The Official Black Rock City Garnish Fire Conclave, a multi-national team of fire performance superstars who come together every year at Burning Man, present a cavalcade of flaming flow art, even fire hoopers on stilts.
We adore our friend Sass, who is currently back in her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, acting in a television soap opera. Here she’s celebrating the day out of time, hooping for peace in these times of war and violence. Soundtrack: Michael Franti’s “Crazy, crazy, crazy.”
On the other side of the world, down under, the hooping revolution is underway as well. If you don’t already know BunnyHoopStar, consider this an opportunity. You’re in for an adventure. Even though the 33-year-old lives in Sydney, Australia, she says, “To be honest, I feel like I’m ‘originally’ from another planet, a place where the macro and micro cosmic vibrations are strongly tuned into all kinds of harmonious and wildly creative art practices including dancing, singing, dreaming and of course spinning hoops! And to think this will be my first year at Burning Man! Am I going home?” It’s possible, and those of you on the playa this year can find out the answer for yourself.
Making a living in Sydney as a Hoop teacher + performer + multimedia artist, BunnyHoopStar is in a longterm relationship “with a beautiful Scorpion I met online about 5 years ago. We bonded over a mutually intense distaste for black olives and have nurtured our soul connection ever since! Together we create art, love and LED hoops.”
BunnyHoopStar’s first attraction to hooping is a little different than most as well “I remember a range of fabulous smelly hoops that came out on the market – they were made by the flavored milk company Big M and came in chocolate, banana and strawberry. I’m a chocolate devotee so my choice was instant. They also had ball bearings inside that gave them a little extra whoosh, and somehow made them seem so much sexier than the silent type. I can still remember the smell and sound they made as they spun around my waist. I became an instant Hoopaholic.”
Hoopaholic indeed. In addition to working collaboratively on Australia’s Hoopaholic.org, BunnyHoopStar’s been at the center of the revolution for about 12 years now. “For 10 of those years it was mostly a casual practice, but over the past two years I have added a new level of dedication. The calling simply became stronger to incorporate hooping into my daily life as a physical and creative exercise. I now practice about four times a week in two hour training sessions on my rooftop and teach classes on the weekend.”
I asked just how hooping has changed her life. She told me, “I am a very creative person. I need art and music and dance to feed my soul. Hooping has become the physical expression of all this, plus it has guaranteed a high level of sustainable fitness and shape shifting. Like art and love, hooping has shown me the key to longevity and eternal youth. It has also drawn an incredible channel where I filter alot of my other multidimensional creative disciplines such as photography, illustration, web design, video editing and writing into hoopart.”
Something she’s currently working on has to do with her “worship of the physical body as a temple. It seems simple in theory, but when we live in a world filled with all kinds of temptations it can be difficult to maintain. Personally, I am working on moderation – watching excess in all its various forms and working toward staying focused on health and happiness. Hooping helps me achieve this – it shifts energy back to my center and creates internal balance. My idea of earthly happiness is peace, love and hoopiness! The possibility of living in a world that is focused on harmony, good will and forgiveness.”
BunnyHoopstar loves shiny silver and red hoops. “They exude super hoopstar glamour and spin a right treat for the eye/lens. My hoops used to be a lot larger than they are now but since moving more into circus based tricks it’s become essential to have hoops that relate to my height. Often I miss the big loftier hoops that have a whole different groove and are much easier to jump through, but at this point in the hoop journey I get sharper results with my smaller girls.”
When she isn’t hooping you might find her making hoop art, dreaming, watching Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! Camp (It’s wild, well shot, original and sexy!) or listening to Bjork – her favorite artist to hoop to. “Bjork’s intensity, passion and funky fast tunes amaze me each and every time – in particular, Underworld’s remix of Human Behaviour is an all time favourite hoop track. It’s twelve minutes of purely intense hooperific pleasure.” One of her favorite books is “Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami. It’s about “talking cats, psychological loners, strange exotic women, bizarre events… a cross between David Lynch and Pedro Almodavar – I can’t get enough!” If she could give a hoop to one person today it would be “Madonna, because she is so ready!”
BunnyHoopStar believes her most marked hooping characteristic is “a hot panted fluffy footed tight top rock out centered on the bum hoop and powered by a propellor spin to interdimensional tunes preferably in an appropriately lit dance floor space.” Exactly! Her favorite quality in a hooper is “the ability to inspire.”
In closing we asked her that if she had one thing to share with someone who is picking up a hoop for the first time, her advice was quick, simple and incredibly on target. Her advice – “Be The Hoop!” You can visit her online at BunnyHoopStar.com.
In Brattleboro, Vermont, a group gathered in the Harmony Lot for “Bratt Fest.” Police Chief John Martin said young people were hula hooping without any clothes on, but no arrests were made. Update: See Brattleboro Teens Naked Hooping Creates Media Circus