by Philo Hagen
As hoopers from across the country and around the world are busy making their way this week to Santa Cruz, California, USA, for Hoopcamp 2014, the largest annual gathering specifically for hoopers on the planet, Here & Now’s Robin Young of National Public Radio took a closer look at what the big event is all about. Now in it’s 7th year, hoopers are once again coming together in California to share, connect, learn, and celebrate the hoop as a transformational movement tool for creative self-expression. Young tells her NPR listeners, “The hoops look like hula hoops, but are a little different,” and she interviews Hoopcamp organizer Heather Troy to get the spin on it and hooping itself.
I asked Heather about her NPR experience. Was there anything that happened before actually going on the radio? “I got up at 5am for the 6am interview – they are in Boston,” she explained. “We had an informational interview the day before where they asked me more questions having to do with Hoopcamp, including more about how I got into hooping personally.” And what does she think of the NPR interview now that it’s hit the airwaves? “The interviewer was very nice,” she explained, “and easy to chat with, although I felt like I needed to speak slowly and clearly and I think I sounded strange on the recording.” I think Heather sounds great and does a great job speaking for our community.
We also learn on the air that Young, as it turns out, also happens to be the ex-sister-in-law of hoop dancer Sass Schultz of Johannesburg, South Africa. Sass even attended Hoopcamp #2, was part of the Good Vibe Hoop Tribe with other early hoop dance pioneers, and is one of the hoopers whose story is featured in the documentary film The Hooping Life. You’ll also hear that Robin was very interested in the Twerking Unicorn Hula Hoop Relay Race hosted by Hoopalicious, and she loved Matt Porretta’s performance video from last year’s Hoopcamp too.
“I was very honored that they contacted me,” Heather said, “and I’m so excited for Hoopcamp this year. It was really the perfect moment to have something unexpected like this spin in. It’s always great to get hooping in the news, but with 5OO wonderful hoopers about to show up here, it really couldn’t have put a bigger smile on my face.” Hoopcamp takes place annually at Pema Osel Ling, a Tibetan spiritual center located in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains of California. Registration for 2014 is closed, but if you’re not going to be in attendance why not make plans to be there next year. It truly is special event for hoopers that is not to be missed.
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.