Italian Hoop Connection 2012
The second Italian Hula Hoop connection took place in Monzuno Vado, a very small village in the hills close to Bologna, from Friday the 6th to Sunday the 8th of July 2012.
Organized by Paola Berton (Hula Hoop Land http://www.facebook.com/hula.hoopland), the event has become an international gathering with hoopers coming form different parts of Europe, and first class teachers: Gail O’Brien (HoopSpin) recently nominated female hooper of the year by hooping.org, Nick Broyd (Hoop idol 2011), Steve Bags (The Hoop Hub), Gems Goddard (UK hoop gathering).
The timetable was very well planned with 3 workshops a day; we worked on: keeping in contact with rolls, freeing isolations, putting the DANCE back into the hoop dance, z-spins and breaks. The workshops were meant for different levels and the teachers were so good and patient that all of us could follow without problems. The overall impression was that of a continuous exchange: we were all different people with different styles and all of us brought something useful.
Beside hooping the three days gathering also offered a tribal fusion dance class held by the beautiful Olivia Mancino (http://www.alkimiya-fusionlab.it ), Yoga classes at 8.00 a.m. (!!!) by Gems Goddard (UK Hoop Gathering), a Body Rock session by Jana Morrisova and a giant bubbles making workshop by Paola Berton.
The event took place in a beautiful cottage in the countryside “Il rifugio del viandante” (http://www.lecampagne.it/bed-and-breakfast-il-rifugio-del-viandante/index.php), managed by lovely Barbara and Luca, who take very good care of the hoopers, and cooked healthy Italian meals for everybody with special attention to vegetarian: salads, pasta, “caprese” (mozzarella and tomatoes), a fantastic beans soup, and fresh fruits and home made cakes. The space was quiet and relaxing, perfect to focus on hooping, but and also to party a lot without bothering anyone.
On Friday night a fantastic fire performance by Alkimiya Fuego left everybody speechless, and on Saturday evening locals from the village came to watch the Gala show with performances by Paola Berton, Gems Goddard, Domenico ( devil stick), Nick Broyd, Gail O’Brien, Steve Bags. The Gala show was then followed by an awesome party, where everybody danced with or without the hoop.
As a member of the Italian community, I really thank Paola and all the organization for bringing to Italy such an event and these teachers, as usually these conventions take place in northern Europe and are a bit out of reach. The problem many Italian hoopers like me are facing is that we are scattered everywhere in Italy, and even if it is a small country, transportation from one city to another is not so easy, and very time consuming; some regions are quite isolated so many of us do not have an hooping partner. In some cities we also have to deal with a closed conservative culture and some restrictions for street performance, That’s why this event was really important to get to know each other, to play and dance together and to learn for once from someone else in person (instead of a video tutorial).
It was amazing to watch the hooping gods and goddesses perform live as you can really feel the energy and passion they put into it. It was really inspiring, but until the next event, we will keep relying on tutorial and videos from hooping.org…
GO OUT AND SPREAD THE HOOP LOVE AROUND ITALY!
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