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Remember that one time at Hoopcamp?

5 Oct

Hoopcamp is over…but I’m still reeling from all of the new inspiration! I will be writing a longer post about my experience there, but I do have all the photos edited (links below) and wanted to share them with you. I will also be making a highlight video, but that is going to take a bit more time 🙂

It was a truly magical weekend and I have been completely transformed as a hooper. Here are some highlights:

See the full album:
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On Flickr

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Golden Hoops

23 Jul


We’re currently living in Golden, Colorado and I was thrilled to find out that there is a lot of hoop love happenin’ around here. I’m guessing that is partly due to the fact that String Cheese Incident got their start in Colorado, and some might say they are responsible for the rise of modern hooping (throwing hoops into the crowds at their shows). Speaking of SCI, they are playing just a few minutes down the road from us all weekend (at Red Rocks). Apparently there are hoopers coming in from all around the country for that event! I might have to sneak down there for a bit.

Anywhoo…this week we took some classes from Golden’s hoopin’ girl, Danielle Odette. She holds a kids class on Tuesday nights at the Golden Community Center and an adult class downtown at Buffalo Rose on Wednesdays. She also teaches in Denver…check out her website for more info. If you’re in the area, be sure to take her classes! She is an EXCELLENT teacher and an amazing hoopdancer…Bella came home from class SO excited about all her new moves and has been practicing since. Danielle inspired me in many ways as well and I can’t wait until the next class because we’ll be working on a lot of things that I want to learn! Yipppeee!


Lucy was enthralled with the girls…she’ll be hooping before we know it! 🙂


After the adult class was over, I asked Danielle to do just a short, 1-minute video clip for me to show you…and she happily obliged. I *love* watching her…she flows so effortlessly and has great “presence”! Enjoy! (click here to see it bigger on the Vimeo site)

Harmony in Duality

26 Jun


This week we headed down to Denver for the “Discovering Harmony in Duality” workshop with Sam Salwei and Adelaide Marcus. Sam is one of the co-founders of YogaSlackers and Adelaide is an awesome dancer/hooper/performer and is part of the duo “The Shimmy Sisters” based out of San Diego. Sam and Adelaide are on a whirlwind summer tour, teaching slackline yoga, acroyoga, hooping, and more!


We didn’t know anything about slacklining before we got there, but we’re hooked! It was so much fun trying to balance…I can see how it could be addicting. It’s great for all ages and is an incredible workout! We had fun watching Sam and his amazing skills. It turns out Sam attended the University of North Dakota at the same time I did…such a small world!


Adelaide taught a great class…she demonstrated movements that were new to me…so that was exciting! Including a couple that I’ve been having trouble with.  I love learning from new hoop teachers…each one offers a little something in their teaching style that is different from anyone else. I left there challenged and inspired to try new things in my own practice.

It was also very physically challenging for me…I had gotten up early that morning to do hot yoga, and then did the slacklining and hooping from 4:30-7pm. Whew! Let’s just say I slept VERY well that night.


The next day, we were walking on Pearl St. in Boulder and saw a guy laying on his back on the sidewalk, holding someone up with his feet, while she was hooping with her foot in the air. Who else could it be? 🙂 Sam and Adelaide of course! It was fun to see them again. They were in Boulder for their class at Prana that day and then were hanging out with a photographer friend that night. Coincidentally, I follow the #hooping hash tag on Twitter, and I randomly saw their friend’s photos come through the next day. And THEY. ARE. AMAZING. Be sure to check them out!

They are headed to the Pacific NW next… check out the rest of their tour schedule and go see them if they are in your town! Check out more photos of the day here.

My First Practice Video

6 Jun


Ok. So I made a video of me practicing my hooping…my very first one. I almost didn’t post it because I’m just so critical of myself….and I hate that. I want to make these videos to have a record of my journey, but I’m such a perfectionist that it’s hard for me to post something that isn’t “perfected”. It’s not a performance, or anything of the sort…but I’ve been watching too many videos of amazing hoopers and I have set high expectations for myself. I have to remind myself that I’ve only been hooping for 6 weeks…and many of the videos I am watching display years and years of hooping!

There is a fabulous video that SaFire made called “Love The Process”… and I had tears in my eyes when I watched it for the first time (and the second and third time). Yes, I’m feeling a bit hormonal this week. It’s just been so long since I tried something that required a lot of practice and her video reminded me to really ENJOY this adventure and take joy in the journey. I also went back and read this awesome article by Caroleeena called “Cultivating Non-Comparison” to remind myself that I am not hooping for anyone but myself. It brings me happiness! And in turn, it has the potential to bring other people happiness as I teach them how to hoop as well. Hooping can turn any day into a GREAT day!

With that said, here is a bit of info about the video. I used 3 different hoops throughout…the first one is a 160psi 3/4 38″ hoop. The second one is a lightweight 40″ hoop 3/4 100 psi, and my LED hoop is a 40″ 160psi 3/4 (too heavy…I need to send it back to get a lighter weight). The movements that I am working on are the lift and back down, vortex, chest/shoulder hooping, the duck out, knee-hooping with lift, and a few others. I also have a 43″ hoop that I use, which makes chest hooping SOOOO much easier…but I didn’t include that in the video. I’m still struggling a bit chest hooping with the smaller hoops. Sorry that it’s pretty far away…I set the camera up in the RV and pointed in the right direction, but never checked it 🙂 Ooops. Live and learn.

I wasn’t hooping to music, but next time I will because it makes a HUGE difference in my energy level! 🙂 It’s good for me to see myself…because I look so somber. Because you know, hooping is a pretty somber activity. Ha! I need to smile and have fun! Even if I am intense with concentration.

I really want to work on the flow/dance aspect of my hooping. Right now, my mind is so focused on nailing the individual movements that I forget to just let go and dance! 🙂 I’m sure it will come in time.

I would love to hear your thoughts about “process” and where you are at in this journey…

Hooping in the Heartland

25 May


As we left Austin, TX, I was sad because I didn’t think I would be able to find many “organized” hooping events in the Midwest. And while there aren’t as many meetups to choose from, I was pleasantly surprised to find a small community of hooping enthusiasts in Des Moines!

On our last weekend in town, I just happened to come across a card that a friend had given me for a free week of yoga at Firehouse Yoga. So I went to their site to see when the classes were…and LO AND BEHOLD! There was a hooping class scheduled for the very next day! I let out an audible *GASP* and ran downstairs to tell anyone who would listen 🙂 It turns out that the woman who runs the class is good friends with the friend who had given me the card in the first place. Ahhhhh the serendipity. Love it.


Dawn is the hooper extraordinaire who lead us in our spinning adventures on Saturday. She is a sweet soul who teaches new movements with ease and makes everyone feel comfortable, regardless of their skill level. She had just gotten back from a hooping event with Hoopmamas in the Kansas City area…oh how I wish I could have gone to that!


Dawn said that there will be a new hooping session starting this summer, and there will also be a yoga-hoopdance fusion class (see Firehouse site for details). So fun! If you live in the Des Moines area, be sure to get yourself and your hoop to her class. You won’t regret it! And besides, it’s next to Mars Cafe. You can’t go wrong a little iced caramel soy latte after class! 🙂

If you are new to hooping, don’t be afraid to seek out ANYTHING and everything hoop related in your area! Even if it’s just a few other hoopers getting together in a park…GO! You will be amazed at what you can learn. Everyone does their tricks differently and has a different “style.  Every time I gather with other people hooping, I come away inspired and excited…with a few new movements to work on!

To find other hoopers in your area, you can check out Meetup or check the regional forums on Hoop City. Or, as I have said before…START YOUR OWN GROUP! Here is a great “how to guide” from SaFire if you want to gather some local hoopers.

Thanks for the hoopin’ fun Des Moines!

A Lesson With Laura

21 May


My Mother’s Day gift this year was a private hooping lesson with the fabulous Laura Scarborough, founder of HoopCircle in Austin, TX. I was giddy with excitement leading up to that day. When I arrived, Laura put on some sweet tunes and we started warming up. She gave me a lot of new ideas and ways of moving to promote “hoop awareness” 🙂

Over the next hour, she filled my mind with oodles of hoop goodness. So much new stuff! It was great to be able to ask her about little problems I had been having with certain moves. I wish I could have had TWO hours!! The video above is a little peek at our lesson. And even though it’s weird to see myself hooping for the first time (haven’t had any mirrors around!)….I’m glad I took it. This way, I can look back in a year and see how much progress I’ve made!

Almost all hoopdance instructors have private lessons available. If you have a chance to take a lesson in your area…do it! It’s so much fun and the one-on-one help is priceless. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

One last thing…I loved Laura’s rainbow travel hoop so much that I just had to order myself one. It arrived last week and it’s the hoop in my header photo for this blog! It’s so pretty!! She sells them on her site as well as locally in Austin.