Jeff Peden actually does juggle, proof with a picture of passing with Bonnie Booth.

by Jeff Peden

At 6:00 pm on April 16th, 2010 the doors opened and the 33rd RIT Spring Juggle-In began. With over 40 people already in attendance for the Free Pizza party, things started quickly. As more and more jugglers arrived, the welcoming hugs and hello’s dropped away and the focus shifted to passing clubs and sharing tricks, to the ever present music playlist provided by Joe Showers. Tim Peterson had been busy setting up the video equipment all afternoon and was ready to capture the event on video from start to finish. Check out the video page at the RIT Club site to see the coverage. At 8:33 pm Cate Emily Flaherty gave a workshop on hand balancing for all those interested. Then at 8:50 pm, when the handstand competition began, she proceeded to “school” everyone by winning with a time of over 1 minute.

Cast of the Public show

This is the hardcore group that arrived at 6:00 p.m. for the opening of the festival & the cast of the Public show with Cate Emily Flaherty, handstand master, in front.

Following the competition was the Big Open. It was only the third time that RIT has had an opening night show, and it is clearly becoming a favorite. Attendance reached a count of 232 people. Free for everyone, and hosted by Warren Hammond of Smirk. The evening had multiple acts with some great variety. Jay Ko handled the camera and did a great job covering the acts which included: yo-yo with Chandler Scott, a ball routine from Micheal Karas, Cate Emily did an Improved ball routine followed by a handstand on rola bola, rings from Norbi, a routine with balls and clubs by RIT student Matt Keil, a Club routine Bekah Smith, Team passing duo Doug Sayers and Josh Horton, box and 2 balls by Chase Hensen and demonstrations of Major League Combat with Jason Garfield. Warren also presented his new favorite skill with the Blockhead routine and a Black and Decker screwdriver. Joe Showers also returned with Juggling Fear Factor, with the coconut neck catch and other stunts. The show was followed by Major League Combat league in one gym, while the main gym was left open for more juggling until closing at 12:03 a.m.

Ritchie the RIT Tiger Jay Ko Unicycle

Ritchie the RIT Tiger & Jay Ko, more than a camera man

Saturday began with a 10:03 a.m. Free Family Matinee which was hosted by Ted Baumhaeur and loaded with performers and an appreciative and overflowing audience of over 200. Performers included Ted himself along with his daughters, Dave Fultz of Gravitational Bull, Jeff Peden and Joe Showers of Airplay, Michael Karas did his puppet juggling routine and Bekah Smith did a flowing Flag poi routine. Immediately following the show there was time for beginners workshops, and photos with Ritchie the RIT Tiger. From then on the Gym became a beehive of activity with multiple workshops going on at once, as well as 6 different vendors tables, and a raffle table loaded with generous donations to which Dube Juggling was proud to be a part of.

During the last 10 years the RIT Juggle-In has focused on raising awareness and funds for research to help create a cure for Dystonia. Last year’s event allowed us to donate $2,000 to the cause and the RIT club has now been able to raise over $20,000 in donations for the Dystonia foundation. Since Dystonia is a condition that can be inherited or acquired and it robs its victims of control over their movements, it is a cause that jugglers can easily relate to.

Club Passing Doug Sayers Michael Karas leads the games

Club passing in the gym Doug Sayers in center & Michael Karas leads in Simon Say

At 2 p.m everyone gathered for our traditional Big Toss-up followed immediately by the games.

Games and results
5 Ball Endurance: Zack Zukas (3:36)
7 Ball Endurance:  Doug Sayers ( 15 seconds +)
Quarter Juggling: Kris Groth

3 Ball Blind Juggling: 1st – Joe Showers (5:16 +) & 2nd – Glen Luke Flanigan

3 Ball Simon Says – Lead by Michael Karas: 1st – Glen Luke Flanigan &  2nd – Joe Showers Note: with volleyballs

Best Trick Juniors (12 and under): Sawyer and Jeannette Oubre Note: 2nd year winners
Best Trick/Seniors: Joe Showers

Hand Stand Endurance: Cate Emily Flaherty

The evening show, held at Rush Henrietta High School gathered 450 people together to watch an unbelievable evening of variety. Smirk, (Warren Hammond and Reid Belstock) Emceed the evening and led off with their interactive two person club routine. Following them and setting the tone for the rest of the evening was Jorden Moir, a world class footbagger and student at the Zacada Circus School in Stoney Creek, Ontario. Jorden proceeded to do a near perfect routine to a standing ovation and an encore involving 7 balls manipulated by both hands and feet. The U of R Strong jugglers did an ensemble piece with balls and anywhere from 4 to 10 people on the stage at a time. Ted Baumhauer then totally engaged the audience with his slack rope routine and boomerang throws above the audience. Cate Emily’s presentation of hand balance was flawless and brought the audience to it’s feet for her excellence. Michael Karas provided his now trademark creativity with pieces involving linked rings, custom castle boxes, and even hot wheels tracks. Norbi brought to the stage the diabolo and ring pieces that he had just done the week before at the BJC, and the Strong Jugglers added yet another ensemble club piece. The big surprise for me was the highly technical nature of the Dazzling Mills performance. I have long enjoyed Steve’s antics on stage and the crazy unicycling. What I was not prepared for was the precision technical passing that enthralled and impressed the lay audience and jugglers alike.

No surprise, but quite the treat was our featured artist Doug Sayers. Doing a nearly flawless version of his IJA Gold medal routine, he closed the show with yet another standing ovation. With the show over, the crowd returned to the gym for another 2 hours of juggling before the majority departed for food at our beloved Jay’s Diner. Known for its milkshakes and tolerance of jugglers, we descended and overloaded their back room with over 50 late night breakfasters.

RIT Club past to the present!

RIT Club past to the present! Back row: Ben Bloom – RIT Club Pres 2007-08, Joe Lott- RIT club Pres 2009-10, Jeff Peden, Eric Lannan – RIT club Pres 2008-09 Front row: Bill Dietrich (33 years and never missed a Juggle-IN!) Greg Moss founder to the Juggle-In

Sunday had its own surprises this year as Greg Moss, the founder of the Juggle-In, managed to pull some strings and get us access to both the small and the large gyms – something we’ve never had before.  With 200 people still in attendance, it was a good thing. Surprising also was the huge turnout for the “working as a Team” forum lead by Warren and Reid, and the brilliant use of newspaper to make quick balancing practice devices by Steve Mills. By 2:03 pm it was time to walk the performers across campus in keeping with a new tradition that we started last year. Each performer signs our official club space “wall of fame”, and then we take a group photo. We even managed to get a photo of Greg Moss and RIT club President Joe Lott! Equally special this year was the fact that RIT club member Clarissa Hastings, who initiated the club wall project last year, was one of the interpreters for the show.

By 3:03 pm it was time to close the gym and the book on the 33rd RIT Spring Juggle-In.

More pictures of the festival on Jeff’s Facebook page. Check out what’s happening with the RIT juggling club on their website.

  • Bob Hughes

    Nice summary Jeff. Thanks for writing about the event. We have enjoyed the RIT Juggle-In for many years.

  • Bonnie Booth

    Jeff – great job!

  • Steve Mills

    Great summary Jeff. If anyone out there has not attended the RIT Festival plan to make it an annual event, great people, and always a highlight of the juggling year! FUN FUN FUN

  • Kristen Peden

    Awesome writeup of the event! And awesome job organizing it! I am proud to be your wife, Jeff.

  • gengeasyday

    thanks! :)

    lets write them until the admit it, or stop doing it! i am writing them now!


  • 英文SEO

    One again, your article is very nice

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