How to Wrangle a Diabolo…

Did you ever want to run away and join the circus? If so, read on because I’ll give you a skill they can’t refuse…


Before I tell you all about your new circus skill, I need to first tell you about a family friendly weekend that introduced us to a Diabolo.

Last weekend I took my family to the northeast of Victoria and went camping at the Yackandandah Folk Festival. This was the first time I’d been to Yackandandah (the locals referring affectionately to their town as ‘Yack’). I was quite taken with this sweet little town. This extraordinary little town has a united push to be environmentally conscious and the entire township wants to be ‘off the grid’ by 2022. Impressive.

FRIDAY NIGHT they kick off the festival with a Parade of lanterns made from 100% ‘recycled stuff’. As well as musical acts performing around the town in 12 different venue/stages.

“…Our goal for the Festival is to reduce waste, this year’s Parade is all about re-using and recycling. The lanterns will be made entirely from 2ltr plastic milk bottles! (And other bits of recycled stuff!).”

SATURDAY was all about the music. Muso’s from all over carried around their instruments looking for a group to jump in and jam with. My daughter even joined in.

                            Melbourne group, FOTA, jamming together near Street Stage                                                                                                                       Photo: M. Rasmussen

SUNDAY was market day. The streets transformed overnight and we woke to four streets lined with, side by side stalls sprouting out from the main intersection in the middle of town.

My family loves a market and my son just had to have a Diabolo after giving it a go during one of the street activities. A Diabolo is a juggling or circus prop consisting of a bobbin and two cups attached in the shape of an hourglass. One of the highlights of this weekend was watching Gabriel practice and play with his Diablo.

Gabriel and his Diabolo

Here are some instructions on how to use a Diabolo using my 8-year-old son Gabriel (isn’t he cute):


1. STARTING OFF: Begin with your Diabolo on the ground, to the right side of your body with the string taut. Roll your Diablo along the ground from right to left.


2. When it passes your left foot, lift hand sticks up to raise the Diabolo off the ground.


3. Keep your Diabolo spinning in an anti-clockwise direction by making short and regular upwards movements with your right hand only. By raising your left hand it will slow the Diabolo down.


Once you perfect the steps above, the sky is the limit. You’ll be able to learn some tricks like The Tilt, The Throw and Catch, The Elevator, The Waterfall, Round the World, The Foot Jump, and The Passing. Click here for more instructions.

Hours of fun to be had.

Yack was just over a 3-hour drive from Melbourne. The weekend cost us $251.52 for a family festival ticket plus camping and an additional $25.00 for Gabriel’s Diabolo.



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