Tag Archive for Groovinmegzz

LED Hooping With GroovinMegzz

groovinmegzz GroovinMegzz, otherwise known as Megan Abernathy, gets down during her performance at Cloud City Circus. This footage is incredibly captivating thanks to the entrancement created by her one of a kind hoop dance style. She mesmerizes us with tons of off and on body technique, pizza tosses, rolls and more. She lives in Portland, Oregon, USA, and the soundtrack for this is “By Your Side” by Zeds Dead and you can get a copy of it for your own collection on iTunes.

Hoopcamp 2014 Presenters Showcase

hoopcampshowcase copy by Philo Hagen

On Wednesday, September 24th, the opening night of Hoopcamp 2014, I had the distinguished honor to be Master of Ceremonies once again for the Hoopcamp Presenters Performance Showcase. Held at Pema Osel Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center nestled high in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, many of the 2014 instructors took to the stage. A whirlwind of amazing performances awaited us and for first time Hoopcamp attendees, as well as those of you at home who may be unfamiliar with some of these talented luminaries, the showcase was a great way to get to know Hoopcamp’s instructors this year right away. And thanks to Ben Pierson and Peri Pierson of Hoopcamp Films and the Idea Film Factory, now everybody can enjoy it.

There were a few technical difficulties with sound, but like all good hoopers we simply rolled with it that night – and got a new sound person for the Performance Showcase featuring Hoopcamp attendees that took place on Friday night. So whether you’re here to relive the magic, or take it all in for the very first time, this is the Hoopcamp 2014 Presenters Showcase just as it happened, and I’m just as honored to share it with you online, as I was to do so live that very night.

Luna Breeze of Luna Breeze Performance Art from Portland, Oregon, USA.

Aya Iwasaki of Aya Papaya from Los Angeles, California, USA.

Caterina Suttin of Incadescent Coils from Austin, Texas, USA.

Bex Burton of Sense of Motion from Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Jill Schofield from Portland, Oregon, USA.

Shellie White Light of The Healthy Hooper from Hakalau, Hawaii, USA.

GroovinMeGzz of The Hooping Body from Portland, Oregon, USA.

Caitlin “Isopuppy” Hofer of Santa Cruz, California, USA.

Matt Porretta from Glassboro, New Jersey, USA.

Tiana Zoumer of Zoumerus.com from Oakland, California, USA.

Kandice Korves-Kaus of Holistic Hooping from Sebastapol, California, USA.

Caroleeena of Caroleeena’s Circles of Joy from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Shakti Sunfire from Santa Monica, California, USA.

Jenna Nordgren from Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach of Hoop Revolution from Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Hoop Hooligans with Jeff and Rewi from New Zealand.

I’d like to personally thank Hoopcamp organizers Heather Troy and Nessia Starr for inviting me to ring lead the show again this year, and I hope you all enjoyed the Hoopcamp 2014 Presenters Performance Showcase as much as I enjoyed being a part of what truly spun up to be an amazing evening.

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Philo Hagen Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Hoopcamp 2014: The Big Event

hoopcamp by Philo Hagen

If you’ve never been to Hoopcamp, then you’ve never attended the largest annual gathering specifically for hoopers on the planet. Every year we make a pilgrimage from all over the world to spend five days together spinning it up in the California redwoods, sharing knowledge and hoop love with one another along the way. Driving up the long and winding road, climbing higher and higher into the Santa Cruz Mountains, I grew increasingly excited about Hoopcamp the closer that I got to Pema Osel Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center and Hoopcamp’s home for the past five years. Making the left turn and arriving at the top of the drive, a sign welcomed me to Hoopcamp 2014. I made it and I couldn’t have been happier after missing it last year due to health concerns. Having attended six out of the seven events though, I knew it would be a great week, I knew there would probably be some unforeseen surprises, and I knew right where I wanted to pitch my tent. Organizers Heather Troy and Nessia Starr were there putting the finishing touches on everything as green, blue and red lights soared high into the trees above us, aglow in the dark especially for our time there together. Heading to my campsite a deer paused on the trail and welcomed me. You could feel the magic that was to come lingering in the air before it even began.

WEDNESDAY: SEPTEMBER 24th

Hoopers came in droves from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, the UK, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, even Thailand, each and every one of them with a bundle of circles made of plastic draped over one shoulder. Once registered they each climbed the hill and found a place to call their own for the duration, and soon we were called to gather at the Temple Stage for an opening circle with Kandice Korves-Kaus of Holistic Hooping. The energy and intention set also set the course for another kickass Hoopcamp opening workshop by Jonathan Livingston Baxter of the HoopPath. As we spun it up together, we began to let it all go, finding ourselves in our circles surrounded by beautiful souls in a gorgeous setting.

Hoopcamp 2014 Begins. Photo by Beth Lavinder.

Hoopcamp 2014 Begins. Photo by Beth Lavinder.

From there we climbed the hills to the dining hall for dinner and delicious fellowship. The camp was abuzz with excitement and conversation. After dinner there were those who chose to partake of a workshop on Body, Breath Work and Beyond taught by Jocelyn Gordon of Hoop Yogini, while others of us preferred to revel in a little after dinner relaxation. I personally was busy getting the opening night Presenters Performance Showcase together. Honored to be the MC again this year, it was super exciting to see the instructors for this year taking to the stage and showing us what they were all about. A whirlwind of amazing talent indeed, with videos coming to hooping.org in the future. Even if our more newbie attendees weren’t familiar with some of the hoop stars that night, they certainly had an idea of whose classes they wouldn’t want to miss by the time it was over.

Bex Burton Performs, Photo by Jodi Jodette.

Bex Burton Performs, Photo by Jodi Jodette.

And following the big show there was, of course, more hooping. And cocktails for those who partake of such libations. And reconnecting with old friends. And connecting with new real life friends previously only witnessed online. They were real, and we could reach out and touch them. And time flew by. About 2am I made my way down the hill to my tent and once safely inside it, the rain began to fall. Listening to the pitter patter of raindrops upon the roof throughout the night, it was easy to tell when it began to pour later on. With my laptop and phone safely snuggled up beside me in my sleeping bag, I was able to hold out for a few hours. The waters inside my temporary home were rising and I was eventually forced to abandon ship. While the majority would weather their way through the storm brilliantly, I was one of several that sank. Most everything I owned ended up soaking wet. “Well, this must be the unforeseen surprise of 2014,” I said to myself. I put my laptop under my shirt and ran for shelter.

THURSDAY: SEPTEMBER 25th

It had previously only rained once at Hoopcamp, several years earlier. It happened near the very end of the event, just as we were packing up, and it was a light and warm rain that we all delighted to hoop and dance in. This year, however, the rain continued through the morning. Weather reports, however, called for a 20% chance of scattered showers, and with a three year drought most of us never really saw it coming. Was it the hoop dancing that called the much needed clouds to the mountain? Between the forecast and the downpour, me and several of my close hoop friends seriously began to wonder. Beth Lavinder and Bukki Sittler and Danielle Odette headed off to try to teach classes and find spaces under cover. As for myself, having been up all night, I managed to last through lunch and before finding a dry place to nap for most of the afternoon. Occasionally I caught ear shot of Caroleeena or Nicole Wong teaching a class, but the highlight of my afternoon was some much needed sleep.

I awoke later to the sounds of DJ Eartha Harris and her music soothed my soul and called me to life. I’m glad that it did too, or I might have missed something truly incredible – The Great Unicorn Hula Hoop Twerk Race. Hosted by Hoopalicious of GroovinMeGzz, Katie Holt McClain and Tiana Zoumer in the finals, but it was the only male unicorn, Van Maffei, who spun away with it all.

BeastWares.com Supermodels Phoenix McNamara, Samuel J. Granillo, and Amanda Shumack.

BeastWares.com super models Phoenix McNamara, Samuel J. Granillo, and Amanda Shumack. Photo by Philo Hagen.

Thursday evening there were hors d’oeuvres by Chef Mazi, another delicious Pema Osel Ling dinner and dessert (some amazingly delicious berry cobbler), and a fashion show where all of the amazing vendors from Hoopcamp strutted their stuff on the catwalk. Yes, another great reason to go to Hoopcamp is for the shopping.

Our night time featured a great big community trick share with everybody swapping notes on their moves, more cocktails, more conversation and more hooping galore. Sleeping bags made their way to the dryer, a few other hoops who needed to be relocated found new homes, and as we went to sleep on Thursday I think we all had the feeling everything was gonna be all right.

FRIDAY: SEPTEMBER 26th

Mornings at Hoopcamp begin with a yoga class at 7:00 am, followed by breakfast. There are hoopers that tend to be morning larks, who are naturally up at that hour and ready to stretch and greet the dawn. I’m personally of the be the last one to bed so I don’t miss anything night owl variety, and while I can’t really tell you about the mornings on campus, I can tell you that there is action from dawn to dusk. There were class offerings from Baxter and Luna Breeze on Friday morning, a tasty lunch break, and more classes taught by Mary Gargett, Aya Papaya and Matt Porretta. Earlene taught people how to hoop on stand up paddle boards in the swimming pool. There were aerial classes and cyr wheel classes and acroyoga classes too. Oh, and there was more rain. And thunder. And lightning. The hoop dance weather theory began making even more sense as millions of droplets of water fell from the sky. It didn’t last as long though, and most of us were well prepared the second time around.

Friday night, following a delicious dinner, came one of the true highlights of 2014 for me – the Community Performance Showcase. While many Hoopcamp attendees who are likely to be some of the most badass hoopers in their own local communities, at Hoopcamp everything is different. There are hundreds of hoopers and everyone knows about hooping and loves to spin it up. Performing in front of your peers takes courage and those who were willing to grace the stage this year let me know and all of their names were entered into a lottery. The only person certain to appear in the showcase was Esmeralda Garcia, the winner of Hooping Idol 4. She’d not only won a ticket to Hoopcamp 2014, but also a spot on stage. 13 other names were drawn and as I assembled the order for the show I soon realized several had never performed anywhere before in their life. As each person took to the stage the love fest for each and every one of them and our community grew and grew too. I don’t think there was a single one of us that wasn’t touched by all the love that very night. Stay tuned to hooping.org for performance videos from that night.

Heather Troy takes the stage. Photo by Yeshe Lhadron ZT.

Heather Troy takes the stage. Photo by Yeshe Lhadron ZT.

Our finale was something of a surprise as well, even to the person performing. Heather Troy, the organizer of Hoopcamp, who has been so busy at previous Hoopcamps that she never even got a chance to hoop, had never performed at her very own event either. Having told me about a dream she had once where her and her hoop were on the Hoopcamp stage, she said there were hoopers encircling her on all sides. She told me that a certain song was playing, and little did she know I’d downloaded it just for her. Ensuring she’d find a little time to hoop at Hoopcamp 2014, something she hadn’t yet been able to do, hoopers were invited up onto the stage to encircle the performance area, and as Heather stepped on to the stage and “One Voice” by The Wailin’ Jennys (on iTunes) began to play, she stepped into her hoop and performed for the very first time at Hoopcamp, and I don’t think there was a dry eye left in the house.

SATURDAY: SEPTEMBER 27th

The most beautiful day at Hoopcamp 2014 brought with it many delights and a few surprises. There were classes taught by Hoopalicious, Shakti Sunfire, Bex Burton, Caterina Suttin, The Hoop Hooligans, Tiana Zoumer, Shellie White Light and more. There was even a Samba Hoop Dance class taught by Davaryah Trugman with a live drum line that ended up parading through camp.

Down at the Temple Stage everyone gathered for our final evening hoopjam with live music. We all got together for a group photograph too, and then we made our way back up the hill to a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings – turkey, tofurkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce – it was really something. A fun filled Saturday night was in store for all of us too and it kicked off with the very first Hoopcamp Hoop Tape Off where several hoopers battled it out to see who could tape their hoop the fastest. It was hilarious and congratulations to Danielle Odette, the fastest hoop taper on the planet.

The Renegade Show also took place on Saturday night. Known for silliness, heckling, absurdity and plenty of laughs, before we made our way to the Redwood Stage, we first assembled in front of the dining hall for the very first cyr wheel performances at Hoopcamp. Sam Tribble and Elijah Leone Cherweznik, both of whom have been teaching at Hoopcamp in years past, dazzled all of us even more when they were able to truly show off their talents. Elijah’s performance was actually so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes, so it wasn’t any wonder that the audience demanded more, and more is what we got. Renegade fever took over and Elijah spun up what is probably the world’s first little boylesque strip tease performance ever done in a cyr wheel. It was amazing.

http://youtu.be/B5iyWH-KZpY

As for the Renegade Show itself, Shellie White Light hosted the festivities and we all had a great time. There were redneck hooping boys singing country songs, stand up comedy about hooping that made us all literally laugh out loud, contortion, hhooping while playing the didgeridoo, incredible poetry, burlesque, even musical theater to the soundtrack from Grease. After the show there was an LED hooping class followed by a glow hoop walk through the woods, as well as DJs and dancing and visual art. I think everybody gave it their last night at Hoopcamp their all and I kept hearing from many that in spite of the rain, this had turned out to be the best Hoopcamp ever.

SUNDAY: SEPTEMBER 28th

In case you thought that was enough, there were more classes on Sunday morning taught by Caroleeena, Jenna Nordgren, Jinju Dasalla and Michelle Nayeli. There was lunch. Then we packed up our stuff and came together for a closing circle with Kandice, grounding the energy of our time together so we could take it home with us, while letting it go to share it with the world and the universe. Hoopcamp 2014 was something truly special, a time of hoops giving for the magic of the circle and the wonder of the community that has come to each of us from simply stepping inside of one.

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Philo Hagen Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

GroovinMeGzz and Mona Shpongledhoops Spin It Up

Hula Hooping Mona ShpongledHoops and GroovinMeGzz come together again at last to spin up some slow motion brilliance. It’s great seeing Mona spin things up without her mask and watching MeGzz throw it down in the park. They both live in Portland, Oregon, USA, and the soundtrack for this is the Dimond Saints remix of a cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde and you can download a free copy of it for your own collection on Soundcloud.

The Hooping Life Spins Denver

The Hooping Life in Denver

The Hooping Life in Denver

Sara Janssen of The Happy Hoop shares her Hooping Life experience. She writes, “When I first started hooping, there were whispers that a hooping documentary called The Hooping Life was being made… the first of it’s kind. Two years later, I finally had the pleasure of seeing it in Denver! It was the perfect start for my journey back to hooping after giving birth to little Emma 2 weeks ago.” Hooping.org congratulates Sara on the new baby. What did Sara think of the film? “The actual documentary was very well done with years of research and interviews included. We laughed and hollered, but also saw that hooping has truly CHANGED LIVES forever. From the inner city hoop programs to coming out of depression, we were all reminded of the power of the hoop.” The Hooping Life is screening in Milton Keynes, UK and Houston, Texas, USA this weekend so check it out. As for the Denver screening, there were many live performances at the event as well and Sara captured a few of them on video including GroovinMeGzz of The Hooping Body, Nick Guzzardo and Kit of the NicKitteam, and Danielle Odette of The Spin Summit with Kanyon Walker. Sara says, “Excuse the shaky camera! Emma woke up right at they were starting!” Check them out below: