Lately I have been playing with my imagination while performing hoopdance and noticing some awesome results. By imagination, I mean two things: visualizing detailed images while dancing, as well as generally imagining the greatest positive good that comes out of people watching me perform. I felt compelled to write this article to share some of the techniques I am using. Perhaps you will find them useful as well?
Another day, another big article about hooping! The mainstream media seems to really be picking up on the hoop trend. Here’s the latest article, The hipsters are putting their hips (and their abs) into a whole new routine. Hooping.org gets a mention and the article calls out the “web-fuelled return of the hula hoop.” That’s right! Viva la geeky hoopers!
Hoopers have been rolling it on the West Coast for several years, at music festivals from San Francisco to Nelson, B.C. But it was when hooping intersected with rave culture, powered by chat rooms, that it started to hit the mainstream.
Hmm, do you all think that’s true? Certainly Anah’s workshops at Gathering of the Tribes (a conference primarily for the West Coast’s intentional rave promoters) were a memetic detonation … lots of us were wooed either by those workshops or by workshop attendees.
It’s facinating to think about how hooping has spread … first through the hippy community, then the raver community, then various online communities. However it happened, I sure am glad it’s here!
Portland’s Oregonian has just published a great article on hooping. Check it out!
This new-style take on the old childhood fad involves using customized hoops that are larger and heavier than the plastic doodads of youth, and often incorporating elements of dance. For many of its devotees, hooping is a great way to get some exercise. For others, it’s about becoming part of a community that meets for group hoop gatherings, spins hoops at music festivals, and generally takes every opportunity to whirl that puppy around their middles.
It has been quiet on hooping.org. One of the reasons is that there generally isn’t as much hooping going on during the winter as in the warmer months. That’s unless you have a winter hoop space!
The Bay Area Hoopers for the third time this year are renting the main room at CELLspace for hooping on Sunday afternoons during the cold months. I am reminded that although it’s great to be hooping on the grass outdoors, the indoor winter hooping has its perks too.
- Mirrors: An indoor space might have tall mirrors all around, for instance if you rent a dance studio. The mirrors make some tricks easier to learn because you can see what you are doing and where the hoop is. And of course they are also great feedback if you have aspirations to perform – you can see what you look like when you’re hooping.
- Even floors: If you are hooping indoors, you are most likely hooping on even floors. The grass at the park on the other hand is not so even. Some tricks are much easier to practice on an even floor, such as the Up-From-the-Floor trick, where the hoop is lying on the ground and over one of your feet, and you try to bring the hoop up to your knees without any hands. I’m sure there are other tricks that are facilitated by an even, solid floor.
- Better sound system: Chances are that if you are indoors there is a better sound system readily available. Or, even if the sound system is not better than the one you use outdoors, it is easier to maintain because you won’t have to carry, assemble and disassemble it every time. Since you’re in a confined space, the sound is definitely louder, and loud music always has a positive effect on your level of amusement while hooping.
- Community building: Through indoor hooping I find that hoopers develop a stronger sense of commitment to their practice. There is often a donation involved to go towards the indoor hoop space rental, so maybe people are trying to get more bang for their buck and sticking around for the whole session instead of just dropping in. All I know is that after the winter there is often a stronger sense of who really wants to be a part of the hooping movement and who doesn’t.
- Hibernation effect: There is this energy that starts collecting and growing as you hibernate, i.e. hoop indoors, week after week. When hoopers hit the outdoors again after this period of hibernation and incubation, they often have a stronger desire to show others what they can do and what hooping can do for them. It’s like coming out of the cocoon and emerging a butterfly with a hoop.
With these things in mind, I hope that many of you find yourselves hooping this winter.