All 14 Ultimate Club members and four grads (Class of '20) pose after the 17th annual U.C. awards ceremony on 1/28/21.

February 2021

JJ23 IS ON!! Basic Q&A...(esp. for new families) 

Traditional Reminders, confirmed dates, pending protocol for this May 

Q: What is Juggle Jam?
A: Juggle Jam 23 (JJ23), May 21 & 22 at 7 pm at Hopkins HS Auditorium, is our pinnacle event! It features all five clubs in themed routines, audition-tested specialty acts, skits, a Slide Show & Awards, a Senior Presentation, and all-cast opening & closing routines. Audiences are inspired and surprised with JJ’s entertainment value. We could get to Juggle Jam 50 and it will still be nearly impossible to describe the event to first-timers before they've seen it!

Q: Does my Jughead have to audition to be in JJ23?
A: No and Yes. Every Jughead is guaranteed to appear in our Opening & Finale, club routine(s), and Slide Show, but “specialty acts” (solos & small ensembles) are determined by auditions in April. Even Ultimate-level specialty acts may not make it into JJ any given year.

Q: Are there extra time commitments involved for JJ23?
A: This year, we may only be able to have one Dress Rehearsal (D.R.) for the entire cast :-(. For now, we're looking at an extended rehearsal on Tuesday, May 11 (possibly as early as 3 pm for specialty acts & skits, and as early as 5 pm for the entire cast). We sincerely hope to schedule our traditional 2nd D.R. the week of the show, but the dates are currently blocked off by the school district. Please text/email your club coach with regular club rehearsal conflicts, and text/email Paul and Erica regarding conflicts with our D.R.(s) & shows—including kids leaving regular club rehearsals before 6 pm or missing any part of our D.R.(s) & shows as details are finalized.
NOTE: If feasible, we'll take our annual all-cast photo at the Dress Rehearsal at 6 pm on Tuesday, May 11, and that may be the only night for performance candids during the run-through of the show, so please make conflicts known.

Q: When is Photo Week (in order to be included in the JJ23 Slide Show)?
Our Juggle Jam Slide Show has been a cherished tradition since JJ1 (1999)! Photo Week is March 8-11: Wendy Arneberg will take portraits and club group shots during all clubs except Ultimate Club (UC pics in late April). Each Jughead may choose attire and posing props. If any Jughead must miss club that week, please plan to attend a different club that same week if possible and email the club coach as well as Wendy with your chosen photo make-up day. (An additional photo make-up day may be scheduled for April, but those missing all of March 8-11 may need to submit their own portraits for the Slide Show.)

Q: How does the process of selling tickets work?
A: Specific information on how to promote JJ23 and purchase tickets through will be available in March or early April. Typically, we open ticket sales online on or around April 1. MAJOR CAVEAT: At present, Hopkins' Auditorium is limiting audiences to 150 total people. We sincerely hope this number is increased by May (or even by April, when we hope to open ticket sales), but if not, we'll keep you posted about the unfortunate reality of limiting total ticket sales allowed (e.g., possibly attending only one night; possibly allowing a total of four tickets sold per Jughead member; etc.). We'll likely sell all general admission for a flat ticket fee applicable to all ages.

Q: In addition to limited audiences, what other protocol measures are currently planned?
A: At the present, all performers (including emcees) and audience members must wear masks for JJ23. Also, we're (tentatively) not allowed to use the dressing rooms, meaning all our performers will be in the large lobby (in the school cafeteria). MUCH may change in the next 3.5 months, but the loose plan right now is that as costumes are made, purchased, or borrowed for your child(ren)'s club routine(s), they should be able to be slipped on right over the base attire of khaki shorts and JJ23 T-shirts. (Wendy Arneberg will once again design and order our JJ T-shirts as she's done for us every since 1995!)

Q: How can parents and grads volunteer to serve at JJ23?
A: Look for an email in March (or April) detailing JJ23 volunteer opportunities (e.g., pre-production, T-shirt labeling/folding, dress rehearsals, show nights).

Q: What is the leadership structure of JJ23?
A: JJ23 is a colossal team effort! Paul Arneberg (Director) maintains the overall cast aspects of the show: "Rock This Town," "Reach," awards, the Senior Presentation, and primary written communication. Erica Liddle (newly-named Artistic Director) oversees all club routine themes, specialty act auditions, and theatrical aspects of the show: skits, costumes, lighting, creative staging. Wendy Arneberg (Producer) is our Slide Show photographer, digital layout artist, graphic designer, volunteer coordinator, and liaison to Hopkins High School. Coaching staff Joyce Miller, Josh Nelson, and Christine Therens focus on their respective club's choreography and help run our nights at Hopkins (except Christine, then on maternity leave!). The Student Leadership Team (SLT) runs warm-ups and vignettes during club rehearsals and doubles-up their own performances by supporting the members of their respective clubs during our all-cast events. 

Q: How will you communicate ongoing and updated JJ23-related info.?
A: All parents, volunteers, and email-subscribed performers will be kept apprised of JJ23 info. through this monthly newsletter; a separate “Final Memo and Checklist” emailed in late April; and occasional emails to our group list of current members. If any of your family members would benefit from this information but are not on this email list (especially older Jugheads learning to take ownership of their schedules and grads wanting to be kept in the loop), please subscribe them.

16th Annual Winter Showcase—LIVE!!

Saturday, 3/13 @ 7 pm at Hopkins' Little Theater; acts must preview by 2/25

The 16th annual Winter Juggling Showcase is Saturday, March 13 at 7:00 pm at the Hopkins High School Little Theater. This ~90-minute show is sponsored by the EYJA (Edina Youth Juggling Association), led by our SLT, and produced by Paul & Wendy Arneberg. The deadline to apply has passed; now, each act must be previewed during normal club hours by Student Director Lizzy Van Ert by 2/25; required emcee/skit previews on Monday, 3/1 from 5:30-7 at Emmaus.

Showcase Protocol: Given that the show is only five weeks away, the following protocol plans are unlikely to change: 1) masks for all performers, including emcees; 2) no dressing rooms; 3) performers must stay in the lobby (rather than watch from the wings or sit in the audience); and most challenging of all, 4) 25% audience capacity (70 total people). We'll likely allow only two guests per set of siblings (we also need to account for 6 JH staff and 2-3 EYJA reps)*. Thankfully, the EYJA has funded the same professional videographer that has filmed the past several Juggle Jam productions, and Wendy will post the video for free on SmugMug (via our website) about a week after the show.

*All families of Showcase performers should email Paul Arneberg with the name(s) of any audience members requesting to attend. Others may email Paul to request being placed on our Showcase Audience Waiting List. Paul will keep a master audience list; if not all of our net of 60 seats are claimed by Thursday, March 11, Paul will offer surplus tickets to performers' families requesting more than two tickets, then JH grads and/or super-fans. :-)

Ben S. (left) and Seth J. perform a duet at the 2020 Winter Showcase on 3/14/20. Last year's Showcase was on the cusp of the national lockdown and proved an invaluable source of video for Juggle Jam 22: The Catch-22 Digital Experience which debuted online on 5/15/20. 

2019-2020 Ultimate Club Awards

17th annual accolades for unique varsity team of athletes & performers

After 16 straight years of having a formal banquet in early fall to celebrate and recognize the previous year's achievements of our top Jugheads, this year's banquet was cancelled. However, we kicked off our 2nd Semester by honoring our Ultimate Club members in a belated, short(er) ceremony in the Emmaus Gym. Four grads attended to receive their letters in juggling. One of them, Kayla Prell, became the first-ever Jughead to letter having never been a member in Ultimate Club—but she still achieved all the standards! She also attended two clubs a week and volunteered for a 3rd club in her senior year!

After referring to a display listing all Jughead letter winners since lettering's inception in 2003-2004 (see photo below right), Director Paul Arneberg gave a scouting report on current Elite members intentionally training to make the team in fall 2021; Coach Erica Liddle (Class of '14) cast a vision for the remainder of the U.C. year; and the team was treated to "exit speeches" by Jared Ashton, Jacob Downs and Kayla Malmgren, Jughead grads from the Class of '20 on site to receive their final juggling letters.

This year's six rookies (Jeremy, Maria, Danny, Sophie, Hope and Rebecca) received our 12-year old tradition for 1st-year Ultimate members: sports jerseys with their last names printed on the back!

Our three 2nd year Ultimates (Leona B., Olivia C. and Ben S.) received letterman-style athletic button-down jacket/sweatshirts with embroidered first names and the option to have their juggling letters sewn on!  Producer Wendy Arneberg, the creator of U.C. lettering, JH achievement pins, and the banquet, began this special tradition just a year ago as a way to honor veterans of U.C. for their unique team membership while giving a stylish and practical option for wearing hard-earned 1st-year letters (and subsequent patches for 2nd, 3rd & 4th year letters) that are awarded through achieved standards, commitment, service, and performance experience spanning our programming year of August 1 through July 31.

The ceremony ended with Erica and Paul presenting juggling letters for ‘19-‘20. 1st year juggling letters: Leona B., Olivia C., Kayla P., Ben S., Lizzy V.; 2nd year juggling letters: Isaac C., Jacob D., Aedan E.; 3rd year juggling letters: Jared A., Nathan D., Kayla M. As they departed, current members received their annual membership pin, the Ultimate Club Star. Congrats to our 14 current members for '20-'21 and 11 letter-winners from ‘19-‘20!

PHOTO: Director Paul Arneberg and Head Coach Erica Liddle. Paul presented Coach Erica with her own personalized letter jacket as a tangible symbol of her wide-reaching work and ongoing influence in our company. She also earned a letter in 2012-2013!

  • 2021 SUMMER CAMPS PREVIEW: Our camps (five weeks / 25 weekdays, June 7 through July 9) are an ideal place for youth to immerse in juggling and in our JH culture! A week of 3-5 consecutive mornings is optimal for beginners; most Jugheads choose punchcards.
  • Summer forms and the online registration will be posted on Monday, 3/1/21; early-bird discounts are offered automatically online through Friday, 4/30. Summer SLT application deadline: Friday, 4/9. Even if our summer camps don't work for current Jughead families, we appreciate your kind references for new and returning campers to come and juggle, bond, and develop with us for a few days early this summer at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Bloomington!
  • Camps a Pre-req. for School Year membership? While we've relaxed our pre-requisite of a full week of summer camp mornings before any prospective school year rookies may become Jughead members, this is still a tried-and-true recommendation. New part-time summer camp Coach Joshua Nelson (Class of '18) attended three years of our summer camps before joining, and even with all of his accolades, he asserts that our camps are one of his very favorite aspects of our company!
  • JBC 4, our 4th Annual Juggling + Bible Camp, is set for Sunday—Friday, July 25-30 at the Association Retreat Center (ARC) near Osceola, WI. Registration will open on Monday, 3/1/21 for up to 35 Jugheads currently in 5th-12th grade. The spacious dorms, huge gym, large dining hall (with many outdoor picnic tables), and expansive breakfast/chapel space proved to be a great set-up for our 33 attendees and seven staff in 2020. Email JBC Co-Directors Paul & Wendy Arneberg with any questions or to confirm/request a spot on Paul's preliminary roster. NOTE: If any of our 35 spots are unclaimed as of 6/1/21, kids younger than 5th grade and/or punchcard/"camp only" kids may register. The JBC roster will be finalized by 6/30/21.

SLT Voice: 

"Choosing Optimism"

—Gracie L.: 3rd Year Jughead; Rec. Club Volunteer;
Elite & Advanced club Member;
PSEO Junior

Finding joy in the small things in life is so important, and I think we’ve experienced the reality of that this year more than any other. We’ve all been guilty of taking things for granted, and when our world was turned upside down last March, no one realized how much we would miss “normal” life. Throughout this past year, perpetual optimism has seemed nearly impossible. Between lockdowns, mask mandates, losing a live Juggle Jam 22 performance, the fear of the unknown, and the lack of socialization, it could only be expected that we would feel sadness.

During hard times such as these, it is extremely important to lean on others for help and confide in one another to find comfort. We as the Jugheads have been immensely blessed as we were given the opportunity to do these things over Zoom last spring, and now back in person since September. JUGHEADS has become a safe-haven for many, myself included. I strongly believe our connection and cohesiveness as a company has been strengthened throughout this challenging year. We all now better understand the importance of each other and don’t take our time together for granted.

Be grateful for the hard times, because hardship is how you grow. It is how you deepen your relationships with others, strengthen your friendships, and how you yourself mature. Find joy in the journey you’re on, and find comfort in knowing that nothing is outside of God’s plan for you. While it is important to dwell on and process difficult situations, it is equally important to have fun in the midst of hardship. JUGHEADS is such a unique place where you can be fully yourself and know you will always be accepted. We truly are a family, and that is my favorite thing about the company.

We’re more than just jugglers, and if any outsiders looked in, they would see us developing our skills as performers, but they would also witness a pickup game of lightning, a speed round of Pictionary, the Cha-Cha Slide, or even a chess competition. But above all that, they would see a lot of laughter, a lot of love, and a lot of genuine care for one another. Take every opportunity to laugh and lean into those who love you. Always remember that there is good in the hard times, and joy in the small things.

JUGHEADS Community News

  • Welcome to new Jughead members! Intermediate Club gladly added two new rookies for 2nd Semester! Liv K. (2nd grade) and Ben L. (5th grade) bravely joined last month and are already immersed in the kinetic community that they now call their own! 
  • The Return of the Snack? The staff are monitoring the statewide regulations regarding restaurants and general consensus regarding eating indoors in relatively close proximity. This month or next, we may resume offering our traditional snack time (from kids' arrival 'til the club meeting). To ease back into that long-held practice, we'll likely limit the designated snack area (maybe the Resource Room?) to only a few kids at a time. In order to be sensitive to families uncomfortable with returning to normal snack, yet accommodating of those who want to return to eating indoors (as many are resuming in-person school), we'll send an email directly to current families when and if we decide to resume this service. Head Coach Erica Liddle works on site with us every day, doubling as a lead employee at Patisserie Margo bakery, so she's taking the lead on the snack issue.
  • CALENDAR REMINDERS: There is no Advanced Club on 2/15; JJ23 Slide Show Portrait Week is March 8-11; Spring Break for all our clubs is March 29-April 2
  • Remember that make-ups are encouraged for Jugheads of all levels who need (or have needed) to miss their base juggling day(s) for any reason. The 14-member (Thursday) Rec. Club is the most flexible to accommodate visiting Jugheads from other club days, followed by Intermediate, Advanced, Elite (w/ permission), and Ultimate (Elites only). 
  • "Rudy" #4 juggles for "Dory" on national TV! Deca-Jughead and Rudy from JJ4 (2002), Brenden Ying (Class of '11), works for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In a recent feature aired on 1/21/21, Brenden sampled his national class juggling skills! A three-time IJA teams medalist (including gold with U.C. in 2009), MN State Fair Talent Contest Grandstand Champion (with The Five of Clubs in 2010), and rare four-year juggling letter-winner, Brenden appeared with two co-workers in a segment where all claimed to juggle...but only Brenden could! Enjoy the clip below (3:44 long with nearly 20,800 views to date!), knowing that it's a special thing that one of our own decorated Deca-Jugheads was able to impress Ellen, the voice of Pixar's beloved Dory!
Brenden Ying (Class of '11) appeared last month on national TV juggling for his boss, Ellen!

Paul's Platform

The Poetic Series '20-'21:


"Paul's Poetic Platform" Series Note

This 10-part poetic series covers a wide variety of general and personal topics with acrostic, one-word rhyming titles from A through J. February's topic challenges JUGHEADS Journal readers to not let personal walls of self-protection deny the intimacy required by any meaningful, growing relationship.     —PRA


Two kinds of bound'ries exist in one's heart: 
One brings together, while one keeps apart.
"Put up your guard; reduce hurts unjust!"—
But too much defensiveness disconnects trust.
The delicate balance—"Build walls or let in?"—
Makes all the difference in friendships and kin.
We must strive to discern the justification
Of stoical distance and fortification.

Don't misunderstand; we all have been broken,
And many a gripe need not ever be spoken.
There's wisdom in holding back full-throated grumbling
Lest ensuing damages cause yet more stumbling.
All walls are not bad, nor barricades evil
Nor bulwarks protecting much painful upheaval.
But giv'n full-over to fortress mentality
Robs one of joy...and risk...and reality.

For mankind was not designed just to survive,
But live to the full and to love and to thrive;
To grow in God's knowledge and grace to revive
One's purposeful life—that is truly alive!
While fully acknowledging past hurts, contrive
New ways to live and to peacefully jive
And love one another. And as one, derive
The myst'ry of Christ and fulfillment's deep-dive.

Like Tolkien, this poem is not allegory;
I deem that it touches on everyone's story.
We certainly need walls for self-preservation
Of heart, and of home, and in guarding our nation.
But each unique person may choose the high call
To overcome obstacles left since the Fall.
To love with Agape conquers degradation
And builds one's life upon a firm, sure Foundation.

Developing Youth Through Juggling Since 1994,

Contact Us
Advanced, Elite & Ultimate Club Coach: Erica Liddle, 952-688-6536
Intermediate Club Specialist: Joyce Miller, 612-749-8748
Intermediate Club Coach (part-time): Josh Nelson, 763-458-6677
Rec. Club Coach: Christine Therens, 952-807-4353
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