Monthly Archives: January 2013

Haley Spreads The Hoop Love

Haley's Hoop Party [ columnist Shea Brock gets inspired by an eleven-year-old.]

by Shea Brock

When I hear the word philanthropist, I automatically think of the Monopoly guy. You know, that little rich man with the handlebar moustache. I picture him swooping in with suitcases full of money, saving the day, and then driving off into the sunset in his shiny Bentley. Either that or Angelina Jolie. But that vision is changing thanks to one little girl with a hula hoop. Meet eleven-year-old Haley Burt, a hooper who is all about giving back to the community.

Caterina Suttin

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 11.36.35 AM A Strong Opener. The key ingredient any savvy performer has in their repertoire is an opener that will immediately get the attention of the audience, hold them and deliver the promise that what you had at the start is what you will get for the whole performance. The moment 2013 Hoopie Awards nominee Caterina Suttin starts her seated breaks and reversals is the moment she has us in her meditative, relaxed and organic flow. She seems to somehow transcend the video, reaching out to touch us, and while she describes these moves as “breathing breaks and wonky planes”, we know she’s been teaching them in her recent workshops.  Caterina lives in Austin, Texas, USA, and the soundtrack is “Maps” by Emancipator which is available as a free download on Bandcamp.  A Video of the Day.

VestaFire Entertainment and Andre Nobels

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 2.15.59 PMKarina Strong spins up a diverse and inspiring performance as she dances to Andre Nobels, playing his original song “Oh Hallelujah”. She shows her versatility using multiple hoops throughout the performance, weaving twins with fluidity and grace as she sets the stage in this wonderful hoop dance.  As the piece continues she also transitions into gorgeous Native American hoop dance inspired formations using a number of hoops with ease. This is truly a performance not to be missed. Karina is a member of VestaFire an entertainment troupe of circus, magic, dance, fire and costumes based on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Catherine Zeta Jones Gets Ellen Hooping

Catherine_Zeta-Jon_1664583a Catherine Zeta-Jones, the Chicago based Oscar winning actress, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show sharing her love of hooping, even managing to maneuver the hoop while wearing stiletto heels. Recently, Jones opened up about her dedicated fitness routine telling InStyle Magazine readers that she exercises for at least 45 minutes every single day. “I don’t have a trainer. Crazy, right? But I don’t need anyone to motivate me. I love exercise, even things like the elliptical and stretching. I’m obsessed with hula-hooping. I do it for 20 minutes a day. I don’t use the old-fashioned hollow plastic kind we had when we were kids.” Nope, she uses an adult-sized hoop and of course she gets Ellen to join her in hooping it up, explaining to Ellen, “It’s really good for your core muscles.” Catherine then finds herself in something of a hoop battle.

Tiana Zoumer

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 12.30.34 PM Tiana Zoumer, this year’s Hoopie Award Winner for Female Hooper of the Year, graces us not only with a beautiful dance, but also with lovely words in her first ever tutorial.  She explains her gratitude for recognition from the hoop community and her desire to give back. Tiana says, “This is a tutorial for those who would be inspired.  Not the ‘look at me’ and ‘this is how to do’ tutorial, but ‘the feel it through’ and ‘we’ll find ourselves the moral’ tutorial.” Expanding on that she says, “This is a sharing of my ‘why’ rather than my ‘how to’. Thank YOU for sharing your gifts with the world. You are an inspiration.” And from all of us, thank you Tiana. She lives in Oakland, California, USA. The soundtrack is  “Water” by Lauryn Hill and it’s available on iTunes.

Ask Hoopalicious: The Balancing Act

Ask HoopaliciousDear Hoopalicious,

I am working on my knee hooping. When leg hoop, especially the flamingo, my weight bearing foot keeps shifting around as I am trying to hoop on that knee. Since the weight bearing foot keeps moving around that makes me unstable and sometimes I almost lose my balance. Once I actually fell. How can I keep the weight bearing foot and leg more stable? I do have bad ankles. I usually use a 40 inch hoop, which may be too heavy. I am trying to use a 36 or 38 inch hoop more. Do you have any suggestions for doing the flamingo and keeping my weightbearing foot and leg in one place and stable, so I am not off balance?

Thanks for any help,

Linda N.

Dearest Linda,

I feel ya! Getting that leg out of the hoop while remaining steady and in balance takes a while to master! First, a question…

How is your leg hooping in general? Are you able to easily hoop on the legs (and by easily, I mean you could have a conversation with someone and not be out of breath)? If the answer is yes, then by all means move on to one-legged hooping! I also recommend hooping as much as you can mid thigh as it tends to give you more freedom of movement and can give you a little give room if the hoop floats down after you take your leg out. I don’t know how heavy your hoops are but a 40 inch can make hooping on one leg harder, but easier for both legs.. I know, a conundrum! If you want to size down I would only size down a inch or two at a time.

Since you say you have weak ankles already I suggest adding some strength training without the hoop first. Check with your doctor first and if he says this is ok, try holding onto the back of a couch or countertop and doing slow one-legged squats on both sides. Do enough reps to feel your muscles engage but not so many that there is pain.

Next, make sure you are training each leg how to hoop independently before you expect yourself to pull one leg out AND keep your balance while the standing leg tries to figure it all out! You can do this by standing next to or in front of a wall (for something to hold on to), placing the hoop on one leg and keeping the other leg out of the way as you spin it. Try to keep the hoop on mid thigh (unless you are using a tiny/light circus style hoop) as the hoop can cause injury to the delicate tendons around the knee. Use the pad of your foot to rock forward and back on the floor, keeping the knee soft to power the hoop. Do both sides.

Once you are feeling stronger and can hoop on each leg independently, then you should find your balance is a lot easier to achieve while bringing a leg out.. Be sure and give yourself LOADS of time! If you are rushing it before you are ready, not only will it be less fun, but even if you do get some approximation of the move it is bound to have less flow then if you took your time and gave your body the space it needed to adapt to the new challenge you are asking of it.

Good luck and happy hooping!

xo~ Anah aka Hoopalicious

Got a question for Hoopalicious? She’s super excited to be hear all about it. Just send your “Ask Hoopalicious” question to today.


Hoopalicious Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach has traveled the world teaching and performing. Highly regarded as the founder of the modern hoop dance movement, her Hoop Revolution™ curriculum is the foundation for most well-known hoop dance curriculums out there today. Anah appears in The Hooping Life documentary and was our first inductee into the Hooper Hall of Fame. She lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Constanza Sommi

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 4.32.38 PMIt’s near impossible to pinpoint that exact time where an artist’s dedication to learning their art really becomes apparent, when command of their craft is so well honed that it looks like something as natural to them as breathing. . Constanza Sommi was born in Buenos Aries and started her career as a gymnast at age 8, training with Galina Aidarkina she represented her country in the Argentine National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team, joined the world of circus performance at age 15 and was accepted into the École de cirque de Québe, which, going by her performance here, was the best choice that school could make. Constanza is presently living in Quebec, Canada. A Video of the Day.

Ciara Blossom

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 3.16.59 PMCiara Blossom shows off her bendy hoop skills in this footage from Cirque Blanc. While most of us are able to hoop and practice many new moves during a practice, Ciara’s videos left us wondering how many hours she must put in practicing contortion and hooping together.  She is definitely a diverse performer.   She is a member of the Spunshine Hoop Troupe and is also the creator of an after school program called CircusSchooL. Ciara also has her own online hoop store called Spunlight Hoops.  She is performing to a live set by producer ill.Gates and Greenheart Creative shot this video. Ciara is based out of Austin, Texas, USA.