Tag Archive for Documentary

And Then I Started Hooping: A New Documentary

And Then I Started Hooping by Liz Frederiksen

Picking up the hoop can be life changing. Whether it’s weight loss, finding inner peace and joy, or making new friends, stepping into the circle can have a huge impact on our lives. We often, however, keep these transformational stories to ourselves, sharing them with only a few fellow hoopers or a particular group. Sensing the power of our collective stories, and the impact they could have on a wider audience, Emma Bice of Emma Bice Performance Art, a filmmaker and Loyola University student, set out to share hoopers’ stories in her new documentary, And Then I Started Hooping.

Like many of us, 20-year-old Emma found hooping to be a huge benefit, and, as a result, she feels connected to her documentary subject. “I moved to Chicago away from my family and friends and hadn’t quite found a place I belonged. There was a hula-hoop club on campus that I decided to join and I ended up falling in love with hooping. It’s been my savior here in Chicago,” she said.

Top: Liz. Bottom: Rachael Lust and Emma Bice.

Top: Liz. Bottom: Rachael Lust and Emma Bice.

When Emma, a film and dance major, first came up with the idea for her documentary, she thought she would make a short 10-minute piece, doing interviews in the Chicago area about how hooping helps people. All that changed when she met Baby Jane, a hooper from Tennessee who uses hooping to help her cope with breast cancer. After hearing her incredible story, Emma knew she and co-director, Akash Patel, had to make a feature-length film, and look beyond Chicago for other inspirational hoopers.

Of all the amazing people Emma has encountered on her filmmaking journey, the woman who stands out the most to her is Liz, a hooper who suffers from brain damage. “If hula hooping has improved anyone’s life dramatically, it’s hers. I don’t want to give away all the details, but it’s such an inspiring story and I can’t wait to share it with the world.” She also met some well known hoopers like Rachael Lust. “She is seriously the sweetest girl,” Emma explained, adding, “She shared many of her adventures due to her recent hooping fame, and how hooping has drastically changed her life. Hooping is now her job, and she travels just about every weekend.”

Making the film, which is a completely extracurricular project for Emma, has been a long, but rewarding experience. She and Akash were blessed with a summer of shooting without technical problems, and they had no issue finding hoopers willing to share their stories. However, as with most indie films, budgeting was an issue, but, thanks to the help of the hooping community, they were able to finish filming and are now spending the cold winter months in post production.

And Then I Started Hooping 2Emma would like to finish the film in April and the release date has not been set. “We’re going to send it to some film festivals, and those festivals usually require that you don’t share it with the public until after you’re finished with the festival circuit. As for the release, we plan to sell DVDs, stream it online, and sell the rights for hooping organizations around the world to have premiere parties.” Whenever it rolls out, we’re looking forward to seeing And Then I Started Hooping. In the meantime, you can follow her filmmaking process on the And Then I Started Hooping Facebook page.


lizfrederiksen Contributor Liz Frederiksen was a rhythmic gymnastics performer with Ritmika in the ‘80s/‘90s and participated in the SkyDome (Roger’s Centre) opening ceremonies and Argos football halftime shows in Toronto. After two decades away from rhythmics, she discovered hoop dance and is having fun learning the on-body skills to go with her off-body tricks. She’s a social media consultant and lives in the GTA with her husband, cat and growing collection of hoops! She’s on Twitter and Pinterest.

Hooping is Contagious

Krista DodsworthKrista Dodsworth of Ethereal Hoops is passionate about hooping and passionate about sharing it with others, including her family and the neighborhood. In this documentary short film Krista not only talks about the joy and flow and meditative nature of hooping, but she shows the complex illusions that can come from quiet simple tricks. Warning: hooping is contagious! Even the videographers Jodie Dickinson and Lorraine Douglas of A Big Jack Film state that, “As we researched and created this film we all caught the hooping bug and have found that it can lead to an addiction.” Filmed at Eden Rock Pool and at Krista’s home in Eden, New South Wales, Australia, the soundtracks for this are “Tribalism” by Broke n Phono and “Phantom Sky” by Ilyas Ahmed, both available through the Free Music Archive.

Hooping: The Subculture of Hoopers

Subculture Here’s a really cool sneak peek into the hooping subculture in Richmond, Virginia, USA. This mini documentary-style short from Brittany Bell features hoopers Stacey Firefly, Emily Miller, Russell Harris, and Scarlet Starlet discussing what hooping is, why they love it, how they got started, and what keeps them spinning things up.  Get up close and personal with these hoopers via one-on-one interviews, studio practice time and performances and get a pretty clear picture of what the hooping world is all about.

Electric Hoop with Arik Pipestem

Arik Pipestem In “Electric Hoop”, a documentary short by Ashley Bomberry and Mohsen Nazeri, the unexpectedly unique Erik “Arik” Pipestem describes his process of exploration on story telling through hoop dance. Fusing several traditional Native American pow wow hoop dance styles with acro and hip hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and Latin, Arik is a First Nations performer who is one of a kind. He’s also a dancer and choreographer with many years of experience performing with Cirque Du Soleil, So You Think You Can Dance Canada and more. He’s spun it up in several music videos as well including “Red Winter” by Drezus – which is also the soundtrack for this and it’s available on iTunes. Arik lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Hooping Life Spins Up February

The Hooping Life The Hooping Life, the documentary film about the roots of the modern hoop dance movement, is spinning things up all month long in cities across North America. We told you awhile back about how to bring the film to where you live and throughout the month of February hoopers are doing just that. Is the film playing near you this month?

February 11th: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
February 11th: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
February 16th: Austin, Texas, USA
February 18th: Medford/Boston, Massachusetts, USA
February 23rd: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
February 24th: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
February 29th: Toronto, Canada, USA

Want to bring the movie to you? You can find out how to do that here. The film is currently available for screenings world-wide, having had it’s European premiere earlier this month in Tampere, Finland. Now is the time to get to see this incredible film on the big screen. Don’t miss out.

WakeUp2Life Duo To Document Hoop Dream

wakeup2life WakeUp2Life is a new film project about two girls with one dream: traveling the world for one year using a camera and a hula hoop as their tools to barter for survival. The aim of their mission is simple: to inspire people to dream and by doing so, bring a little more peace to our planet. The pair have only just begun their journey. Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos is an aspiring filmmaker who believes that imagination and belief is the start of everything. Having previously shot a documentary in Kosovo, this time around the story is going to be much more personal. Kelly Diane Rangel is an artist from Los Angeles who chooses to fire hoop around the world, stay with locals and live on little money – a circle that keeps spinning her in the right direction. “My life is an experiment of expression. Some people think I am crazy, some people say they live through me but I am just living my dream. I have proved to myself there are endless possibilities.” Watch the trailer for the film along with two prequel videos below: