Megan “GroovinMeGzz” Abernathy is a 23-year-old hooper originally from Mechanicsville, Virginia, who captured a Female Hooper of the Year trophy in our 2nd Annual Hoopie Awards. Currently living in Portland, Oregon, she’s employed as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, as well as a professional hoopdance performer. What was it like for her to win a Hoopie? She told Hooping.org, “It was truly an amazing feeling. The hoop community means so much to me and to have them support and vote for me, had me feeling very tingly inside. I knew that all my hard work and self-less love and support was appreciated. And, this is only the beginning!” Speaking of beginnings, how did it all start for her? You can find this out and a lot more as we interview GroovinMeGzz, our Hooper of the Week!
“My first hooping experience took place in my family’s basement over Winter Break 2005,” she explained, adding, “My mom had bought my sister and I those little plastic hoops. With tons of giggling, we started to hoop. My sister could keep it up and was getting rather good with it. I knew if she could do it, so could I! I started practicing a lot and ended up taking the hoop back to college with me. My roommates mocked me as I hooped in the living room but something inside fueled me to continue. I would practice every day outside in my front yard – and before I knew it I was referred to as the ‘hula-hoop girl’ on campus. Slowly converting a few girls here and there, I had a small hoop community to share my first experiences with. I took those same store bought hoops to a music festival in North Carolina called Smilefest! We were so excited to hoop it up all weekend! But then we felt silly carrying our hoops around once we saw “real hoops” and that was the weekend things really got started. The first “real hoop” I picked up was about 55″ in diameter, 1″ tubing; It was huge and heavy and I had found a new love!! We even had to strap her to the top of my car to get her home and from that point on, the addiction was set in stone.”
She’s been hooping ever since, for just over three years total. How often does she hoop? She said, “I hoop for at least 20 min every day! There is so much progression and development happening in the hoop world right now and I am constantly inspired by so many.” We asked if hooping has changed her life and she responded, “It has taught me so much about who I am, who I can be, and what practicing can really do. It’s also shown me courage, its shown me bliss and it has helped me understand others and their ways of learning. Hooping has proven to me that there really is a conscious revolution happening and I am extremely blessed to be part of the Hoop Movement!”
We asked MeGzz to share with us about a challenge or personal obstacle she’s currently working on. She revealed, “Whew, Okay here we go. I am working on channelling my energy correctly at all times. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it can affect people in positive and negative ways. I’m striving to gain a zenful attitude and not let external factors outside of my control have an affect on my mood. Moving to the West Coast, has been an amazing experience, and is helping me pursue the conscious shifts I desire. I am surrounded by so many people farther along on their spiritual path and I feel entirely blessed to have such strong people to guide me.”
Our question about a favorite hooping memory or two seemed to challenge her a little more. She exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, this question is nearly impossible! I have been so blessed to have so many epic experiences, its hard to term any one of them as my favorite. Each experience has helped propel me forward and fuel my growth. But for the purpose of this I will select two to share. My first and favorite hooping memory is from the Hoop Camp Retreat in Santa Cruz, California, this past September. To be hooping alongside all of my idols and online hooping buddies at once, I was truly taken back. During the Hoop Path workshop where all the hoopers participated I found myself taking off my blind fold, setting down my hoop and just watching everyone. I was truly buzzing with hoopers’ high and loving the moment in its entirety!”
She did come up with another memory to share as well. She explained, “My second memory that I cherish so very close to my heart is from Yarmony Grass Music Festival in Cooper, Colorado, this past August. I got to perform on stage with Rindy-my other half, my celestial soul mate. We got to share stage space with Railroad Earth, one of my favorite bands of all time, and we got to rock the stage with EOTO (Jason Hann & Michael Travis from String Cheese Incident) together. Both of us hooped on staged with them separately in the past, but finally this was our first time rocking the stage together! I was wearing the costume she had made me, to match her’s. I’ll never forget how much fun we had together. Thank you Kaivalya and Thank you EOTO!” We found the performance video here, they show up a little over three minutes into Track 2.
So does she have a favorite hoop? She said, “Oooh yes, don’t we all have a favorite hoop? I never really gave her a name, but she was about 41″ in diameter and she was there with me for a lot of my break through moments! She was covered in duck tape with a bit of sparkle, and she was the perfect size and weight for me. Now she’s all beaten, tattered, and torn – and among the many I left behind at my family’s home in Virginia. My favorite hoops at the moment are my new PSI hoop twins! These hoops are my dream come true! i got 3 pairs of red/blue to make purple, 6 elfin rings and 6 dragonflys! They are a true rainbow delight!” And what’s her favorite music to hoop to? “Well this changes daily, depending on my mood and energy level. I love such a large spectrum of music, but recently I’ve been enjoying hooping to world and electronic music such as David Starfire, Thievery Corporation, Cheb I Sabbah, Random Rab, Bluetech, The Great Mundane, Lazersword, Pretty Lights, Welder, Skream and Subvert.”
What else would she like Hooping.org readers to know? She said, “I am extremely active in the local hoop community and I teach 2 classes at Diva Den Studios, a women’s movement and fitness studio – one beginner and an intermediate/advanced hooper series. I also found a way to use the hoop in my work as a personal trainer and offer it as part of my personal training package. Its getting a lot of attention and I am happy to be bringing hoop dance into my work! Later this month I am taking part in a Group Exercise Fundamentals course that will provide me with another certification and further my skills as a leader in the hoop movement! I will then be able to offer small group training lessons involving just hoop-dancing! You can always find more information on classes/workshops & other hoop news on my blog. I perform regularly as member of our local performance troupe Euphoric Flow. We are having a ton of fun building on our skills and brain storming exciting, creative ideas for the Adventures of Summer 2009! I look forward to traveling around and meeting many more lovely hoopers and other object manipulators!”
What quality does MeGzz most admire in a hooper? She told Hooping.org, “The art of playfulness. How carefree and blissful it is to be a hooper. Not taking yourself, or anything too seriously, just engaging your hoop mediation, smiling and loving life!” So what does she see as being her most marked hooping characteristic? “I think it would be the amount of energy I express while hoop dancing. I’m always ‘raging it’ – typically I can be found rocking out around my shoulders and spinning into multiple barrel rolls. Nothing is better than having as much space as you desire to hoop your heart out! Oh goodness me, I over-exhaust myself quickly though.”
In closing, we asked her if she had just one piece of advice to share with someone picking up a hoop for the very first time, what would it be? Her response: “The hoola hoop can change your life. It may take a bit of practice and a lot of patience with yourself, but we can all use this tool to break many personal barriers and achieve bliss through the art of dance and expression.”
Find out more about GroovinMegzz:
The World of GroovinMeGzz
Is That a Hula Hoop? The Hoop Story of GroovinMeGzz
GroovinMeGzz: Urban Hoop Groove
GroovinMeGzz: In Her Groove