Monthly Archives: April 2011

So You Wanna Hoop at Music Festivals

Hooping Silhouettes[This week columnist Lara Eastburn gets us ready for the Music Festival season.]

by Lara Eastburn

Music Festival season is upon us, my friends. And my guess is that there will be more hoopers on-site than ever before (YES!). While it would seem to us that hooping and open-air music festivals should go together like sunshine and smiles, festival hooping can sometimes be stressful or even meet resistance. Whether you’re a festival-veteran or just learning the ropes, here are a few things to be prepared for when hitting the gate with your hoop.

Getting In: Hoopers have reported in recent years that festival officials have asked them to stop hooping or not to bring hoops into the festivals. This is a rather rare occurrence, so don’t fret. Just be prepared. In general, I like a hoop that coils down for convenience. But it will also attract less attention at the gate.

Hoop Haters: I know, the idea of folks who are not friendly to hoopers seems ludicrous, but they exist – like Jackie Briggs in Salt Lake City for example. Take a quick look at festival discussion boards and they often tell us otherwise as well. The majority of complaints though come from festival-goers who deeply resent the amount of SPACE that hoopers take up. Looking for your fellow hoopers? Look out in the field behind the crowd. No matter how much you’re feeling it, my hooping friend, in front of the stage is not the place for you and your 4-foot wide hoop.


VIDEO OF THE DAY: Brianna “BreVolvinBliss” McIlroy got permission from a good friend to spend most of the day down at his lean-too hooping, finally granting her some more space to move now that the seasons are changing. She lives in Plattsburgh, New York. Soundtrack: “Facing East” by Thievery Corporation (on iTunes).

Hula Hooping Donkeys, Ghosts and Fiddlers

Hula Hooping Donkey • In the fields, Bertie the Donkey picked up a hula hoop and started playing with it. Maybe if the hoop wasn’t bent she’d have stood a better chance: Hula Hooping Donkey

• Have you ever seen a ghost? If so, have you ever seen a ghost hula hoop? Well, you’re about to: Untitled

• Hooping is all fun and games, at least until you fall in the swimming pool: Spring Hooping

• And last, but not least, Marianne Asmus is a hooper and an amazing fiddle player who can add multi-tasker to her list as well: Hula Fiddle

Antique Modern Hooping

Maggie Knox had a project to do for film class at Ohio University, so she invited hooper Hannah Stanton-Gockel to spin things up for her. Knox then shot film of her hooping with a 16mm Bolex film camera. That’s the very old fashioned crank-kind! The result is a video with authentically antique style footage of modern day hooping. It’s pretty cool. They live in Athens, Ohio, USA.

Jessikah’s trip to Peru

Ambassador Jessika donates hoops in Peru

Ambassador: Jessikah Towle
Drop: Casa de Milagros Orphanage (Chandler Sky)
Location: Cusco, Peru, South America
From: New York, USA
Date: March 2009

Recently, while traveling Peru, I was given a grant from World Hoop Day to make hoops as an offering to the children at “Casa de Milagros” which is a home for orphaned children, just outside of Cusco.

I am continuously humbled by the power of the hoop. Over and over, I have seen the magic of this large, plastic, circle, bring so much joy and healing as it whirls and spins around the human form, like a ring around a planet.

The children at “Casa de Milagros” were no exception. I did not give the children the hoops right away. Since I was going to be there for a few days, I decided to wait and get into their rhythm first. There was school, chores, homework, then dinner. I figured between homework and dinner was going to be the best opportunity for playing with the hoop. On the second day, I brought the hoops out, and before I could even get close to unwrapping them the kids had their hands all over them. There were literally squeals of delight, and they got right to it. In Peru they call it “hula hula” not pronouncing the h’s so it sounds more like “ula ula”.

I picked up my hoop, and showed them some tricks, and I kid you not, for the next three days every free moment they had, they spent hooping. It was fun and challenging to offer trick tips. Luckily there was a native English-speaking boy living there as well, whose parents have responsibility for the run of the place. He was able to translate for me with ease. In my short amount of time with the children, many became apprentices to the hoop.

Even while traveling in remote areas of the jungle, and on mountain buses the sight of the hoop brought a smile to all who came in contact. That is the magical part for me, to see the light spark in people just from the sight.

See her video on our Facebook Group Page.


Megan’s trip to Paraguay

Ambassador:  Megan
Hoop Drop: Paraguay
From: Chicago
Dates: August 2009 – 2011

Hey there Annie! I’m living in Paraguay as a peace corps volunteer right now.  The children in my community and I have a juice and game day about every other week and they and I love to hula hoop and I want to spread and expand their love by donating these children their own, family, hoop, and this way they don´t have to fight over mine anymore.  You can check out my blog, I have a few pics of some kids hooping:

Thanks for doing what you’re doing!
Much luck and love,

Natalie’s trip to Mexico

Ambassador:  Natalie
Hoop Drop: Mazatlan
Location: Mexico
From: Bend, OR, USA
Dates:  October 2009 – 2010

I am currently living in Mazatlan, Mexico for a year to study at Tec de Monterrey University.  After this year, I plan to return to Vancouver, BC to finish my degree in Latin American Studies.  As soon as I am finished with school, my goal is to travel for a few years from Mexico through Central America and eventually end up in Ecuador.

Australian trip to Uganda

Ambassador:  Jowanna’s & her mum’s friend
Hoop Drop: Uganda
Location: Gold Coast & Sydney
From: Australia
Dates:  January – May 2010

I donated 20 hoops to a book fair, which is held every year by my friend’s family to raise money for a school and health-care centre in a Ugandan village.  Its the village that my friend’s father comes from – which I like.  The hoops all sold in the first few days of the book fair.

My friend’s mum wants to take hoops over for the village school when she flies over in May, so I have 20-25 hoops here ready to go.  She is insisting on paying for them though, but I’m insisting on doing it for cost price & I will be putting the money straight back into making more hoops to donate elsewhere.

I LOVED making the extra hoops for this!!!  I’ve made all different sizes & it’s so lovely to think that kids far over the other side of the world will be playing with them.