January 1, 2017 |

Road to Expo: Jay Schuurman’s Top 5 Tips for Pizza Dough Acrobats

By Pizza Expo


red_16champ_use_7919Our 2016 champion in the Masters Division of Freestyle Acrobatic Dough-Tossing shares some advice for success in this most-popular event from the World Pizza Games. Jay Schuurman, from Pizza Rock in Sacramento, California, won a battle of champions during the Pizza Expo Block Party last March in Las Vegas. See this year’s accomplished performers during the Individual Acrobatic Trials on Tuesday afternoon and the finals at the Block Party Wednesday evening.

5. Keep transitions smooth. As soon as one dough starts to rip or become anything less than ideal, you want to switch to the next one. Know where you’ve placed your doughs and have that part planned in your routine. I practice my moves as combinations, which helps immensely with practice and performance.

4. Dough is one of the bigger obstacles. I’m sure many of you already know that when throwing acrobatic dough, your special recipe walks a fine line. Too hard and it’s more likely to fly off your hands; too soft and it will tear easily. When I make dough, I make my batch very tough at first and then soften it from there by slowly dripping small amounts of water until I get the right consistency. This way you can continue to stop your mixer and feel the batch until it is right.

3. Your music is your frontman. The song you pick is of great importance. It will set the pace, style and theme of your routine. Of course, you should practice your routine to your music selection. But also spend time listening to your song and visualizing your routine. This will help you know your cues for improved synchronization.

2. Go the extra mile. I grew up a martial artist. One of the best lessons I learned from studying was that it isn’t about learning punches or kicks. It is a way for you to better harmonize your mind and body. Take up a dance or theater class or just generally become involved in athleticism. You can incorporate so many different skill sets into pizza acrobatics and it’s a freestyle art form. Remember: You can go far in life when you always try to do more than is expected. Hold yourself accountable.

1. Persistence is key. I believe that anything is possible with a positive attitude and enough persistence. Strive to be your own personal best.

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