Welcome to Hooping Idol, Hooping.org’s epic new contest. I’m Philo Hagen and I’m your host for this ever spinning journey in our quest to find the planet’s next big hooper star! As you know, our finalists are competing for an unprecented 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) to slide easily 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) from HoopGirl.com (more than a $750 value!). The grand total of this prize package with shipping is over $2000. When we said it was going to be unprecedented, we meant it.
For those of you just tuning in it was incredibly difficult to narrow down the platoon of hoopers who auditioned this year to 21 finalists who hit the ground hooping with our 80’s Week Challenge. And once the results were announced, six of our outstanding finalists were eliminated. Our top fifteen then got into the zone with our Flow Week Challenge. Those results were announced and five more finalists were sent home. Our top ten then delivered the goods for our Persona Week Challenge, dazzling us beyond our wildest expectations. Nevertheless, three of our finalists were eliminated. Or were they? In a special Hooping Idol Twist each judge was given the opportunity to save one previously eliminated hooper. Three contestants returned bringing us, once again, to the final ten who took us places we’d never been before with our Future Week Challenge. And while five were to be eliminated in the results show, only four were because of a tie. Now, our final six are here to show us what they’re made of for Hooping Idol Performance Week.
Sitting at the Hooping Idol judges table this week are once again Bunny Hoop Star of Hoop Empire in Sydney, Australia, Sharna Rose of Sharna Rose Hoop Dancein Maidstone, England, UK, and Christabel Zamor of HoopGirl in San Francisco, California – but we also have two special guest judges joining us for Performance Week as well.
Laura Scarborough is a multi-faceted artist, musician, hoop geek, inventor, and Austin’s 2009 Keyboard player of the year. After completing a degree in classical piano, she entered the adventurous worlds of music that included synthesizers, vocal processing effects, laptops, vibraphone, accordion, and more. Discovering the hoop in 2004 and having a powerful physical and spiritual transformation as a result, hooping began to inspire her music including “Circle” and “Who-la-Hoop” (on iTunes), songs she has used in performances fusing live music and hoopdance together. Singing with performing arts group Quixotic Fusion, as well as teaching, sharing, and promoting hooping at HoopCircle.com, she recently revealed her new MagHoops design that will be available online soon as well as at Hoopcamp. Laura created a brand new special remix of “Circle” specifically for our Hooping Idol performers. The music you are about to hear is entirely of her own creation. She lives in Austin, Texas, USA.
Our other guest judge this week is a quintessential hoop performer. KJ started hooping in 2001 and her career began with the LA-based interactive psychedelic performance troupe The Mutaytor and the rest is a bit of a whirling blur! With the Mutaytor she’s performed everywhere from cruise ships to Vegas casinos, from dusty desert stages made of semi-trucks to Madison Square Garden. In 2004 she became the first hooper to perform with the Suicide Girls’ Live show, touring the US, Canada, and the UK – documented on the DVD “Suicide Girls: the First Tour”. Having performed with other troupes including Lucent Dossier, Cirque Berzerk and more, in 2009, following the call of love, KJ relocated to Cape Town, South Africa. She has been performing a flaming hoop act as a resident performer in the Vaudeville Supper Club in Capetown since December 2009. While she misses the amazing hoop community in the USA, she’s grateful for the chance to share hooping with a new community in a new country.
For Performance Week, the challenge presented was to perform in front of real live human beings – not just in front of a video camera. Over the course of Hooping Idol our judges have been helping each of our finalists fine tune their performance skills and the time arrived to put them to the test. The first part of the challenge this week was to find or bring together an audience. They could assemble their own or perform at a community event or gathering taking place in their area providing a minimum of ten people were on hand to enjoy the show. And then we wanted to see their unedited performance, posted with a camera view perspective of what takes place just as if we (ie: the camera) were there being a member of their audience like anybody else.
There were also given a wardrobe request: to wear red, black and white. Why? It’s not at all uncommon to have to wear something specific for a performance. Sometimes the directive comes from ourselves, like wanting an outfit that works with that Middle Eastern song you’re going to use. Sometimes it comes from the party that hired you wanting you to work a theme, or the colors of a party, or perhaps the promoter who put the show together wants all the performers in something to unify all of the pieces – like clothing. I asked our finalists to wear red and black and white not because there’s anything special about these, but rather to give them a taste of what real performing is like.
Performers often, as well, do not always have control over their music. Hoopers are often hired because they want that something extra to take that music performance to the next level, and hoop dancers need to get in synch with whatever that music is and make it work. We might prefer performances where we supply our own soundtrack and someone hits play, but reality doesn’t always work that way. Just ask Hoopsie Daisy, Hooping.org’s Mistress of Forums who has performed with practically every big name DJ there is. Whatever they’re spinning when she goes on has to be her inspiration. Their performance soundtrack, a special Hooping Idol remix of “Circle” by special guest judge Laura Scarborough, not only provided our finalists with this experience, but having the artist present adds another dimension as well. Our final six were given the honor of interpreting her music through hoop dance and she has a front row seat for the results. Each of our hoopers received their song in advance along with the written lyrics.
And there you have it. Our order this week was once again drawn randomly out of a hat. So without any further ado, we proudly present our super six for Hooping Idol Performance Week!
1. Amanda Syryda of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Bunny: Loved your cheer squad Amanda! Backdrop was good. Stage looked phat! Costume was cute. I enjoyed watching you rock the uptempo as a distinct progression in the routine. I was craving more separation in your body narrative though… whether that be through timing or tricks or moves… I got a sense of perhaps too much repetition, which i think is your forte and something that works well in flow… but I felt like i just craved something more. More pauses, more extreme breaks, something that busted that track up a little more. Overall your performance made me feel hoopy and had a great vibe to it. Thank you!
Christabel: Tight moves, great facial smile, fast response times, liked that you worked on various planes. However, it got a bit repetitive – perhaps some more dance instead of just moves, using more of your stage space, and including more character development could have helped?
KJ: Your outfit was so cute & I thought it matched your spunky nature, and I loved seeing that big, confident smile throughout your performance! There’s nothing like a performer enjoying themselves to make a performance enjoyable. Your stage was beautiful & provided an epic backdrop, but I think you could have utilized the space more fully; it was hard to gauge the depth of the stage from the video so maybe you didn’t have as much room to play with as it seemed, but it was quite wide and yet you pretty much stayed center. Use that big ol’ stage if you have a chance! You have a great body of tricks, but I felt like you gave them all away too quickly & I found the second half of the performance a bit repetitious in content as a result. I’d love to see more build-up to the goods, if you know what I mean! Take some time for transitions between your awesome tricks. I think this would give you some more stamina towards the end of the show, it seemed like your energy was flagging at the end, especially in your arms, and your performance just kind of stopped. Try to save some energy for one last wow, or even a slow, graceful end with a striking pose to close definitively.
Laura: I love your beautiful stage backdrop, great choice of location! You obviously have some amazing moves! I love your CONTROL and ease with the hoop – You have an expressive style. What I’m looking for most, since I wrote this song, is the connection / pacing with the music. I would have liked to see you take more time in the beginning, then really amp it up later to create more dynamic flow with your performance. Very solid overall.
Sharna Rose: I really enjoyed your engaging performance Amanda, as did your rather cute audience. You were smooth like silk with the moves and if you did make any mistakes they were seamlessly absorbed by your flow. You responded to the music changes well and it seemed like you had rehearsed a routine because of your comfortably with the music. Great backdrop, a little overwhelming in size, but a fantastic stage nonetheless. I missed seeing some of your super double hooping though. I wish you well whatever happens.
2. Sam Resnicow of Newton, Massachusetts, USA.
Bunny: Sam, you forgot to put a costume on! Those shorts do not count in my fashion police department. I’m sorry you are under arrest on this one. If you can give me a really good excuse then I will reconsider, but come on! We are so close to the end … I was distracted by the lack of it. On a more positive note, I really enjoyed watching that hoop you were using! Fractal. I also enjoyed your retrieval of the hoop – effortless. I was a little confused why you stayed on one spot – seemed like you were hooping on a lily pad! That’s cute, but I always prefer more movement. What happened to the lights on the second hoop? I have been in that situation before – it sucks. I am assuming it was a malfunction. If not, I am going to suggest never hooping with one light hoop and others not. But then, your audience loved every moment of it so I feel that you chose well and that you rocked it out with what you had going on in that moment. Next time i say AMP IT UP!
Christabel: Captivating use of an LED hoop, great balance and co-ordination. Fun floor work and nice touch to add second hoop, but would have loved it if it was lit up as well. Was that just a malfunction? It was hard to see your costume since the footage was blurry. Were you also wearing black and red? I wish we could have seen you and your audience more clearly.
KJ: You have really great pacing and progression of tricks, and even though you had a couple of technical snags, you just pushed right through them and kept right on your mark in the performance – the mark of a true performer, to roll with the punches and never break a sweat! You did some really original and interesting work with the double hoops, and I especially loved the double-hoop figure-8 isolation, but it was hard to see your non-LED hoops in the darkness. I commend you and Glenda for this reason; LED performances can be tricky when you need it to be dark enough to emphasize the hoop, but then sometimes it can be too dim to see other aspects of the performance. I loved the “magician’s assistant” at the end to help you give one last punch to the show. I really liked your floor work, your foot passing and your shoulder stand move, but I have this warning: always be aware of the audience’s view of YOU! These kinds of moves are best done facing the side so that your audience can see the impressiveness of your footwork and also your handsome face, rather than being treated to an extended view of your rear end, as happens when you lay feet facing the audience. This is no one’s most flattering angle!
Laura: I want to buy you more LED hoops! You are deserving – hit up Santa, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Parents, Grandparents, and all your peeps! Your twinsziee work is AMAZING! With such a dark environment, having matched LED hoops is a must (for performance!). Consider doing your foot hooping to the side instead of booty to the audience. I think it looks better that way. The multiples at the end were exciting and awesome – very dynamic!! I love your style and connection with your audience and the song.
Sharna Rose: Congratulations Sam. From the very start of this performance I was connected to you in a very tangible way, your musicality is phenomenal. You broke down the music into sections and themes which worked perfectly with the song. You had plenty of wow factor moves – feet, multi and stack – which are considered important for pleasing an audience. I could not quite tell what your costume was, but your audience loved you and that‘s a great sign. Well continued through the hiccups too. I wish you lots of luck.
3. Emilie “Anossens” Durand of Versailles, France
Bunny: Yeh that worked. Love the red hot landing pod! Funky threads, rokn moves, the mask created extra drama, super high energy, effortless execution of really hard tricks – it was FUN! Transition from single to multiple hoops worked well. Your audience seemed captivated Anossens! As was I – full points once again 🙂
Christabel: LOVED your punchy WOW factor, Anossens! Standing on the red circle was a great touch and your striped pants were an awesome touch to captivate the eye. Great colorful backdrop and I loved that we were literally sitting in an audience we could see watching you. Your mask lent a nice mysterious feel to your show. Loved your arm movements and and full body undulations. Great slick moves and nice touch with 3 hoops. Just watch out for having the top of your head or back to the audience too long. Also adding a bit more audience interaction could be a powerful enhancement.
KJ: This was one of my favorites this week! I loved how you created a “stage” with the red rug, to tie into color theme and to create more of a performance space. I loved your fabulous pants and how they match your bigger hoop. You have great timing and control, and your pacing was just right, building up the performance steadily, making us want more then delivering! I thought you made great use of levels, getting down on the ground & bringing in double hoops at the end to close. The moment when you dropped the solo hoop for the double hoops seemed a bit clumsy in comparison to your other transitions, and as you closed the single hoop segment your arms seemed to get a bit sloppy, when they were so strong & extended at the beginning. My biggest complaint was with your mask and hair. Your hair is beautiful, but this time, worn down and in combination with the black mask, I found myself distracted by the look, feeling like I could not see your face enough and get that last bit of connection with you. I think tying your hair up or using a white or red mask would have helped.
Laura: Fierce! Rad! Love the red circle carpet and striped pants. You came out of the gate wicked, energized, rad, meow!! I think you are beautiful hooper with amazing flow and skill. I can’t tell if you are in your mask, but I felt like your head was tilted down some. If you lift it you would bring even more engagement, connection and love to your audience. Keep rocking it – I look forward to seeing more of your performances!
Sharna Rose: Great performance Emilie. I love the fact that your show was for someone’s Birthday. It looked a little windy too which is my nightmare when I have to perform. Great use of multiple hoops with a wicked costume that presents you as mysterious and saucy at the same time, a perfect compliment to the music. I loved the circle of the floor, its those little touches that make you stand out during this competition. Good luck with the public vote.
4. Rebecca Phipps of Florence, South Carolina, USA
Bunny: Instantly captivated by the costume. I’m a sucker for black light – aren’t we all? Apparently not everyone is so into it, but I think they’re wrong… it just ROX! The projection was a nice addition too. You chose and played the crowd well Rebecca. It was raw and yet polished. I liked the vibe a lot! And that back spin into the between the legs foot number – YEOW! You are a crowd pleaser! When you went back to the UV with full projection and light hoop… I got a hoop ON (that’s an adult concept folks) and then again during your transitions between light and regular hoops – awesome! Great beginning, wonderful punctuation throughout, rokn ending. Well done and thank you 🙂
Christabel: Creative costume and multimedia backdrop with images which complemented the music theme! Nice dance accents and clean, original moves. You have some tangible attitude in your show which I really love. I feel a sense of power and confidence from you which is hypnotizing. Fun blacklight aspects and complement with the red hoop created good variety. Your smile is captivating! This is a fantastic performance.
KJ: This was my favorite this week! WOW! You went above and beyond with just about everything. Your costume was clearly custom-made for this performance and so sassy and cute to boot. I loved the black light detail that kept you visible in the lighting change. You had custom hoop video content that just added a layer to your performance and helped you utilize the space and a custom, hoop-dressed set..such attention to detail! Your timing on the changes between hoops, in conjunction with the lighting, was flawless and so original! I cheered out loud at my computer screen! Most of all, though, I loved that your attitude really showed through. I could see in your smile and expression that you were connected to and feeding off of your audience in the best possible way, letting their energy build yours up. I could see your personality coming through and I just loved that. I did feel like your confidence and the strength of your tricks and performance lagged a bit during the LED section, you seemed more at ease and flowing with your regular hoop. Overall though, a fantastic performance!
Laura: You are DA BOMB! You know what a freakin CiRCLE is… PLUS PLUS PLUS!! WOW! You are brilliant, creative, original, sassy, funky, rad! Your production, your costuming, your seamless transition between hoops, your tricks, your beautiful one handed vortex, your great connection with the audience and with the music makes me hoot and holla for you! You ended right on point…. and I clapped out loud. Absolutely my FAV. LOVE LOVE LOVED iT! Thank you for dancing to my song. I’m honored.
Sharna Rose: Once again I am blown away by your phenomenal skills Rebecca. You are a fantastic performer who has so many wow factor moves that suddenly blazed out of nowhere and stunned me. The use of different hoops and the way that they came and went from the show was amazing. The costume, wow, it was also perfect and the shoes, were they too a perfect match? I wish you so much luck Rebecca.
5. Glenda Jordan of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Bunny: That was foxy Glenda! You worked it, that’s for sure. Freestyle performance is a personal favourite. The lighting was really beautiful and the space allowed for you to dance and flow. I enjoyed the choice of a black costume in the dark space. It felt to me that you were going IN while projecting OUT. It’s an interesting performance space to inhabit – the world within. I have had feedback that it risks shutting the audience out, but hey, sometimes we are performing purely and selfishly for ourselves – I’m down with that. Nice work and good luck with your busy schedule!
Christabel: Your two minute intro was flattering, but my attention was seriously waning before your show even started. Perhaps including that afterwards would have been better? Loved how much dance you included. GREAT responsiveness to speed changes in the music! Loved your hand articulations, great space usage and super sexy vibe worked well with the music.
KJ: WHOA HOTNESS was my first reaction! You’ve got a super-sexy body and outfit, and I think it was a good choice for the venue, a dark club getting the night going. If anything, I would love to see you work the sexy even more here, if you’re going to go for that edge. I understand it can be tricky to walk that line when giving a show and wanting the HOOP to be seen as much as the HOT, but I think you can do it. My only complaint about the outfit is that it’s hard to see the colors in the dark, but this is the risk we take with LED performances; the hoop shows up great, everything else not as much. I really liked how you slowed your pace at 3:35 and would love to see more of that; most of your tempo changes were to speed up. I also loved the arm and hand poses you made sometimes and would love see more. I loved your victorious finishing pose. Glenda, your love of hooping and your joy is so clear in your dance, and I think you can share it even more with your audience. Be even more of an exhibitionist! I can see your joy, but I think you’re a little shy in sharing it. Look us in the eye and grab us by the throat even more!
Laura: You are a beautiful hooper and a beautiful girl. You have some definite SEXY flow and I like how you engage your hands and body. The garter belts / lingerie made for a sexy look – but as hoop performers we want to ensure that we are hired for skill and grace, not for just showing skin. That’s my two cents about this particular costume. In relationship to the song itself, I would have enjoyed more vertical / isolation play – this shows the audience “what a circle is”. I love how you amped up and accelerated when the faster beat kicked in. Very COOL!
Sharna Rose: I found your performance a very ecstatic and moving experience for me Glenda. I do perform, but I’m not a “performer”, I find it difficult to come out into the world so I stay true to my truth and connection and trust that the audience will take some of the love home with them. Your audience were definitely loved up at the end because your passion for the hoop positively radiated out during the dance to this song. The style of hooping fitted perfectly with the setting of the performance as did the costume. Good luck with the public vote.
6. Nick Broyd of Bristol, England, UK
Bunny: Check you out! Nick you really do go beyond the call each and every time. I LOVE IT! Radical costume, sharp alignment of moves with the music, really confident and powerful command of the fire, YOU. ROKD. IT! It’s like you have absolutely no fear and are ready to step into your power and groove at any given point in time. It’s not easy to do what you did in the dark masked, audienced and in flame, and yet you made it look so effortless. Nice work. Is the world ready for you? It better be because I don’t see you stepping down any time soon. You WIN! Oops… there I go again announcing winners before it’s time ~ well you win in my hoop view for this week. Bravo!
Christabel: I loved your fun entry and how interactive your audience was! Super. Great costume worked well with hypnotic lines and sweet that you up leveled the challenge to include fire and some tough moves. Your skills continue to turn up the heat and I loved the isolations with flames. Your tosses and fun body flips are off the hook. Nick, you are a true Hooping Idol!
KJ: I admit I’ve been a big fan of your personality and humor since casting week, and you’ve been high on my list of favorites thus far! Your take on the costume had me in stitches, I love the striped…chaps?…and the red, masked bandit face and how you came sneaking in for a stealthy entrance. I thought you might maintain this persona a bit more, I understand it’s not persona week, but I did kind of wonder about the masked bandit from the beginning after he seemed to disappear…into a machine of hooping madness! Your hoop control is just amazing and you seem to have equal prowess in both directions, which is so fantastic, and I love your power moves and big jumps and dynamic arm movement. Sometimes I think you get a bit ahead of yourself and there’s a moment of fancy dance footwork at 2:44 – I’d love to see more of that! Your energy and pace noticeably lagged and then BAM – that amazing toss, practically horizontal! So it was you setting up mentally for that trick, but it was physically noticeable…just try to keep the energy steady and avoid that dip before a big move. Your pose at the end recalled for me the masked bandit from the beginning. I think there’s room for growth in the subtleties of being a performer, but your skills are there.
Laura: The FEARLESS one LOVED by ALL. You approached this song just how I envisioned – vertical work / slow build on the first half then kicking iT OFF with massive intensity when the beat kicks in – then coming back to similar “circle” isolation themes at the end. YOU totally did that! You’re musical / connected and I really appreciate that! Pizza Toss and Ring Toss = Wicked. What can I say.. You’re the SHiZZLE…
Sharna Rose: WOW Nick. Explosive, dynamic, fierce, fearless and creative fire hooping. For a first time performance you have set your bar high and I expect nothing less than the best from you in the future. You are a performer through and through and you have demonstrated this time and time again during the competition. I loved your costume once again and the different pace of hooping fitted the music very well. Good luck Nick, I wish you nothing but the best.
And there you have it, your Hooping Idol finalists and their Performance Week presentations. Are you ready to vote? Voters are allowed to cast one ballot and one ballot only and you can vote for up to two (2) of the finalists this week. Simply click the box or boxes next to their name(s) and when you are ready to cast your ballot click the “Vote” button below. Hooping Idol Future Week ballots are being accepted until Tuesday, May 3rd, at 9pm PST.
VOTING HAS CLOSED
Which three finalists will be appearing in our Hooping Idol finale? Following our Performance Week vote the three finalists who receive the least amount of votes will be going home, and the three that remain will be contending for our unprecented Hooping Idol prize package. Be sure to tune in on Wednesday, April 20th, for our Performance Week Results Show.
What’s in store for the final three? They will have one last video to make – and this one is entirely up to them. After all, if they are going for a shot at winning Hooping Idol they should be doing so on their own creativity and talent without themes or restraint. That being said, however, the judges will be be keeping an eye out to see just how their previous weeks on Hooping Idol play into the finale. Our panel will not only be looking at overall presentation, but they’ll be keeping an eye on their performance, flow, their idol persona and their innovation. Hooping Idol’s Finale Week brings it all together and the hooper that delivers the total package during this final stage in our search for the next great hooper star will not only score themselves some serious prizes, they will truly be our Hooping Idol.
Our final three will have until Friday, May 6th, at 11:59 PST to complete their videos and will be receiving specific posting instructions.
Until then, whatever happens with the vote this week Hooping.org couldn’t be prouder of our final six contestants and we invite you to share the love with each and every one of them as well. Thanks for tuning in to Hooping Idol Performance Week, and until next time, happy hooping!