IJA eNewsletter – January 2020

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   IJA eNewsletter   

January 2020

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost

Have a Happy Groundhog Day!


  • A message from the IJA Chair
  • IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, July 13-19, 2020 — registration is open
  • Be a festival ambassador
  • The Gauntlet returns to El Paso
  • Comedy juggler Niels Duinker gets day named after him
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals



A message from the IJA Chair  by Mike Moore

Mike Moore

Why do you throw? The critical importance of dwell time

Dwell time [1] is perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of juggling form [2]. While many other ideas appropriately get their credit where credit is due (keep those elbows in, catch and throw from low), I seldom see dwell time taught to beginners, and I too rarely see it discussed with more advanced jugglers.

How important is dwell time? An IJA festival workshop by Stefan Brancel asked very little of its participants:

1. Come with a trick or pattern that you can kind of do, but are struggling with. Any prop is fine.

2. Try the trick/pattern with increased dwell time.

It was astounding how, in this room full of jugglers with dramatically different skill levels and goals, almost all improved with such simple advice.

A few years later, 3 ball juggling legend Beejay Joyer reminded me of the importance of dwell time with his related advice, “Find the hidden time.” This is the key to slowing down patterns that seem impossibly fast.

So why do you throw? To empty a hand in order to catch a prop.

I’ve seen so many beginners have their patterns fundamentally changed for the better after thinking about this question. Don’t throw until it’s necessary. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Happy juggling!

Mike Moore

IJA Chair

[1] – What is dwell time? It’s the amount of time an object spends in your hand before you throw it. If a ball spends more time in your hand, it won’t spend as much time in the air, so you don’t need to throw as high! More setup time and lower throws? Yes, please!

[2] – What’s second place? In my opinion, catching in a way that allows for the next throw.


IJA Festival in El Paso, Texas, July 13-19, 2020 — registration is open  by Martin Frost

You can now register online for this year’s festival in El Paso.  Preliminary information is available at the new website dedicated to the festival: https://juggle.org/festival.  The site includes pricing, links to the registration page, and hotel information, though IJA hotel reservations will not open until April 1, 2020.

From the fest’s pricing page, click one of the blue Register buttons to go to fest registration.  If you’re not already logged in, that will take you to the IJA login page, and from there you’ll be taken to the registration page for purchasing your Event Package(s).

For those of you planning to compete on the fest stage in Teams, Individuals or Juniors, May 1 is the deadline to complete your application, including registration, fee and video.  Note that we now call this competition the IJA Juggling Championships (formerly the Stage Championships). Details are on the Championships page of the new fest site.

NOTE: Adult Event Packages at the current Advanced prices are limited in quantity and in any case won’t be sold after March 9, so don’t delay in registering if you want the best rate.  (Sales of Youth Event Packages are not limited.)

Event Package Pricing Per Person

Dates (Eastern Time)





 Through Mar 9




 A limited quantity of Adult Advanced Event Packages will be sold

 Mar 10 – Jun 13




 Jun 13 is the last day for purchasing an Event Package for the fest

 Through Jun 13

 Youth Group



 Minimum 10 youths; max 2 adult chaperone packages per 10 youths

 Through Jun 13

 VDP Vendor



 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. A la carte registration will be available on-site at the fest. Event Packages will not be sold at the fest.



Be a festival ambassador  by Don Lewis

News has started to come in about the festival.  The next couple of months we’ll see announcements about artists and shows as negotiations continue and contracts are signed.  Your festival team is working hard to make sure you have a memorable week of juggling.  The Gauntlet will challenge those brave enough to try it.  That alone represents a lot of work by a dedicated team of volunteer designers and builders.

There is one thing that I run into at every regional festival that I attend.  And that is the beginner and intermediate jugglers that are convinced that there is no place for them at an IJA festival. Usually the excuse is that they think that they are not good enough jugglers.  It can be really difficult to get them to believe that there is a place for them at the festival, and they are not going to be subjected to ridicule.  Jugglers are very supportive of each other, even jugglers they haven’t met yet.

Another excuse is that they don’t want to compete.  Right, most of us don’t want to do that and we don’t.  The next excuse is generally that it is too expensive.  Really?  It is hard to find another activity that gives you a full week of activity, world class entertainment, and all the workshops you can fit into your schedule for the cost of an IJA festival.  If you register early, you get a discount!  Well, then travel and lodging are too expensive?  The IJA has negotiated very good room rates.  At four to a room it often works out cheaper than a campground. 

What about camping ?  Why doesn’t the IJA offer camping?  I’ve heard that question raised for over twenty years.  On the few occasions that the IJA has been able to offer free, or nearly free on-site camping, there has been very little uptake.  People may ask for it, but very few actually use it.  Camping is a tradition at the European festivals.  They don’t have the same level of challenge from mosquitoes and black flies that we enjoy in North American summers.

If you would like the IJA festival to be bigger and better, then you need to get out there and work on the bigger part of the equation.  Convince your juggling friends that they really do need to come to the festival.  They’ll kick-start their juggling to a higher level by observation, workshops, and unexpected coaching.  They’ll be inspired by the amazing juggling presented on stage during the shows and competitions.  And they’ll probably come back the next year.  And we’ll all have a great time!



The Gauntlet returns to El Paso  by The Gauntlet Crew

The Gauntlet is an obstacle course you navigate while juggling. It has challenges for everyone, no matter what your juggling skill level. The Gauntlet will entertain you whether you want to play around on one obstacle or run the whole thing to try to get the fastest time. Every time it is featured, the Gauntlet is all-new and lovingly constructed from scratch by your fellow jugglers — it reappears every three to five years. Try your hand at a fantastic juggling challenge that you can’t find anywhere else!

The Gauntlet will be open for practice 24 hours/day during the festival and will have staffed hours each day. A timed competition will be held at the end of the week during the festival games.



Comedy juggler Niels Duinker gets day named after him

January 11, Official proclamation – Niels Duinker Day

Comedy juggler Niels Duinker, originally from The Netherlands, recently finished a 3-year run at The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where he performed over 1500 shows and was one of the headliner comedians. On January 4, he appeared there for the last time.

Just one week later, Niels headlined his theatrical comedy show at the historic Rohs Opera House in Cynthiana, Kentucky. The show was produced by the star illusionist duo The Mastersons and was sold out. The comedy juggler performed a show that lasted over an hour and received two standing ovations. As a tribute to his talents, the day of January 11 was declared Niels Duinker Day by Judge Alex Barnett of Harrison County, Kentucky.


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.

Organizing a juggling festival?  Be sure to add it to the juggling festival list at The Juggling Edge.  Just sign up there for a free account and then add your fest to the list so that jugglers everywhere can find out about your fest.

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.

42nd Annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival
7 Feb – 9 Feb 2020
Yaarab Shrine Center Recreation Building, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 USA

Minnesota Mondo Juggling & Unicycle Festival
14 Feb – 16 Feb 2020
235 Hamline Avenue South, St. Paul, Minnesota USA

27th Austin Jugglefest
21 Feb – 23 Feb 2020
Navarro High School, 1201 Payton Gin Rd, Austin TX 78758 USA

Winter Jongleer Weekend 2020
13 Mar – 15 Mar 2020
Gravin van Schonbornlaan 4, 6433AZ Hoensbroek Netherlands

Tucson Juggling Festival 2020
3 Apr – 5 Apr 2020
Catalina State Park, Tucson, Arizona 85739 USA

The Israeli Juggling Convention 2020
10 Apr – 14 Apr 2020
Gan HaShlosha, Israel

Adelaide Juggling Convention
16 Apr – 19 Apr 2020
32-34 Rosa St, Goodwood, Adelaide, SA 5034 Australia

Oldenburg Juggling Convention
30 Apr – 3 May 2020
Hochschulsport Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118, 26129 Oldenburg Germany

Flatland Juggling Festival 2020
12 Jun – 14 Jun 2020
Omaha, NE  USA

43rd European Juggling Convention (EJC)
11 Jul – 19 Jul 2020
Hangö Högstadium, Koulukatu 13-15, 10900 Hanko, Finland

73rd Annual IJA Juggling Festival
13 Jul – 19 Jul 2020
El Paso Convention Center, El Paso, TX USA

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