Jugglers will wow crowds at 39th RIT Spring Juggle-In

Free beginner workshops offered; performance by five-time world champs Team Rootberry

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Jason Paul

Participants from last year’s Juggle-In.

Rings, clubs, balls and more will go airborne this weekend during the 39th RIT Spring Juggle-In, one of the longest running juggling festivals in North America.

More than 700 people attended last year’s event, which is open to those who enjoy juggling, those who enjoy watching it and those who are interested in learning to juggle.

“The weekend is all about learning a few tricks, and watching the professionals do their thing,” said Greg Moss, senior director of RIT’s Center for Recreation and Intramurals, who started a juggling club at RIT in 1977.

Free workshops to teach passing tricks and balance begin at 7 p.m. Friday. The Big Open, featuring professional, amateur and RIT student performances, begin at 9 p.m. in the Clark Gym.

“There will be several acts at The Big Open, and a lot of established performers will come and wow us,” Moss said.

Events will continue Saturday, with a free family show at 10:30 a.m. in Clark Gym, and workshops though 6 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Team Rootberry — Jonathan Root and Bill Berry, International Jugglers Association five-time world champions — perform hardcore juggling and sword swallowing in Ingle Auditorium. Tickets are free for RIT students; $10 for RIT faculty, staff, alumni, youth and seniors; and $15 for the public.

More exhibitions and workshops are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Clark Gym.

The event is put on by the RIT Juggling Club with the support of RIT Student Government. In the past 15 years, the club has raised nearly $25,000 for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation in hopes of finding a cure for the chronic, often disabling movement disorder.

“Juggling requires precise, perfectly-timed dexterity,” said RIT Juggling Club Adviser Jeff Peden. “Dystonia is a neurological condition that robs its victims of control over their movements, so it is a cause that jugglers can easily relate to.”

For more information, visit the event’s website or contact Peden at RITjuggle@gmail.com.