Hi there! been a while since i last posted here...
but i'm still training ;)
today i wanted to ask you about a wish i had for some time now.
i want to start a juggling club. how do i begin? how does it work?
i now it must be kind of a stupid question for many of you...
but i've never been in a juggling club.. there's no such thing in argentina.
only a few circus schools that opened these last years.
I even live in a small town called Lago Puelo, in patagonia, so not many cultural things available.
I love juggling. it made my life so much better. and i love teaching (i am a music teacher for kids).
so i want to create a place where old & new jugglers can meet, learn, exchange ideas, play together...
i was hoping you can give me some guidelines to how to kick-start it.
one good thing is that i actually know a few jugglers around here... so i can invite them to begin with...
My plan is usually:
- Find somewhere to juggle
- Find a time to that place is available every week
- Tell as many jugglers as you know (adding it to http://jugglingedge.com/clublistings.php and using facebook/instagram/etc to get the word out helps)
- Turn up at that time, every week, without fail.
That's all you really need to get a juggling club started.
Everything else (beginners workshops, teaching, social meetups etc) is an added bonus, but at its most basic, you need to be in the same place at the same time, predictably, reliably, week after week.
An initial publicity stunt or some other form of marketing also helps.
When starting Spalding juggling club (which folded when we left) an hour of club passing at the local market proved enough advertising to get sufficient numbers to pay for the hall.
When starting Concrete Circus a few assemblies in local schools helped.
Since you know a few jugglers around, perhaps not just invite them, but involve them! See if they are as excited about starting a club as you are.
For newcomers it's much easier to join a group than to join an individual, unless you want to set up a workshop rather than a typical juggling meeting club.
thanks! lots of usefull data!
i'm going to give it a try these days, or weeks... and will let you know!
You need a space and some jugglers. That's about it. If you want it to last I'd add:
- turn up on time or a bit early so it's open when people arrive
- make sure it happens regularly - if not then make sure you tell people when it's closed
- make sure you take some time out of your own practice to welcome new people and teach others (ask some of the other regulars to help you with this)
- keep feeding in new people - advertise (online is cheap/free), print some cards or flyers that you *always* have with you, juggle at student events, juggle in parks, juggle everywhere
- if it costs money make sure you plan to run it at a profit - you can always use this profit to buy stuff for everyone to use, put on shows etc. but don't plan to 'just break even' (you won't).
The classic mistake with juggling clubs is not finding & encouraging new people, which leads to the attendance shrinking, the same people running it (and becoming weary of doing so), less money to pay for venues etc. and eventual closure.
"if it costs money make sure you plan to run it at a profit" oh god this.
You don't have to aim for a big profit, but you should aim for a profit. If you're running at break-even and you have a few weeks where attendance is down, you'll end up funding the shortfall yourself. If you're running at a profit you've got a buffer to use on those quiet weeks.
you know the expression "two horse town"? well, in the town where i live you actually see people riding horses, or a pair of oxes pulling a cart... so.. yeah, not sure it could happend.
I did try to open a paid workshop, a few years ago, it started fine, but in mid-winter fell apart...
so, i guess it is a "non-profit" :) thanks anyway, some usefull data too.
also, do we need to get some kind of ensurence? or leave under-age people out of it?
how do you people deal with that?
again, thanks everybody for the advice, it's beeing really usefull.
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