Summer Sale 2010 is here!

Summer Sale 2010 is here!

Summer is here, which means juggling season is in full swing. Now through July 7th, all orders over $100 receive a 15% discount with the order code “circus”! To honor his momentous occasion, we’d like to suggest some of our favorite summertime juggling props.

Outdoor juggling is now a 24 hour activity! Lighted balls, lighted clubs and lighted poi are great options for late-night manipulation. Your friends will be begging you to bring your lighted juggling props to their next party. Great for the casual juggler and performer alike!

Always wanted to learn to ride a unicycle? This is your summer! Dubé Juggling has just unveiled our revamped line of unicycles. Our Club Unicycle is a great, low-cost option for the beginner, while our Nimbus II line is a great, reliable ride for the beginner to advanced rider. For the performers out there, why not add a giraffe unicycle finale to your show? Our Performer Convertible Giraffe Unicycle can be set from 5 to 7 feet tall.

To view our entire online catalog, please visit

By Kyle Petersen

Another Video Friday is upon us, and this time we’re focusing on some of the greats from juggling’s past.

WC Fields is perhaps the most well-known juggler of all time. Though known primarily as an actor and vaudevillian comedian, Fields got his start in juggling, and showcased his talent in a number films. Here is an example of one of Fields’ classic juggling and cigar box routines.

Enrico Rastelli was born in 1896 to an Italian circus family. Known for his innovative combo tricks and his affinity for juggling even-numbered items, Rastelli is considered a forefather of modern juggling. Unfortunately, the video above is in Italian, but if anyone can translate, we’d love to know what it says!

Francis Brunn is one of the most refined and most polished jugglers of the 20th century. Brunn was a regular on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, and performed twice at the White House, where President Eisenhower proclaimed him the best juggler that he had seen. Brunn died in 2004.

Do you have a favorite juggler from the past that we’ve left out? Let us know!

By Kyle Petersen

June 19th is World Juggling Day and in recognition of this momentous occasion, we’re featuring some of the funnier juggling records we’ve come across. All videos come courtesy of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Upside-down juggling? Whatever floats your boat. Erik Kloeker sets the Upside-down juggling record at 4 minutes and 5 seconds.

Spaniard Pedro Elis sets the Guinness record for five-basketball juggling. Juggling basketballs is hard, juggling five balls is hard, juggling five basketballs is nearly impossible…

Hannes Neumann from Hannover, Germany sets the Guinness World Record by juggling under water for 49 minutes and 53 seconds. Think you can break this record? Don’t hold your breath…

By Kyle Petersen

In last week’s Video Friday, we featured videos of jugging and manipulation based sports. This week, we feature athletes demonstrating manipulation skills in the fields of basketball, soccer and golf.

Curley Boo Johnson of the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrates some fancy basketball manipulation skills, juggling the balls and making an unbelievable shot at the end.

Who doesn’t remember this classic Tiger Woods golf ball juggling commercial by Nike?

Although his career has taken a downward turn in recent years, Ronaldinho is still recognized as one of the most skilled ball handlers in the game of soccer. Check out the fancy footwork (and headwork).

By Kyle Petersen

The juggler throws the balls up and catches them flawlessly, executing the most difficult maneuvers with ease. The audience, however, is horrified. The culprit? Juggle face.

Justin Bieber keeps clubs aloft, but can't keep tongue in mouth.

Juggle face is the strange or goofy expression many jugglers wear on their face in moments of deep concentration. Juggle face effects thousands of jugglers worldwide. Symptoms include sticking out tongue, leaving mouth open, and contorting facial muscles. There is no known cure for juggle face, but treatment is available.

When I work with students, I tell them to be mindful of their facial expressions. “That was great,” I’ll tell them, “now do the exact same thing with your mouth closed, and remember to smile.”

According to Andrew “Slammin’ Andy” Peterson, juggle face is caused by “extreme concentration on a physical activity that requires small muscle coordination. People make stupid faces when trying to thread a needle too,” he explains.

In a recent appearance on Japanese television, teen heart throb Justin Bieber demonstrated his meager juggling skills to an adoring audience. But while his teeny bopper fans swooned over his ability to juggle three clubs for almost seven seconds, we were aghast at Justin’s horrible juggle face.

But there’s hope for Justin yet. Slammin’ Andy suggests putting the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth as a way of combating juggle face. My solution has been to always smile while I practice juggling, so a pleasant smile becomes my default juggle face.

Please share any photos, thoughts, or experiences you’ve had with juggle face, we’d love to include them in future blog posts.

By Kyle Petersen

We’ve long noticed that many of our customers are also musicians. This makes a lot of sense, as both juggling and music require using both sides of your brain. While many have combined juggling and music in the past, and handful of musical juggling acts stand out. Here is a sample of some of our favorites.

Chip Ritter tears it up on his drum set on the Letterman Show, juggling drum sticks while drumming!

The guys from Gandini Juggling syncopate bounce juggling to create an excellent drumming effect. This took a lot of practice…

Dan Menendez uses silicon juggling balls to bounce juggle on an electric piano. Ellen is impressed.

Do you have a musical juggling act? Please let us know!

By Christopher D. Garcia, aka Draco the Juggler

Club Balancing Endurance

Ever since attending my first juggling festival, the First Annual Berkeley Juggling and Unicycle Festival, I was introduced to the magical world of juggling fests that has become a huge part of my life today. Ever since then, it has also been a dream of mine to host a well-known juggling festival that is free to all interested in juggling and the circus arts. That dream became a goal, and now that goal has been accomplished. My attempt at creating the Santa Cruz Juggling Festivals is also powered by the fun and inspiration I had from other festivals as well such as the IJA Convention, Humboldt Juggling Fests, Isla Vista Juggling Festival, Berkeley Juggling and Unicycle Fests, Johnston Juggle Jam, and other fests I have been to. I have also been inspired by many of my juggling friends like those in the Vulcan Crew, Humboldt Circus, Santa Clara Jugglers, Stanford Jugglers, Silver Creek Jugglers, Klutz Jugglers, Berkeley Jugglers, Santa Cruz Jugglers, and many other jugglers I have met.

As a very special juggler once wrote in my high school yearbook upon my graduation, “I love this page because it has those 2 words on it right next to you [struggle: n. a long fight to attain something] [unique: n. unusually good and special]. You and I both know what a struggle it is to make something unique. But you’ve done it, Chris. You are in my opinion, a great juggler and a great guy. Now go share your gifts with others. That’s my only advice.” This is the man who also “defines the most common paths in juggling as Performance, Art, Sport, and Hobby. But there is a Fifth Path, the one he himself has followed: that of the talented artisan who shares his skills and knowledge to facilitate others’ journeys down a juggling path.” This man has been my main source of juggling inspiration and is like a juggling father to me; he is Matt Hall… and now I follow his Fifth Path.

Last year I started the Santa Cruz Juggling Festival as a one day event in honor of World Juggling Day on June 18th, 2009. The festival took place on UCSC’s East Field on a hot sunny day and there were about 30+ attendees. There was music, workshops, a renegade show, and a fire show; it was a good step to a festival just born to the world.

This year the Santa Cruz Juggling Festival took a huge leap from what it was last year. I spent many months and countless hours planning to make the event more like the juggling festivals I have attended. One huge plus about this year is that the festival actually had a gym. It also had some other cool things like a nature walk/parade, Renegade Juggling Store Happy Hour, public variety show, juggling games (with some cool UCSC slug plushies as prizes), a raffle, and Sunday fire juggling by the beach. I also did the “Blind Juggler Project” a few weeks before the festival, which consisted of me juggling blindfolded across campus to spread word to my fellow colleagues about the fest. We had many sponsors (as seen on the right side of this blog) that donated prizes to the Sunday raffle. There were a total of 110 festival attendees during the duration of the 3 days (according to all who signed the waiver). This year we gained about $300 in donations and from the raffle for next year’s festival.

But as all festivals have their good things, they also have some bad things or things that didn’t go according to plan. This year SCJF didn’t have a Friday renegade show as we had a small number of people Friday, but instead all of the people there went to Taqueria Vallarta for dinner, which was pretty fun too. We didn’t have the gym on Friday, although it was a nice day so it didn’t matter too much. We also didn’t have an actual stage for the public show, but the show still ended up being AWESOME. We didn’t have a set list of workshops during the festival, but I did see some renegade ones happen. One huge obstacle that I had to deal with as an organizer was having a very small budget to run the festival off of. I only had about $230 to work with to make this event happen; $100 came from the UCSC Juggling Club doing an event for our college the week before the fest; $100 from J.C. Sue and his family as a donation; and about $30 or so from J.C. and I street performing in Downtown Santa Cruz; and of course some money out of my own pocket, although I cant recall how much. Unfortunately, I did not submit a grant proposal to UCSC in time to get funded by the college this year. Well, its like they say… learn from your mistakes; these are some things I will keep in mind for next year.

Overall, I feel that this years Santa Cruz Juggling Festival was a HUGE success; all the hard work that went into this event paid off. Thank you all for supporting my and the UCSC Juggling Club’s efforts and coming out to have fun at the Santa Cruz 2nd Annual Juggling Festival. Until next year everyone!

By Kyle Petersen

People have been practicing circus arts in Japan for hundreds of years, demonstrating great skill in manipulation, equilibristics and acrobatics. Near Tokyo, Naranja juggling shop sells plenty of our equipment. We are curious to know whose hands the cigar boxes, devil sticks, shaker cups, and more ends up in. Because we can’t read any of the rad Japanese juggling blogs out there, we turned  to YouTube to show us the way. The following are three of our favorite videos from Japan (with and without Dube props) ranging from skilled, to flashy, to bizarre. Take a peak:

This girl is one of the greatest unicyclists we’ve ever seen, but we can’t find any other information about who she is, or why she’s so unbelievably good.

Some outstanding flair bartending skills.

Hyoga, I choose you! Hyoga is a yellow dragon with some impressive juggling skills…

By Kyle Petersen

In a recent post on Facebook, I asked the question: If you could create the ultimate juggling prop, what would it be? Anti-gravity juggling balls? A hover rola bola? Lazer-guided throwing knives?

The question resulted in a flurry of responses, ranging from possible to impossible, practical to impractical. Here’s a sample of our favorite responses:

Sean J: How about a static cling contact juggling device? It would have to be round. It would operate on similar principals to rubbing a balloon on your head.. We may have to recharge it from time to time. Though I like this idea of an under-elbow-stall!
We’re not sure if that possible, but you can always contact juggling while suspended from your feet!
Emily L: I think it would be cool if there was a prop that made different sounds so that as you were juggling it would make different rhythms for different tricks. It would add a new dimension.
This is a great concept. You could always fill the balls with different material so they make different sounds when juggled (think of the rhythm Russian balls make). What would be really cool is inserting some sort of computer chip into the balls, and have the balls programed to make different sounds when thrown at different heights or different angles. Though this seems possible, it would take a lot of creativity and technological know-how.
Kit S: A unicycle that you can ride sideways.
As far as we know, there actually is a unicycle that you can ride sideways, though it may not be the most practical mode of one-wheeled transportation.

Creative people are always pushing the envelope by creating new and innovative juggling props. It wasn’t too long ago that LED lighted juggling balls seemed like a fantasy. Now they’re a standard prop. We’d love to hear your ideas, please let us know!

Words and Photos by Christian Kloc

Viveca Gardiner, New York City juggler and combat referee, cascades five balls on Friday evening.

Viveca Gardiner, New York City juggler and combat referee, cascades five balls on Friday evening.

No laws, but plenty of clubs, were passed a week ago at the 18th Annual Continental Congress of Jugglers at the University of Maryland in College Park. About 50 jugglers gathered in Ritchie Coliseum on Friday, May 8, to start things off. The night was filled with informal juggling and relaxing in the gym.

The next day, Bob Swaim, arrived with his imaginative cycles, including a three-person bike with forward and rear-facing seats. JoAnn Swaim and Kelly Heck each managed to juggle five balls while Bob steered the vehicle.

I led a 3-ball bounce and 3-club workshop and club treasurer Matthew Bishop taught basic poi. Games started around 3 p.m., ranging from 3-ball Simon says to the crowd-pleasing diabolo in a box. Game winners include: Chris Hodge (7-ball endurance, 5-ball endurance), Andrew Hodge (3-ball Simon says), John Chase (club gathering), Kelly Heck (diabolo in a box) Brian Knobbs and Chris Hodge (6-club passing race).

Tomer runs a seven ball cascade, from two angles. From Christian Thomas Kloc

Tomer runs a seven ball cascade.

The Saturday night show, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the gym, featured a wide variety of talent and performance styles, emceed by Phil DePalo. Tomer, a young juggler who was performing for a large audience for the first time, amazed everyone with a run of seven balls and many other advanced tricks. Ashley Ellis presented an exotically themed routine with uniquely choreographed club juggling and her usual three-baton flair.

Chris Hodge astounded the crowd with his highly technical juggling and musical timing. Brandon Barnette mixed it up with some pop-and-lock dancing, sliding across the floor and smoothly transitioning from slow to fast movement. Alan Hodge, father of the Hodge juggling dynasty, performed a novel three-club routine in which he swung clubs seamlessly throughout the pattern. Heather Hackett Marriott and Neil performed an acrobatic juggling and hula-hoop routine. I showcased a three- to seven-ball bounce routine and three-club sequence I’ve been working on since the summer. Matt Baker, a Seattle-based entertainer, closed the show with some stand-up comedy and garden weasel juggling.

In between acts, Jason Garfield presented his new Major League Combat games – zombie, sumo, kill the king and 360s combat. The explanations featured demonstration rounds of combat between Team Hodge (Alan, Chris, Andrew and Jason “Hodge”) and Team Non-Hodge (Matthew Wise, Adam Van Houten, Brian Knobbs and myself). The evenly matched contests provided some athletic, at times comedic, displays of combative skill for the audience to enjoy.

After the show, a few brave souls attempted fire juggling and spinning in windy and cold conditions, while onlookers huddled to stay warm. Several jugglers seemed to develop a zombie-like addiction to playing zombie combat, which proceeded well into the evening before the gym closed at Midnight. Sunday featured more informal passing, combat, and reminiscing about a weekend well-spent with juggling friends.

The club would like to thank Dubé for its sponsorship and for everyone who showed up to make the festival a success. Stay tuned for the next congressional session in 2011!

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