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Quick question regarding shoes for juggling stage performances:
Anyone have a favorite style of shoe the like to wear while they perform? I've tried jazz shoes for a few years now, and they tend to not have enough grip for 360s etc. So, any suggestions?
I love feiyues, it's a kungfu shoe which is popular among Chinese pole acrobats and circus students in general. But they don't look great on stage.
For pretty shoes I like Bleyer, custom colors and everything. Email them about their grip soles, for a fiver extra you get great soles on your shoes.
If you need standard smart/dress shoes go to shoesforcrews. They look basic but feel almost like a sneaker and have great grip.
Thank you so much for the suggestions! I've just ordered a pair of Feiyues, and I'm going to be ordering some shoes from Bleyer for an upcoming performance!
Coming from a ballet background, I would say to think about your "push off" technique. You shouldn't need to use your other foot at all to generate rotation. A bad technique can cause injury, it may be worthwhile to attend some dance classes to improve your technique to try to minimise the risk of injury in the longer term.
In ballet, do you use your upper body and arms to generate rotation? That’s cool for dancing, but for juggling you are often using your arms for something else at the time you want to begin generating rotational force.
You use a surprising amount of stomach muscles to generate rotation, with some shoulder (but more stomach than people realise).
Techniques will need to be adapted for juggling (of course), but going to more grippy shoes because of "push off" issues is more likely to cause problems - with the rotating foot getting stuck and twisting knees.
Unless a character would have a reason for wearing different shoes, then I would recommend refining a technique that enables jugglers to avoid knee injury caused by jarring.
You use a surprising amount of stomach muscles to generate rotation, with some shoulder (but more stomach than people realise).
Specifically your internal & external oblique abdominal muscles. So standard sit ups won't help.
If you are doing a lot of 360s then less grippy shoes are a better option.
I think most people have the same instinct that more grip = more force to launch the spin = better spins. However, if you spin with a grippy soled shoe it puts a rotational stress on your knee which is a major cause for knee operations among salsa dancers. This is why you won't find many grippy dance shoes. The other way of looking at the problem is: Reducing friction = less force required to spin = better spins.
I'm convinced that the reason why jugglers who wear trainers get better at 360s is because they gradually wear away the grip from the one foot they consistently spin on.
I started getting problems with my knees due to dancing so I started wearing these Cotton soled kung fu shoes. It took a while to adjust but it has definitely made things easier & I won't be going back.
Yes, I would agree.
The main problem is that the foot that is kicking off the spin does not have enough grip. Which means that there is ultimately not enough force generated to create multiple fast and clean spins.
Those cotton soled shoes look very comfortable!
Hi Ethan, @ all - would it make sense to wear two different shoes (L+R), one for pushing \kicking off, and one for the stance foot turning, maybe? Or have a rubber cap for the pushing foot ( that you can slip over when needed and take off when not anymore ) ? (don't they have it in bowling?)
Ofek Snir is notorious for his super fast spins (7-up 1080!) and he wears a sock on his spinning foot and goes barefoot on his other. Not often appropriate for performing, but he pulled it off in "Sock It".
Ah, okay. Impressing! .. I'd still go with what Dee said above - sounds profund and very plausible. ( So Ofek is maybe an exeption to the rule, with maybe his own technique perfectionned, or maybe evn bluntly doing it wrong and overstressing his anatomy on the long run )
Btw., I myself get dizzy after a one stage 540° turn lol and try it only rarely.
Just your basic ballet, contemporary dance, acro, capoeira, clown, slapstick routine
It's a bit bizarre & honestly I think half of you will hate it, but I really enjoyed this piece. I think there is a lot of originality here.
If nothing else watch the move at 5:58.
Thanks Jon. It was mostly for Orin's "benefit", but I'm glad to know that it was appreciated!
Well, there it is 9 minutes long, there is no toss juggling involved & it is very experimental compared to mainstream circus acts.
Now that I've used the word experimental I'm wondering when an experiment is deemed a success when it comes to circus/theatre which is something I've never thought about before. Probably when it gets copied by others!
To me, this isn't very experimental. It's a fun dance/acro/dance routine, and while it has an interesting mix of styles of body movement I've not personally seen before, it isn't really pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus. Compared to traditional circus, sure, if that's what you mean by "mainstream", but this, to me, is very much in the mainstream of contemporary circus.
What does experimental mean?
It's definitely beyond the stage of experiment, they know very well that the stuff they do on stage will "work". But a lot of the moves are original, and their relationship not easily definable... But then again that is the case in a lot of contemporary acro shows.
I loved it, the first bit looks like it is played backwards! Very cool.
(Thanks to Sadie, who knew I'd like it and sent it to me in a message)
Should young Circomedia/NCCA/other circus schools are available graduates be allowed to compete in BYJOTY?
This was an interesting question raised in the BJC business meeting. Are they discouraging younger, less experienced performers from getting involved? This came about because this year's BYJOTY competition featured Circomedia graduate Eilidh Sela who picked up the Judge's Choice Award (although not the BYJOTY title decided by popular vote) with a very high quality, very slick & very professional hoop act.
Various suggestions were made to deal with this: excluding graduates, dividing entrants up into categories etc. none of which felt right to me. If it's just about making a fair competition I feel I'm quite capable of deciding who is good for their age/for their length of time juggling/for their level of training so long as I'm given that information.
The main reason I don't want to see young graduates or soon to be graduates excluded is because I think it is a great benefit for young kids to see accomplished performers closer to their own age. I think it is more motivating & exciting to see what they could be like in a couple of years rather than what they could be in 15-20 years. I think young kids are more likely to relate to & interact with another teenager/early 20-something than they are with someone much older. It would be a great shame to take that opportunity away from them.
I was at the meeting when this came up because it was obvious everyone had a strong opinion and a debate would take up the rest of the day so I kept my mouth shut.
Personally, I believe the format is right as it is. There are nowhere near enough entrants to start splitting into categories and you would still end up wanting to award a "british young juggler of the year title" so the problem wouldn't go away. A younger competitor, say 11 or 12 has ten years to keep trying and learning from previous attempts. That should be more than enough time for a keen (very) young juggler to improve there skills.
It sounds a bit harsh but I don't like the idea of BYJOTY turning into "cutest kid" competition because that takes away any serious prestige of the title. I vote on the merit of the act, last year that was Max (?) the young diabolist because his was the combination of the most entertaining and skillful act in my opinion. His age didn't come into the equation and it didn't need to.
A "most improved" award would encourage entrants to keep entering each year but judging it would be a nightmare.
I don't have a problem with graduates participating, if they have dedicated a portion of their life to be better performers then good for them. They will have sacrificed other education paths so an improved chance of winning BYJOTY seems like a reasonable reward.
In my opinion thinking that someone should be excluded through training would be bad. Yes Eilidh had a very nice hoop routine that showed the polish you would expect from someone going through Circomedia training but other Circomedia students have entered in previous years and I don't think that any have yet won. (I could be wrong but my list of previous winners in my head doesn't bring one to mind).
You then have to start asking where do you join the line? Eilidh is 20 and is a 2nd year Circomedia student. She has presumably had some training before that but was it as part of a group or ad hoc? Both Peter who won and Christopher (who did S-Staff) have been part of Concrete Circus for a number of years. As such they are experienced in performing in front of a large audience (they performed at MKJC last year for example). They also have had encouragement from seasoned performers and others and advice on how to improve their acts. In the case of Peter, he has been working on that skill (amongst others) for roughly 7 years.
(2cts:) On many chess tournaments, there's rating prizes, so that many, also not so good players have a chance to win a prize (even though it remains hard). Or also, after a few rounds played in a qualification part, new groups are formed (like group A level and group B level) to seperately play out for the top A level prize and for the lower B level prize; with the same intention of not only the very best winning prizes. So maybe categories of participants for different prize values or different kinds of prizes could help to sort such asymmetry in skills out. (roughly: let there be something for everyone, be it prizes, groups, categories, chances on sth, anything, many consolation prizes \second prizes for girls, for youngest or best among youngest, for furthest journey to the event location, for most original, most skilled, most appealing performance - the top prize and holy grail remaining the BYJOTY) [but I feel highly incompetent on this, just hope to maybe deliver a little mosaique stone to the discussion]
I have no problem with people who've had extensive training entering the competition.
There might be an argument for excluding professional performers and keeping it as an amateur competition, if the goal is to produce new talent?
Perhaps saying that if you make your living from performance, you shouldn't be entering? But I'm not sure if any full-time performers have entered in the past anyway?
As said, if the competition isn't broken, don't fix it. If it looks like it's not achieving its aims, then perhaps tweak it then.
Should young Circomedia/NCCA/other circus schools are available graduates be allowed to compete in BYJOTY?
By which I mean yes.
I just can't read.
Or alternatively, in answer to the question, should they be excluded, please see my previous answer.
I’ve been saying for years that I want to see more training for byjoty entrants, not less.
I want to see acts that have had development, direction, advice from outside the performers head. I want to see acts that have had the cruft cut, I want to see acts that have been practiced, thought about, and refined.
Ok so some people get that st a formal training school, some may get that from people at their local club. There may be more that we as a community can do to help young jugglers be the best that they can be!
At one point, the IJA had a mentoring program for young jugglers preparing an act for the juniors, and that isn’t a terrible idea!
More training less making it up on your own please!
What were the arguments for not allowing them to compete? I've not heard any here. I'm amazed that it was even brought up.
I don't know the guy who raised the issue so I can't be certain of his intention but my understanding was he felt that it wasn't a fair competition because a young kid who hasn't had any formal training doesn't stand a chance against someone who has (although as pretty much everyone has pointed out, this is not the case).
I've never set foot in a boxing ring, I don't think I have any right to think I have a shot at a title belt.
Everyone has the option to put the work in. I think the idea that more training/work/thought/preparation = success is something that needs to be reinforced.
The person who raised it at the BJC meeting was under the impression that BYJotY is a kid's event. Therefore they thought it was not right that those who are not kids/overly trained should take part. Either he or someone else made that point that as a trained engineer, he would feel that it was inappropriate to enter a kid's engineering competition.
Then the discussion went on for far too long into a back and forth between "I don't really think it's very fair to single out Circomedia students" to "Well, maybe we generally could consider dropping the age limit" whereas I would have preferred a swift "You are entitled to your opinion, but many disagree, and it's up to the organiser of the event"
 my personal opinion (above that what I tried to write above) is that whoever organises such an event should be allowed to run it however they want until such a point as they lose the support of the community (which, for example, would be a reasonable consequence of announcing that noone named David is allowed to compete). It's then up to the previous organiser and the convention organiser to decide if the event will take place, and who/how should organise it/it should be organised.
Seriously? People are questioning whether being young and British is not a satisfactory qualification? Fucking bonkers. If you're gonna run a competition based on excellence in a given field, you should be gleefully embracing that excellence. And if it's really a problem and the poor lickle beggars are being intimidated by the slightly bigger, slightly less younger buggers, then split the competition into British young jugglers and British younger amateur jugglers who haven't been to circus school, although BYAJWHBTCSotY is a bit of a gobfull I'll admit.
The thing about competition is that it is fundamentally elitist, about ranking people on some scale or other, which is why you typically have one winner and many losers. If there is a worry that potential entrants may be frightened off by, you know, talent, then why not just ban talent and start dishing out a plastic gold medal to everyone and be done with it?
Somebody needs to decide whether it's a competition or a parade.
For several years now I have been suggesting a juggling competition for older jugglers (my working name was BODGE-oty). If the BJC doesn't happen next year (or even if it does) then it might be good to have it at EJC. I'm working on the rules and would like some input from the civilized (and possibly older) community of JugglingEdge. Here are my starting ideas, please comment on them.
1) The juggler entering must be in at least their 50th year.
2) The act must use equipment that is intrinsic to the performance rather than distracting from the performance e.g. glow props that obscure skill or lack thereof.
3) The act may not have been part of a professional performance or a juggling convention show within the last year.
4) The act must be suitable for a cabaret spot or juggling show.
5) Speaking acts may be no longer than 8 minutes and non-speaking acts 5 minutes.
The maximum score is 100 with marks being awarded in the following categories:
Presentation of artist (15): Does the costume suit the act? Are the props giving a professional image etc.
Characterisation (25): Does the performer maintain their character throughout the performance? Does the character fit with the rest of the act (music, props, clothing etc.)?
Technique (25): Is the performer technically proficient in their chosen skill? Is the routine clean? Do they handle drops well? Are any of the skills presented innovative?
Performance (35): Does the show fit together? Are the audience engaged?
If the performer over runs their allotted time they lose 1 mark every 3 seconds.
None of this is set in stone but all arguments against a particular rule or inclusion of a different rule should be supported with a relevant and coherent reasoned statement.
Some of the reasoning for the above:
Age limit. This had to be set at some point and I wanted it to be restrictive but not too restrictive. 50 seemed like an appropriate cut off as there are quite a few above that age at BJC.
Equipment. Circus is all about spectacle but juggling is not just about that and so I want the acts to demonstrate their skills.
Not performed recently. I want to see act development but from the perspective of experience. A regularly performed act is not a challenge but developing something different requires much more.
Suitability. I don't want to just see technical skill. Anyone who has been juggling long enough will have developed a whole set of technical skills but it is how they are applied that is more important.
Time Limit. A comedy or character act takes longer to develop than a straight performance to music but talking acts have a tendency to push the talking at the expense of the skills. The longer time than BYJOTY but with the penalty imposed for going over seems to me to help with both these aspects.
Marking. I want to see good, well thought out acts and pitched the scoring roughly in the area of how I look at an act and decide whether I would book them. These numbers can be tweaked.
Not sure about your rules. All seems a bit old fashioned/out of touch. Why not just have an over 50s do-what-you-like?
I'm also confused by the rules. I do not understand what 2) means, and why do talking acts get more time? Can one do a non talking act, say a word, and thereby extend his time for 3 minutes? What are the requirements to meet 4)? Isn't any act that is shorter than 8 minutes suitable for a juggling/cabaret show?
The things you don't want to see you can discourage with your scoring/judging, boring acts get less points. But it is hard to turn them away beforehand
The best way to find out if this is a good idea is to talk to 50+ jugglers until you have 3-5 willing participants!
2) Means that I don't want the act to be all about the technology rather than the skill. Whilst acts can incorporate technology (e.g. Eugenius Nil) I don't want the audience to be thinking about how well the programming matches the music or what pretty pictures the prop makes instead of what the performer is doing.
A talking act is one where the artist talks for a significant part of the act in a way that is consistent with the character portrayed in the act. I am aware that this takes longer to establish a rapport with the audience and therefore thought that the act needed more time. It should be the call of the judges whether the act is a talking act and the penalty clause is there if they think someone is just taking advantage.
4) Whilst an act that is under 8 minutes might be suitable for a cabaret show I know that many of the segments of my show that are under 8 minutes are not suitable because the are constructed for a different purpose (entertaining kids, re-enactment audiences etc). The act should be designed with the possibility of being performed on a stage with size and height restrictions.
One of the things that has inspired me to start this competition is that I want more acts for Milton Keynes Juggling Convention. In general the type of act that is suitable for a convention isn't the same as what the majority of professional performers do. (which in my experience tends towards the 45 minute show, walkabout, workshop rather than cabaret).
In what way are the rules out of touch? (especially when we are talking about older jugglers) Is it because they are slightly prescriptive? Actually having some rules makes a show easier to construct.
dunno ( I know little to nothing about performing, but am +50yo, so just my 2cts: ) .. why exclude the pros? ( rule "3)" ) .. sounds a bit rigid at first read, but on the other hand thought through rating-criteria. Or simply have a jury rate, at each jury-member's own criteria? .. age limit could maybe also be 45yo? ..
The idea sounds good, though, (why not also have that for e.g. minor 14-15yo?) but what would keep a senior, who meets all those rules and criteria, from taking part in any regular (``normal´´, non-senior) contests (too)?
.. and yet, .. as a counter example, .. what if a 60yo fellow shows up on stage and, in an open stage manner, just flashes 11 balls or qualifies 10, bends and walks offstage again getting tons of applause, .. would he be ``offending´´ that cabaret-or-juggling-show rule and not get any rating points after those criteria?
My original age criteria was 40 and then when I thought about it a bit more and when looking at the people who attended the BJC this year I thought that there may be too many entries if the bar was set that low. The number isn't that rigid just needs to be there.
The concept originated after watching British Young Juggler of the Year a few times and seeing many young acts put technical skills before performance. For those who don't attend the BYJOTY competition this is held annually at the British Juggling Convention and is open to anyone under 21 who is British. It has had falling numbers for the last two - three years but that is a reflection on the total number of people attending the convention.
I'm not trying to exclude the pros. I'm trying to get new acts from people or old acts that would need to be practised again. There has been a tendency at one day conventions in the UK to have the same few acts appear at most conventions (often with the same act at each show). I'd like to see a wider range available to convention show bookers (ok me but it will help others).
If it is a judged competition with ten acts and three judges, the only people happy at the end are the people who won and the two judges who out-voted the third.
A very good point.
With BYJOTY you obviously have the audience award that rewards the most popular act and the judges awards that reward the acts that fit the judges criteria. From what I can determine from what my son received from entering the competition this year the judges award was more important in an immediate way (voucher for Oddballs, T-shirt) the other silver winner getting the same size voucher and a bag that might have contained something. Peter along with the title received a cuddly toy dragon and a gold BJC pass as BYJOTY winner.
You could argue that the title is more important than anything else and that should be awarded by a populist vote and I would like to hear opinions on this. I believe that the IJA awards are judged and no-one seems particularly upset about this (I could be wrong I have never been to the IJA and my knowledge is based on what I have read on forums over the years). I disagree that the only people who will be happy when entering are the judges and winner. As a convention booker I am looking to book acts. I don't want to book the same act as everyone else and so I often ask someone other than the winner of BYJOTY to be in MKJC show (e.g. last year I asked two acts from BYJOTY, neither were the winner, one appeared in the show). This year I have also asked an act that wasn't the winner.
"I believe that the IJA awards are judged and no-one seems particularly upset about this (I could be wrong I have never been to the IJA and my knowledge is based on what I have read on forums over the years)."
At Derby BJC in 2004 I had the idea for the BYJOTY show. That summer I went to the IJA convention and took part in the stage competition. I was so upset with the judging process and the outcome that I specifically designed the rules of the first BYJOTY to avoid the same thing happening in Perth the next year.
My point being: you are 100% wrong on this subject, and the main BYJOTY title being decided by audience vote is the evidence of this!
Luke is correct in saying tthat some people have been upset about the results of IJA judging. You are correct in saying some peope are not upset. As a spectator I have not always agreed with the judges decisions and also not agreed with other disgruntled spectators. I think upsetness is inevitable in any judging process, including the populist vote. The IJA also has a "People's Choice" award which may or may not be awarded to one of the judges selections.
Watching over the years I can see that the IJA responds by tweaking the process.
IMHO if you don't have a good reason to judge don't engage in the hastle. You can still have the rules and let the interested spectators decide.
To be clear, you are saying he was correct about something he didn't write. He said "no-one is upset" not "some people are not upset". My first point was that, yes, of course some people are not upset... but in designing the rules for BYJOTY I tried to reduce the number of people who are upset.
In the case of those taking part in the show, it's a lot more easy to take it personally when three judges decide you aren't going to win. It's a lot easier to take when the audience collectively decides. Yo might not be the favourite of any of the judges, but you're probably going to get some percentage of the audience votes.
It isn't the perfect solution, but everyone is involved, not just the five people in the show and the three judges. It allows everyone to express what they like about the show. Nobody is passive.
The IJA People's Choice is not for the an act in the stage championships. It's open for any juggler at the convention who people liked for whatever reason. In 2004 I voted for Komei Aoki, who only took part in the juniors competition.
I would say the fewer rules the better (for the first year at least) if you’re overwhelmed by entrants you can refine it in future years.
I agree that 50 feels about right as a lower bound (40 is too low) and I agree about the “must not have been performed for an audience in the last year” (to stop Steve Rawlings turning up and storming it with the routine he’s been doing for 30years) and I agree that there should be some form of time limit, although any complexity around what types of act get what length of time seems unnecessary - “no longer than 8mins” should be enough for anyone.
I don’t care about any of the other rules, or judging criteria, I think “popular vote” is both easier than judging and more satisfying, and if your selfish aim is to find someone to book for MK then it’s probably more relevant than what the judges think anyway.
To say that it is just my selfish aim to get acts is perhaps a little misleading on my part. Something that encourages 'proper acts' may percolate outside of the competition itself. For example BYJOTY if it doesn't fade may get more acts rather than just people who do tricks. Maybe older jugglers who generally sit around and chat will be more motivated to practice something. Who knows?
With limited input so far it seems like public vote is preferred to judges. What about feedback? What about prizes?
I have the feeling that most older jugglers wouldn't care much about vouchers to buy new props as they probably rooms full of the stuff. On the other hand would something like a bottle of good whisky be appropriate?
Is the BJC dying a slow death?
I've not been for a few years so I was quite surprised to hear how few are expected to attend this year. Fewer than half the amount of people that used to go about 10 years ago.
Is this a sign of a fall in the numbers of young jugglers taking up the hobby or are there just more events dividing up the pool of likely attendees?
BJC numbers are always down when it's in a "far corner" of the UK. Of course, we're well down from the early 90s heyday, but that's been true for years.
The last 2 with figures for attendance on https://thebritishjugglingconvention.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=BJC_History (both in Darton) are over 900. That's pretty good. I'm sure Perth will have been well down on that, and I guess it makes sense for Canterbury to budget on a low figure too. We'll see how it goes, I guess....
I wouldn't have called Kent a far flung corner. Not compared with Yorkshire. I suppose I'd need to know more about the concentration of jugglers around the country but I would have assumed London and Bristol to be hotspots.
Anyway I hope you're right because 500 seems a small number to me.
Where are you getting 500 from? *If* it's their budgeting figure, that's presumably a worst case scenario, and therefore it wouldn't be unreasonable to *hope for* 600-700. Dunno, I'm guessing...
From the horse's mouth. Budgeting figure is even lower.
Good to know the last couple were around 900. That's a good number.
When people are deciding between BJC or Catch it can't be a good thing.
There has to be a number where it is no longer viable in its current form.
Mind you, under 500 and we could do it at Hulver farm
British Balls Up anyone?
There are no numbers on that site for attendance for the last 2 (anyone know?). 900s were 2014 & 2015.
Well, here's hoping...
> When people are deciding between BJC or Catch it can't be a good thing.
Why not? I see that it's a risky situation, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. It seems to me that the BJC does not have a right to be pre-eminent, it needs to earn that status.
I meant it can't be a good thing for the BJC. It might well be a good thing for juggling.
It already seems quite hard to get people to commit to running one, if numbers decline who's going to take the risk of making a big loss?
Maybe both can be successful?
Anyway, come to BJC and eat at Montegriffo's.....
I wouldn't have called Kent a far flung corner. Not compared with Yorkshire
Spoken like a southerner ;-)
I'm currently a southerner, living in Bristol. But I'd still rather travel to Yorkshire rather than Kent! There's this annoying thing called London in the way, which adds stress and considerable time, whatever method of transport you use.
I will make the effort anyway, because I want to go to the BJC. But I can see why anyone in the Midlands or above would think twice.
Canterbury is more than twice as far from the centre of the UK population as Darton is.
Where's the centre of the UK population?
About one in seven live in London, must be getting on for a third of the population are South of Watford.
From a comment on an Ordnance Survey page: "Yes, one of our Twitter followers suggested this too. It’s not something we’ve worked out ourselves, but @MurrayData says that using a population weighted approach centre of GB is approximately 433924E 309573N (Measham Rd Swadlincote Leics.)"
Yeah, erm, Swadlincote's in Derbys not Leics - only just, but Derbys nevertheless. Not a good start, although if I had to guess the GB population centre I'd probably go for somewhere not too far from Swad.
Also, Swad is mostly an unmitigated shithole, but then that probably makes it a good representative of some sort of median of the British population. I have worked a lot in Swad.
These Swad facts brought to you by Cedric Lackpot, who has nothing of value to add to this thread, but knows a damn thing or two about Swadlincote!
The main reason I won’t be returning to the BJC again soon, and the reason why I don’t recommend it to European jugglers when they ask me about it, is the time of year and the accompanying high chances of bad weather.
That’s the reason I’m not going again this year. The better time of year is also the main reason I’m going to the Catch festival this year.
If the BJC was held in July, I’d probably go every year.
That's rather a silly reason not to recommend it, Luke. Yes, some BJCs have had awful weather, but plenty have had good weather, even the ones held in the far flung North. Also, last time I went to the Lakes in the summer we had really quite a lot of rain.
There's no guarantee of good weather at any time of year, although it's likely to be a lot warmer in the summer of course. I'd be more inclined to talk about the shows, workshops, halls and general vibe of the BJC than the weather - if nothing else, to avoid becoming a national stereotype!
Not, it's not a silly reason. It's a major factor for me, and judging from the feedback I get from non-UK jugglers who visit the BJC, it's also the main complaint they have.
In Europe, if a convention is held in the winter, camping isn't expected. It's an indoor sleeping convention, with entire sports halls or other rooms set aside for people to lay out mats and sleeping bags. If the convention is late spring to early autumn, camping becomes an option. The BJC insists that camping is an option, even when the chances of bad weather is worse than good weather.
For example, Berlin held its convention in September last year, due to some date conflicts, and everyone expected the weather to be fine. But it wasn't. It was waaay colder than it is in May or June, the normal date for the event, and it got dark way earlier. So now the convention has moved back to the summer again.
Just so you know, the shows, workshops, halls and vibes at the BJC are no better than other national conventions in Europe. There is nothing to recommend them above conventions at better times of year and with better weather than the BJC. The chances of bad weather in March in Scotland though? Camping on the top of a mountain in Yorkshire in April, with tents being blown away? No thanks!
Rain isn't so much of a problem if the temperature isn't too bad. Just the difference from March to May was enough for it not to be too stressful for us to camp at Bungay. But the BJC that same year? Nope, we got a B&B.
Canterberry in April:
Cumbria in July:
If you are wondering about reduced numbers of people at the BJOC, I think the comparison you want is Perth, Scotland, in March and anywhere in the UK in July.
Perth in March:
Average high 6.4°C
Average low 2.1°C
Canterbury in July:
Average high 22.8°C
Average low 12.9°C
Penrith (closest city to Appleby) in July:
Average high 19.4°C
Average low 10.5°C
Conclusion: if the BJC was in July, anywhere in the UK, I'd probably go and be okay to camp every year.
I may not agree with a whole lot of what Luke has to say - and I'm pretty confident he's perfectly cool to be disagreed with - but I confidently and assertively agree that the climate is not a silly reason.
And it's certainly nowhere near as silly as saying that the British climate is unpredictable at all times of year, and therefore implying that the probability of seasonal or non-seasonal weather is immaterial regardless of the time in question!
There are a number of good reasons to hold BJCs at or around Easter - the weather is not one of them.
I have to agree, the damn weather and having to camp is always a factor that is lurking in the background, taking the edge off my anticipation. I am not the best camper - can't sleep well in a tent, so this year for the first time we have opted for the local Premier Inn. It does feel like a cop out but seeing as my hot water bottle is going to the IJC I couldn't face a week sleeping in a cold tent.
That being said the British EJC in 2019 will be in August and I am hoping that it will be considerably warmer and with little rain! Newark is only 50 miles from Swad so not far off being pretty central and we really really hope that we can entice as many jugglers, hoopers, diabolists, aerialists etc to it as we can.
As it is in Britain I am hoping to attract not only all the wonderful people from all over the world who come to EJC but all of those Brits that have never been to one before.
I know there is another EJC before it (2018 - Azores) but I am just slipping it in now so it's in your subconscious!!
PS the EJA are looking for a team for 2020, so if you know someone who might be interested in finding out more about organising a huge event like the EJC then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me ponder my BJC camping history:
2000 - so wet I never pitched my tent, and slept in the car instead.
2001 - some nice weather, but freezing cold one night and as it pouring with rain on the last day, it was the least pleasant final day of a convention ever.
2002 - after two years of terrible weather, I skipped the BJC completely! I went to the Israeli convention instead. The weather was amazing.
2003 - didn't camp, got a room at the university instead. People complained about ice on their tents. This was Brighton, not Scotland, so the location isn't always the most important thing.
2004 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2005 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2006 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2007 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2008 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2009 - got myself a B&B, but as this was a summer convention, I would probably have been happy to camp.
2010 - BJC switched back to a winter convention again, and I decided to skip it again.
2011 to 2013 - nope.
2014 - borrowed my parents' camper van.
2015 - camper van not an option, didn't want to camp in the same place where the previous year peoples' tents had blown away.
2016 - nope.
2017 - B&B again.
Ah look, I literally only camped at a BJC once! The only reason I kept going was being either by paying for accommodation myself, or being offered non-camping options for performing various acts in various shows.
Premier Inn is not a cop out, it's the only way sensible adults will keep returning to a camping convention in the winter/early spring!
This seems to be a wall of evidence that you have very little experience of camping at a BJC, but didn't enjoy it one time 7 years ago.
Doesn't seem fair to the British scene to spend so much time and energy discouraging others on that basis Luke.
It's not just the camping. It's the general wet and cold atmosphere. In 2009 the convention was in the summer in Norfolk. I went to the FIRE SHOW. I sat outside and watched the fire show and it wasn't the most miserable moment of my entire year. Do you know how amazing that felt? A BJC fire show which wasn't utterly unbearable to watch. Wow. And in the evenings we were hanging out on the grass between the gyms. The renegade show tent didn't need space heaters. Nobody was wrapped up for winter for no reason at all except the sun had gone down. We could watch the Sharpe brothers do their street show, just outside one day, and it wasn't remarkable that the wind wasn't so bad they couldn't do any diabolo tricks.
Then my next BJC, when hosting the games, I had to make announcements that people's tents were blowing away, and they should go check on them before we left for the gala show.
It's not about my camping experience, it's about having a relaxing time at a convention.
Again, the Berlin convention miscalculated with holding it in September last year, and the very next year it is back to June, based ENTIRELY on the weather and how soon it got dark. How did it take them one year to learn the lesson but the BJC keeps at it?
I hope that after the Catch this year and the EJC next year, people will finally learn, and the BJC can be a summer convention from now on. Or at least a late-May to late-Augst convention.
It is true the BJC fire show is consistently unbearable to watch, but I have never attributed that fact to the weather.
*Tries to donate a fiver to The Edge, for that comment*
*Finds out there's a minimum £10 donation*
It wasn't *that* funny. Cash at BJC do ya?
As others have said, you've hardly ever camped at a BJC so I don't think you're really qualified to comment. I've camped at BJCs since 1993 (Birmingham) with a few gaps and I've never felt particularly cold, been woken up by bad weather or had a leaky tent. It has *been* cold, I agree, but with decent clothing and a good sleeping bag that's not a problem. Yes, it can be cold & wet outside but I've also sat outside on the grass in a T-shirt some years. In fact the one time I've been flooded out was at EJC Ptuj (which was the very definition of wet and cold and miserable).
Of course the BJC could be in the summer. It has been, in Norwich, after plans for the usual time fell through, as you said, and it was lovely and warm. It could be any time from late May (but don't you dare schedule it against Bungay, otherwise I shall be *really* scathing). It could be at Christmas. But someone has to stand up and volunteer to run it at that time and this bid has to be voted through at the business meeting - you know how this works. They'll then have to contend with competing with other festivals (including non-juggling ones), university exams and all the others things that may not have such impact in late March/early April/Easterish, availability of venues not in the Easter holidays and lots of other factors.
There's no point writing 'people will actually learn' in the hope it will happen - it will take someone to stand up and come up with a concrete plan for a summer BJC. As you know, there's no British Juggling Association running BJCs <nails lid firmly back on big can of worms> just whoever stands up and volunteers a year of their life.
I think we have an interesting situation this year with Catch! which is kind of an alternative BJC-ish thing in the summer with great acts in the show. This may well prove that a summer BJC-ish festival could work, in which case I look forward to many more bids of this kind.
No, I think I am qualified to comment. The point of my comment is that the bad weather has been the deciding factor in why I decided not to go to the BJC. And not just once. After York and Cardiff, I didn't go back to the BJC, and went somewhere else instead. Same in 2010. Same in 2015. Same in 2017.
The people who are happy to camp in the ice/snow/wind/rain/etc of the UK in March/April? You don't have to worry about them. But what about all the people whose first BJC was Derby in 2004? How many people didn't bother coming back the next year? Even though I didn't camp, I drove home to Newcastle with two people who did, and the stop in a pub on the way home for dinner, and sitting in front of the fire, was the first time they had felt properly warm and comfortable for the previous five days.
The people who don't go to the BJC are the ones qualified to talk about why they don't go, and are 100% correct about the reasons the numbers might be down... at least for the number they represent.
The people who DO go to the BJC, by the fact they can cope with the stress of bad weather, are not qualified to talk about the reasons the people who don't go aren't going.
I've gone to the BJC once (I think 2015?). I had to sleep inside on the last night, it was a rainy festival.
I'm going again this year, very happy to bring my campervan!
That's a good point, no one likes going anywhere when it's cold and sodden. Why don't they hold the festival mid-summer?
The historic reason for the BJC being at Easter rather than in the summer is that performers are much more likely to not be working at that time. Whether as a performer in the show who charges less than their normal fee or as an attending performer who doesn't want to miss out on the lucrative summer months Easter makes much more sense. Touring circus often runs from after Easter until sometime in Autumn, so the timing would help them to attend. Nowadays BJC does not have as many professional entertainers and so this is not as good an argument as before. It still might mean that it is difficult to get the best professionals, although Rosie seems to be showing that a summer convention with enough funding can do that anyway.
If you get 2,000 people at the convention, you can pay professionals to be there. It’s how the EJC works. There is no reason a BJC in the summer can’t attract 2,000 people.
I wasn't arguing in favour of an Easter BJC. I too enjoyed the summer BJC (although it cost me earnings). I was giving one of the traditional arguments for an Easter BJC. It makes sense for professional entertainers. I'm not sure it makes much sense for the majority of people who now attend the BJC.
Yes, I understand. My first BJC in 2000, it seemed that the main influence on a large portion of the jugglers there was street performers and circus performers. These days the largest influence is other amateur jugglers. Why would anyone have a pair of stilts or a unicycle to take part in a parade? Why does the parade even exist? Does it still exist?
Oh god. Parades. Please make them stop.
I know it's quite often a hook you can dangle towards the local city council to get some money off a venue, or land some other source of funding, but when you promise them a "colourful entertaining parade of jugglers acrobats and circus folk!" they picture an old fashioned circus parade. They picture tumbling acrobats, sequins and clowns. They picture free facepainting for the public, they picture ringmasters and jugglers and absolutely everything you can't deliver.
What they inevitably get is a bunch of people half heartedly walking along juggling 3 clubs or spinning a diabolo while talking to their mates and shuffling down the local high street. At best you might get one or two people wearing balloon hats, or a teenage unicyclist trial riding on every park bench or raised flower bed they can find.
Parades are at their absolute worst when everyone is only there because you made them attend the parade as a side effect of getting the bus into town for the evening show.
Parades are shit. "Because we've always done it" isn't a good enough reason.
EJC parades can still be good fun if the weather is nice. There's often an open air show on a specially build stage at the end of it, and those are usually worth seeing, like Smashed by the Gandinis in Almere (though not like 8 Songs by the Gandinis in Lublin).
Is it the parade which is good, or is it the "show on the open air stage" bit which is good?
Because I would wager that of the two, the open air show is the bit that could stand on it's own. Do that, do more of that. Advertise it locally, get the public in as well, make a big deal of the fact that there's a show in town!
Who is the parade for?
If it's for the locals, then we're doing them a massive disservice (even EJC parades are closer to the atmosphere of a protest march than they are "rio carnival")
If it's for the jugglers, then what's in it for us apart from a show or "the games" at the end of it? If it's a show/games then why do we need to wander round the streets for an hour first? Why can't we be dropped off next to the show and just get on with the good bit?
Want to do something for the locals that actually shows jugglers in a good light? Put on more shows, run a street performing competition, run free-fringe style events in small local venues...
Just please, not a bloody miserable death march through town.
As a young juggler I really enjoyed my first 5 parades or so.. Now after 15 at least it gets a bit unexciting yes..
I've really enjoyed the EJC parades I've been on, simply due to the amount of jugglers taking part - I think there's a critical mass. EJC Almere was particularly fun (especially our Ben occasionally pausing to show the crowd his single diabolo trick and getting rounds of applause - he was 6 at the time) and EJC in Carvin was mad, as it was at night and there was fire (health & safety??). I agree some BJC parades can be damp and disappointing.
I have exactly the opposite logic. BJC is my preferred convention because it's much cooler than in the summer. This means that I can juggle a lot without getting too hot. I don't care much about being outside. At most EJCs I've been to I'm unable to juggle most of the time because of the heat and I don't like to be outside in very hot conditions because of sunburn and other risks. I normally only go to the more northerly EJCs, although Joensuu didn't work out as I expected (40°C).
Also no fun when you have to leave your tent at 8am because the blazing sun is hitting it and roasting you alive. I've camped at every BJC I've been to and the only time I was cold was 2003 in Brighton because of the ice/snow.
You're not a tropical creature like me. Give me the early morning roasting sun anyday. I'd just go and find a nice shady spot and finish my sleep there. Or go to bed earlier. Camping in the snow.. are you quite mad? I went 'wild' camping at Brecon Beacons after the green man festival. It was horrible, damp and miserable.. couldn't wait for it to end. The only enjoying part I remember was when I was sitting in my car with the heating on.
I'm going for the first time from the continent just because it's close to the border! Don't kill my hype :P
You'll have a great time. I've enjoyed every BJC I've been to. I am excited for this one.
You will indeed have an excellent time. Sadly I don't think I can make it this time (due to foreign travel for work the next week) but I'll certainly miss it.
Enjoy - and if you have any questions, I'll probably be at the registration / information desk!
Given I barely saw you out of the kitchen, did BJC feel significantly smaller to you than previously? I understand that total numbers were around 700 but hadn't been properly counted when I heard Anna discuss this with Owen Morse after the business meeting.
Nigel, in your current thread "For several years now I have been suggesting a juggling competition for older…" you wrote "If the BJC doesn't happen next year (or even if it does)". May I ask if there there is any particular reason for suggesting there may not be a BJC next year?
During the Sunday meeting nobody stood up and said that they wanted to run a BJC in 2019. During the BJC I heard on several occasions people saying that there wouldn't be a BJC because EJC was in England next year. I am not strongly optimistic about a BJC next year because I haven't heard any great enthusiasm from anyone although I have now heard rumours about people thinking about it 'up north'.
I know one person who has an excellent venue and good plans for putting a bid together for 2019. They've never run one but assisted, so know what's involved. Just looking to put together a local team I think. Hopefully their initial thoughts and ideas will come through and they'll make themselves known soon.
Another team was interested and had ideas of a venue but nothing firm.
ULTIMATE JUGGLING TRICKS CHALLENGE # 1 – BALLS
The IJA is running a (simplifying pretty heavily here) single round of global JUGGLE. Two parts: the first to set tricks/patterns jugglers think others may not be able to do, and the second for everyone to try to do those tricks/patterns. For this round, only toss juggling with balls is allowed (no endurances). Full rules here: https://www.juggle.org/ultimate-juggling-tricks-challenge-1-balls/
Luke made the very interesting prediction that every trick/pattern will be replicated by at least one other juggler. I'm very interested in this event, and to see if he's right! I'm assuming that there will be about a month allowed to try to replicate others' tricks, but I don't think that's been announced.
Two questions I'm curious about:
Do you think Luke's prediction will hold? If not, which patterns (and by whom) do you think will stand?
Do you like this event?
I would love to see more juggling challenges, so thank you David for organizing this one!
I've suggested a couple to juggleshare, and since he seems to have disappeared I might run some myself at some point.
This particular challenge, I'm not sure about yet. For one, I might not want to encourage other jugglers to try out my coolest hardest most original tricks. Secondly I think that the incentive to try and beat a trick is relatively low. I might even try a trick that I like, manage to do it, but there is little to gain except for some exposure to then record it on camera. I don't mean that there should be better prizes or something like that, I believe that submitting to a challenge should be inherently interesting. But sure, if people feel like there is a big honor in submitting, it will work!
I do hope that there will be many participants, and I do hope this event sparks of more challenges in the future.
Here is the list of challenges I suggested earlier, anyone is free to take from these directly or as inspiration of course!
"Secondly I think that the incentive to try and beat a trick is relatively low."
While true, if there are any entries near my bailiwick, I'm going after them!
Out of my repertoire of patterns that I feel would be hard to replicate...I feel like they're all poking Haavard into participating. I haven't thought of any that I don't think he could do pretty quickly.
Alex Barron could just flash 13 balls (not too difficult for him) and no-one else would replicate it. There are others who can do things that no-one else is close to (long runs of 7 balls backcrosses for example). The question is if any of those people will enter.
Considering endurances are off limits, what are some other tricks/patterns you think are unique to certain jugglers?
I had forgotten that endurance is off limits. However, if Ty Tojo did something like a 7 up from backcrosses that would probably do it. Another off the top of my head would be one of Ofek's crazy multi pirouettes with 7 balls. Another possible way to go about this challenge would be to memorise and juggle a long prime siteswap for one cycle, as probably no-one else would bother to try.
Submitted. In the process, twice I landed my trick without the camera working (once I didn't start it properly by mistake, and once it ran out of memory 30 seconds before I landed it), and in submitting I discovered to my shame that what I thought was an 8 turned out to be a 7 :/ Interested to see if there are any interesting tricks submitted!
Oo, I'm excited to see what you've done!
I was all psyched to get 32 catches of my trick (four rounds)...then I got sick. 16 catches it is (though I got one take of 24 catches).
Disappointed because I think there's a real plateau after 16 catches that I'd like people to struggle with!
"Luke made the very interesting prediction that every trick/pattern will be replicated by at least one other juggler. I'm very interested in this event, and to see if he's right!"
The reason I think all these tricks will be replicated is that I have history in copying other people's tricks. Check out this project:
There were a few tricks that defeated me, a few that I only ever intended to joke-copy, and a few where I used video editing tricks. But otherwise I managed to copy many, many tricks which I presumed would be beyond me. For example, Alex Barron doing 999333 with the second 3 behind the head? I'd never tried anything like that before! And I got it after about 30 minutes trying. Brook and I got the 8 club double pirouette in one juggling session, even though I'd never done that kind of thing while passing. Loads of stuff I tried for the first time... and usually got what I wanted. On top of that I had to act like the jugglers too.
And I'm not even that good of a juggler compared to many other jugglers who could attempt to copy the tricks of others.
Oh, I'm very aware of this project, it is one of my favourite juggling projects ever done! The suspense, the execution...that was a masterpiece of top 40.
I wonder if people are going to pull out things deeper in their niches for this competition than they usually do. That's what I tried to do for it, anyway. I'm excited to see what was submitted, and who can replicate what.
Here's a video the juggling history nerds might enjoy:
Yup, almost 24 minutes on a single juggling trick! But one of the most famous bits of juggling. Never before has it been so easy to compare different versions of the Brunn Finish Combination Trick.
Thanks to David Cain for sharing some never-before-published clips from Freddy Kenton and Johnny Joannides. A list of (most of) the source videos can be found over on my blog: https://www.lukeburrage.com/blog/archives/2613
Thanks for the research, the compiling and the sharing! Good luck with the practicing and building!
I learned last night that in Spanish, or at least in South America, the trick is known as "the combination twelve trick" which, I'm sure, is a reference to the number of objects Brunn catches from his assistant at the start. Maybe it should be "the combination thirteen trick".
I wanted to learn some combination trick things, so looked into the ultimate version of it. As in, how should it be done, not just how I would do it from memory. Then, of course, I discovered how many different ways it could be done. Then I wanted to work out what the minimum viable version of the trick might be but still qualify as "the brunn finish".
- minimum 9 props, to at least match the earliest version of Piccinelli and Brunn.
- the trick is about ball spinning, ring whirling, juggling, and balancing, all at the same time.
- must include a ball spun on a finger, objects juggled in the other hand, a ball on a mouth pedestal/mouthstick, a ball on a head pedestal balance, and at least one ring whirling on a leg/foot.
- if any above element is missing, it must be "made up for" by inclusion of more props/elements added elsewhere.
The version of the trick that has most elements is Ernst Montego's. The version which is closest to the line of not being included was Michael Chirrick's as there is no balance of a prop involved, and unlike Albert Lucas he doesn't make up for it by performing while on ice skates or similar. But he does have four rings whirling, which means he's not slacking elsewhere.
Only after I put the video together did I notice that mine is the only version where two feet are on the ground. In my defence, I've learned this to put in my second show on cruise ships for when the ship is moving so much in high seas that I can't do my rola bola finale. You can only tell the stage is moving in the video clip because the curtains are swaying in the background. Even standing on one leg is too much in that situation, so I'm not sure if I'll ever bother to learn it so I can perform it on one leg.
A glossary of juggling terminology - does such a thing exist?
In this subthread over on Reddit someone has asked for a glossary of modern juggling, and to my surprise I realised that I'm not sure such a thing exists, not an authoritative one anyway. Can any Edgizens prove me wrong please? Or suggest some good places for a curious Redditor to start looking? David Cain do you perhaps have some suggestions?
I think it was our God Emperor who created this one. Seems quite thorough.
Although I would question "Backdrop"; to me that is what is behind you - in terms of filming or performing (so, do your props contrast sufficiently with the backdrop or do they blend in?) [I would definitely include that as an alternative meaning]
Otherwise, its a pretty good start on a juggling glossary, it maybe requiring a bit of updating in terms of references to people (perhaps, to make it a bit more timeless, I would omit living people from the glossary)
Yeah, I couldn't find anything comprehensive when I looked either, which was what prompted me to compile that page.
It's been a while since I've added anything to that page, I think the last addition was buugeng.
I have added the extra definition for backdrop. I've also removed most of the living jugglers from view. I've left in those who I feel are more famous for a contribution they have made to juggling culture rather than for who they are.
New suggestions are always welcome. Any glaring ommissions from the past few years that I should include?
Both terms added, & inverse too which is related. Suggestions for less clunkily worded definitions also welcome!
"Combat: US term for Gladiators" should be "Gladiators: the British term for combat".
Yeah, I suppose you are right, it does seem to be a purely British term now. I wonder when that changed? I clearly remember it being announced as gladiators during the games at the EJC in 2002.
& is it a 3 club specific thing? I don't think I've ever heard the term 'unicycle combat' for example.
Gladiators is more of a generic term for "the last person doing this prop/skill with contact between participants allowed" so unicycle gladiators is usually still a thing. Also hoop gladiators or ball-on-head gladiators.
Combat is for three clubs and three balls.
Antipodism with a head stand
I'll take things I'd never seen for $400, Alex:
(Worth the FB link. Worked on private browsing without a login)
I train in the same space where Jose recorded this. He also has a pretty solid 4 clubs, which I think is even more insane!
I've seen a few examples of inverted antipodism, but if memory serves they were all in head-to-head balance.
Except for Rastelli:
(in case the time link doesn't embed, jump to 1:49)
There is plenty of handstand antipodism. For example that clip Violetta kiss spinning a staff while doing a one arm on Alexander?
Yes, I totally messed up what I was trying to say - I meant head-balance antip.
You are absolutely right - lots of handstands.
Excellent article from David Cain on the related area of inverted juggling:
David Cain, if you're reading this, the photo of Reverhos doing 5 clubs in practice has disappeared.
21st September 2013, at Bristol juggling convention. One my passing resources I take to conventions is James' sheet of passing siteswaps (https://goo.gl/b9UYT9), with 4 handed siteswaps grouped into categories. In discussion with someone (who eludes me now), I claim an amusing challenge might be to try and do all of the siteswaps on the sheet, with some rules about what 'completing' a pattern means. Some basic rules are drawn up - 8 rounds to a clean finish for period 3 siteswaps, 6 rounds to a clean finish for period 5 or 7, holds must be active and flipped, and a few others.
Keen and eager, I accost various people at the convention to tick off patterns, redoing completions if the pattern was a bit messy, teaching people new patterns and e.g. ticking off 966 (7 club 3 count) with someone who had never tried the pattern before. Danny is keen to motor through some with me, and he suggests it would be amusing to have various achievements like in video games - an achievement for completing your first pattern with me, an achievement for completing an entire section (we promptly find an easy section with only 4 patterns and complete it), one for getting a pattern in every section, and so on.
Back home from the convention, excited about my new incredibly nerdy challenge, I decide I should keep an electronic copy (rather than just ticking off on the sheet) of my progress, since I know how often I lose things. I make a few auto stats keeping things. One thing it tells me is how many patterns are on the sheet. Whenever I have shown the sheet to people on papre and asked how many patterns there are, they guess about 100, somewhere in the 80-200 range. It turns out there are 534! It also turns out there 202 sync patterns (actually 101, but the two sides do different things, and I decided I should do both sides), which on reflection don't look as fun as the others. On closer examination (and in discussion with James') it becomes apparent that some of the sections are somewhere between hard and impossible. He laughs when I tell him of the idea of doing all of them and points at the '8 clubs with zaps' section. Zaps, 2.5p's, are very fast passes, and there are plenty of very hard 5 and 6 club patterns with zaps - it's doubtful if anyone has ever tried any of the 14 patterns in that section, or if anyone is capable of trying them.
I plough on regardless, making fun progress. At one point I make a strong concerted effort over many sessions to make progress towards my first 9 club pattern, a89, with Alex, a juggler near me. Just as we get close, he moves away! But at the next convention, where we have set aside the entire morning to finally nail this, it takes about 4 attempts, and a milestone feels reached. It starts to get harder however, and the pool of people I can do the patterns with shrinks. Getting new people on the sheet is a fun goal, but the skill someone has to have to get on the sheet grows. The enormity of the task dawns, and while for well over a year I manage to keep my average above 1 pattern per day, it gets harder. As I get to around 40%, motivation drops, the realisation that I'm not even halfway through grows and the knowledge that almost all of the remaining patterns are harder than almost those I've done is daunting.
For over a year, progress is slow. I feel lost in the middle of the sheet. At conventions people ask me how the sheet is going, and it always feels disappointing to admit I've not done much recently. For a while I don't have a regular passing partner who can plough through the sheet with me.
Eventually though, I get over 60%, and I'm counting down rather than up. The feel is a bit different - I only do the patterns with an increasing small and able group of partners, and there's no chance of me redoing messy runs - I take any clean finish I can, in some cases fudging the timing way beyond sensible to cram a pattern to completion. I have increasing esoteric knowledge of ways patterns will be difficult, and regularly describe what the difficulties and solutions to doing a certain siteswap will be to my partner - before we even try it once. As I get closer to my goal, motivation increases, but there's always this worry that at some point the patterns become fundamentally impossible, that at some point progress will dramatically slowdown. I guess that this might happen at about 80%, or 85%, and that after that every single pattern will become a monumental effort.
Today I just ticked over 85%, and the pattern that took me there was a8958. It was the first ever pattern I achieved from the 8 clubs with zaps section of the sheet, the only section that until today I had failed to get a single pattern from. And more than that, it proved that I could get the patterns in that section, and that progress is still possible. To get there, I had to train zaps repeatedly with the same partner, Cameron, for the last month, but we removed a slew of 6 and 7 club zap patterns in the process.
I'm now at 85.02% done, with 80 patterns left. 39 different jugglers have helped me get here, although over 50% of the entire sheet (not just those I've done) has been done by just 4 passers. The majority of patterns left are sync patterns, and the majority that aren't sync are zap patterns - there are precious few 'normal' patterns left, and I'm not rushing to do those!
It's not always clear that I enjoy ticking the patterns off sometimes, nor whether doing 454 (and counting) different siteswaps and juggling conventions has caused me to sometimes ignore other, possibly better (!) activities or passing patterns. That week in Bristol, I think I would still decide to embark on this quest, but possibly I would do it better with some forewarning of just how ludicrous this rather pointless task would be. But I'm increasing excited about seeing the end, and increasing determined to push forwards and actually complete this gigantic task, that many quite knowledgeable passers thought was difficult almost to the point of impossibility.
In case anyone read this far:
a) well done
b) https://goo.gl/utxfDP shows the patterns I have completed so far, and the names and summary tabs show some stats about my progress
c) https://youtu.be/mBKy65d08fw is the 8 club with zap pattern. It looks, er, like a lot of the other patterns I do
d) Cameron and I warm up with Holy Grail now, so we filmed a long run - https://youtu.be/jXdxYa1DELk
e) https://jugglingedge.com/forum.php?ThreadID=2335&SmallID=16982#Small16982 is my post from when I got to 50%
f) If you think you can do one of the remaining patterns, are not on the sheet and I don't know you, let me know :)
The longest post I ever make, and there's a major grammar error on the first line :S Fancy fixing that someone, and making me a bit more satisfied with my monologue?
Worth pointing out that of the 80, 8 are invalid and one doesn't involve any actual passing...
I think of the ones left, about 10 are just too hard. You seem to have actually ticked one of these patterns off so maybe I am underestimating how much you and Cameron in particular have improved.
Glad I have consumed 4 years of your life with one simple spreadsheet however!
I wish you had stats on total time attempting patterns. I know we have spent close to 2 hours on single patterns before and I would guess the average is at least 20 minutes if not more. At 20 minutes on average this would give you 6.3 solid days to get the 454 patterns.
I was surprised to see I had only ticked off six patterns with Brook, as it felt like we put in a few hours of time at Bungay a few years ago. But if the average is about 20 minutes, then that seems about right. Although, if I remember correctly, one of them was a double ended pattern and we both did both ends, so the second version might have taken less time.
Now I want to try a seven or eight club zap pattern.
56789 and 96956 are my favorites with 7. Both have a nice flow compared with some of the uglier patterns
Triple self, self, zap, zap, double pass.
No, I've videoed very few of the patterns so far. Maybe I'll do it as part of my warm up with Cameron next time we do zaps though, now I've been reminded of it.
Six is quite a few :) We got at least one of those at EJC I think?
James suggested some nice patterns, if you just want to try any 7 club zap pattern though, 885 is far easier that almost any of the other 7 club zap patterns. I feel like 885, 975 and 56789 were the only ones I'd regularly tried outside the sheet.
Ye of little faith, still! All the 8 with zaps will be hard work, but I think fundamentally doable, although maybe more like projects now. We failed the collect of 9a5 yesterday, so another will go soon :)
Yeah, I wish I had collected all sorts of things from the start. I think the mean and median would be very different here - there were quite a few that went quite fast, and then a few way out that I treated much more like projects (a89 when I ticked that off, and a8958 were both concerted efforts over multiple sessions). I actually ticked of 5p34 first time with Rhonda although that's a bit of an anomaly - we had been doing it anyway, and then I remembered it was on the sheet, so the first time after that we landed the collect.
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