Sean McKinney Freestyle Competition

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The Pacific Northwest Juggling Convention is host to the 3rd Sean McKinney Freestyle Competition.

Here are the rules:


Preliminaries will be scheduled for the day before the competition. They will be held at the juggling convention on Friday, March 30, 2007. The finals will be held during the public show on Saturday, March 31, 2007. The preliminaries and the final competition will have different judging panels. If, in an extreme case, you are unable to attend the preliminaries, please contact Peggy to discuss alternatives. If you are planning to compete, you might like to view a PDF of the stage dimensions to help you plan your routine.


There will be a maximum of 5 final competitors.


There will be an upper time limit of 8 minutes for each competitor. There will not be a deduction in the score if the routine is significantly less than 8 minutes. The competitor will also not be penalized for going slightly over the time limit. Time is not the important issue, we just want well put together, polished routines. The only reason for the upper limit is to keep the competition running tightly.


The routines should be set to music, as one of the aspects that the judges will be looking for is a 'connection to the music'. Sean was meticulous in his choreography, using the lyrics of the music to help express his juggling. Also in keeping with Sean's style/energy/spirit, the routine should not be improvised while on stage.

The judges will be looking for smooth transitions, use of full body and stage, connection to the music, and choreography that *looks* like it is almost improvised. The music should be appropriate for a general audience.


The competitor may use whatever props they desire, in any amounts. Fire will have to be approved by the theater.


There really are no hard and fast rules, other than the guidelines that have been mentioned. We are not out to control peoples' juggling and how they express their creativity. In order for things to run smoothly, we need a few basic guidelines.

Competitors are not required to wear costumes, or have Prop stands, or acknowledge the judging panel with fake smiles, etc. Our rule of thumb for the competitors to follow is: this is a competition about YOU. Do what you feel passionate about, what makes you happy. We just want to help enable jugglers to accomplish this.


The winner of the Sean McKinney Freestyle Competition will be awarded with the Sean McKinney Trophy and $100 dollars. The trophy will be engraved with the winners name and competition information.

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Our goal is not to have a Sean Mckinney impersonation contest. We are not encouraging competitors to copy Seans full routines, but, to see a few of Seans signature tricks incorporated into original routines would be fun and it would not affect the scoring.

What made sean and his juggling so amazing and so mesmerizing to watch? That is the kind of energy and spirit we are hoping to continue in future generations of jugglers. Sean didn't follow the crowd and do what was already out there. He was raw, edgy, and innovative. He had a deep passion for what he was creating. He took risks and his juggling had a purity to it that the audience could feel.

Watching Sean's juggling, one becomes lost in what was happening on stage. For those few minutes, the audience held its breath in anticipation of what would come next. With Sean's juggling there was no predictability. It was beautiful, inspired, athletic, mesmerizing, creative, innovative, and unique to Sean himself.

This is what we are trying to continue in the juggling community. We want to reward the risk-takers, the passionate artists/athletes. We feel that Sean's approach to juggling should be recognized. We want to encourage other performers to discover what makes them different and unique.

Not only are we honoring Sean with this competition, but we also want to honor other artists. Sean had a great respect for other artists, and through this competition, we are enabling him to still honor others' work.

Our goal is to create a competition that means something. A competition that will allow Sean's name, style, and energy to stay a part of the juggling community that he had such a huge part in forming and affecting, but also a competition that will be inspiring and FUN.

Last updated on February 4, 2007.


At Fri Oct 13, 10:40:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Eric said...

Diabolo is considered an auxillary prop in most competitions. Will it be allowed in this competition?

At Sun Oct 15, 10:53:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Eric said...

ah, sorry... I didn't read far into the description too much. I'm not too sure if Sean used diabolos in competitions. =P

The competition sounds interesting though.

At Sun Oct 29, 03:43:00 PM 2006, Blogger Ed Provencher said...

Hello Eric and anyone else interested. I received word from the competition organizer, Peggy Reuss, that diabolo will be accepted as a solo or auxillary prop in this year's Sean McKinney Freestyle Competition.


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