I woke this morning to the sound of “ohmmmmms….” Clearly, it was not a bad idea to set up my camp between two of the three stages at Hoop Convergence. My plan had it’s strategy, of course. I am five months pregnant, so placing my sleeping quarters next to the bath house seemed a logical necessity. It was just bonus that the 7:45 a.m. yoga geared up right next to me as well. We all have our morning rituals. I personally occupied myself with brewing my half-caff black version while stretching with the other early-risers at a distance.
I could not be happier with my prime and personal real estate at the center of all things daytime. At night, all I can hear are the crickets and the frogs. Some of those in cabins don’t seem to be enjoying my treasured tranquility though. A dozen fabulous personalities in the same closed-in space does not for a good night’s sleep make, or so I’m hearing. While those that coordinated their sleeping quarters with familiars, all is well. Others, flying in and placing their bets on a ready-made bed, might have done well to also buy a good set of ear plugs and practice a saint’s temperament for others’ schedules.
I’ll get to the hooping and the miracle of community momentarily. But first, the basics. The Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. They’re feeding us extremely well, in case you were wondering. You’re not shelling out cash for PB&J’s, to be sure. Our hosts at the Chestnut Ridge Retreat Center consistently put a great deal of thought into our meals, and the crowd is showing its unanimous love. A large part of the menu comes from the Center’s own garden. Mainly, that means that they’re rocking our worlds with the salads and veggies. I take it as a sign of serious culinary responsibility when there is not an iceberg leaf to be found. As a meat-eater, I am fully satisfied. Meanwhile, the vegetarian and vegan options are so appealing that it can be hard to choose. There was a mini-riot when the kitchen threatened to cut off the coffee at the evening meal. But democracy (or perhaps our protestant yelps) prevailed, and the kitchen bent to the communal desire for the bean’s assistance to keep up with the intense hooping schedule.Now that you’ve go the DL on room and board, let’s join the circle. What a circle!! I’m not an exuberant pregnant hooper, so I’m truly content with my particular observe-and-report role this year. And just giddy to share it with you. Revolva told me earlier today that she sometimes feels like an embedded journalist amongst those who invest themselves in movement arts. Copy that. So I’ll tell ya’ what I feel qualified to tell ya’ about the classes. Being a phenomenal hooper and/or entertainer by no means guarantees that you will be an effective, useful, or interesting teacher. That’s a given. But so, far, everyone is exceeding even my most ambitious expectations. Today’s headliners head-lined it, for sure. They exhibited engaging personalities and knew their audience. Stefan is funny and incredibly insightful. Poki encourages one’s natural curiosity and inclination to explore. Caroleeena fully satisfies her well-earned reputation as a teacher who could make even yawning look elegant and purposeful.
I’ll skip the lengthy reviews and give you one choice quote from each workshop.
Poki: “Now, that’s a lot of ways to BOUNCE!”
Caroleeena: “Do it in a mirror until it looks good!”
Stefan: “If you’re laughing, you’re doing it right!”
After a quick rinse in the shower, there was down time for – my favorite – making new friends and perfecting the art of conversation amongst hoop-kin. I got to chat briefly with Gail O’Brien and Emma Kerr. When I asked them how it felt to have inspired the Hooping Idol winner, they sighed with excitement. What a bummer that they were in North Carolina when the announcement was made. Imagine not being in-country when you win the World Cup! What a comparison, right? The pubs across the pond were alight with jubilation while these two cheered and celebrated a national victory from afar.
For now, the weather radar has opted to not make good on its threats, so the Fire and LED play has been going strong for hours down by the lake. Right now, they’re playing my song. It’s been live funk, blues, and jazz all night from a five-piece led by Scott Crews. My allegiance was won the moment they busted out ‘The Funky Meters.’ So I’m a-gonna head down the hill to catch the last moments of all the excitement before this lightning brings things to a natural close.
Tomorrow … Khan, Hoop Technique, Shakti & Nayeli … and the Performance Showcase in town, which makes me think I’ve got a long day and night to rest up for. Join me online right here on Hooping.org for more Hoop Convergence skinny soon!
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group and Gorum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.