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Newsletter #5 (Feb 2007)

Hello to all my latest subscribers, and many apologies to all subscribers as I have not sent out a newsletter since August 2006! I hope that the main article gets you thinking, and I will try and send another newsletter out at Easter time!


Cool and Simple Ways to use Juggling Props

At the European Juggling Convention 2006 in Ireland, I ran a workshop about different ways for beginners to use all your juggling props. Because most people learn to juggle with scarfs or balls, any rings or juggling clubs you happen to carry around with you can remain largely unused in your workshop kit. These cool and simple tricks are mainly aimed at children and beginners, please enjoy!

 

Scarfs
  • Scarf Tig is a great warm up activity. Each participant tucks the top of a scarf into their trousers, and they then chase each other round the room trying to grab each others scarfs while protecting their own. Endless variations and rules can be added depending on age and size of group.
  • Scarf exercises. Another warm up exercise! Ask children to start by throwing one scarf up in the air as high as they can and catching it. Tell them that they can throw it twice as high if they jump and release it. Now ask the children to pass or throw the scarf under their legs, and then behind their back and in front of their stomach. Now do this while turning clockwise, then try anti clockwise.
  • Twirling. You need ideally a devilstick handstick (or a plate spinning stick) for each participant. Throw a scarf in the air, and then twirl it with the stick, keeping it off the ground. If one scarf is too easy, then throw more than one in the air!
  • Blow. Throw scarf up in the air (trying to keep the scarf as flat as possible rather than scrunched up), then as it comes down, blow it back up into the air.
  • Head Catch Throw. the scarf up in the air (keeping it flat), take a little step forward and catch the scarf on your head. Can be combined with blow trick above so that you throw it, blow it, then head catch!
Balls
  • Keepy uppys. With hackysacks, teach a few tricks to keep the ball in the air. Use the elbow, feet, knees, back of hand, shoulder, head etc.
  • Flick up – Teach how to flick the ball up over your head and catch it!
  • Balls into hat. When you are finished with your juggling balls for the session, you can ask the participants to (one at a time) throw the balls into a hat or a box. If you work with little children, then best to use a colourful hat, and make sure you catch each ball, no matter how badly it is thrown!
Rings
  • Returning Ring. If you apply as much backspin as possible when you release a ring along the ground, it will return to you. Do not throw the ring too far along the ground or else it will not have enough power to return!
  • Ring grinds. Throw a ring in the air using backspin, and catch it on a horizontal ring. You should be able to grind the ring for at least a couple of seconds, then toss the ring back in the air and catch.
  • Fitting through a ring. Only to be attempted with small children! If a child clasps their hands in the air above their head, then a ring can be passed over their body and they can step out of the ring.
  • Twirl the rings. A ring can be placed on each arm and/or leg and spun.
Clubs
  • Club rolling. if you have ever tried rolling a club on the ground, you will notice that it will roll in a perfect circle! You can find a few tricks on my club rolling tricks page to get you started!
  • Balancing. The secret to balancing is to always watch the top of the object as this tells you all you need to know about the way the object is likely to fall.
  • Fluorishing. using the club like a majorette would use a baton!
Combin-ations
  • Scarf with a ball. Wrap the ball in the scarf. Throw them up in the air. If the ball separates from the scarf, then you can catch the ball and then do a head catch with the scarf. If the ball stays with the scarf, then you can catch and try again. You can also throw a scarf in the air, and then hit it with a ball from underneath, to give the scarf some extra height!
  • Scarf and Rings. Tie a scarf securely on to each ring, and you now have a makeshift poi! Alternatively, you have a choice of catching the ring or scarf when you juggle!
  • Ball and Ring. Find a partner. One person holds a ring like a basketball hoop, and the other person lobs the ball gently and tries to score a basket. They can then swap over.
  • Ball and Ring. A game of bowls, where you try to roll the ball so that it lands in the ring.
  • Club and Ring. A game of hoopla! Throw the ring over the club.

 

Please let me know how you get on with these tricks and ideas, and if you have any more ideas, then please let me know!


Juggling Store News

80 new products since August 2006! Lots to tell you about…

  • DVD’s – A whole new selection of DVDs (including snakewater, kuka pop juggling, trilobite, ReMaster, Ivan Pecel Advanced Instructional DVD) to help you to learn more about using your favourite props.
  • Christian Resources – If you have never heard of Gospel Juggling (or Gospel Magic, Puppetry, Balloon modelling, Unicycling, skipping, lassoo etc) then have a look at this new selection of books finally available in the UK!
  • Speed Stacking Cups – The new craze sweeping the UK.
  • Lunastix Devilsticks – I have several versions of this excellent product to sell, including the Kids, Equinox and Master Lunastix.

Please visit my Online Juggling store to view all my products.


Juggling News

During 2006, I performed and ran workshops over 100 times! I hope that I can be just as busy this coming year!

 

The Boys Brigade asked me to submit 6 activity sheets for their BB Circus Skills Badge programme which is due to be published in April 2007.

  • 2007 is the Centenary Year for Scouts. If you are in need of a juggler for your event, then please get in touch! (please note that 26 May is fully booked!)
  • Glow Juggling during the winter months, I began using glow props, and have developed some routines with them for indoor and outdoor events. Glow props are much safer to use than fire props, and from the feedback I have received, they can be much more enjoyable too!
  • I took part in a parade in Oban at CHRISTmas time (using my glow props and performing just in front of the reindeer!). This was followed by 3 of us jugglers doing a fire show in the main square, then the CHRISTmas lights being switched on. Afterwards, we got to meet First Minister Jack McConnell who shook our hands and told us what a wonderful job we had done!

 

God bless
Steve Thomson
Professional Juggler and Retailer

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