IJA eNewsletter – February 2021


IJA Home Page


   IJA eNewsletter   

February 2021

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • Festivals in the COVID era
  • Fifty years a juggler
  • 2022 IJA Festival Director – Call for letters of interest for the 75th annual fest
  • Getting back to the new normal
  • IJA Virtual Hangout Jam, March 6
  • Still open: IJA honorary awards nominations
  • Latest articles in eJuggle (find a few that interest you and check them out!)
  • Upcoming juggling festivals



Festivals in the COVID era  by Mike Moore, IJA Chair

Mike Moore

We’re all missing juggling festivals these days.  Passing, batting around balloons before shows, and the glorious fear of the big toss up are hard to replace.  Thankfully, they will return.

In the meantime, shifting festivals online presents us with opportunities we’ve never had before.  At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to attend twenty festivals this year – about double my previous personal high.  Writing this at the end of February, I’m on track to accomplish this, with four so far.

Online festivals certainly deliver different experiences.  Since the detriments are easy to imagine, I’ll list the benefits here:

  • No travel time/cost
  • Inexpensive food
  • Participants are (usually) much better rested
  • Acts can come from anywhere without incurring huge costs
  • It’s easier to treat the festival’s offerings as à la carte (potentially also a detriment)

These advantages have allowed me to attend three festivals I’d never attended!  Club Congress has been my favourite so far, with its action-packed workshop/panel/show schedule.  This is a festival that I’d be unlikely to attend outside of a virtual setting (for those who don’t know me: I have a bit of a club aversion) but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of learning intricate club moves from some far-flung jugglers.  I also found there to be less social pressure to stay for the whole durations of the workshops, which meant I could pop into workshops that I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy – sometimes I was surprised!

If you’d like to help me on my quest for twenty fests this year, please let me know about upcoming festivals.  I’d love to attend them!  The IJA is also happy to help you advertise.  Drop me a line at moore@juggle.org and let’s get together!

Mike Moore

IJA Chair



Fifty years a juggler   by Roger Dollarhide

Roger Dollarhide

Roger Dollarhide

FRIENDS – One day as a 9th grader here in Bellingham, WA,

I rolled up three pairs of socks, tied them tight with rubber bands and taught myself to juggle.  It changed my life forever.  Two other school buddies were also learning to juggle and to ride unicycles in order to participate in local parades.  We were sponsored by a bike shop, which made the “wheels” and taught us to ride to publicize the shop which also organized a 13.5 mile unicycle race which got national attention due to its uniqueness at the time.

One friend soon moved away and the other eventually lost interest, even though he was much more athletic than me.  I continued my interest for the next many years during which time I practiced hard while attending high school and college, starting my early career in Seattle as an 8th grade science and math teacher, marriage, divorce, and moving several times including to California and eventually the East Coast in order to become a part of the juggling scene there.

Until the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair came along, I had no interest in photography or owning a camera, but various family and friends took pictures of me juggling, and even newspaper photographers on occasion.

After borrowing my wife’s Brownie camera to take pictures of Francis Brunn and other jugglers appearing at the Seattle World’s Fair, I bought a cheap used 35mm camera to cover the fair and any jugglers appearing there.  That too, was a life changing event, as I eventually became a professional photographer.  I declined opportunities to do juggling professionally, but did do a few dozen paid and unpaid performances, but stage fright was more of a challenge than the juggling.

Anyway, over the years, lots of pictures were taken of my juggling though none were of professional quality.

Editor’s note: Roger Dollarhide is an Honorary IJA Life Member. He was: an organizer for IJA conventions in 1968 (San Mateo, CA) and 1972 (Rocky Hill, CT); IJA President 1968-1969; founder of the IJA Championships in 1969; and IJA Newsletter Editor 1969-1972.  He was also the IJA photographer at a number of IJA conventions.



2022 IJA Festival Director – Call for letters of interest for the 75th annual fest

The 2022 IJA festival will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 11-17, 2022.  It will be our 75th annual festival and a return to the site of our great 70th festival in 2017.  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 Operations Officer Scott Steiskal.



Getting back to the new normal  by Don Lewis

Last month I wrote about not letting others discourage you when you are reaching for an achievable goal.  That same advice seems relevant when it comes to COVID-19 prevention.  Vaccines are becoming available, and the questions are flying.  Should I get the shot?  Which one?

First, it probably doesn’t matter much which version of the shot you get.  They all provide a level of protection.

Second, should you get the shot at all?  For the vast majority of people, the answer to that is YES.  You can do your own research and make up your own mind, but be careful.  There are incredible numbers of posts on the Internet that argue both for and against.  A lot of it is garbage science.  It is true that a very, very few people will react poorly to a vaccine.  It is also true that some people will die needlessly from COVID if they haven’t been vaccinated. 

There is much talk about herd immunity.  It only works if a high percentage of a population gets inoculated.  This is a case where the benefit to the collective is greater than the rather small risk to the individual.  I have heard some people say that since everyone else is getting inoculated, they don’t have to because herd immunity will protect them.  That seems to me like a pretty succinct definition of social irresponsibility.  And it may be constraining if vaccination passports become a requirement for travel and participation in group events.  While the IJA might not require such a thing, a festival venue might impose such a requirement to protect its staff.

Personally, I plan to get the shot when it becomes available.  So far it seems that the inoculation is well tolerated, although you may feel poorly for a day or two afterwards.  We will likely be wearing masks for some time to come, but vaccination should make in-person festivals possible next year.  The faster everyone gets the shot, the faster we will find out what the new normal will look like.



IJA Virtual Hangout Jam, March 6  by Chris Garcia

The IJA is hosting another Virtual Hangout Jam, and you’re invited, whether you’re an IJA member or not!  So grab your props, clear out some space in your living room, and hang out with your fellow jugglers virtually!  Meetings are via Zoom and are accessible via mobile or computer.

We’d love feedback from the community on when is the best time for you.  Let us know by filling out this survey form.

Find latest Hangout info

You can find the latest up-to-date info for the Virtual Hangout Jam on the Facebook Event Page.

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, to avoid excess ambient noise.

How to join

Download and install Zoom on your phone or computer.  Use the Zoom link below to register.  This can be done at any time before you join.  After you’ve registered, you’ll be given a link to join the meeting.  Click it and an admin should admit you into the hangout from the waiting room.

Next Hangout

Saturday, March 6, 2021, at 11am PST / 7pm UK Time

Register for Zoom meeting




Still open: IJA honorary awards nominations

The deadline has been extended again, so nominations are still open for the annual IJA honorary awards. 

Please think of someone you would like to nominate for an honorary IJA award and why they deserve it.  Awards will be presented during the summer IJA Festival.  Past award recipients have often said how meaningful the awards have been to them, so is there someone you believe should be honored?

Our website lists all the previous IJA award honorees: www.juggle.org/history/honorary-awards/

Nominations are open for the following IJA awards:


        In recognition of excellence in the art of juggling through professional performance.


        In recognition of a lifetime of influential work and extraordinary achievement in juggling performance.


        In recognition of years of coaching and mentoring jugglers to help create and improve their acts.


        In recognition of a consistent commitment to provide outstanding support and promotion for the field of juggling.


        In recognition of outstanding efforts to teach juggling to non-jugglers and expand the knowledge of those who already juggle.


        In recognition for providing exceptional promotion to the public of the art of juggling.

Please submit your nomination, along with an explanation of why the nominee deserves the award, to awards@juggle.org by March 20th.



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.

Leave a Reply