On Mother’s Day weekend I always find myself marveling at the capacity of the human body to create movement and existence itself. What parallels lay between mothering and hooping! Just as our mothers’ bodies created life, our dancing bodies create art. From within our very cores, we offer a piece of ourselves to the world that will take on a life of its very own. It is an age-old question, after all. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? When we hoop with our children, and when they hoop with us, it is unquestionably both. In this Mother’s Day Hooposophy, I interview a couple of mother-daughter hooping teams and mothers who hoop with young children as well. Go ahead and grab your tissues now. And since I know you’ll be inspired to hoop with your kids, your mother, or both, you’ll want to read to the end where I share my top mom-themed songs to add to your playlist this Sunday.
Maria: My daughter and I discovered hooping together on the same day, which is such an honor. It was amazing to be able to share this passion with her, but also a lesson in allowing her journey to develop very differently than mine. My daughter was just entering adolescence when we started hooping, and I was used to guiding and leading a child. Suddenly, I was not guiding a child, but someone who had her own style and her own dance that looked different than mine. This became a metaphor for how our relationship was starting to change. My daughter was not an extension of me, I was no longer guiding a child, but allowing for the journey of an amazing young woman. When I watch her dance, I am amazed at this original and beautiful creature.
Devi: I’d say I’m mostly grateful to have the chance to see my mom go through her own journey. It’s easy to get wrapped up in my own head as a teen, and that can disconnect me from her world. Having the hoop around shows me her journey and gives me the opportunity to join her! Also ‘cause it’s not just hers. It can be mine, too.
Two months ago, Tiffani Michele bought one-way tickets to South America for herself and her two adolescent children. They’ve been traveling and hooping all over the continent. Read her blog at freeplaylife. Here, she and daughter Brooke share their thoughts on hooping.
Tiffani: I hoop with my kids everywhere we go. And lately, we’ve been going to a lot of places! Hooping together makes us laugh, joke around, share tricks and moves, encourage each other, and dance/sing/play. It’s a lighthearted way to make and keep our connections with each other strong. When people see us together, especially my teenage daughter and me, they can’t believe we’re mother and daughter. People generally expect that teenage daughters and their mothers don’t get along or want to spend time together. Although it may be true that many moms and daughters don’t hang out, I don’t think that it’s because neither of them want to. In fact, once when a group of 17 year-olds discovered I was Brooke’s mom, they all uniformly agreed that they wished they had something that much fun to do with their moms. I’m glad I’ve found that one fun thing to share with my kids.
Brooke: Hooping with my Mother has been one of the better experiences of my life. She has given me so many things in life, and it’s so interesting looking back. We’re not particularly religious, so it’s interesting that we both started hooping in such a spiritual manner. Hooping is so much more than a physical activity. It’s a mental journey. Sharing that with her is something that is beyond words. We are such different human beings, but we share this one, powerful thing.
One of the most priceless moments of my life was at Hoopcamp 2012. Deep in the forest, during a thunderstorm and black of night, we got the chance to fire hoop. Lightning striking around us, rain touching the shining faces around us… we were lost in this spinning fire. But I looked over and there she was. My mom, engulfed in this fire, like a goddess, powerful and beautiful, everything I strive to be. She gave me everything I have. So I decided the best way to thank her in that moment was to share it. Reaching through the flames, I extended my hand, and she took it. Looking into her glimmering eyes, seeing the excitement and terror, feeling it all myself, I understood that we are just two human beings on this big earth, but feeling like the only two at the same time. Hooping has brought us so much laughter and bonded us more than I ever thought possible.
Bonnie: As the boys grow older and we hoop and dance together for longer periods of time, I have realized that they are my greatest teachers in the hoop to this point. This is my biggest realization that has come from hooping with my boys. Through their playfulness and willingness to try most anything with the hoop, they have taught me to open myself up more to new ideas with my body and mind. To let go and play more. To not conform to such rigidity. To not be so afraid of judgment. I still have a long way to go, but I am learning and open to them as my guides.
Janelle: I’m hoping to raise little flow artists. I was a very shy child and I use to dance alone in my room or draw. I’m hoping with our family hoop love, the kids won’t have to wait until they are 30 to get out and let the flow within inspire and delight the world around them. My eldest is pretty shy, but when she hoops she’s amazingly open.
Monica Hand Eastburn lives, hoops, and works in Lindale, Texas, USA, with her adolescent son and daughter Annabelle.
Monica: When I asked Annabella about hooping with me, she said it made her happy to see ME happy. Then she free-styled about circles spinning around bountiful hips, haha! Something I love about hooping with her, is seeing how she doesn’t have the insecurities that I have. I see freedom in her movements, and how confident she is when she tries something new. Most of the time she is happy for me to join her, but occasionally she asks for alone hooping time. Seeing her so open and engaged is disarming. It helps me to let my defenses down, and be willing to look silly. It allows me to connect with that part of myself that is untouched by fear and have fun again. This happens in our driveway, with the music she likes turned way up, and hoops spinning. I can’t think of anything else that does that for me.
Alright now friends, wipe those tears and gear up for some Mother’s Day Hooping! Here are my picks for the perfect hooping playlist for the occasion. What are yours?
• I’ll Always Love My Mama by The Intruders – on iTunes
• Mamma Mia by ABBA – on iTunes
• Grandma’s Hands by Bill Withers – on iTunes
• Mama Said by The Shirelles – on iTunes
• Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya – Poison Clan – on iTunes
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. She’s also the driving force behind Circumference with online and live business and marketing classes for hoop makers, instructors, and performers.