Monthly Archives: April 2004

Bay Area Hoopers First Anniversary


Bay Area Hoopers celebrated our first anniversary yesterday hooping up a storm in Dolores Park, the site where we began exactly a year ago. Given the fact that our skill level, as well as the size of our group, has improved since then we certainly attracted more attention. People in the park kept stopping by, trying out a hoop, wanting to know who this crazy group of hoopers were. As one of the founding type people I was really excited to see us still going at it a year later. It was great seeing some familiar faces return after an absence too. And as one of the founding type people I need to say what a joy the past year has been meeting hoopers from all over and creating a totally fun and very reliable hoop community in the Bay Area.
(If anyone is interested in finding out where and when we meet each week, be sure to join our email list.)

Stolen hoop

One of my hoops went missing from Dolores Park on Easter Sunday. It was one of my favorite hoops – the one I made at Jason’s hoop making fest last year.
There were a lot of people in Dolores Park that day. Min Jung’s pictures show that my hoop switched hands many, many times, which is nothing out of the ordinary. But when it was time for me to gather my things and head home, the yellow hoop was nowhere to be found. I looked all over the park for it, but ended up having to leave without it. The next day I shot off an email to all of my friends who were at the park that day and asked if anybody might have taken it home for me. But nobody knew what happened to it.
If somebody had decided to borrow it, I would expect them to try to determine its owner and somehow get it back to me. Since that hasn’t happened, I am assuming that somebody decided to make my hoop permanently theirs. Have you ever had a hoop stolen?

How a trick FEELS vs. How it LOOKS

Friday night I did a little hoop performance with Kara at a party here in Seattle. As I’ve written about before, I have somewhat conflicted feelings about hoop performances, and I was thinking a lot about some of my issues while I was preparing for the performance Friday.
Here’s the thing: when I’m playing with my hoop, part of the fun is trying new things. Can I catch it on my foot and toss it over my shoulder? Can I throw the hoop up, and then step through it? Chances are that the answer is usually, “No, I can’t quite do that, but it’s fun to try!” If I’m dropping the hoop and falling all over the place, that means I’m stretching and playing and trying new ways of moving.
But in a performance, you don’t want to drop the hoop. You want to show people the best that you can do, and for me, that all too often means playing it safe. Who wants to drop the hoop when people are watching? (Side note: I started my hoop performance by dropping my hoop before I’d even gotten started, so clearly I jinxed myeslf.)
So during performances, I tend to find myself playing it pretty conservative. Which is nearly as much fun.
I also find that some of the things that LOOK the coolest don’t feel like much of anything from inside the hoop. For example, on Friday I tried laying my hands on my hips, palms in, as I was hooping around my waist. It was so simple that I’m not even sure it qualifies as a trick. Basically, the hoop was rolling over the outside of my hands while I just hooped normally around my waist — but according to friends who watched the performance, the effect was somehow super booty-shaking, and it got the biggest response from the crowd…despite the fact that I’d already done step-outs, foot-carries, and other more complicated tricks.
The moral of the story? When I’m performing, I’m focused on what LOOKS cool. And for me, the funnest aspect of hooping is that it FEELS cool.
I know there are a lot of hoop performers out there — I’d be curious to hear other’s thoughts on this.