Results – Video Tutorial Contest 2013!


Hey, folks!

     What a contest!  This year’s event drew a whopping 72 videos from 7 countries, representing a wide variety of juggling and circus disciplines.  (You can see this year’s entries all on our YouTube account if you haven’t seen them all already!)

     To date, the IJA’s annual Video Tutorial Contest has produced 217 tutorial videos (that’s over 17 hours of lessons, available for free, online!)

     It was a difficult task for our judges to pick their favorites, but somehow they managed!  A huge thank-you to all of this year’s judges for donating their time, the IJA’s distribution manager for donating his garage, and to our wonderful sponsors who made the whole thing possible.

     Every year, people ask me how what exactly goes into making this contest happen, from an administrative standpoint.  Our judges put in a combined 65 hours watching videos, tabulating scores, and writing summaries this year; our sponsors donated over $3,500 in prizes; Rob Detweiler, the IJA’s Distribution Manager, will spend quite a bit of time packing up prizes and shuttling them to and from the airport.  Between finding judges, creating graphics, revising rules, maintaining the entry database, soliciting prizes, and writing this article, I will have put in over 150 hours for this contest.  Shipping prizes all over the world costs a fair amount, too.  Noone on the Video Tutorial Contest team makes a dime – it’s all for the benefit of the community.  Is it worth it?  You tell me!

     Did you like this year’s contest?  Did you learn something new?  Do you value the content that it produces?  Consider supporting the IJA through buying an annual membership.  The International Jugglers’ Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to “…rendering assistance to fellow jugglers.”  Your membership dues make this and other programs possible.  Don’t have the means to become a member?  Consider donating your time, instead.  We’re always looking for festival reviews, interesting stories, and other content for our electronic magazine, eJuggle.  Drop a line to Scott Seltzer, the eZine editor, if you’re interested! .

    Thanks again to everyone who made this year’s event possible, and congratulations to this year’s winners!

     All the best,

          – Thom Wall

          Director, IJA Video Tutorial Contest

PS – If you’re a winner, be on the lookout for an email from me soon outlining the next step!



10 – Meagan Nouis – Romeo’s Revenge

Marko – “Meagan has clear and calm voice. Studio like background makes video very easy to follow. Also It’s amazing to see how well she uses figures drawn over the video to share the idea.  The video annotations get even better the longer one watches the video.  Video is also organised in easy steps to follow which also helps learning and practicing the trick. I had really hard time deciding if this was better than the first tutorial from her, but finally ended placing it little bit lower than her first video.”

 Lucas – “I really love the idea of integrating little animations (e.g. arrows) to help us to see the tricks better. Also, good atmosphere and explanation.”

 Norbi – “A tough trick to explain, but she did it well. The graphic overlays were used tastefully and with good reason, each step was well broken down, AND most importantly for a tutorial is that I found her voice very enjoyable to listen to.”

Efren – “I really liked this video’s explanations.  It’s a pretty trick, an entertaining video, and you said what you needed to – nothing more, nothing less!”*



9 – Mike Moore – Passing Siteswap

Marko – “When I wrote on my bio that I’ll be expecting annotations I didn’t even think somebody would make such a massive tutorial with annotations. Video has fun intro and didn’t expect much from it. It was definitely good thing for Mike to remind to have annotations on. This video has by far the best pedacogical value. I’m personally a big fan on non-linear learning. With this video I was able to go back as many times I wanted and jump around checking out things that were interesting.

This is not actually one video but several videos so some might argue if it’s fair play to take part with this kind of set of videos. But this is not me. The whole thing is amazing! Can’t even begin to think how much time he has used to make this video.
Different angles, slo-mo, skipping videos, returning back. All are perfect tools for watching tutorials. And at the very moment where you start to get tired he throws a quiz in. I was completely  hooked on this video for about 45minutes. It’s also great to see how he gives out links for things that one should know before reading this and also for further reading on how to make existing patterns to passing patterns. “
Lucas – “Great concept, to interact with the user, to ask questions and use annotations for navigation. Really awesome. Also, I think that passing tutorials are really important and I’d like to watch more of it.”

Robin – “This has to score well for how it’s put together and also how in depth it goes. It’s a great introduction to passing siteswap packed full of facts and stuff to think about. Not the most entertaining but definitely a definitive into to the subject. Does what it claims to be.”



8 – Richard Hartnell – Arm Spirals

Lucas – “The trick names going up and fading away deserves a special mention. Loved it!  Loved the fact the Richard went to many places to produce the tutorial. Really well explained and with a good duration (not too long). GREAT!  + created subtitles in Spanish. This is important!”

Norbi – “Well presented in a clear and enjoyable voice, well shot in numerous beautiful but unobtrusive locations, and did a great job of explaining the trick whilst keeping me interested. It repeated itself a touch and could have been cut down by a minute or more.”

Robin – “I liked this one a lot too. It had some great stuff in it and some great tips, plus it showed you a bunch of ways to use the trick once you had it.”

Efren – “I liked this one! It was a little slow at times, and you might lose interest.  The explanations and the editing were very, very good, though.”*



7 – Scot Nery – How to Roll a Coin Across Your Knuckles

Lucas – “I like how it has a “show” format. 330,000 views in one month? WOAA really impressive! I never got that with all the videos on my channel in this period of time. Only one thing: the end charts are really long. No problem about that but 5-10 sec would be good. It was good to see a tutorial with a common object. I’d like to watch more of it.”

Norbi – “I was sad by the lack of publicity they gave the IJA, it could have been a huge promo if they would have mentioned it properly. That said, it was a very professional production. Fun to watch from beginning to end, well explained, good level of humour, hardly anything bad to say about it.”

Curt – “Great comedy and great production value.”



6 – Kyle Johnson – How to Juggle Five Balls

Norbi – “Can’t go wrong here – listed all the important foundations, and very clearly explained every step towards the goal. I would have liked a touch more explanation about posture and timing, but overall one of the better 5 ball tutorials on the web.”

Robin – “This was clear, entertaining and well thought out. It gave a load of good tips and exercises  for a classic trick.”

Curt – “It is like a master class from one of juggling’s best.”

Efren – “All very good, but I think the part with the multiplexes was too much.  That part made me not like it as much as the others.”*



5 – Zachary Armstrong – How to Make Bowler Hats for Juggling

Marko – “This was one of the first videos I saw and liked it quite a lot straight away. Zachary has his own style and the video looks personal. Also he makes me feel like all this is not so serious. Watching the tutorial gets my interest straight away and keeps me wondering if he will really succeed making a hat. This feels more like a weekend project for jugglers. I don’t think all the tutorials should be just juggling. And making a hat sounds like perfect thing to do. If I ever happen to stumble to some hats I will definitely give this a try.

There are many tips on the video. At some points text goes away little bit too fast. This is the case especially when he is talking at the same time as I’m reading the text. Doing two things simultaneously is quite hard for most of us. Also the music is very fitting to overall mood. Good job! Keeps me interested until the very end of the video which is the thing I can’t say for many other videos.”
Lucas – “Maybe too long and too specific, but bro, this is cool! I’d definitely check it out when I need some hats.”

Robin – “This one had it all for me. It’s a great subject that youtube isn’t already flooded with tutorials for. It takes you through every step clearly, it was interesting, funny and most of all I just found myself liking the guy and wanting to hear what he was saying. It’s a great project to undertake and a really useful and well thought out video. ”

Curt – “A very useful tutorial that make hat juggling possible for so many people.”

Thom – “LET’S MAKE HATS!!  So much personality in this video.  I’ve been looking for an excuse to learn some hat tricks, and now I think you’ve given me a reason!  You outlined all of the steps very clearly, demonstrating pitfalls, variations, and just about everything else someone who wants to give hatmaking a go might want to hear.  Thanks so much for putting this video out into the world!”



4 – Jose Lima – 3 Ball BBB

Marko – “Jose has interesting beginning and explains BBB’s well starting from what equipment to choose. He also gives different techniques that can be used to do the trick.  Colours, video and picture is over all good.

Somehow I cannot explain this but for some reason this video is easy to watch. I’ve watched it several times and still I don’t get bored.  Jose also breaks the trick in steps which is great and helps me to follow the video. There are tips how to get in and out of the pattern as well as variation of the thing. In the end I like learning concepts in juggling rather than single tricks and I feel that Jose has given me a great concept to work on!”
Lucas – “The most cool 3 balls trick must have its place here. I didn’t even know there were so many different ways to do that. Point for José.”

Norbi – “Nice lighting, nice explanations and nice little humorous moments. Stayed low on my list simple because at 1:20 he repeats over and over that you can not move your arms…but he moves his arms. “try not to move your arms” would have pleased me more.”

Robin – “I really liked this, it was in depth about several different techniques with tips and advantages/disadvantages to each presented. It was funny and it had some great juggling in it without turning it into a juggling video and not a tutorial which made it really fun to watch.”

Efren – “This had a great explanation, but the tutorial was so-so.  I started to lose interest – this trick frustrates me!  It’s nice that you share the trick, especially as you’re so friendly!”*



3 – Meagan Nouis – Underarm Catches

Marko – “Meagan submitted two great videos for the contest. Both are very well made so it’s not easy to decide which is better. Video looks good and it’s clearly filmed. I like how she makes me feel that there’s no hurry to learn this trick with calm voice. And I’m loving how she uses two videos next to each other and goes through the common mistake(s).

Trick is very well explained. I don’t believe it could have been explained any better. I’m sure everybody will agree that her videos are well done! Thank you!”
Robin – “There’s not too much to say about this one. It’s clear, well executed, well made and does exactly what it says on the tin. Nice trick too.” Curt – “Well shot, well explained and just a solid video tutorial.”

Efren – “I liked this trick a lot, and it had excellent explanations.  The editing was simple, but it didn’t need any more.”*



2 – Rob van Heijst – Five Ring Multiplex

Marko – “Rob has lot of enthusiasm and that sticks to me as well while watching the video. Which makes me want to try out the tricks. I’m also given credit for clear speech and using two angles most of the time. This helps to see how the throw is done. There could have been more tips on which rings to choose.

Rob gives good tips on using less rings first and how to throw the rings. Trick is quite straight forward so it’s good thing it’s relatively short. Also props for putting it online on HD.
‘Tip for Rob, next time watch the camera lens instead of your small screen. Now I feel that you’re not talking to me when you are close to camera.'”
Lucas – “Good atmosphere, really entertaining.  It’s not long or boring. I feel happy and want to learn the trick when I watch it. Great one! Well planned and produced. It covers all the important points on learning the trick.”
Norbi – “Very clearly and simply presented, bonus points for and original move, and EXTRA bonus points for being happy and enthusiastic about explaining it.”
Robin – “I’m not sure why, but I really liked this one. It was short, funny and to the point. Plus it was well shot and edited and it was a mighty cool trick!”
Curt – “Loved his positive energy and wow what a cool trick!”
Efren – “I think I liked this video the most – good editing, I didn’t get bored, it was quick and concrete.  It was very well explained, too!”



1 – Eric Culhane – Interactive 2-Diabolo S-Fan

Marko – “Eric’s video is also great tutorial. I hope all of the tutorials would be like this nowadays. Non-linear makes it so much more fun to watch and go through all the things. I noticed that I was actually using much more time learning and watching annotated and linked videos.

Video has great overall quality with HD picture, good colours. Putting table of contents to youtube’s about box was definitely a good idea. This way you can jump even when there are no annotations visible. At some points I felt like the menus in the middle of video could have been longer. Now I had to haste to choose one of the items. This is just a minor thing.
I appreciate the fact that Eric gives out different ways to go into the fan. This way everybody can choose the one that suits them best. Sound is also clear and good. Video also has classic tutorial music behind, Eric probably has no idea how many magic dvd’s and VHS I’ve watched that had a similar kind of music on the background. This video took me to my early days in learning magic.
Tricks were clearly explained and he even used different coloured diabolos to show keep things clear.  A tip from diabolo player to another. “Good job Eric! Now work on little bit with that posture, you’re hunching down a little…” This video is great example for others how it should be done.”

Lucas – “Great use of youtube annotations and timings on the description box. I found it really creative. I don’t remember the last time I saw a tutorial like that. It also gives the viewer the power to choose what he/she wants to watch first. Awesome.”

Lauren – “I LOVE that you can pick different parts of the skill to watch.  This is an ideal way to learn from a video!”

Norbi – “Great job! I found some sections of the tutorial were a touch vague, in the sense that it was almost a demo “just do this” than an actual explanation. However not everywhere, there were also some great tips in there. Of course the annotations were perfectly used, everything in one video, skipping back and forth to find the right part with easily and brilliantly planned buttons. All I would improve would be more precise explanations of certain aspects, but I am thoroughly impressed by the time and effort put into the tutorial.”

Robin – “A little dull but really thorough covering the trick plus a whole bunch of entries and exits. Extra points for interactivity… although I just watched it through so the same menu coming up over and over did get a little irritating.”

Curt – “Great use of links and well shot. Explanations were clear and easy to follow.”

Thom – “Amazing.  I’m amazed.  This is what online tutorials should strive to be like!  Eric’s video was personable, funny, easy to watch, and pedagogically sound.  This is a great reference for current and future diabolo players, to be sure.”




People’s Choice Award – Mike Moore




Honorable Mentions (In no specific order!)


Lauri Koskinen – How to Juggle Three Objects While Head Balancing

Marko – “Lauri’s video is well made. He shows the trick, breaks it down to smaller easily learnable parts and in the end he shows how to put it all together.  Video does assume that juggler can already throw 3 objects but after that he shows clearly how to balance a club and where one should balance it in middle of the trick.

On the video there are many useful exercises to do while on the way of learning the trick. Video has good atmosphere and to be hones quite an awful song. Luckily there’s no speaking involved so music can be easily faded. At some parts of the video text feels little bit too fast for me, but other than that this is a great video!”



Alexander Chan – Pen Spinning

Marko – “Alexander has made massive effort with filming all the videos. After watching countless of his videos I think I found golden one! As a non pen spinner most of the terms are quite difficult to understand and when even trick sound weird I started to look for a video that could help me to regroup my thoughts. Also I have graded this video independently from the other ones he submitted.

On Putting everything together Alexander introduces a concept instead of another tricks. In juggling concepts are way better than any single tricks. Concepts are more like tools which you can use to discover more material, understand the existing tricks or use them in various other ways.  Soundtrack is really clear and I have no problems what so ever understanding him. Also video quality and colours are great.”

Curt – “I watched every video and tried every trick. With these videos you could become a pen spinning Ninja. Thank you for all of the information.”

Thom – “And the most determined videographer of the year award goes to..!  Shoeman6, you’re an animal!  You’ve undoubtedly gotten a huge number of jugglers interested in the art of penspinning – including myself!  Time to start practicing!”



Seth Umbenhauer – The Extended Feeding Line

Marko – ” For me the Extended Feeding line was perfect. In the beginning the pattern looks a bit like uncontrolled mess that somehow keeps in the air. By the end of the video I felt like I could easily throw this. Seth clearly explains how it goes bit by bit. Using numbers and text on top of video helps to understand this really well. Also it’s great to hear different names for passing patterns.

When going gets though Seth uses slow-motion effectively and in the end he shows inspiring variations.  Well done and helpful video.”
Lucas – “Loved to watch a tutorial on passing, we don’t have many, unfortunately. Really well explained and with good rhythm.”
Curt – “Loads of great information to make juggling a more social activity. This tutorial is easy to follow and loaded with information.”
Andrew Olson – The Chop Shower

Lucas – “Creative and funny (at least for me.) But maybe a little overedited. Some of the effects weren’t really necessary to tell the story (read as ‘understand the trick’) better.

Norbi – “Some might say over edited, but I found that it just kept me interested. Also I don’t know whether he just doesn’t like speaking on film, or whatever his reason, the robotic voiceover was a fun touch and a great choice on his behalf. The heavy use of Optical Flow/Twixtor was a bit off-putting, but not everyone can afford a high-speed camera.”
Curt – “Best use of a robot voice!”

Efren –  “The editing could have been better, but the tutorial was really creative.  It was entertaining and is well worth watching.”*



Bill Berry – Triplexes and Quadplexes

Lauren – “I loved that the tutorial was done without sound.  The different angles for the throws and catches make the skill easy to learn.”

Norbi – “Beautiful location, great shots and nice slo-mo too. Unfortunately I found it to be a demo more than a tutorial.”



Laura Ernst – How to be Awesome at Juggling and Everything Else

Norbi – “A great idea for a tutorial. Some fantastic points, everyone should pay attention to this one. I was really happy to see someone go outside just juggling, but whilst staying so relevant, good job.”

Robin – “I really liked this video, it was interesting, different and had some really great advice on juggling in general.”



Vasil Magaranov – Three Ring Elbow Flicks

Curt – “Loved the break down on this trick it helped me learn the trick quickly.”

Thom – “So glad to see a tutorial come in from Bulgaria!  Vasil clearly outlines the trick’s component parts, peppering the video with some of his own thoughts about learning new patterns, as well.  His accent might be a little difficult for non-native English speakers to understand, so captions might have been a helpful addition.  The trick and all of its steps are so clearly demonstrated, though, that any spoken language at all is almost superfluous!  Good job, Vasil!”



Japheth Garulle – Three Club Face Balance

Curt – “Thank you for putting out a tutorial on this fun and visual trick!”

Thom – “Japheth – What a great trick!  After watching this video, I went straight to the park to give it a go.  The video was very well made, but I wish the audio were better!”



The Tomicide – Rob Henman

Curt – “A lot of great information packed into an awesome little video.”



Siena Barkan – Slackline Drop Knee

Norbi – “Nice to see some non-juggling tutorials, but found it a touch repetitive and not in depth enough.”

Efren – “Great tutorial! It’s the only one for slackline this year, and it’s interesting.  I practice, and you’ve really got some great tips.  I also loved the scenery!  =) “*



Nathan Wakefield – David’s Dilemma

Efren – “The trick is very nice.  The video starts off very entertaining, but slows down after a bit.  I think the trick is worth learning.  I think tighter editing could make it stronger.”*



Nick Civitello – How to Juggle One-Up Two-Up

Lucas – “It probably took much time to be done. I’d really love to watch a tutorial with this concept on more elaborated tricks, but for now, this is great!”
Lauren – “This was the most innovative tutorial entry.  The skill was taught in a unique way.”
Norbi – “A great idea of creating a flip book animation for a tutorial! I would love to see someone go all the way next year, creating a full and well explained tutorial, presented only as an animation.”
Efren – “The creativity in this video made it very interesting to me.  50 seconds of creativity!  Honestly, I really loved it.”*
Noel Yee – Spinning 2 Poi Like a Meteor

Lucas – “WoW! Almost an encyclopedia. Loved it! Showed many possibilities. Also good use of titles on the screen (I really appreciate the font and color).”




*Translated from Spanish to English by Thom



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Thom is a professional variety performer, currently touring Europe with Cirque du Soleil's "TOTEM."Thom holds a BA in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Washington University in St Louis and an MS in Nonprofit Arts Administration from Drexel University's Westphal College of Media Arts and Design.When he's not performing, he coaches juggling online and writes about his travels at .

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