Malabares y Circo (includes IRC)
    16 Jun – 17 Jun 2018
    San Salvador, El Salvador

Russian Juggling Convention 2018 (includes IRC)
    27 Jun – 1 Jul 2018
    Saint Petersburg, Russia

Festival Periplo Movimiento Internacional de Circo (includes IRC)
    9 Jul – 21 Jul 2018
    Guadalajara, Mexico

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

Graülich Fire Juggling Convention
    14 Sep – 16 Sep 2018
    Rodemack, France

Manipulation 2018
    18 Oct – 21 Oct 2018
    Idyllwild, CA USA