My Top 10 Favorite Things About Hoopcamp 2010:
It’s one thing to watch a video of Spiral or Brecken online, but to see it up close and personal is something completely different. To watch the playa dust fly off of Spiral’s coat as she performs just a few feet in front of you…to hear Brecken laugh as she effortlessly throws around her hoop in ways unlike any other…well, it’s pure magic.
At Hoopcamp…EVERYONE is equally in love with this round plastic circle. At home, we might be the only one who geeks out about hooping on a daily basis. It gets lonely sometimes. But when we come together, it’s sort of like we’re on another planet for 4 days. And for a moment, we all feel “normal”.
Hoopcamp is a gathering of happy, creative, unique, blissed out souls…all coming together for a common purpose. Now seriously, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?! These are people who have found something. Something that makes them insanely happy. Something that has become very spiritual and can bring them out of the deepest funk. I love being with others who know themselves and know what brings them joy.
The first night, we all walked up to the dining hall and waited in line. When I got up to the front, I saw one word on the menu board and I knew it would be a great weekend. CURRY. Ummm….yes please. The meals were lovingly prepared…always with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Sprouted breads, rice and hemp milks…you name your kind of crazy and it was there. I’m sort of nuts about good food and Pema Osel Ling made me very happy. Yay!
The Redwoods & Retreat Center
Let’s talk about the drive through the Redwoods! Gorgeous. I am still nursing Lucy at night, so I didn’t stay overnight at camp. We camped at an RV park about 7 miles away, and it took me about 30 minutes one way to get there each day. Even though it was a long drive after very long days, I actually enjoyed every minute of it!
We rented another car for me to take so that Matt could keep the truck to get around with the girls…and Enterprise upgraded me to a sweet red “race car”. At least that’s what it felt like to me! All is know is I could drive really fast uphill. Every morning I would crank up the music with my mate latte in hand, and wind my way up the mountain. After leaving the car in the parking lot, I would begin the VERY uphill trek to camp. I loved listening to the birds and other critters scurrying around as I walked through the mist of the early morning. Although, at night, it would be completely dark as I made my way back down all alone and those same critters would scare me like crazy.
The grounds of the retreat center were amazing. Spectacular views, cute cabins, yurts, and secluded tent sites. Even though I wasn’t staying overnight, I still had a tent so I could relax & recharge. I loved my tent site…tucked up on a little hill with a great view of the path for people watching.
And believe me, there was some gooooood people watchin’! There was such a beautiful mixture of people at Hoopcamp. Kristin “Tink” McQuillin explained it so well in a recent blog post:
We were a diverse crowd. Our ages skewed towards the middle thirties judging from visible crows’ feet. I expected the crowd to be more youthful and was delighted to learn that Marjorie, one of the instructors, celebrated her 60th birthday during camp. Most of the hoopers were women, but there was a good handful of men, too. Sexual, political, and religious preferences covered the spectrum, as did skin tone.
Hair color, too, was widely varied. Natural and bleached ponytails, chocolate hued dreadlocks, black pixie cuts, and more than one brightly colored head. Let’s not even start talking about the hoop fashions…frock watching galore!
Our skills and experience dotted the map. Mixed together were A-list hoopers, second tier spinners, hobbyists, the foreign component, people who came alone and unknown, those who arrived with a posse. There were buskers, go-go hoopers, circus trained spinners, festival hoopers, hoopdance legends, innovators, theorists, and at least one person who wasn’t a hooper at all.
There were a lot of amazing things to see at camp, but let’s face it…we were all there to LEARN! To expand our knowledge of all things hoop. To find new ways to move and flow. There were so many opportunities for growth, it was hard to decide what workshops to go to! My favorite workshops of the weekend were:
Rich and Spiral // Hoop Technique
After attending their Hoop Technique workshop in Boulder, I knew that their workshop here would be amazing and I wasn’t disappointed. They are both extremely gifted teachers and it’s easy to retain the information they share. I am SO thilled about their new DVD that is slated to come out in the next couple of months. They were doing pre-orders at camp and we were able to see the trailer. It is completely unlike any DVD out there and the artistry is unbelievable. Yes, I’m a little excited.
Baxter // The Hoop Path
Baxter led the opening session and it was such a powerful way to begin our weekend! With 250+ hoopers all jamming to awesome hip hop music under the redwood…how could it not be? I never knew I liked hip hop so much! I’ve never been to a Hoop Path workshop, but I am going to seek one out!! Baxter is incredibly inspirational, not only in his hooping, but in his words. Oh, and he’s pretty darn funny too. Just a great guy all around.
Ann Humphreys // The Hoop Path
I learned about “spiraling” and moving in completely different ways in the hoop than I was used to. During her workshop, I felt like I was in a completely different world. So blissful. It was also the first time I hooped blindfolded. An interesting experience that I will be doing more of!
Jennifer a.k.a. Hoop Charmer
This girl has got some serious energy! Her workshop was focused on “transitions”…but it should have been called “Hoop for an hour straight to super fast awesome dance music”. Loved it.
This workshop was basically Brecken telling us all she knows in a way that only Brecken can. It was sweet. Unfortunately, it was held in a poorly lit space in the dark and we couldn’t see her and there wasn’t enough space to really spread out and experiment with what she was sharing. This was definitely not the fault of Brecken, but it was one of my only disappointments of the weekend. I was so looking forward to it! Next year, she needs more space, more time, and more LIGHT! Even with those setbacks, she rocked it. I would have gone to 5 of Brecken’s workshops if they were offered! More Brecken I say!!
If you’ve never seen Malcom hoop before, you’re in for a treat. He can move in ways that boggle the mind. Towards the end of his workshop, he held a “hoop off”, where people could show off their stuff in the middle of a big circle. I wish we could have done this DAILY! So fun to watch everyone playing off of each other’s energy. Here is a clip for you to enjoy:
Hoopers love their fancy clothes! It was such a treat to see all of the unique outfits throughout the weekend. Even more fun was to peruse the “Hoopcamp Mall” and check out all of the vendors and their goodies. Everything from feather earrings to bloomers to fire gear…it was all there.
The Life Lessons
I learned a lot more than just some new hooping skills at camp.
- I learned that I need to love myself more and stop striving for perfection in everything. I need to be satisfied with PROGRESS!
- I learned that I don’t like attending things like Hoopcamp alone. It’s way more fun with a besty or two on your arm.
- I learned the importance of taking time away from being a mommy 24/7…and recharging my creative spirit.
- I learned that I like to drive fast and listen to loud bass-thumping music (who knew!?)
Hooping hooping hooping…all weekend long. Big hoops, little hoops, light hoops, heavy hoops, hoops that light up, hoops that are on fire…it was a hoop geek fest. I got really used to talking hooping all the time…every meal, every workshop, etc. So when I came back home after 4 days of that…I had to remind myself that Matt probably didn’t want to hear about it 24/7 (although he will gladly listen to my rantings…thanks hon!). I did experience a bit of “post Hoopcamp” sadness. But now I get to look forward to next year! And will hopefully be bringing at least 2 of my hoopy girlfriends with me. Woooo!
The entire Hoopcamp photo album is here. Enjoy!
Hoopcamp website: http://www.hoopcampretreats.com