Laura Scarborough, aka the “Isis of Devices” of Hoop Circle, takes a moment away from her microphone, vibraphone and synthesizer duties with The Golden Dawn Arkestra to take center stage with her maghoops and LED hoop and spin up some magic at the Hotel San Jose at SXSW in Austin. Of her hooping she says, “Being in the hoop for over 10 years, I continue to discover ‘spin’ (not ‘hoop tricks’) as a great source of joy. A ticket to bliss and freedom.” She lives in Austin, Texas, USA, and she’s dancing to “Saharan Knights” by The Golden Dawn Arkestra and it’s on iTunes.
Liah Alonso of Liah Alonso Music makes her hooping.org debut during a hula hoop lesson she took in San Miguel, Mexico – with hooping instructors Mini-Punk and Klaudia Oliver. Liah visits with some very photogenic donkeys, learns to hoop and plays a hooping inspired song on her charango that she makes up lyrics for on the spot. This video contains clips from a series called “Around the World in 80 Songs” which is a project Liah is currently working on, having dedicated her time to traveling to 80 different cities where she has given herself 10 days to put a band together and create a song, showing the world “that there’s only one language..and that’s music.” Liah is from New York City, New York, USA.
by Lilea Duran
Tiana Zoumer takes our breath away yet again! This time she spins it up in a stunning new music video by Norway-based Soul/Pop artist Jonas Tesfu, better known as TESFU. The song “Aim for the Stars” is TESFU’s first single. “It’s a tribute to all the every day heroes out there that keep trying to change the world in their own way, whether it’s through music, dancing or working,” says TESFU. “The song is about inspiration and Tiana is very inspiring as a hooper and as a person.”
Tiana explained, “In preparation, I asked Jonas to express to me what his inspiration was for the song ws, and this was his response:
“My personal feelings towards the song was to inspire myself to follow my dreams, do it my way and not care what everybody thinks is right or wrong. It’s too many people in the world following plans that someone else has made for them, instead of having the courage to make their own plan.”
This reflects to me the intention of the hooping community. When I began hooping it wasn’t so I could go to school for it or make a business. The belief in the expressions moving through me awoke an awareness in my being that inspired an authentic path. My purpose lies in connecting to the circle and channeling my energy into the present moment resonating and revealing infinite patterns and pathways. This reminds me that in every point of my life I can create the reality of my dreams through the practices that center and move me.”
Rachael Lust, the hooper that everyone knows and loves, is featured in a brand new music video by rapper and activist SaulPaul. The video couldn’t have featured a more appropriate performer too, since the name of the song is “Do That Hula Hoop.” Set in a graffiti park in Austin, Texas, USA, the video features colorful spray-painted backgrounds that compliment Rachael’s vivid hoops and her signature artfully printed leggings. I had an opportunity to talk to Rachael and SaulPaul and ask them both a few questions about the making of the video, their experience working together, and the very cool project for kids behind it all.
Katie: Rachael, how did you get involved with the making of this music video?
Rachael: SaulPaul reached out to me on Facebook, saying that he was a musician and a hula hoop enthusiast and he liked my hooping style. He said he was going to be filming a music video to a hula hooping song very soon in Austin. I just so happened to be heading to Austin at right about the time he contacted me too, so it worked out perfectly. He sent me a copy of the song and said he would be shooting at the graffiti park downtown. I thought the song was pretty cool and it seemed like a fun project to be a part of. I was also into the idea because SaulPaul seemed to want to do some good in the world.
Katie: Yes, he is quite the activist. In what ways did you see him as doing something good?
Rachael: He said he only rapped family friendly stuff, so that was cool with me. Plus, the video is part of his #hulahoopsforhope project where he is trying to raise money for several good causes.
Katie: Including raising money for SWAN, which is so great. SaulPaul, can you tell us more about that and your Hula Hoops and Hope campaign?
SaulPaul: It’s called #HulaHoopsAndHope because it’s based on 2 things. 1) The song I wrote called “Do That Hula Hoop” and 2) Hope. I’m heading off on tour spreading love and inspiring hope and I will have my hula hoops with me. While on tour, my goal is to raise funds for some people and organizations that are near and dear to my heart, including SWAN. My goal is to raise $1000 to give to them for an upcoming trip they are taking.
Katie: Are you involved with SWAN directly?
SaulPaul: Yes. SWAN’s mission is to break the cycle of crime for children who have one or both parents with a history of incarceration by providing free private music lessons, ensemble training, performance opportunities, and mentoring.
Katie: So this isn’t just a music video, it’s a campaign to raise awareness and do some good at the same time!
SaulPaul: Exactly! SWAN serves children of incarcerated parents. My wife and I teach music performance and choreography to these students and involve them in local shows in Austin. They have been invited to perform at half time at the April 2nd Austin Spurs basketball game. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for the kids involved. SWAN currently has 19 elementary school children, ages 6-10, enrolled and they are in need of $1000 to ensure that the students can get there and participate and I’m personally donating the proceeds from the download of this song to SWAN.
Rachael: It was fun, I would do it again.
Katie: Was there anything particularly challenging about hooping in this video?
Rachael: The day we were filming it was raining and everything was really muddy and slippery, but it turned out ok.
Katie: I think it turned out great! Thank you both for your time and good luck with this project.
Columnist Katie Wilson, better known in the hooping world as Katie Sunshine, is a teacher, a painter, a performer, and above all a proponent for the powerfully positive change hooping brings to one’s life. She picked up hooping in 2009 at a music festival and she hasn’t put it down since. A Hoopie Award winner with many YouTube viral videos, Katie lives in Conway, Arkansas, USA, with her wonderful husband and her two lovable dogs.
Yesterday we counted down 2014’s Greatest Hits and shared our Hoopie Award Honorable Mentions. Now it’s time to announce the winners of our eighth Annual Hoopie Awards, although we’d really like to be clear that all of our nominees are winners in our book. We love them all! The call for preliminary submissions for the awards went up at the start of the year. They were screened, compiled and presented to 50 randomly selected hoopers who made themselves available to serve on our Hooping Academy Finalists Review Panel. They voted for their top 5 selections in each of the award categories and those votes resulted in our official 2015 Hoopie Award nominees. Voting began on Tuesday, closed on Friday, and now the time has come to reveal our winners.
We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the awards celebration this year from start to finish, giving an extra special thank you again to those who served on the review panel this year. We’d like to congratulate all of the nominees one more time and give a big hug to Hoopin’ Annie of World Hoop Day for taking on the responsibility of validating the computerized vote counts again this year too. And now, with thousands of votes cast in a record breaking awards celebration, we proudly present your 2015 Hoopie Award Winners:
by Philo Hagen
Music artists have been turning more and more to hoopers to help spin their releases and music videos to a whole new level. Looking to add energy, something interesting and entertaining, it really doesn’t seem to matter what the music genre is. Adding some hooping really helps. In fact, there’s more going on with music videos and hooping than ever before – so much so we can barely stay on top of it all – so let’s check out ten great new music videos featuring hooping that rise above the rest.
2. Ine Hoem: This Year – featuring a Hula hoop crew of Thomas Sletvold, Andreas Toftegaard, Camilla Johannessen, David Varnvatn, Alexander Dimmock and Camilla Moen-Nilsen. They’re from Oslo, Norway. Song is available on iTunes.
by Philo Hagen
Cosmic Village is a conscious folk collective led by Uche Nkanginieme, a 19-year-old Nigerian singer/songwriter and hooper. Born in the UK, she relocated to the United States when she was 6-years-old, where she grew up musically in the Ohio music festival scene. Today she writes songs to elevate her audience, sharing what’s real with a sense of comfort and “Twinkle”, their debut single, does just that. The brand new music video that was released this week not only has Uche singing too, it also has her hooping in it as well. Directed and edited by Derrick Schweizer of the 32nd Bellwood, while watching the video I became an instant fan so I spoke with Uche to find out more about her, her music and her hooping.
Philo: I just watched your music video for the first time. When and how did you start hooping?
Uche: I started hooping at the very first music festival I went to almost two years. The festival was called Hoopla In The Hills and it was in Athens, Ohio. The headliners were EOTO and Keller Williams and I had never been exposed to advanced hooping before. When I saw some girls blowing my mind with their hoops me and my best friend at the time became inspired to give it a shot.
Philo: A year later you were performing at that festival, right?
Uche: Yes! 1 year after I played my first ever music fest as a musician at Hoopla In The Hills 2014 – featuring Papadosio, Ott, Phutureprimitive, Moon Hooch, Cosby Sweater, etc.
Philo: And now it looks like you’ve been playing music and hooping for years.
Uche: Believe it or not, spinning fire in my music video was only the 2nd time I had spun hoops on fire.
Philo: How has hooping changed your life?
Uche: To me, hooping is meditation – some call it liquid meditation which is a very fitting description. It has brought profound peace into my life and I truly think it is something sacred. I think geometric patterns manifest themselves all throughout nature, so when I hoop I feel as though I am honoring the geometric tendencies of our natural world. When I hoop I like to believe that my body is the nucleus of an atom with the electrons orbiting around the nucleus. I’ve also discovered a whole lot of workout moves to tone my arms, abs, and legs with hooping. I am actually really excited to make custom hoops for my whole family for Christmas this year. They think I am strange for dancing with hoops, but I am hoping they will use the hoops as a form of exercise at least. Hooping has also given me a new-found appreciation for music. I have discovered so much new music after going hooping and going to music festivals.
Philo: Tell me about your music journey. How long have you been making music?
Uche: I started at the end of my junior year in high school. I am only 19, so that was a little over 2 years ago. I first got a ukulele so I could learn “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye because I was in high school and obsessed with that song. But then I just never stopped messing around with my ukulele. I truly never planned to be a musician or write songs. But it’s been made clear to me that this is what I should be doing so I feel as though Creator is clearing the path for me to share my art with people who can benefit from it.
Philo: You’ve had a pretty intense debut this year.
Uche: I played at 14 festivals, travelled 8,000+ miles and my band page already has over 1,100 fans, so it is a good enough sign for me to keep on creating.
Philo: If I have any say in it, I think you should. What’s the story behind Twinkle?
Uche: “Twinkle” is a re-interpretation of the classic nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” It is a lullaby based on the ever present cyclical tendencies of nature and reflection. Its purpose it to uplift, inspire, and remind. Hip Hop meets folk for this track and it’s a combination that can sooth listeners both before bed or when they have a flow toy in hand! We chose this track as our debut track because we want to start of our musical journey of a positive vibration. We hope to look back on this years from now, proud that we started our journey with love, integrity, and consciousness in mind.
Philo: Excellent. How does it feel hooping to a soundtrack of your own creation?
Uche: It’s definitely not something I do often. It was refreshing because I almost always hoop to dubstep music or some kind of electronic music, so it was a nice change to hoop to some chill folk music. It also made me feel like I was truly embodying my art in the music video, because music is my art form, but hooping and flowing is also my art form. So it was as if I was giving/releasing myself to my music.
Philo What’s coming on the horizon for you and Cosmic Village?
Uche Well, my loop pedal is set to arrive tomorrow. So next year during my sets there will be a lot of beat-box looping and vocal looping. Also, we are currently booking for 2015 festival season and we already have some pretty hefty festivals lined up that we cannot start announcing until the festivals announce their lineups first. But more importantly, Twinkle is the first track off of a 4 song EP that I am releasing in March 2015.
Philo: I saw that you can preorder it and that the proceeds are going to a greenhouse?
Uche: Yes! We are using the EP to fund a geo-dome greenhouse for an urban garden/spiritual center in Akron, Ohio. I was inspired by The Polish Ambassadors permaculture action tour. I have a really hard time charging people money for the music I create, so what I decided to do was to use all the EP sales and donate that to a Kickstarter Campaign (launching mid-March 2015) that will fund the greenhouse. All we have to raise is $500 and we can provide Akron with an all-year organic 16ft in diameter greenhouse so they can grow food year-round in the city. I live in Cleveland so I see a lot of the problems that exist in cities. But Cosmic Village doesn’t believe in running away from our problems. We want to help build new city models that will make the current ones obsolete. So we want to see a greener future and plan on doing a lot more green work throughout the rest of our career and lives.
You can find out more about Cosmic Village on their website, follow them on Facebook, and pre-order a copy of the Twinkle EP on Bandcamp. Cosmic Village seeks to utilize sound, visual artistry and performance arts to bring about positive social change. Through peaceful activism such as environmental initiatives, self-love, artistic collaboration, and giving back to the global community in holistic and sustainable ways.
Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.
While hoopers were keeping busy spinning things up to the hits of Iggy Azalea this summer, it turns out that the year’s hottest music superstar has been doing a little hooping of her own. Azalea, an Australian recording artist and model from Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia, who came to the United States at the age of 16 in pursuit of a career in hip hop, found her dreams coming true this year. Having become the face of Levi’s Jeans and the first female and the first non-American rapper to be featured on XXL’s annual Top 10 Freshmen cover issue, this year she knocked it right out of the park with her debut studio album, “The New Classic”. And fresh out of the gate she tied an industry record held by The Beatles as the first act since to have her debut Hot 100 hits (“Fancy” and “Problem”) reach Nos. 1 and 2 on the chart simultaneously. Her response to the news proved she’s still something of a rebel about it all too. “It doesn’t mean anything,” she told Billboard, adding, “I’d rather be The Rolling Stones.”
With her modeling ways and her major music industry buzz this year, it’s no wonder Billboard Magazine took time out to do a story on her, complete with a major photo session. Taking a look at the photos from that shoot we were pleasantly surprised to see Iggy hula hooping it up like she’s been doing it for years. Wearing a Keva J< ?a> top and Franziska Fox skirt, as well as Jennifer Fisher cuffs and rings, hooping looked pretty fantastic.
Azalea appears to be unstoppable scoring Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, along with three other categories including Record of the Year, Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Fancy,” and Rap Album of the year. She claimed the #1 YouTube spot in Australia for the highest number of views of any song clip this year as well. There’s buzz right now about a collaboration with Britney Spears as well, but whatever is coming for Azalea, her future certainly looks fancy indeed.
Every holiday season, in our search for all things hooping on the world wide web to share with our wonderful readers, we begin running into one particular song, over and over, everywhere we go. In fact, we hear it so many times every year that when someone asked about it, we were surprised when we realized we really didn’t know that much – and we proceeded to find out.
What people tend to call The Chipmunks Hula Hoop Song is actually called “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” and it was written by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., better known under his performing alias on the track David Seville. Rostom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian was born in 1919 in Fresno, California, and his first hit record was a song he co-wrote with William Saroyan called “Come on-a My House”, recorded by Rosemary Clooney in 1951. It hit #1 on the Billboard charts where it remained for eight weeks. From there he had a minor role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, and later, in 1956, he recorded a novelty record as “Alfi and Harry” called “The Trouble with Harry”, the same title as Alfred Hitchcock’s comedy-thriller that year.
Times grew grew tough following that and as legend would have it, Bagdasarian claims when his father was down to his last $200, that’s when he spent $190 on a V-M tape recorder that would allowed him to vary the speed of the tape. Ross started making recordings under the name David Seville and scored a number-one hit in the summer of 1958 with “Witch Doctor”, his first experiment with speeding up an audio track to get a distinctive, squeaky, high-pitched voice. “The Bird on My Head” came next which barely made the Top 40, but in 1958, when the Christmas season was upon them, Bagdasarian recorded a track that would truly live forever.
Further experimenting with tape speed to create a high-pitched chipmunk voice, he used it to record “The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” even though the credit on the record goes to a fictitious singing group called The Chipmunks with Alvin, Simon and Theodore – or in some cases Alvin & The Chipmunks. Bagdasarian named his three Chipmunk characters after record executives Simon Waronker, Ted Keep (Theodore), and Alvin Bennett. The song was released in 1958 and it actually won three Grammy Awards that year including Best Comedy Performance, Best Children’s Recording and Best Engineered Record. The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart and became the only Christmas record ever to do so, selling 4.5 million copies in just seven weeks.
While most records come and go, especially when it comes to the Billboard charts, The Chipmunk Song is one that has seemed to have a new lease on life every holiday season. In fact, the single returned and re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart annually for five more years in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963.
Sometimes amazing projects involve a lot of talented people, like this one for example. In this collaborative piece with musician Brynjolfur, cinematographer Andrew Reid, project mapper Tatsuru Arai and fashion designers Tres Bonjour and Metal Moon join forces with Beka Hoop, otherwise known as Rebecca Halls, who spins up the hula hoops in this artistically intriguing and somewhat psychedelic experience. Beka lives in Berlin, Germany, and the soundtrack featured here is called “Chain Glass” by Brynjolfur, and it is available for you to download a copy of for yourself over on iTunes.