I hooped the night before labor began with my first daughter. Now Navi is five-years-old (going on 6, as she says!). She is the daughter of two hoopmakers. Piles of tubing were leaned against her crib and she has never known a life outside the hoop. But it wasn’t until Rayna’s article last year about hooping, self-esteem and girls, that I realized I was part of a community of parents raising the first generation of children that would be raised from the very start with hoopdance as a part of their lives. It will be several years until we know how Navi’s crib-to-hoop generation will influence the grownup world of hooping. But to get a glimpse, I sat down with my kindergarten graduate and asked her about her hooping life. Her answers are here unedited and I hope they inspire you as they have us.
Lara: When did you first start hooping and how did it happen?
Navi: I can’t remember that, momma. But I think you probably taught me. And then I kept trying and trying and trying.
Lara: Why do you like hooping?
Navi: Hoops are fun. Because you get to wiggle. And have fun. And you like hoops! I do, too. Everybody loves hoops when they try them. I love everybody. Who’s going to read this?
Lara: I don’t know. I hope a lot of people that hoop or want to hoop soon.
Navi: You mean grownups, though, right? Because kids already want to hoop (rolls eyes).
Lara: Well, yes, I guess that’s true. But some of those grownups might want to hoop with their kids, too.
Navi: Well let’s start with the grownups then. If you’re an adult, and you don’t know how to have fun, be free. Be ‘free’ means, do what you like to do. Go out and PLAY! If you don’t know how to play, grab something and play with it. If you don’t know how to play with it, be free and do whatever you want to do. Look outside and let it tell you what to do. So, like birds. They fly to have fun. Squirrels climb to have fun. So do whatever you want to do to have fun, too. Dogs run to have fun. Trees sway to have fun. People should go outside and hoop to have fun.
Lara: How does hooping make you feel?
Navi: Hold on. Let me get a hoop so I can tell you exactly. (Hooping) What I feel is awesome. I feel like throwing the hoop. Now I feel like holding the hoop behind my back. Now I want to jump through it when it comes in front. It makes my belly feel great when I hoop. It makes me feel happy because I can do lots of things like, WHEEEeeee…! I can hold it in front of me and make silly faces, too!
Lara: What hooping moves are you currently working on?
Navi: Throwing it high up and hitting a tree and making it loop around the tree and come back – like a boomerang. It comes back and I catch it, in my imagination. I’m still working on that. The tree is hard though. Maybe I’ll try a chair or a stump. I’m just trying to get the hoop to go around something. And come back.
Lara: Do you think you’ll hoop your whole life?
Navi: Yes. ‘Cause it’s so fun. That’s all. I think I’ll teach my kids about hooping. Because I’d like them to have fun with hoops, too.
Lara: Who do you like to hoop with?
Navi: I like to hoop with anybody. And you, momma. It’s fun to hoop with you. And my puppy. And my baby sister. It’s fun to hoop with other people because we’re doing the same thing. We get to show each other tricks and ask the other person if they want to try it too. Hooping is a great way to make new friends.
Lara: Do you have any advice for our hoopers that are just starting out?
Navi: Just put the hoop on your back. And spin. And wiggle. If it falls down, don’t forget these steps. First, take the hoop and put the part that’s behind you on your back. Next, turn it. And you turn, too. And then do whatever you want to do! Just don’t bury it. Don’t put your head in a hole and cover it up. That’s silly.
Navi ended her interview by saying that she’d like to see more videos of kids hooping and talking about why they hoop. And that kid hoopers could help parents by telling them that “they don’t have to work all the time”. And “that it’s okay if they have fun too”. My last question to Navi was, “You seem really worried about grownups. Do you think that THEY think it’s hard to hoop?” She answered, “No. I think they want to hoop as much as I do. But they usually say ‘later,’ or they don’t have time right now. But they can hoop RIGHT NOW! Do you wanna hoop with me, momma?”
Yes, Navi. Yes, I do.
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 Forum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.