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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 πŸ™‚

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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Ocean Hoop Bliss // Cannon Beach, Oregon

22 Sep

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]

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! πŸ™‚

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)


23 Jul

I want to introduce you to one of my dearest friends, Rebecca. She has recently fallen in love with the hoop and has started her own little hoop blog to document her journey.

Her blog, “Hoopenanigans” is fabulous and inspiring and I’m always SO EXCITED whenever I see that she has a new post up. She is spreadin’ the hoop love all OVER her little town in South Carolina…check out this sweet sign she painted for her hoop party:

I am looking forward to hooping with Becky…hopefully next year as we travel East. It’s been WAY too long since we’ve seen each other and I just can’t WAIT!Β  And someday…we will share a bunk bed at Hoop Camp or Hoop Convergence or better yet,Β  let’s go to Costa Rica! Hoop on sister…now everyone go and show her some *love*!!

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.

Hoop Treasury

7 Jun

I just knew I could find some hoop goodness on one of my very favorite sites…Etsy! Check out my new treasury of hoop-related items 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 πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚ 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…