[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn shares why you need and what you need to get on board.]
It’s a movie. It’s a movement. Six years in the works, the one-and-only film documentary about our lives in the hoop begins community-organized screenings this month in cities large and small across the globe. What does that mean, exactly? It means that the biggest vehicle yet for growing our community is coming to every town where there’s a hooper willing and motivated to host it. That’s right, it’s time! Time to rally, to organize, to motivate and to get behind this film’s incredible potential to bring what we love to every corner of the world.
This is Huge, Y’all. Our hoops and the people that move them change themselves, change lives, create communities and make dance happen where dance wasn’t happening before. And I know you agree that inspiring movement and creativity in any form is an enormously big deal. But despite what our Facebook feeds would have us believe, we haven’t even begun to tap the possibilities of what hooping can do, be, and mean on a large scale. Bringing hooping to the world stage is exactly what The Hooping Life aims to do – with our help.
Over the last decade hooping has become what it is one hoop and one glorious hooper at a time. Through our hoop jams, our performances, our classes, our friends. Through our singular passion for sharing what hooping has brought to our own lives. Now imagine what could happen if you could bring hooping to your entire town with one incredible event. Envision introducing 50-100 (or more!) new people to hooping in one afternoon or evening, making the front page of the paper or the evening news. Now imagine this happening every week somewhere in the world. If you have a hoop business, see yourself waking up to find 100 orders in your inbox instead of 10. If you perform, imagine booking 16 gigs instead of 3. Show up at your local hoop jam and find 50 people instead of 5. Is there a charity you’ve always wanted to support? Are there resources needed jumpstart that after-school program, dance troupe, hooping studio or more? These aren’t things we can just dream about. These are things we can do. Yes, we can! This film, our film, isn’t backed by Hollywood. It’s backed by us. It depends upon us. Regular ol’ folk that believe fiercely and know from experience that we can heal ourselves and our communities through movement. Each of us can bring The Hooping Life and hooping to our towns in a big way. You’ve got the love, the inspiration, the motivation, and a vision. Now you just need a venue, a date, the modest screening fee, support and a plan.
The Venue: You don’t have to show the film at a theater. You can use a school gym, a church, a local YMCA, a restaurant, a club, a local park. Really anything that you have available to you. If it has space to hold a hooping workshop afterward and vending, then all the better.
The Date: You can plan a Hooping Life screening event for your area for a limited period of time this year. Why not strike while the iron is hot and the weather is cold? The sooner you set a date, the more time you’ll have to plan, organize and promote the event for maximum awesomeness.
The Plan: Like hoops, your screening event can come in any size. Add a hoopjam, workshops, classes, performances, giveaways, contests, vending … the sky’s the limit. Is it a party? A fundraiser for a cause? A fitness summit for local gyms, studios, and health stores? A black-tie evening? A grand opening? A backyard hoedown? Invite your local school teachers. Invite community leaders in health. Hell, invite the mayor. This is YOUR show.
The Screening Fee: The public screening fee for organizers is $465, less than ¼ the cost for most films, and it can be divided up into payments. What’s it for, anyway? The fee purchases the rights to screen the film publicly, charge admission, and turn your vision into an interactive, fund-raising, awareness-boosting community event. ALL proceeds from the event are yours to keep, invest in your community, or donate to a cause. The screening sponsored by the DC Hoop Collective when they won Hooping.org’s World Hoop Day screening contest in 2010 raised more than $1000 for WHD.
The Schwag: You’ll also receive a $465 retail value of Hooping Life merchandise (1 Theatrical-sized poster, 1 small poster, 10 postcards, 15 Hoop Loops DVDs, 10 packs of The Hooping Life Playing Card Deck) to sell, give away, or auction off at your event to also help recoup your investment.
The Support: The Hooping Life provides you with promotional materials, a press kit including a press release and mad support for your event. The two lovely ladies behind this film – Amy Goldstein and Anouchka van Riel – produced The Hooping Life to empower the hooping community like nothing has before. Their primary goal is for their film to be a catalyst for growing your community, your business or your organization. The entire team is deeply committed to making your event a success.
Hold on. Isn’t this just a movie for hoopers? No way. Don’t get me wrong – hoopers are going to love it. It’s an awesome, rockin’ film that will make you proud to be a hooper. But it’s not an hour and a half of scantily-clad booty-shaking. The Hooping Life interweaves the stories of eight men and women who risk it all to found a movement (Anah), work for themselves (Christabel), heal themselves spiritually (Baxter) and physically (Sass), save and educate their communities (Tisha and Jeffrey), and radically challenge the status quo (Karis). The film travels from South Africa to South Central, from the Deep South to the Big Apple, and places in-between. Shaquille O’Neal introduces the movie, and now it’s got a phenomenal and original soundtrack from Basement Jaxx.
When I finally got to see The Hooping Life a few months ago, I was overcome with a sense of pride. I got all kinds of fired up about using this film to catapult hooping into the social stratosphere. I saw it’s potential to bring the powerful healing of the hoop to our communities. And even though I just moved to rural East Texas from Atlanta, even though I think I’m the only hooper within 2 hours of here, I’m personally bringing The Hooping Life to Tyler, Texas. More than 30 screenings world-wide are already in the works including: January 15th in Richmond, Virginia – sponsored by Ayana Obika-Clayborne to benefit Camp Diva, January 19th in Nashville TN – sponsored by Sunny Becks to benefit Hooping for Hope, the first European screening on February 4th in Tampere, Finland– sponsored by Henna Matanuska of MataHoops, and February 12th in Atlanta, Georgia – sponsored by Rebecca DeShon of Hoopessence. You can also mark your calendar for March 10th in Carrboro, North Carolina – sponsored by Julia Hartsell and Hoopdrum. Don’t let anything hold you back. It’s time. It’s 2012: The Year of The Hoop. For your screening kit email firstname.lastname@example.org and start planning to expand The Hooping Life in your area.
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, ponder more Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group Forum.