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by Amy Keller, Staff Reporter
Daily Nebraskan
Friday, April 4, 1997

Eight rings soared in the air 10 feet above his head Thursday night as Corey Hoelker calmly juggled them in perfect syncopation.

The sophomore architecture student put on a juggling demonstration and gave lessons in the College of Architecture third-floor "barn" Thursday.

Thursday's event was sponsored by Alpha Rho Chi, the professional architecture fraternity. Hoelker said he decided to do the demonstration because the fraternity wanted to do a social project.

Hoelker, a 1993 silver-medal winner in the International Juggling Association national convention in Fargo, N.D., awed more than 20 fellow architecture students who watched with rapt attention as he showed his various juggling techniques.

He hurled tennis balls, matchboxes [cigarboxes], beanbags, pins and rings through the air, as well as "the diabolo," an hourglass shaped piece of wood balanced on a thin string.

Several of the tricks included Hoelker's roommate, Dan Dixon, who also is a juggler. Dixon and Hoelker stood across the room from each other and passed six pins back and forth throwing them under their legs and spinning around between throws.

Dixon's cousin, Jeff Dixon, a junior in high school, was visiting campus this week and also juggles. He joined Hoelker in his demonstration. Although Jeff Dixon had met Hoelker just a day before, he said it was easy to juggle together because jugglers use conventional rhythms.

Heolker said he taught himself to juggle from a book when he was 13, and performed in high school and middle school talent shows. He also began attending IJA conventions and learning more tricks.

Each of the seven performers in national contests had to put together a five-to-seven-minute routine to music.

I spent six hours working on my routine everyday. Now I haven't practiced for six months," Hoelker said.

He also competed in the 1995 Flatland Juggling festival in the Haymarket, where he won the show by the people's choice.

Hoelker said his favorite act is the "head roll," where he catches a ball on the side of his head, rolls it behind his back, then repeats it on the other side.

He also does routines with fire, but didn't do them on Thursday night because he didn't have his torches with him, and usually limits fire to outdoor performances.

After they performed, the jugglers offered lessons in juggling to anyone interested.

Trevor Hull, a sophomore architecture major, was one of Hoelker's earlier students he taught while working on architecture assignments.

Corey (Hoelker) kind of taught me while we were up here, and we'd take a break from our projects."

Hoelker's impromptu performance will be followed by a performance by a traveling juggling troupe, "The Passing Zone," at 9 p.m. April 11 in the Nebraska Union Crib.