Tag Archive for Bonnie MacDougall

10 Great Tips to Transcend a Hooping Plateau

10 Great Tips to Transcend a Hooping Plateau by Bonnie MacDougall

Has your hooping gotten a little stale? I know that there have been countless times that I have reached a hooping plateau and felt like I’ve gotten stuck there. While I gaze longingly at the next glorious path up the proverbial hooping mountain, my feet feel like they are in quicksand, sinking deeper into a rut. My movements in the hoop feel repetitive, in a continuous pattern, and nothing I can do seems to be able to break the feeling of monotony. It’s as if my dance partner and I have become almost too familiar. Yes, there is flow, but it is not spontaneous and born out of love and passion, but rather dull and lifeless, streaming in from a far different place. If we’re not careful our hooping can level off into a dreary and uninspiring chasm of yuck. And whether you call it a plateau, a rut, or simply a stall in your progress, it can feel like you’re not having any fun at all. So what’s a hooper to do? Let me share these ten easy tips that have helped me move through those inevitable impasses and gain greater perspective and freedom in my movement.

1. Hoop! Don’t give up. One of the first things many of us are inclined to do when we’ve hit a plateau is to put the hoop down and walk away. Don’t do it! Pick your hoop up, embrace it, and have confidence that this is just temporary and you will move through it. Then follow some (or all) of these other tips.

2. Remember you are not alone. In my 13 years of hooping I never met a hooper who did not at some point find themselves stuck in a hooping rut. You are not alone! You will get through this! Don’t be afraid to talk about it, and hear the experiences others have had. You may learn something, as well as wind up feeling supported.

3. Change your music. Often something as simple as changing your music to a slightly different, or perhaps dramatically different, genre can effect the way you dance with your hoop in a way you wouldn’t have imagined possible. A change of tune can often produce that opening in your hooping portal you’ve been searching for.

4. Drill, drill and then drill some more.  Work on things you already do well and refine the movement. Spend part of your hoop practice drilling a specific technique over and over and over again, bringing your attention to each part of the process. What are my feet doing, my breath, my hands, shoulders, my head. Be very aware. There is no such thing as perfection, so you can always improve and develop new skills, and drilling is often the time when breakthroughs arrive.

5. Hoop in your non-dominant direction (second current). It is important to stay balanced on both sides of your body, but often hoopers forget to hoop in their second current. Spend a song, or entire hoop session working in your second current. Hoop on your waist, shoulders, legs, or anywhere on your core in second current and see what opens up. Likewise, with off body hooping, switch hands so that you are hooping with your non-dominant hand. This type of focus not only shifts perspective, it balances your body, turns your brain on, and can open a whole new range of skills.

6. Hoop blindfolded. When you are blindfolded there are no distractions from the outside world, allowing the hooper to go deeper into his/her own practice and work on the intricacies of their movements with the hoop. It can also take us into having a more meditative hoop practice. When one sense of the body is removed, other senses become heightened too, allowing us to connect with our hoop in new and exciting ways.

7. Hoop with other people. Maybe you’ve been hooping alone too long. The energy that is created when people get together to hoop is bound to put a smile on your face again. Hooping with others creates an opportunity to also learn new skills and build community.

8. Teach someone else! Whether you are teaching someone else how to waist hoop or a more advanced skill, teaching others is a valuable way to realize how far you have come. Giving back to the community can help you break moves down in simple steps that may improve your own hooping too. Teaching others will often open up your own hooping to new movements and improve your current repertoire and skill set, all the while reminding you that even if you’ve hit a plateau, you’ve certainly come a long way, baby!

9. Take a class. If you live in an area with local classes, sign up for one! This is great way to learn new ways of moving within the hoop that can help you climb up that mountain. Not only will you learn new material, but you will have an instructor there to give you one-on-one help and feedback with your hooping. If classes aren’t possible, delve into our 667 free online tutorials here on Hooping.org. We’ve started breaking them down into beginner, intermediate and advanced as well so teach yourself and add something new to your library of moves.

10. Do something creative outside the hoop. Write, bake, paint, draw, sing, play an instrument, dance without your hoop, and the list goes on! Opening your creative channels in other areas can foster a positive influence on your hooping when you step back into the circle. So whether you hoop then take a break to do another creative exercise, then hoop again, or set the hoop down for a day and create in a whole new way, just remember to keep creating, holding a space for your unique potential. Creativity breeds creativity!

Remember that reaching a plateau in your hoop journey is more or less a rite of passage. There are reasons that we find ourselves in one. How else will we be able to look back and assess how far we’ve come? Maybe the problem isn’t in the present, but somewhere in the past. It is a time to take a closer look at what you have learned on this fantastic road trip in the spin and then rejoice at the possibilities of what is to come. After all, it is all in the perspective of how we chose to look at it. Stay positive, keep spinning, and know that you will have stronger hooping skills once this milestone is crossed. And when you look back at that plateau with your new found perspective, who knows – it might even end up looking more like a gift than a rut.

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Bonnie MacDougall Bonnie MacDougall of HavenHoopDance has been in the spin since 2002. She lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, USA, with her two boys. When she’s not dancing madly with her kids, she sells custom made hoops and teaches local and regional hoop dance classes and workshops.

Hoop Dancing with Bonnie MacDougall

hooping with bonnie macdougall Bonnie MacDougall of Haven Hoop Dance spins up some beautiful hoop dancing at The Flowjo. She says, “I love this place and the energy in it. So grateful to have time to dance before teaching my weekly class.” We’re grateful she not only had time to spin it up, but that she shared it too. Bonnie currently lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, USA, and the song that she’s hooping to here is called “Work Song” by Hozier and you can get a copy of it for your music collection over on iTunes.

Top Ten List for May 25-June 14 2014

toptenlist We haven’t been running at full speed for awhile with Philo out having his surgery, but we’re back in gear today and we’ve got a brand new Top Ten List for you that covers the past three weeks so you won’t want to miss it! It’s time to count down the top ten most buzz worthy posts (as based on reader response) of that time and we’re starting off at number ten and working our way up to number one. Here’s Hooping.org’s Top Ten List for May 25th through June 14th, 2014.

10. We kick things off at number ten with a cool tutorial from Lila: Under The Leg Hand Spin Wedgie with Lila Chupa-Hoops (175 Points).

9. A gorgeous shot of Hannah proved to be quite a hit: Hannah Stanton-Gockel Hooping with Wildflowers (181 Points).

8. A look at the hooping journey of a dolphin made a lot of readers happy: Fiji the Dolphin Learns to Hula Hoop (183 Points).

7. A stunning photo of Michelle at a music festival came in at number seven: Michelle Bell Hooping at Summer Camp (185 Points).

6. Our top rated photo of the past three weeks goes to this shot taken in the world’s largest sand desert: Arabian Desert Hooping with Teeba Alkhudairi (189 Points).

5. A tutorial from Morgan got everyone working on an isolation illusion: Hooping Isolation Combination with Morgan Jenkins (222 Points).

4. Katie’s new hoop that blows bubbles while you spin made everybody happy: Bubble Hooping with Katie Sunshine (223 Points).

3. Bonnie told us all about the importance of going both ways: Hooping and Living in Both Currents (191 Points).

2. Philo’s surgery after a long year of waiting proved to be wonderful news: My Life as an Obamacare Poster Child (350 Points).

1. And at number one we have our top rated video, which also just happened to be her first. Wow! Anna Fisher’s Kickass Hula Hoop Debut (550 Points).

Top 2 Features

1. My Life as an Obamacare Poster Child with Philo Hagen (350 Points).
2. Hooping and Living in Both Currents with Bonnie MacDougall (191 Points).

Top 5 Videos:
1. Anna Fisher’s Kickass Hula Hoop Debut (550 Points).
2. Bubble Hooping with Katie Sunshine (223 Points).
3. Hooping Isolation Combination with Morgan Jenkins (222 Points).
4. Fiji the Dolphin Learns to Hula Hoop (183 Points).
5. Under The Leg Hand Spin Wedgie with Lila Chupa-Hoops (175 Points).

Top 5 Photos:
1. Arabian Desert Hooping with Teeba Alkhudairi (189 Points).
2. Michelle Bell Hooping at Summer Camp (185 Points).
3. Hannah Stanton-Gockel Hooping with Wildflowers (181 Points).
4. Hooping with Amy Rogers in the NYC Dance Parade (161 Points).
5. Abbie Mae Peterson Spins Her Twin Hoops (137 Points).

That’s our Top Ten List and Top 5’s for this week and remember if you see something you appreciate here (or on any of our social networking sites), it only takes a second to “Like” it or leave a comment and share the hoop love, and you get to make someone’s day while you’re at it. YAY! Each like, share, note or comment is worth a point in calculating our weekly Top Ten. And with that, we invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr if you’re not already doing so and we hope you had a very happy hooping weekend everybody!

Hooping and Living in Both Currents

The Joy of Solitary Hoop Dance by Bonnie MacDougall

In our daily lives it’s pretty easy to simply follow the routine we usually maintain, keeping the natural order of things. We go to the same Italian restaurant we already know is pretty good and often order the same thing. We drive home via the same route we usually do, but what if we decided to change directions? Have you ever wondered what the point is of learning to hoop in both directions, or as some say – both currents? Your flow with the hoop in a particular direction came naturally to you when you first picked up a hoop. Learning new tricks in that direction comes quicker, transitions are easier. But what if becoming proficient in your second or non-dominant current could make you a better hooper? Or even a better person for that matter?  What happens if we change the current?

Many of us often gripe about or just don’t feel like hooping in both directions when we spin. Some think it is too hard, unimportant, or doesn’t fit in with their flow. But like learning any new skill, hooping in the opposite direction, especially if you haven’t trained that way from your hoop infancy, can be a challenge.  We often have to hoop faster to keep it spinning, pick it up a lot due to drops, and feel the frustration we did when we initially started our hoop journey all over again. So why would we want to do that again? Because, if our mindset is right, we can go into the learning process with the same joy, anticipation, and wonderment we experienced initially and we can fall in love with hooping all over again.

Hooping in both currents can in fact provide benefits to your body. In order to maintain a healthy balance physically, it is important to work both sides of your body. Take yoga, for example, a practice which, like hooping, incorporates mind, body and spirit. Yoga poses are practiced on both sides of the body to maintain balance and equilibrium within the person as a whole. As Yoga Journal explains, “Usually a student is stiffer on one side than another, and staying for an equal length of time on both sides does not balance the student. Instruct the student to stay a couple of extra breaths on the side on which they are stiffer and their body will slowly move back into balance. Though we may be comfortable in imbalance (which we often perceive as balance), we cannot grow in such a state.” Previous threads on hooping.org have addressed both personal and professional experiences with the benefits of current changes while hooping. As one Structural Integration Practitioner put it, “I would highly encourage you to spin both directions if you care at all about your body alignment. I have seen hoopers that only spin one way with back and hip problems originating from a twist in their spine.”

So maybe your convinced, perhaps begrudgingly, that it is time to work that second current. But how can it help your life? Well, let me tell you a story. It’s several years ago on a Monday evening and a group of us are circled up in our hoops signifying that our class is about to begin. The circle is open for anyone to share something pertinent that may have happened throughout the week. A regular student, particularly known for his wit and humor, begins to speak and I prepare myself for a funny anecdote. This is what I heard, “This has been a difficult week, and this morning I woke up and was in a horrible mood. After thinking about it for awhile I said to myself, ‘Ya know what, I am going to change the current!’ And I did and things have really shifted for me today.”  Up until that point, changing the current was something I only thought about inside the hoop, never in such a broader and profound way. Never really thinking about changing our “current”, our present.

Changing the current in our daily lives amounts to looking at things from a new perspective.  I liken it to placing a stone in a fast moving river.  It diverges the water into two different paths, each moving towards the same place. One path may be full of muck or rockier than the other, while the other perhaps flows clearly with very few hinderances. One stick floats down the clear side, making it to the end point quickly, but didn’t see or experience as much. Another stick in balance floats down this river, crossing over from one side to another numerous times before reaching the end point. Another stick finds itself stuck on the rocks or mud, having difficulty moving down the current.

We are not unlike a floating stick when choosing what current we will be in our daily lives, or our hooping life for that matter. When we are in the rougher water we may need to stay there awhile to learn the lessons needed, but at some point we can get stuck if we do not intentionally change the current and move to the other side. Likewise, if we always take the smooth ride down the river, do we really learn the lessons life has to offer? Moving between the currents offers a chance for both lessons and ease in our journeys. In life, as in hooping, changing the current provides us with the balance that is essential for a healthier life.

Current changes, both in life and in hooping, are not easy and do not come without loads of practice, but the benefits are immeasurable. I challenge you to pick up your hoop and spin in your non-dominant current for a song, or a hoop practice, or even just a few minutes each day. Build up a practice in your second current until you no can no long delineate between the two. In your daily life, break out of your comfort zone and spend some time listening rather than talking (or vice versa). Smile at the homeless person you pass by everyday and acknowledge they are there. Cross that proverbial river on a day that you are feeling stuck on the rough side and declare, “I am going to change the current!” Moving down the river of life, with time spent in each directional flow whether in your hoop or in your life, will help maintain a sense of balance, aiding you in reaching that place where the two currents converge.

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Bonnie MacDougall Bonnie MacDougall of HavenHoopDance has been in the spin since 2002. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA, with her two boys. When she’s not dancing madly with her kids, she sells custom made hoops and teaches local and regional hoop dance classes and workshops.

Getting Our Children Hula Hooping

kids hooping by Bonnie MacDougall

With Michelle Obama and the Center for Disease Control on a mission to wipe out childhood obesity in America, it is no surprise that hula hooping has come into the limelight as one way to maintain health for our kids. Childhood obesity has, after all, more than tripled in the past 30 years here. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of youth struggling with obesity today already have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Something obviously has to be done.

Whether or not kids want to exercise, most want to play. Hula hooping is a great way for kids to spin up some exercise without really knowing it. And while that may not be a news flash exactly, it has seemed to me, as a mother, that my boys have been gaining a plethora of other benefits and life skills from picking up the hoop as well. I knew how much the hoop had personally shaped and improved my life as an adult, but I was curious to know just how good is hooping for our kids, and what are all the benefits for them? So I decided to talk with several hoop professionals who are teaching hooping to children to find out. You might be surprised to learn that hooping helps children develop far more than just good exercise habits, especially when practiced with some regularity.

[School assemblies with Hoop It Up Worldwide.]

Kelly Breaux of Hoop It Up Worldwide has been hooping with children for the past ten years. What benefits does Kelly see as she works with these kids? She told Hooping.org, “It definitely improves self esteem in the kids because there is always a skill that a child can master. Also, when we go back to the same schools every year, the kids who are hooping are in better shape and have higher self esteem than those who didn’t keep up with it.” Kelly added, “At our company we call hooping a phenomenon because we have an obesity crisis with kids in our country and it is so easy for them to get hooping and have fun. They learn technique and core cardio. This gets kids to work out because they love it! Often to get boys and girls to exercise for an hour is unheard of.”

[Molly and the Holly Monsters get kids hooping.]

Abby Albaum of Hoola Monster Kids based in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been spinning up things for kids too, including the Molly and the Holly Monsters DVD. What does she see as the benefits of getting kids to hoop beyond the more obvious ones surrounding physical fitness? Abby explained, “I notice kids really come out of their shell as a result of my classes. Some were quiet, very introverted, and something great happens as they find themselves in the hoop. They tend to become more participatory in class. I worked with a little girl once who barely said a word. Then, after hooping with me for about 6 months, she signed up to hoop dance in her school talent show. I went to support her, and she rocked it! Her classmates gave her a standing ovation, and she seems like a totally different kid now. She’s confident and can’t wait to show off her hooping skills. Hooping helps kids build self confidence.”

Hula Hooper At Turners Youth Circus in Louisville, Kentucky, Rebecca Hellemans teaches and choreographs hoop dancing routines for the children involved. Rebecca, also the mother of young hooper Sierra Hellemans, has witnessed the prodigious effects hooping has on children at both a personal and a professional level. Rebecca explained other major benefits that are often overlooked as well. “These are children in development stages of life. The youngest I work with is 5-years-old because, unless they have already been involved in movement activities from an early age (like yoga etc), they are just starting to connect the dots on how to move the hoop around the waist. As they progress in learning new skills, they develop their fine and gross motor skills and coordination through hoop dance.” Rebecca also noted that through learning choreography the children are also working on team building and trust. She said, “As the kids are practicing moves for their routine, for example partner weaves, they must learn cooperation and trust in their team members in order to complete the move without injuring each other.”

[Chloe is the daughter of Jennifer Clair.]

Julia Hartsell Crews of Hoopdrum in Carrboro, North Carolina, has been teaching children’s classes and camps for many years. She has experience teaching all levels of children from elementary school through high school students too. Julia admits that while there are no case studies, as such, through her own personal experience of talking to multitudes of parents, they all agree that hooping 
opened their child up in areas of self confidence and self esteem, especially at the middle school ages when a child may be going through an awkward phase. Her experience working with middle schoolers dealing with peer issues has allowed her to use hooping as a way to dive into those issues, address them gently and stop things before feelings get hurt. “Hooping gives us the opportunity to change behavior,” she explained. “We move with respect and I let them tell me how we can do that. I facilitate the answers by asking them questions. What do we need to be aware of in this class? What could get hurt in this class? We also change behavior by reframing language. Going from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I will’ – teaching them to open possibilities in their world.”

[Mridular Shanker knows all about “I will”. In fact, she’s been keeping herself busy breaking world records. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA.]

Julia has seen hooping become a sanctuary for a 9-year-old girl watching her parents go through a divorce, as well as a source of empowerment for an autistic girl who, after hooping with her for two years, developed the confidence to perform in a talent show. The combined years of experience of these four women and the children touched by hooping through their efforts, are evidence to the positive effect the hoop can have in the lives of our kids. Obviously physical fitness in a time when childhood obesity is a considered a crisis is one major draw to hooping, but increased self esteem, body awareness, improvement of fine and gross motor skills, team building, peer relations, better concentration, and a sense of responsibility are just more reasons to get your kid inside the circle. So if you’ve been wondering if hooping is really stimulating your child’s growth… the answer is a resounding YES!

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Bonnie MacDougall Bonnie MacDougall of HavenHoopDance has been in the spin since 2002. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA, with her two boys. When she’s not dancing madly with her kids, she sells custom made hoops and teaches local and regional hoop dance classes and workshops.

Top Ten List for January 5-11 2014

Top Ten List It’s time for our weekly Top Ten List where we count down the top ten most buzz worthy posts of the week (as based on reader response), starting things off at number ten and working our way up to the number one spot of the week. What was hot in the hoopersphere this go around? Here’s Hooping.org’s Top Ten List for January 5 – 11th, 2014.

10. Coming in at number ten was the new GoPro hoop cam video we all knew would go viral thanks to who was in it, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Hula Hoop (217 Points).

9. Our highest rated photo of the week was this shot caught on stage: Jazmin Jade, Molly Mac and Danielle Heady Cat (233 Points).

8. A new tutorial from Caroleeena got everybody putting their foot in it: Foot Hooping with Caroleeena (239 Points).

7. While a new tutorial from Jannae got everybody puttying their booty in it: How to Butt Hoop with Jannae Palovich (279 Points).

6. A new video from Matthais Elliott made everybody happy (285 Points).

5. While Bonnie MacDougall hooping in a blizzard left everyone feeling warm inside: Blizzard Hooping with Bonnie MacDougall (314 Points).

4. Our new Curvy Hoopers Video Challenge launched for greater visibility of hoopers of all sizes: Curvy Hoopers Video Challenge 2014 (453 Points).

3. And the nominations process began for our 2014 Hoopie Awards: Hoopie Awards 2014: The Nominations Process Begins (464 Points).

2. At number two was this totally amazing video from Tiana: Tiana Zoumer: Keep on Breathing (771 Points).

1. And at number one with a bullet was something special that melted all of our hearts: Hooping With Dad with Faith Mahoney (1883 Points).

Top 3 Features

1. Hoopie Awards 2014: The Nominations Process Begins (464 Points).
2. Curvy Hoopers Video Challenge 2014 (453 Points).
3. Jane Ann Arnado Thanks The Hooping Community (128 Points).

Top 5 Videos:

1. Hooping With Dad with Faith Mahoney (1883 Points).
2. Tiana Zoumer: Keep on Breathing (771 Points).
3.Blizzard Hooping with Bonnie MacDougall (314 Points).
4. Matthais Elliott (285 Points).
5. How to Butt Hoop with Jannae Palovich (279 Points).

Top 5 Photos:

1. Jazmin Jade, Molly Mac and Danielle Heady Cat (233 Points).
2. Clair Ching (187 Points).
3. Co-Motion Studio Opens in Memphis (174 Points).
4. Amber Lane (118 Points).
5. Madison McBurney (98 Points).

That’s our Top Ten List and Top 5’s for this week and remember if you see something you appreciate here (or on any of our social networking sites), it only takes a second to “Like” it or leave a comment and share the hoop love, and you get to make someone’s day while you’re at it. YAY! Each like, share, note or comment is worth a point in calculating our weekly Top Ten. And with that, we invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr if you’re not already doing so and we hope you had a very happy hooping weekend everybody!

Blizzard Hooping

Bonnie MacDougallNo need to wait for the storms to pass to get outside and hoop. Bonnie MacDougall, of Haven Hoop Dance didn’t. She just rolled with it, or rather, hooped with it – in between plowing and shoveling and before the second round of snow hit. She knew she “would be stuck inside for a least a couple of days with temps well below zero” so she was grateful for her little romp in the snow, even if she did slip and fall a lot! A blizzard can’t stop Bonnie from hooping, so get out there and make some hooping snow angels! Bonnie lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA, and the sweet track that she’s hooping to is “Half Acre” by Hem and you can grab a copy for yourself on iTunes.

The Power of Muscle Memory

Muscle Memory

by Bonnie MacDougall

With Hooping.org’s 30/30 Hoopy New Year Challenge kicking off today, I thought about the time I took my boys ice skating for the second time in their lives. I, myself, had not skated in over 20 years and was surprised to find how quickly I picked it back up. While my immediate thoughts turned towards hooping (“Wow, wouldn’t it be fun to do today’s 30/30 on ice skates”), I also was surprised at how naturally my body fell back into rhythm with the feel of the ice, skates on my feet, and mixing the two together. Initially, I gave this only a moment of thought as I returned my focus to the task at hand; teaching the boys some basic skating skills.

Have you ever wondered how your body changes from struggling to keep the hoop up, or fighting to learn a new move, to then doing it effortlessly? Yes, practice, practice, practice is essential. But why is it that when we first start hooping we have to hoop with fierce intensity to maintain the hoop’s rhythm, but as time goes on we are able to slow down, almost to where our body appears to barely be moving to keep the rotation afloat? Simply put, it is muscle memory.

Muscle memory is a glorious method of learning where our muscles, simply by repetition, are able to move more fluidly and fluently. Continuous repetition of an action allows our bodies to then perform the action nearly effortlessly. In hooping, by practicing a move or trick frequently, our long term muscle memory takes over and soon we are able to execute the task, often without thinking. Just think of the saying, “You never forget how to ride a bike.” It’s all about muscle memory!

At the skating rink, when I was teaching the boys the basics, and watching them fall repeatedly and then dust themselves off and get back up again with joy, my thoughts, for moments at a time, turned back to hooping again. I love the learning process. I find it absolutely enthralling to watch a student go from fear of picking up the hoop during his/her first class to rocking it in both directions, and perhaps learning a move or two by the time the hour has ended. Surely some people don’t learn as quickly and are maybe only able to hoop for 5 minutes (or 5 revolutions) by the end of the first class, but still progress has been made. Muscle memory is being formed, and this I find oddly fascinating. I relish in the magnificence of what memories our bodies hold, and how our muscles retain memory and help us hoop or learn other new skills.

Thinking about my boys ice skating, I saw that after awhile they were falling less, pushing with their feet more, laughing harder, and their muscle memory was growing and growing. I took notice that not once during this learning process, through all the falls and bumps on the ice, did either one of them EVER say, “Mama, I just can’t do this.” I began to reflect on my own erudition with hooping and how many times, even just in passing, I said “Oh I can’t do that, yet…” What powerful words, “I can’t”. Even just the subtlety of the words “I’ll try” vs. “I’ll do it.” After all, the brain is a muscle too, one to be exercised to gain muscle memory. What kind of muscle memory had I been giving it?

The 30/30 challenge began today and the first thing I told myself was, “Well I can’t commit to this, but I’ll try.” Watching my boys, my teachers, however, I gulped, fully swallowing this knowledge of what I have been doing for so long. I watched them in my mind, bliss exploding from their beings as they continued their journey on the ice, the words “I Can’t” never exiting their lips. I took pause and promised myself to be actively mindful of the silent messages I tell myself during the challenge and the new year, and to take care of what is spoken out loud – little ears are listening. And in that very moment, I started to rework my mental muscle memory, simply by saying, “I will do the 30/30 Challenge. I can do it!”

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Bonnie MacDougall Bonnie MacDougall of HavenHoopDance has been in the spin since 2002. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA, with her two boys. When she’s not dancing madly with her kids, she sells custom made hoops and teaches local and regional hoop dance classes and workshops.

The Power of the Hooping Community

hoops by Bonnie MacDougall

Last week a hooping friend on FaceBook contacted me out of the blue and gifted me a piece of her handcrafted jewelry. She explained this great kindness in a message, “So I decided to GIVE to (you) my hoop community (and being a teacher is Hard work)…..funny how that changes it all up and makes the energy MOVE! Enjoy. I am wishing you happiness and hope to see you sometime in 3D.” Her act of selflessly giving left me contemplating the numerous times I have been assisted by my local tribe or the greater hooping community and the many stories over the years of hoopers helping our own. I began wondering how hooping has individually affected us to create a community where support exists between people whom have often never even met and may even live thousands of miles apart?