[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn made her first visit to the City of Angels and returned home with hoop dreams. ]
As I sit down to write this, I’ve literally just arrived home from a whirlwind trip filled to the brim with happiness, outstanding people, and bubbling excitement for the future of hooping and this community we’ve been creating together. By car and plane, I traveled from rural Texas over 1500 miles across deserts and mountain ranges to visit Los Angeles, the Hooper’s Holy Land, birthplace of modern hoopdance and many of its living icons. If you’ve ever wondered about your place in hooping, how far it could possibly go, and how you can help, please read this article to the end.
To put it in perspective, keep in mind I’d never visited L.A., never personally met the people behind the beating pulse of the dance that brings us so much joy. And never in my nine years of hooping have I ever allowed myself to dream so big for the possibilities of our dance as I was inspired to do there. On the plane from DFW to LAX, I was reading an article in Rolling Stone by Robbie Robertson of The Band.
“Los Angeles is where people invented the idea of making dreams,” says Robertson.
Where do I begin this story, how can I best relate the magnitude of what I learned on the voyage that for this southern girl can only be described as a “Hooper’s Pilgrimage?” The word “leadership” first comes to mind, and with it of course, “vision.” But I’ll start with what I knew before I headed to the airport on Monday. We are all blessed by our times and our technology to call ourselves a community that is “connected.” We share our videos and hopes, successes and frustrations, encouragement and support across oceans. We come from as many different walks of life as there can be, but come together in literal, physical, and virtual circles to share the “movement” that links us to one another. In our respective communities, we are each of us ambassadors of the real-life magic we experience inside our hoops.
But I don’t think that before this trip I had truly explored the idea of hooping as a collective that in many ways requires and benefits from an overarching vision and an extraordinary kind of leadership. More precisely, I didn’t fully understand that there are people that actively and daily anticipate, work towards, and plan for an explosion of hoopdance on a level that I personally hadn’t allowed myself to even properly imagine.