I guess even though there’s a schedule and class descriptions and photos and videos, I still didn’t know quite what to expect when I came to Hoop Convergence here in Carrboro, North Carolina, USA. Being a pretty new hooper of 15 months, this is my first big hooping event and I’ve been excited about it since I first decided to come. Last night I was so giddy and wired I hardly slept, which is why I’m not still jamming with the night owls by the lake. This place is like heaven for hoopers. You’re surrounded by people who love what you love. You’re surrounded by beautiful hoops and clothes and toys for sale. You’re surrounded by talent. You’re surrounded by nature. At night you’re surrounded by the glow of some really gorgeous LED hoops.
At first I was feeling a bit reserved and wasn’t quite out of my shell. I wasn’t quite my normal self. It’s intimidating to see so many amazing people you look up to and admire in once place. Then the introductions begin. Not with a, “Hello my name is,” and a handshake. But with a hug and an excited, “Hey! Where are you from?” That’s when you start to feel more comfortable.
For me, I felt like I was in a bit of a dreamland from the time we got here until about 40 minutes into the evening jam when I started to admire the beauty that was around me in all these awesome hoopers and fully immerse myself in it. Even though I’d already been hooping a while I could feel myself ease into it and really let go.
The food here is pretty amazing stuff. The staff of the retreat center really knows what they’re doing and how to make us happy. They make sure there are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. A lot of the food used in the kitchen is grown right here in their garden. They compost. There was delicious ice cream for dessert. And now, it’s shortly after midnight and hoopers are trickling up the path to their cabins, using their LED hoops as flashlights and hopping into the shower before a night of rest. Tomorrow it’ll be time to start learning. I can’t wait.
Goodnight from Hoop Convergence!
Leslie Perales, aka Tilly Whirls, is a news editor in Herndon, Virginia, USA. She’s been spinning circles since Feb. 2011.