Mondo Mondo: Inside The Hoop

mondo mondo Mondo Mondo is a 38-year-old artist, performance artist, hoop guide/teacher, stilt artist and visual researcher who lives in Sydney, Australia. With his recent nomination for Male Hooper of the Year in our Hoopie Awards, we knew it was time to find out more about him. For someone so comfortable inside the hoop these days, it’s hard to imagine he originally made sure he tried it that very first time in private, where no one could see. You can find out more about his first time, and more about Mondo Mondo, in our interview with our Hooper of the Week!

mondo mondo Originally from Santa Monica, California, Mondo Mondo first encountered hoop dance at an underground warehouse Party in Los Angeles. He told, “Many folk from the Burning Man community were in attendance and after a sabbatical from Burning Man and dance parties I’d once again been dipping my toes into the city to see what was happening. It was 2002 and at one point I noticed a crowd gathered around some type of performer in a corner. I wandered over to discover Anah, Christabel and i think it was Sita hoop dancing. They looked like they were having so much fun. I had never seen any thing like it. I was mesmerized. I was inspired too and being familiar with the Native American Hoop Dance I was very excited to try this in my backyard, away from onlookers eyes. I got a hold of a hoop from a friend and started practicing, but it was not until i had a class with Rayna that my journey with the potential of the hoop would start. After that class I devoted thirty minutes every morning to my hoop. It was then that the fun really began to happen, along with a better understanding of the Circle created within my hoop dance.”
mondo mondo Hooping “seriously and devotedly” for the past seven years, how often is he hooping these days? He explained, “Honestly as of late, one week could be everyday and the next week maybe one day, depends on what my week is like and if i have any hoop gigs coming up. Hooping has made such an impact on my life. It has introduced me to a wonderful community of friends and it has given me something to share and teach.”
Something Mondo is currently working on is transitions. He explained, “I am always trying to figure out new ways to play with my hoop, working on different transitions to utilize between different tactics with my hoop. I am a big advocate of smooth transitions! They allow your hoop dance to move freely.”
mondo mondo We asked him about a favorite hooping memory. His response: “The one that comes to mind was after a class I taught. A student approached me to give me a very grand compliment. They said, “I loved your class! I felt like you payed attention to everyone and gave the same respect to everyone, no matter their ability level. I never felt excluded or that I was not good enough.’ In my class I never want anyone to feel excluded due to their ability level. I want them to leave feeling happy, not disappointed. I want them to believe that they can do it as well as they would like to. Like I say to every one who is beginning, ‘It’s dedication and practice.’ I know this from my own experience.”
Does he have a favorite hoop right now? He said, “I wish I had one. I seem to lose hoops, leave them in the car so that they get nice and warped, leave them on top of the car and drive away, give them away. At the moment I need to make a few new hoops for myself. So with that said, I think my favorite hoop is just the one I am using at any given moment.” What music will you most likely find him hooping to? “Wow, that is a tough question. I gotta say it is more about pacing for me. I tend to enjoy a slower BPM when hooping, not super fast, not super slow.”

mondo mondo What quality does he most admire in a hooper? He revealed, “I wanna feel inspired when i see someone perform. I wanna laugh, I wanna get a swelling of emotion. I wanna see their dedication and there love for their art.” And what does he see as being his most marked hooping characteristic? “Gee, that is hard to answer about myself. I feel like I am a pretty well rounded hoop dancer. My overhead releases from the body ROCK! I get a lot of height and always seem to catch it in my hand and move right into a transition gracefully. I think that my marked hooping characteristics change constantly. I am always evolving and learning in my hoop practice.”
In closing, if he had one piece of advice to share with someone picking up a hoop for the very first time, what would it be? He said, “Move your hips! The rest will follow. Don’t give up! You will succeed. Be patient with your practice! it tends to unfold at the most unlikely of moments.”
Find Out More About Mondo Mondo:
On MySpace
Mondo Mondo On Stilts
Mondo Mondo at the Brandenberg Gate
Mondo Mondo at the Reichstag

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