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Bike + Hoop = True Love

20 Aug

I am in love with my cruiser. I am in love with hooping. So why not combine the two!? Matt recently rigged the Burley so I can carry all the hoops as I bike. In this photo, we were loading up to go to the Bozeman Hoopers Friday meetup. And it was so.much.fun!

It’s a group that just started meeting this summer…and it was such a blast to teach each other new moves and hoop it up on a beautiful summer day in Montana. I have a feeling I’ll be doing A LOT of hooping while we’re here πŸ™‚

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Hoop Technique Wrap Up

12 Aug


While perusing Hoop City a few weeks back, I came across a post by Danielle that talked about the upcoming Hoop Technique workshop in Boulder. Being that we were in Golden (just 20 minutes away), I practically shouted “HECK YES!!”. Sprial and Rich’s online videos have inspired me immensely in my hoop journey, and I knew I had to go.


Matt and the girls dropped me off on Saturday at the Boulder Circus Center for the first day of my hoop bliss. The workshop started off with the typical circle up and name sharing. There was a diverse mix of hoopers, some who had just started hooping and some who had been hooping for many years. Two participants drove all the way from the Des Moines area (we have friends in common!) and another flew in from Atlanta.


There were only about 25 hoopers, which made it a lot easier to connect with others and with Rich and Spiral. There were at least 4 participants who teach hoop dance or perform professional in some capacity (Rainbow Michael, Danielle Odette, Tammy Firefly, Ali Cerulli Avalon and up and coming hooper Nick Guzzardo)…so beyond just learning from Rich and Spiral, we could watch these more experienced hoopers tear it up and learn from them as well!

The first day we focused a lot on isolations & isopops and learned more about space and energy. The second day was focused on time and flow, and we did a lot more “practicing”.

Here is a more detailed explanation of the program from their website:

Hoop Technique Theory encompasses a broad range of hoop movement and vocabulary oriented around four key concepts: Space, Energy, Time and Flow. These four concepts provide a framework for creative expression and expansion. Through exercises, theory and instruction, our focus on these concepts will increase awareness of what’s possible and encourage exploration. Each concept can be applied to any move and can be understood as a lens through which it can be examined and experienced.

  • The concept of Space explores the relationship of body and hoop to the space we occupy while hooping.
  • Energy refers to the physical and emotional energetic tones we can utilize to enrich and deepen the quality of our movement.
  • Time relates to speed, acceleration, direction changes, rhythm, tempo and beat.
  • Flow is the personal mastery of creative movement; effortless transition from move to move guided by expertise, muscle memory and inspiration. For us, flow unlocks the bliss and transcendent joy of hoop dance.

Some of the moves that were covered:
Isolations, Extensions, Isopops, Isobreaks, Antispin, 3d Moves, Dynamic Stalls, Sustained Spinning, Variations of Reverses.


The workshop had a very holistic feel to it…with every possible aspect of hooping explained and unpacked. Rich, being an architect, has a very interesting way of seeing the hoop. In explaining his isopop theory, he got out his trusty whiteboard and drew out how the hoop would be moving and pinpointed the exact point on the hoop where the rotation would occur. It was EXTREMELY helpful and it clicked instantly in my head. I’m not saying I can isopop like Rich, but at least I understand how it works! I love his approach to hooping and the means by which he explains it. On his blog, he diagrams and tests different plastics for the most perfect hoop…which makes him the ultimate hoop geek. πŸ™‚ Love it! I have to admit that before going to this workshop, I didn’t really have an interest in doing isolations and other non-core movements…but Rich changed all that! His style is so unique and clean…you can’t help but to be inspired.


Spiral balances out Rich’s popping and isolating and lends a softer, more feminine touch on the hoop. Much of her teaching at the workshop focused on sustained spinning and flow. Her teachings really helped me, because right now I’m still trying to figure out which movements combine well with others and flowing from one move to the next without thought.


Spiral is a true artist in the hoop, always looking to take her practice to the next level. She has been hooping for 8 years and is a “pioneer” in the hoop world….always exploring and expanding her repertoire and passing her knowledge along to others. I was particularly interested in her time spent in “circus school” in Vermont and I enjoyed reading her online journal of her experiences there. She is an incredible performer and she takes her craft very seriously! I feel so blessed to have learned from her in person.


The hoopers in Colorado are a delightful bunch of beautiful people and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of it…even if it was just for a few months. I also just can’t say enough about Rich and Spiral and the fantastic energy and enthusiasm they bring to the hooping community. They do have tour dates set for Canada: Vancouver on Sept. 25, Victoria Sept. 26, Hoop Camp in Santa Cruz the next weekend, and Montreal Oct. 9 & 10. There will be more in the U.S…but they are not scheduled yet. Be on the look out for their new DVD, which is scheduled to be released in late September!

And now the countdown to HoopCamp begins…I can hardly wait!

[Click here to see all of the photos from the workshop + click on photos above to enlarge]

Hooping: A Short Film

10 Aug

Electro Circus

16 Jul


I love Austin, Texas…but after watching this video, I love it even more! πŸ™‚ I learned how to “hoop for real” in Austin…so it will always have a special place in my heart. Although, when we were there this spring, I had barely tapped into the hooping community there.

This video is from an event called Electro Circus….acroyoga, poi, hooping, and much more! It appears that they meet every Sunday evening in Zilker Park…check out their Facebook page for more info, photos, and videos. It makes me a little crazy to know this was happening while we were there and I didn’t know about it…but I will be there next spring! Anyone want to join me? πŸ™‚

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.Β  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? πŸ™‚ 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.

Family Hoopalong

4 Jun

Uncle Dan tries the BIG hoop!

There has been a whole lotta hoopin’ goin on around here! We spent Memorial Day weekend with my immediate and extended family in Minneapolis and we had a great time sharing the circular fun.

I’ve been trying a lot of new movements and my hooping feels SO different to me than it did even just a few weeks ago. I will definitely try to get a video up of me practicing soon! Speaking of videos, I have posted a bunch of new videos that have recently inspired me. Check out the video page.

Here are few photos of this weekend’s action:


Hooping at the BBQ/Birthday party.


Hooping in the park. And yes, that is my brother hooping. He’s a superstar.


Amy smiles and spins at the same time…not an easy task πŸ™‚


I love this photo of Bella and her cousin, Hannah…they are both just so free! Reminds me how we should all be.

More photos in the hoop love gallery!

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 πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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.Β  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!