Mat Plendl could very well be the most incredible, jaw-dropping hooping performance artist most of you have never heard of. So why hasn’t he shown up as brightly on our hoop-star radar? Because he’s been around for a lot longer than we have. That’s right, Mat began performing with hoops in 1972 at the age of ten. Foot-hooping, duck-outs, jumps, kick-starts, hooping with twins and multiples — all the moves we know, love, and aspire to — Mat perfected them with unprecedented precision and made them his career over 30 years ago. In the 80’s he was a four-time favorite on The Johnny Carson Show. He toured for 15 years as a top NBA half-time show attraction. Today, he counts over 50 television appearances and stars regularly in the acclaimed Teatro ZinZanni show in San Francisco, California. I gave Mat a call this week to get his incredible story first-hand. And – no surprise – I got schooled.
Remember our article about the legendary origins of modern hoop dance from back in January? Well, my hooping friends, get ready for the mind-blowing Prequel! You’ll want to settle in (and be sitting down) for this peek into everything we didn’t know about the beginnings of modern hoop dance.