Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Other Hoopers!

I think the biggest things missing in my hoop repetoire is ... well, other hoopers! My move from my home state to my current residence is still somewhat fresh, and I am just now getting on my feet with the whole house and job thing. I've made friends - but, it still feels like something is missing without more hoopers readily available.

The problem with classes offered in the area is that 1) they are scarce, and 2) I teach one of the few options! It's GREAT to see new people discover the wonderous-ness of the hoop, but its difficult to connect fully when they are just starting and I am more experienced. I remember when I was first learning everything, it was difficult to be around better hoopers for a full out jam session. On the one hand, it was fantastic to learn from their moves, but it got a bit frustrating to stand there waist hooping while they are flipping the hoop on and off, up and down and all over the place. And at a hoop jam, it's nice to be able to just get lost in the flow without having to break things down for curious students. Do I love teaching? ABSOLUTELY! I just think it can get boring on both ends to be in such different places for a non-class environment.

Balance is needed.

I am always looking for greater and greater hoop opportunites. I am heading to a festival this weekend, hoops - of course - in tow. Who knows what I shall discover there? Perhaps a hoop colleague is in the midst :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hooping and Body Acceptance

Ah, Hooping... is there anything you can't fix?

Yet another of the benefits I have discovered is it's ability to bring me to a calm place about my body. Certainly I still wake up some days just feeling awful - nothing looks right, I'm CONVINCED that things have expanded while I slept, etc. etc. The difference now is that instead of those thoughts ruining my day or mood, they just fade out. It doesn't stop me from being happy.

Hooping has not changed my body - just my perception of it. I see it as something that allows me to experience one of my passions - if I didn't embrace my body - didn't allow myself to become in tune with it, my hooping progress would stall. I WANT to video tape myself in tight clothes spinning around wildly -- how else will I realize if I have mastered the new trick I have been trying to perfect? But that's the thing, I am perfecting my hoop dance, not myself.

When it comes down to it, I think hooping has simply given me something else to think about.

I am no longer a stagnant object to be chiseled and molded. I am an active being. There is beauty in how I move with the hoop; I feel pride in and gratitude towards my body.

and who would have imagined that it is All from a sparkly round piece of plastic.

Thanks again, hoop -

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Joy of Teaching

One of the biggest suprises to me in my hooping journey, was what a true pleasure it is to teach hooping to others.

I knew that if I introduced the hoop to people that surely some would fall in love, as I had, and that most would at least find fun in the silliness of it all - but the actual act of explaining everything? I had no idea that it was half the fun!

Seeing the pride on student's faces as they progress from step-by-step understanding to flowing through moves and then explaining things to others is so rewarding. I am stunned by what a difference it can make in people's lives.

People just OPEN themselves once they feel the hoop.

One of my students had a severe back pain problem, caused from a childhood injury, which limited her mobility. As she tried hooping, however, it became clear that much of the issue was a mental and NOT a physical block. She stayed after one day to tell me how good it felt to move her body after years of letting fear stop her. Hooping not only improved her physical functioning, but her entire mental conceptualization of herself! It was a beautiful and unexpected transformation.

Hooping in and of itself has taught me so much, but now I can not wait for my next round of students, and all that they will teach ME.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In a Funk

Sometimes, no matter what is happening in my life - I will wake up in a funk.

One thing that seems to be true for these times, however, is that I haven't hooped in a few days. Usually 4 is the right spot to create the gloom. There are a lot of changes taking place right now; I have to move (again), tonight is my last hoop class of the summer session, and I have been sick on-and-off for about 2 weeks. Not to mention, that with my day job and hooping gigs I am working about a 55 hour week.

Now, all of this is not to complain. I am VERY excited to move! Loved teaching my hoop class! and being able to pursue my passions in my free time is amazing! (okay, the sick thing just all around sucks....) but I think I am lacking consistency in my life. Being a creature of habit, not having things I can count on week to week really throws me off.

I'd love to have a hoop group in the area where it wasn't about teaching professionally - it was just about experiencing the hoop with other people who were similarly impassioned by hoop dance.


.... all this talk of hooping has made me want to put on some tunes and spin my worries away. I'll let you know how it goes ;P

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello, Hoop

Hello, Hoop.

I love my hoop. I love using it, sharing it, dancing with it and learning from it.

Almost 2 years ago, I picked up a bright & shiny, big & heavy hula hoop with my only intention being a quick and hilarious revival of my 3rd grade glory.

Instead, I was captured. The bump, bump, bump as it spun fluidly around my waist was intoxicating. Suddenly, the 50 zillion things I just HAD to get done didn't matter. How silly I looked, - nope -didn't matter. Was I an instant hoop queen? Absolutely not. But, I knew I needed a hoop.

Since that time, my life has changed drastically, mostly due to my hoop. Well, I should say hooping, as I at this point have 14 hoops (and counting...)
I went from a gal who was a body obsessed, anxiety ridden, and a social phobe - I mean I was mortified to sing karaoke in front of my friends (no matter how much alcohol was involved) to someone who danced in a tank top and short shorts in front of complete strangers.

All because of a simple shiny piece of plastic.

Hooping gave me the confidence to move to a new city, get a new job, and - of course - pursue hooping professionally. I now teach classes, do paid performances and gigs, am happy to meet new people and generally a happy hooper.

This little slice of the internet is where I am going to reflect how hooping has changed and continues to change and teach me. I want to document my journey from moonlighting as a hooper to taking that aspect to center stage (which, yes, is a long way from here.)

It seems that people rediscover an aspect of themselves that was long in hiding when they pick up a hoop. I certainly did.

So, hello hoop. thank-you hoop.