[Hooping.org columnist Casandra Tanenbaum has some tips for creating community.]
People often ask me how I learned to hoopdance. With a shy smile, I admit to hours upon hours of solitary practice and reviewing countless YouTube videos to expand my skill set. My house, and backyard patio were my first practice spaces, amidst scuffed, scratched walls and that one low hanging cable that made it impossible to do practically any tosses. Personal practice is fun, rich with powerful lessons for movement and life and, after some time, it can become achingly lonely.
Unless you are lucky enough to have a community of hoopers around you, hoopdance can feel like a very isolated activity. Thankfully, we can participate in the online forums, share and comment on posts and videos, but there is a significant difference between “talking about hooping” with someone and actually hooping with someone. Often I see messages in my regional forum from newbie or recently relocated hoopers crying out for someone to come find them and hoop with them! It is as if we intuitively know that the fruit of our practice becomes much sweeter when shared. You might be thinking, perhaps with a wistful sigh and downward glance, “well, that’s nice. But REALLY, you don’t understand: I’m the ONLY ONE HERE.” Well, that might be true. Or, then again, it might not!