Welcome to Hooping Idol, Hooping.org’s epic new contest. I’m Philo Hagen and I’m your host on ever spinning journey in our quest to find the planet’s next big hooper star! Our finalists are competing for an unprecedented prize package that includes $100 cash and $200 in advertising from Hooping.org, the Atomic LED Hoop from Astral Hoops with 90 modes and around 100 full color LEDs ($299 value), a six month pass to Hooping University to learn even more from the pros (a $99 value), a custom Pixie Hoops Collapsible Travel Hoop to stay stylishly on the move ($80 value), an 8-piece Pocket Collapsible Custom Hoop from Troo Hoops ($84.95 value) as well to slide into your suitcase, a Polypro Performance Hoop and a pair of Polypro Minis from Superhooper.org ($63 value), a $50 Gift Certificate to Hoopclothes.com, a full size movie poster from The Hooping Life and other super cool schwag from the film, on top of a “Hoopdance for Beginners” DVD, a “Hoopdance Evolution” DVD, a copy of “Hooping: A Revolutionary Fitness Program” and a spot in the HoopGirl Performance Training Program (taking place in San Francisco, California, May 20-22, 2011) – all from HoopGirl.com (a more than $750 value!). When we said it was unprecedented, we meant it. Our Hooping Idol will be taking home a more than $1800 prize package!
For those of you just tuning in, we previously narrowed 65 applicants from around the world down to 21 fantastic finalists who immediately competed in our 80’s Week Challenge. Following the vote the results were announced and six finalists were sent home, leaving 15 here to compete in our Flow Week competition. Their challenge this week is about grace, beauty and elegance. Last week we asked them to show us what they were made of as hoopers. This week we told them we’d rather see a little less, delivered with more. We referred them to Hooping.org’s Ten Easy Hooping Video Tips, told them to choose a soundtrack that sounds like beauty and flow to them in their world – and to choose a location (or locations) that support having a visceral experience. You can view these submissions and hear from our prestigious panel of judges below.
But first, let’s meet our judges:
Sharna Rose of Sharna Rose Hoop Dance was one of the first to spin things up in the UK and has developed a style that is uniquely her own. With television appearances on Blue Peter and Sky TV’s Got To Dance, the Female Hooper of the Year Hoopie Award nominee for four consecutive years running has never been constrained by ideals of visual perfection, placing utmost importance on connection to the present moment.
Bunny Hoop Star is a multimedia artist and intergalactic hoop instructor with a Hoop Empire based down under. Traveling the galaxy to spread hoop love and joy you will often find her teaching hoop skills in Australia, and throughout the world. With more than a decade of hooping experience, Bunny draws inspiration from both the Circus Arts and from the Hoop Dance scene, merging these two influences into a unique ‘hybrid’ hooping style. An accredited trainer with the Australian Sports Commission with Hoopie Award nominations to her credit, she’s appeared on Channel 7’s Saturday Disney and Channel 10’s Totally Wild in Australia.
Christabel Zamor of HoopGirl.com has traveled the world teaching thousands her innovative hoopdance program, The HoopGirl Workout. Those who attend her seminars speak of experiencing a euphoric sense of inspiration, connection to their essence, and having been called “a goddess fitness guru” and even, “a spiritual super heroine”, she’s been inspired to make key transformational elements of her teachings available to women outside the hoop as well. Inside the hoop she has 5 instructional DVDs to her credit, the book – “Hooping: A Revolutionary Fitness Program”, along with her innovative 72+ hour HoopGirl Teacher Training Program, approved by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, with certified instructors in 16 countries. Christabel has appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly and The Fox Morning Show with Mike and Juliet and is featured in The Hooping Life.
Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach of Hoop Revolution has regrettably needed to step down from her spot as our fourth judge due to time constraints associated with teaching abroad and her current projects.
Are you ready for our Top 15 Hooping Idol Finalists? Without any further ado, we proudly welcome you to Flow Week on Hooping Idol!
1. Dinah Myott, aka Dinahmyte, of Hampton, Virginia, USA.
Sharna Rose: I adored the start and end of this video Dinah, something about your graceful movement matches the delicate beautiful white blossoms. I also found your upbeat but flowing trance like music very appealing. The fountain, however, was fairly distracting (an interesting choice of backdrop) and I really welcomed the editing when it happened. You could have added more editing in this case and it would not have counted against you. Well done, you have certainly and skillfully met all the requirements and I wish you lots of luck.
Bunny: Pretty hularina! Dinah this performance spoke to my body… every single cell tingled with joy! The cherry blossoms made me gasp, the song rocked, the transition to urban water flow worked well and your expression within the hoop is a divine experience to watch and be drawn into. I would have liked to see the location change one more time though as an expansion in narrative and perspective… maybe a rooftop or inside a building? Enjoyed watching your flow connect and in a lot of ways transcend the environments of choice. Beautiful.
Christabel: You put in amazing effort since last week and it shows! I loved the pointed toe accents, swaying arms, graceful backbends, leans and leg accents. I also enjoyed the light airy feeling of the music and how you emphasized it visually with the softness of cherry blossoms. Hooping on a hill is challenging and you made it look easy. You have clean plane changes and dramatic head swooshes and a beautiful use of slow motion and frame holds. Things which you could improve: I like that the song had tempo changes, but I found myself hungering for your dance to change in some way to reflect the faster speed. Perhaps a greater variety of moves and camera interaction?
2. Stephanie Connell of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA.
Sharna Rose: I loved your palpable flow with the multiple hoops Stephanie. You seemed most comfortable with this challenge at those moments in this video, truly in a flow that did not involve thought but pure and simple surrender to presence, grace, elegance, precision, beauty = flow. I did feel that you seemed to be thinking too hard whilst single hooping, but overall a great location, costume and music. Good luck with the public vote.
Bunny: Super stunning and delightful to watch Stephanie. Colours, shapes, lighting, creativity, moves – all ON… visually captivating. In this performance you remind me of so many of the beauties out there who have seriously got their hoop on. I am really looking forward to seeing you bust out into a distinctive style all of your own… i feel like you are on the verge of something very BIG. Well done!
Christabel: Creative use of hoop prop at start. The flow of your white skirt adds to a sense of grace. Felt very light and playful, but I craved more technical prowess. I wanted your body movement to have more dynamism during the sustained spins, but I did notice your balance looks more stable than last week. I like that you engaged the camera for a few moments and brought in the double and triple hoops at times which worked with the tempo changes in the music.
3. Heather Denham of San Francisco, California, USA.
Sharna Rose: WOW! I Know that the video is a little dark, but I felt that you were properly and truthfully in a genuinely powerful place throughout this amazing entry. However, I did feel that the video was a little too long. I have uploaded 200 videos to date on Youtube and speaking from experience the most popular ones are between 3 – 5 min’s. I will echo my comment from last week – you definitely meet my requirements for a female Hooping Idol.
Bunny:: Heather you are a wonderful live performer – you held me the whole way. It was moody, elegant and very inspiring. I really love how you add your strong ballet style to the hoop – it’s unique! Very graceful and beautiful to watch. I felt like i was sitting in the front row dabbing my eyes all the way. My only suggestion would be to pay more attention to colour separation with your costume and background as you blended in a little. Bravo!!
Christabel: Super elegant foot/leg work, but I had to strain to see it. The choice of wearing all black against a black backdrop in the dark is not strategic. Amazing flow, but turn on the lights! I like how you use the hoop as a dance prop so much, emphasizing the lines of your body. You obviously have a background in ballet and I love that you brought that in. Wonderful dramatic use of head. Fun original floorwork, but watch out for the crotch shot towards the camera.
4. Sam Resnicow of Newton, Massachusetts, USA.
Sharna Rose: I absolutely adore this entry Sam. In fact I love it and it is my favorite of the week. It’s always a tough remit for a male when faced with the predominantly female keywords of grace, elegance, precision, beauty and flow. You chose powerful moving music, elegant clothes, stunning locations and you stayed true to owning your masculinity whilst representing the challenge fully. I’m looking for truth and integrity in this competition and when you smile I connect with that in you.
Bunny: Thank you God for hearing my prayers to gift this planet with more manhoopers. Sam, to be honest I had to go to last week’s videos to see who you were as I really didn’t recognise you! You have seriously come out of your hooping closet in this performance and grabbed my attention. High risk chill factor, love the locations and progression in time, yummy flow moves mixed up with angular masculine individualism and gritty breaks that rocked with the track… cute smile too 🙂 uhoh hoop crush alert!
Christabel: Wonderful to see you smile and interact with the camera, but the song was so moody, perhaps it was asking for more than just happiness? Beautiful backdrop and emphasis of white with your all white outfit. I like that you did lots of complex moves and included two hoops… overall I’d love to see more clean lines, danceability and a wider emotional/theatrical range.
5. Nicole Osier of Watseka, Illinois, USA.
Sharna Rose: There are some moments in this entry Nicole when I felt that you are truly surrendering to your flow and at these moments your grace and beauty shine thorough like the sun shining through the trees. Like so many entries this week though it does appear that the task got you thinking too much. In my opinion flow is less about thought and more about trust of the moment. I would have liked the camera to have been placed a little closer for some shots.
Bunny:: Your choice of location makes me hungry for the Northern hemisphere – magical, mystical, a hooping devic sprite! Whilst the song didn’t really speak to me, it was clear that it did to you… which i feel torn about. Are we performing for ourselves or our audience? I know that if i am not enjoying my experience of performing then the audience is unlikely to as well. But then if the audience is not engaged well… it’s a two way street, a dialogue. You’ve got the moves down Nicole, but once again I feel like I am watching other people – I want to see you! And I want to see you again here on Idol.
Christabel: You are far from the camera and have your back to camera a lot, traveling a lot. Come closer! Your plane changes could be cleaner. Your music choice doesn’t flow as gracefully as it could. Some of your reversals feel a bit sloppy. Your jump at 2:25 with the isolations was the best thing going! Let’s see more of that. The endless floats get boring. Where is the dance?
6. Andrea Painter of Hartley Wintney, England, UK.
Sharna Rose: I love that you have chosen an upbeat song to represent your surrender to flow this week Andrea. It made you stand out in the female entries this week. You have responded exceptionally well to the feedback from last week and I love the editing. 10/10 from me this week. Keep it up. You smiling hot thang, talk about upping your game.
Bunny: WHAT are you wearing? I want it. Andrea you lost me a little in this performance – I needed more eye contact to engage with you. I felt like you were avoiding me… I want you to own your performance and your audience more. The edits, while matching the song, didn’t quite hit the flow zone that I was looking for. There were some pretty snazzy tricks in there though that were WOW. Sometimes though, in flow we have to surrender to what comes through in an effortless non-thinking way. There’s a limit to the impact of tricks when they feel isolated as an end in themselves.
Christabel: Another case of hooper in the dark syndrome! Wearing all black with a mostly black backdrop will not help your show. Great eye contact with your fireshow. Being on a stage made it feel a lot like a performance. Overall, I’d love to see more spatial awareness, telling an actual story with your show so it goes somewhere. You had some fun moves like eagle and foot pass and hooping to leg transitions and a great reach towards the camera. Your expressive hoop tangle at the end was creative… I would love to have seen you take it further.
7. Glenda Jordan of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
Christabel: I adored this video Glenda, from the bird at the start to the monologue at the end. The shots are exquisite and the music matches your costume beautifully. You certainly met all the keywords of the task this week: You ooze beauty and grace, but I did feel that the video was perhaps 1 min too long. You certainly have the Hooping Idol factor and I hoop to see more from you.
Bunny:: Love the intro, beautiful location, gorgeous costume and uber graceful moves. I did want to hear the first song though… throughout. I was ready for that. Glenda you dance like a butterfly… amidst the trees it was perfect. The moments of pause and articulation of your beautiful long legs and skyward reaching wings seduced me as did your cute little hops throughout. You can come visit my dream temple any time Hoop Goddess 🙂
Christabel:: With that outfit and the great set, the stage was set for a mega diva… there is big potential here. Will you rise up? This was a big progression from last week. I liked the haunting and magical entry. I would love you to be playing to camera more. I enjoyed the slow motion and poise of being on tip toe so much… maybe some other variations? I LOVED your head frame at 5:13… more, more, more theatre! I don’t feel including the background story at the end enhanced your sense of flow and grace.
8. Sue Wilkinson of Northamptonshire, England, UK.
Sharna Rose: You certainly seem very at home in this challenge Sue. I love the softness and lighting of the location you used. The pace and editing is also first class and the change of hoop medium is also a great touch. I would have liked just a little more light with the psi hoop so that I could have seen your graceful and flowy self. This video, with some seriously beautiful combinations, clearly shows me that you deserve to be here in the Hooping Idol competition.
Bunny:: Sue you make me journey in the hoop in a way that is quite unexplainable. It’s like I can feel you! So authentic, passionate, committed, and beautiful! Simple flowing moves put together in a dance that is very unique to you. I loved the song too. Not something I would ordinarily listen to, but it got me. Are you my long lost fairy star sistar? I hope so!
Christabel: I like the screen opener and faded effect around you. Look at me! You spent so much time looking into space or at your hoop, especially during breaks. A bit more poise in arms would add a lot to your display. Great moves, but again, I would love to see more flowing dance. Love the expansive foot steps you take.. give us more, please! Great timing on transition to LED hoop.
9. Kristen Teffeteller, aka Kinetic Kristen, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA.
Sharna Rose: Gorgeous backdrop, stunning outfit, with some beautiful, graceful and present dancing for most of the video Kristen. I understand that you wanted to have the sounds of the water, but really feel that overlaying the music would have helped to underline the power present in the song, the power that moved you. One shot video’s represent truthful flow to me, but it seemed the public were less moved by this last week. You are still a serious contender in my book and I wish you much luck with the public vote.
Bunny: Whatever that is in the foreground (is it a backpack?) really distracted me, as did the blowing tree branches, which is a shame because i really loved your performance. Also I would have overlayed the music and added water sounds if that’s why you went for onsite music – low fi sound broke the spell for me. I want more engagement from you Kristen and I also want to see you come into your own signature style. You have the skills, it’s now time to up your own ante!
Christabel: I loved the butterflies and magical creekside setting, but would have moved the bag from the foreground. It all felt very pretty. I liked the reaching towards the camera, but looking at the hoop or ground so much loses me. I like how your movements reflected tempo changes in music.
10. Emilie Durand, aka Annosens, of Versailles, France.
Philo Hagen:: While Anossens has posted a newer version of her Flow Week Challenge on YouTube, and has labeled this as the old one, this was what she submitted before the deadline and is the only submission that is valid. It is also the one the judges are reviewing.
Sharna Rose: Another Incroyables entry from you Emilie. You are very graceful and elegant and beauty flows from you with ease in a precise yet natural manner. The editing is at times a little distracting, but generally it works quite well. Some interesting shapes made with your body to a remarkable classical soundtrack and the introverted gaze fits perfectly. Good luck with the public vote, I hope to see lots more of wonders and marvels from you.
Bunny: You are pure hoop opera. I love everything about you… particularly how melancholic you are! It’s so moody it makes me want to dredge up all kinds of things as inspiration to go where you go. Lovely poses throughout and a really different take on what flow is simply by being true to you in your dance. As always, stylish, cutting edge, sophisticated and beautiful. The music and your interpretation of it is magnifique! Keep it coming Anossens.
Christabel: Your show definately had an etheric quality which is enhanced by the black and white…but your speed doesn’t always match the grace in your music. I applaud the creative use of a mask, but if you are inhabiting a persona I would like to see you work it more by telling a story. I would like to see some more creative movement with the endless floats and snake moves. I like the drama in the music, would like to see you create more drama in your body and face to mirror it.
11. Missina Germain, aka Shekinah Spin, of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
Sharna Rose: Well I can see why your previous video was filmed indoors Missina. You have certainly upped the game from last week with this truly beautiful entry. The bravery and courage to film outside in such a stunning location using a variety of hoops, including the beautiful sparkler hoop certainly paid off. I loved the song and felt the beauty and power of it was reflected in your dancing. Congratulations.
Bunny: Beautiful location, loved the tones and colours, beautiful costume but Shekinah I wanted to feel you more. I got more of a sense of your passion with the fire element but I felt there was a lack of engagement with the experience you were having and the audience. I know cameras can be intimidating, but I am going to encourage you to film yourself up close a lot more often as well as exploring a range of expressions… another challenge I can identify with! Shying away from the camera, unless crucial to a narrative, detracts from the WOW factor.
Christabel: The lyrics of your song don’t set a great tone for your audience, “Im so tired of being here, I wish you would just leave…” Improving your balance and spatial awareness could add more grace. Add more dance! I want you to engage the audience more powerfully.
12. Nick Broyd of Bristol, England, UK.
Sharna Rose: Nick, You certainly possess great flow, skill, stellar star quality (with the backing of a great production team)…everything a hoop idol should possess. As a British citizen I’m down with our intrinsic desire to laugh at ourselves and others in uncomfortable situations, but as a judge in a serious competition I was a bit disappointed with the use of the dress. Yes the dress was funny, but It was a risky move. It was completely unnecessary and out of context in what was one of my favorite videos. Like I said last week Nick, I expect great things from you…. please don’t let me down.
Bunny: Yeh right. It started off so hot and saucy and then became oh so confusing all too suddenly. Are you playing out the dramatic love story of two of our most infamous and loved hooping idols? You are aren’t you!? You’re almost there in the male department, but a whole lot more work is required to imitate the hooping diva in question, taking the piss or not. I’m not sold on this one Nick – best left for a night on the town with the lads. On a technical note I love your jumps – they really define your style.
Christabel: You are the first person to make a real statement with your show speaking to gender-based perceptions of beauty and flow. Thank you! Your mocking of the “flowing skirt sustained spin style” which is often instantly associated with grace is a point well made. This was a hilarious dramatic point punctuated with the authenticity of your own powerful, explosive style. I simply love watching your moves, though I think working on your balance in the camera frame will only make it look better. You always have me guessing what you will do next. Awesome closing jumps and exit with guitar and liquor.
13. Rebecca Phipps of Florence, South Carolina, USA.
Sharna Rose: The hoop that you use at the beginning is just wonderful Rebecca. I would have liked more play with this hoop because it intrigued me so. Your Flow is amazing and you demonstrate all the key words, particularly elegance and precision with a unique manner. I did find the video a little too long, but that was the only aspect that was amiss for me. Good luck with the public vote.
Bunny: WOW! That was really magical. Mega audience engagement, stunning location, beautiful moves that came across as unique to you, great variations in tempo and sensitivity to music…it felt emotional. Loved the use of fabric on your hoop too… added a twist in flow. Are you hooping with a smaller hoop this week? I think you could even go smaller. I like it a lot Rebecca. Thanks for the beauty!
Christabel: Loved the fabric hoop and lily pond background and starting it with strong eye contact. Maybe add some more variations in facial expression? I felt as if you were capturing me with a net, great effect. Beautiful arm movements mirroring hoop with the mask and the neck turns with the hoop. I loved that you put down the hoop and danced… I wanted more. I liked your cute out takes. Watch out for how much you have your back to the camera. Overall, I saw a lot of creativity and am excited for your next entry.
14. Amanda Syryda of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Sharna Rose: I loved the upbeat feel to this entry. Once again, the music helped your video to stand out against the slower soundtracks. You have a fresh funky attitude and you stay true to your flow which I like. It is an honest entry to the competition with great backdrops and some interesting hooping. I’ve been desperately trying to find some feedback for you but in my opinion this is a great entry. Well done Amanda.
Bunny: Loved the opening silhouette! Could have watched that throughout… the edits distracted me… broke the flow. You do however have a very beautiful hooping style and I love the song. Cute use of the 4 hoop Galactic Butterfly! I think this may have been a lot stronger as a single take against the snow as that is where you were rok’n’ it and really amplifying the beautiful shapes that you make with your body when you dance. Thanks for making me smile 🙂
Christabel: Amanda, this show felt energetically very similar to your last performance. You have “happy” down… if this was the theme for this week you would have won. I would love to see you slow down because speed doesn’t always translate to grace. It was a creative inclusion to use multiple hoops and silhoutette, but this show just didn’t “get” me in terms of elegance.
15. Kay Dent, of Bristol, England, UK.
Sharna Rose: Kay, you looked like a fairy sprite one minute and then a goddess the next. The location was beautiful with some great shots… the videographer and assisting team should be congratulated. I wasn’t that fond of the song you used, but you obviously were connected to and it translated across beautifully, which I absolutely loved. Cant wait to see more of your elegant flow, good luck with the public vote.
Bunny: Pink and Orange is my new favourite colour combination too! Right on. Pinky, I wanna see you hoop it with a smaller hoop – I think it will give you a whole lot more range and will clean up the planes and make your moves more precise. This video is really creative – as ever your artistic integrity shines through. Beautiful flow, very elegant and graceful … was most drawn in when you looked into the camera, which wasn’t too often. You are so bloody cute – delete the shyness and bring it to us!
Christabel: I really like that your video has the feeling of a cult classic. You chose some beautiful settings but the song didn’t have a flowing feel. I think working on your spacing and balance could add to your elegance. I like the motion of your orange outfit, but the big sneakers distract from your poise. I would love to see more dance and eyes!
And there you have it, your Top 15 Hooping Idol Finalists and their performances for Hooping Idol’s Flow Week. The time has come to cast your vote(s) and you can vote for as many as 4 (Four) of the finalists that you want to see continue on in the competition. Have you figured out your selection(s)? It’s time to [Sorry, Voting Has Closed]. Voters are allowed to cast one ballot and one ballot only and they are being accepted until Tuesday, March 29th, at 10:00pm PST. This week the five finalists who receive the least amount of votes will be going home, bringing us to our final top ten. Tune in to Hooping.org and our Hooping Idol Results Show on Wednesday, March 30th to find out what happens.
So what’s in store next for those that will be moving on to our Hooping Idol Top Ten? Coming up next it’s Persona Week on Hooping Idol and this challenge comes directly from our panel of judges themselves. Bunny explains, “This week you are to become a fantasy hoop character or hooping hero. I want to see an exploration of your creativity in visage – I think it’s important as a performer.” Sharna Rose adds, “Tell us a story using the hoop that is not your own. Bring us something imaginative and creative.” And Christabel notes, “You can embody an archetype, or take on the role of a god or goddess or mythical being. We want you to hoop dance whatever theme or story you represent. It’s time to truly step into a character and become it within the hoop!”
Our finalists will create their videos and post their submissions on YouTube no later than 11:59pm PST on Friday, April 1st, with your entries titled “Hooping.org Hooping Idol Persona Week”. Hooping.org sincerely applauds each and every one of our Top 15 Hooping Idol Finalists for their incredible contributions this week and we wish all of you the very best of luck.