How do you handle handsy attendees at whatever concert/rave/festival you’re performing at without ‘making a scene’ or disrupting the show? Just to clarify, I think the fact I have to ask this question is bullshit, I should be allowed to scream PISS OFF to guys that grab me at shows, but I know that working in the entertainment industry has it nasty side, and not upsetting the venue owners or the people who hired you during a party is one of them.
This is such an important question! Performing in the club scene has its challenges and there are definitely ways to ensure your safety. I totally get your frustration and you shouldn’t have to endure having your space being violated at all, no matter WHAT! Here are a few tips for you.
[Multiple people recently asked Hoopalicious questions about becoming a hoop entrepreneur. This week she’s combining the key points of their questions in one very special Ask Hoopalicious]
As a full-time hooper and hooping business owner, what is it like when you face obstacles or when things aren’t going as successfully as you’d hoped? What would you say is the most important thing to consider before you set out to create hooping as a career?
– Hoop Entrepreneurs
Dear Hoop Entrepreneurs,
I get asked this question quite a bit actually and first I always like to dispel some myths. I think from the outside it may seem like I just have my business all together and everything is hunky dory. My life is wonderful and I wouldn’t do anything else, but it hasn’t been a walk in the park either and I still have yet to meet the financial goals I’ve set out for myself. Success exists on other levels besides financial though (thank god) and those other less quantifiable ways are much of what keeps me doing this. Watching the community grow to what it is and feeling proud of my part in it helps me not quit when the going gets tough. But, I digress… It’s a complex question. While part of me wants to say “Don’t quit your day job”, the other part of me knows how important it is to follow your heart and do what you love, even if it is risky.
First off, my general advice is if you do have a job that you enjoy and pays your bills, keep it as long as you can, even if you eventually want to make Hooping your full time career. Like any creative service industry job, a Hoop Dance business takes time to build and has a lot of moving parts. There are so many times over the years that I wished I had another job that I enjoyed to take some of the pressure off and make the whole process a little more comfortable. The problem is that hooping is so much fun that you may want to jump ship immediately and take your chances. I advise keeping your bread-winning occupation and developing your hoop skills, network and business on nights and weekends. I urge you to BREATHE and take your time with this!
Any career around Hooping (unless you have millions of dollars to invest) is generally a small business with many ups and downs. As large as the hoop community has grown, and continues to grow, it is still a very small niche market. Hooping is making its way into the mainstream, as an option in alternative fitness, but that is also a niche market, if not a slightly larger one. So here are some things to ask yourself before you embark on a career in Hoop Dance:
What’s the one most valuable feature, attitude, mindset, complimentary practice….that one thing that helps you stay committed to your hoop practice religiously or compliments your hooping bad assery abilities?
Thank U hoop mama of ALL hoop mamas ;o)
Thank you for your great question. I struggled for YEARS to get myself to have what I considered to be a regular practice or to, as you say, “practice religiously”. Discipline has never been my strong suit! I am convinced that the reason I have hooped for so many years consistently is my innate love for movement and community. My best hooping moments and most powerful practice times have always been at a jam, a party or generally in social environments. This is likely because I got my hooping start in the music festival scene, so Hoop Dance has a very festive and social connotation for me. Knowing this about myself has been hugely beneficial because it means that I know the environments in which I shine the most! Then I just need to be sure I get myself out to hoop-able environments or invite people over to hoop often enough to be hooping at least a couple of times a week.
I do have a goal (resulting from being inspired by the Aerialist community) to hoop regularly in a dedicated practice that doesn’t need to be social. It is certainly a shift and there is TONS of resistance! How I am handling this is embarrassingly simple… as it turns out. Ha! I am committing to myself to hoop everyday for at least 30 minutes, and hopefully longer, everyday. When it comes time, and I am feeling all that resistance, I just… DO IT ANYWAY. What always happens next is I get in my hoop (after a good amount of stretching), and after a few minutes of complaining in my head I begin to enjoy myself and all is WONDERFUL! Resistance is nothing other than a thought form we take too seriously (not to be confused with real intuition, but you will know the difference). And through this simplicity I am finding my way (even if it is kicking and screaming) to a disciplined, regular hooping practice. YES!
As for the general bad-assery, I attribute my passion for dance and inherent sensual nature to my ability to rock the hoop. When I hit my groove I am feeling nothing other than my enjoyment of the music and the feel of the hoop on my body. After some time in the “hoop zone” new patterns of movement begin to arise spontaneously because of the space of flow. My mind is in the co-pilot seat instead of the lead.
SO, long answer to a short question, but the short of it is know yourself. Where are your favorite places to hoop and how can you bring more of that into your life? What are your goals for hoop dance? What is your relationship to discipline and the resistance to it? When you hoop are you allowing your passions to rise and REALLY enjoy it or has it become a “task”? I hope this rabbit hole of inquiry will help you create a powerful practice that is just right for YOU.
Need some advice from Hoopalicious? Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach has traveled the world teaching and performing and is highly regarded as the founder of the modern hoop dance movement. In fact, her Hoop Revolution™ curriculum is the foundation for most well-known hoop dance curriculums out there today so if you’ve got a question just ask at email@example.com. 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.
What’s the easiest way to figure out which size hoop is best for your body structure? I have a really broad chest/shoulders, and it seems like no matter what I do, I can’t get my flow going; especially whenever I attempt doing shoulder/chest hooping moves like vertical chest hooping. I’m not sure if I’m just not working my upper body fast enough for the hoop, or if the hoop is simply too small for me (if that’s even possible, because I’ve seen people do some crazy body-moves with small hoops). Currently I’m switching back and forth between 30in. and 32in. hoops (based on the inner-diameter), using both polypro and HDPE. I’ve also been switching back and forth between 5/8 and 3/4 tubing (personally love the lightness of 5/8). My shoulder width is about 18in. I’ve been hooping for about 2 1/2 years now and this has been one of my biggest issues.
This is an excellent question! Unfortunately there is no easy answer as there is more to hooping than just the ratio of body size to your hoop, though that is for sure a factor. First off, you have only been hooping for a couple of years and it can take time for your body to develop the dexterity and flexibility to be able to hoop with ease and flow. It sounds to me like you are just in the process of learning. No harm there! So, to start with, give yourself all the time you need and don’t push past the “fun zone”. That would be the place where you are happily challenged and playing with new things, but just shy of steam coming out of your ears and your face screwing up with frustration. Now that you are in your happy place, you can begin!
On the technical side, the smaller your hoop is the more precise your movements have to be. Because you need an element of bounce in angled shoulders, your movements have to be even more precise to account for the added up and down motion. To make things more enjoyable I would start with a larger hoop to get your horizontal and angled shoulders smooth. No sense in beating your head against a wall!
There is no magic size hoop to have you start with, just keep sizing up till you find the flow in what you are doing and start there. Once it becomes easy with one size hoop you can size down, but no more than an inch at a time (especially when it comes to shoulders)! What you are going for is the ability to stand still (without circling) and have a conversation while shoulder hooping in the horizontal. THEN you will be able to more easily learn angled shoulders, with or without a turn.
For reference, my shoulders are 20 inches across and I use s 35 – 36 inch hoop (outside to outside) AND I have been hooping for 15 years! No way would I have been able to do the shoulder movements I do now with this hoop after only hooping 2 ½ years. I am not saying it will take you 15, because people do learn quicker these days, but I am saying don’t be afraid to use a larger hoop until you really get your core hooping flowy and smooth. You will get there, you just may have to accept bouncing around between hoop sizes for a while! Hooping is most joyfully learned with time, a sense of humor and a forgiving hoop. Here is a tutorial I did on shoulder hooping that may be of some help!
Good luck and happy hooping!
Got a question for Hoopalicious? She’s super excited to be hear all about it. Just send your “Ask Hoopalicious” question to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
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.
The start of a new year also brings our brand new advice column and who out there is more qualified to be giving advice about hooping than the woman who is highly regarded as the founder of the modern hoop dance movement herself. Over the past 16 years Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach has traveled the world teaching and performing both live and in commercials for the likes of Cirque du Soleil, Sobe, Nike, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Sting, Justin Timberlake, Fergie, The MTV Video Music Awards, Coke, America’s Got Talent and K-Swiss. Her Hoop Revolution™ curriculum is the foundation for most of the other well-known Hoop Dance curriculums out there. We got to follow her journey in The Hooping Life documentary and she’s also the Hoopie Awards most honored hooper with a staggering total of 10 nominations and 3 wins for Instructor of the Year, Video of the Year, and last year she became our first inductee into the Hooper Hall of Fame. Got a question for Hoopalicious? She’s super excited to be hear all about it. Just send your “Ask Hoopalicious” question to email@example.com today.