IJA eNewsletter – November 2020


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November 2020

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost



  • Personalize your juggling learning process
  • IJA Virtual Hangout Jam
  • Life as a Juggler
  • Latest articles in eJuggle (find a few that interest you and check them out!)
  • Upcoming juggling festivals



Personalize your juggling learning process  by Mike Moore, IJA Chair

There are a couple dimensions of attitudes on how to learn patterns.  Breaking down the movement piece by piece, starting sloppy and cleaning, doing drills with fewer objects, morphing a comfortable pattern into a new one.  Methods of learning don’t need to be consistent across people, patterns, or time.  For example, a young juggler looking to learn a 3-ball cascade will probably find the most thorough success by building up, ball by ball, and focusing on the movements.  But what about a juggler with years of experience?  Is their optimum process of learning a pattern the same as a beginner’s?

Mike Moore

Probably not.  In the teaching business, we talk about leveraging prior learning: drawing relationships between what the learner already kn

ows and what they’re trying to learn.  A lot of juggling teaching completely ignores this concept [1].  Sometimes this is logistical (a huge workshop, an asynchronous video tutorial) and sometimes it’s just forgotten.

Until there is a surge of one-on-one or small group teaching of patterns, it will often be left to the learner to figure out how to personalize their process.  I urge you: try to find connections!  Try to relate new patterns to what you already know!  Try imagining patterns as, “It’s this pattern I know, but with the third throw moving straight up and down.”  You’ll probably learn the new patterns faster and better be able to intentionally modify aspects of a pattern to make entirely new ones!

Good luck, and happy juggling!

Mike Moore

IJA Chair

[1] – Don’t get me wrong: a streamlined impersonal teaching process can be more effective than an ad hoc personalized one.  With some practice and careful attention to the learner, personalized teaching/learning processes will usually be better!


IJA Virtual Hangout Jam  by Chris Garcia

The IJA is starting a new monthly Virtual Hangout Jam, and you’re invited, whether you’re an IJA member or not!  So grab your pr

ops, clear out some space in your living room, and hang out with your fellow jugglers virtually!  Meetings are currently set to take place on the first Saturday of the month on Zoom video conferencing, accessible via mobile or computer.


Note: As we are in the beginning stages of organizing these hangouts, we are still seeking a day, time, and frequency that works well for every

one.  The IJA has currently chosen the first Saturday of the month at 11am PST / 7pm UK time.  The hangouts will probably last a couple of hours. We’d love feedback from the community on when is the best time for you.

Find latest Hangout info

You can find the latest up-to-date info for the Virtual Hangout Jam on the Facebook event page. For instance, look there if you have trouble joining the Zoom session.

Hangout rules

As this meeting is accessible to both youth and adults, please use appropriate language, clothing, behavior, etc.  This is a safe space.  Anyone espousing hate or bigotry will be removed.  Please turn off your microphone when not speaking, so as to not cause ambient noise interference.

How to join

Download and install Zoom on your phone or computer.  Use the Zoom link below to join us for the virtual hangout.  After you’ve connected in Zoom, an admin will admit you into the hangout from the waiting room.

Next Hangout

Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 at 11am PST / 7pm UK Time

Join Zoom meeting


Passcode: 038073



Life as a Juggler  by Martin Frost

I observed a fun, unexpected — though I think not all that unusual for jugglers — event recently.

I had just made a turkey sandwich containing slices from a tomato and started eating it while standing at the counter, holding the sandwich close to me in my right hand, with that arm in front of my chest — like you do.

As I looked down, I saw the remaining half tomato and thought, “Hey, my left hand isn’t doing anything, so let’s put that tomato away.”

As I went to pick up the tomato, it slipped from my left hand and my fingers desperately curled up to try to retain control.  Instead of grabbing the tomato, that unexpectedly propelled it into the air heading over my right wrist behind the sandwich.

Seeing this red object in the air, my brain instantly knew that after just missing my right wrist, it would come down very close to my body.

I automatically moved my left hand close to me (moving only 6 inches and staying below my right arm of course) and caught the falling red object with almost no effort.  I was essentially an observer witnessing an unplanned but accurate over-wrist throw of half a tomato that just cleared my right arm and didn’t hit my chest.  The whole serendipitous throw and catch lasted only half a second.

I’m sure many of you have experienced such catches (or near catches?) of unexpectedly falling objects.  Allow us to share your stories here by sending them to ijanews@juggle.org. Thanks.


Latest articles in eJuggle



Upcoming juggling festivals

Note: Virtually all juggling festivals planned for the coming months have been canceled or rescheduled because of the worldwide pandemic, though some will be held online.

To find a juggling fest near you or online, check the fest list at The Juggling Edge.  Eventually festivals will return.


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