Melina Bear, otherwise known as Melina Lee Tyler, impresses us again with her hooping skills, and this time she does it hooping blindfolded. It’s pretty mind boggling how she can execute those breaks and paddles and infinity tosses so smoothly and at such a lightning quick speed without even being able to see her hands. Melina lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, and the soundtrack that she’s hooping to is “Still Into You” by Paramore. Snag your very own copy of it for yourself over on iTunes.
Amanda Mangiapane was tired of the short clip times available to her on Instagram, so she decided to produce her first full-length hooping video to document her flow. Enjoying the sun and rocking out with her hoop in the woods, she’s making a hooping.org debut in a fabulously coordinated outfit. Amanda is currently living in Dunedin, Florida, USA, and the soundtrack accompanying this video is called “Bloom” by Odesza, which can be added to your music collection quite easily over on iTunes.
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.
Dani Michelle takes her hoops out for a spin after dark and makes her site debut with her first video. Spinning twin hoops and multiples, often in the most delicious slow motion, her grace and flow are equally matched by spectacular videography in some truly stunning locations. Video by Justin Aradi and Ixchel Fernandez-Aradi of Parfait Productions. Dani lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the soundtrack for this is “Butterfly” featuring Mimi Page by Bassnectar and you can score a copy of it for your own collection quite easily on iTunes.