Holland, a member of the NU Juggling Club, practices Monday
in the Sheldon Scultpure Garden.
by Noel Judd
you walk into the culture center on Wednesday and Sunday evenings,
watch out for flying balls, and perhaps a couple of out-of-control
Those are the two nights of the week the University of Nebraska
Juggling Club meets and practices. To a passerby, the Culture Center
might look somewhat chaotic, said Jeff Dixon, president of the juggling
"If a person walks in, they'll probably see a lot of clubs and
balls in the air and a couple of people on unicycles," dixon said.
"A few times we've had people walk by and take interest."
Dixon, a senior mechanical engineering major from Oak Park, Ill.,
said the club, which has been around for five years, is meant to
be fun and to teach new members how to juggle. Currently, the club
has about 20 members, but Dixon said that walk-ins were welcome.
"We like that a lot when people want to come in and learn stuff,"
Dixon said. "We teach them tricks and teach them how to do group
juggling, and then we get into more difficult stuff like riding
a unicycle and using props like that."
Dixon said if a person practiced for 30 minutes a day for two or
three days, he or she could learn to juggle three balls.
Lucas Sabalka, a senior math major from Lincoln, has taken juggling
lessons from Dixon. Sabalka, a two-year member of the NU Juggling
Club, said anyone could learn the various tricks. "It takes hand-eye
coordination, dedication and concentration to juggle," he said.
"Juggling is an acquired skill. Once you get the basics down, learning
tricks isn't that hard."
Sabalka said he enjoyed the challenge of juggling and learning
"My favorite kind of juggling is called Mill's Mess," Sabalka said,
which involves juggling balls in a pattern while crossing and uncrossing
your arms. "I'd like to get to the point where I could do Burke's
Barrage, which is very similar but I don't think anyone at UNL can
If there's someone who can, it's probably Dixon. A juggler since
age 12, Dixon said he could juggle seven balls or five clubs at
a time. He can also do tricks such as juggle while riding a unicycle,
and when the weather is nice, he can juggle flaming torches outside.
As for the jugglers at UNL and for the stuff we do, I'm probably
the most accomplished one," Dixon said. "As far as technical juggling
skills, there are several people out there that do this for a living
that are on my level."
Prospective members shouldn't be intimidated, Sabalka said.
"Juggling club isn't just about juggling, it's about having fun,"
says Sabalka. "Anybody can come in and have a good time just by
learning to juggle and watching other people."