If you’ve been waiting for your daily dose of cuteness, prepare for an overload. Sara LeDuc aka. Sara Hoop Dancer makes her Hooping.org debut taking the stage at the Viva Sarasota International Festival in Sarasota. Showing off some impressive hoop dance skill coupled with an adorable routine, it’s hard to believe she’s only 9 years old (she did start hooping at the age of 3 though)! She lives in Sarasota, Florida, USA, and the soundtrack here is, of course, “Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)” by Mark Ronson and it’s available on iTunes.
Claire Opal puts a smile on everyone’s face with her impromptu hoop dancing in the middle of Universal Studio’s City Walk in Orlando, Florida – and she is only eight-years-old! A crowd of onlookers cheer for her and even give her money for her impromptu performance. Allison Opal says the $23 she made was donated Give Kids the World, a charity which fulfills the wishes of sick kids who want to visit Universal and Disney. Video filmed by Nick Minton. Claire lives in Sarasota, Florida, USA, and her soundtrack is “Crazy for You” by Hedley and if it’s available for you to download on iTunes.
Are you ready to learn some chest rolls? Good, because Audrey “OddTree” Scherer of OddTree Hoop Dance and Hooping Live is here with a brand new tutorial that is going to teach us all about them. And for those of you have this move relatively down already, she’s also taking us into angle rolls and more so you can take your chest rolls on up to the next level and turn up the volume. Yeah! Give it a watch and learn something new. Audrey lives in Sarasota, Florida, USA.
by Bonnie Brown
Last night I had a dream that I was at some kind of dance rehearsal. Myself and this other girl went on stage to rehearse, or try-out for some type of performance. It was her turn first and while I awaited mine with my hoop in hand I did some stretching and chose my music. When she was finished, however, they said, “OK, thank you very much everyone. That’s all for today.” Then they began putting chairs on the stage and stacking them. I protested, “But this isn’t fair! You don’t understand. I’m ready to go!” They just apologized and continued filling the stage with more chairs. That’s when I said, “I don’t care! I need to dance! I am here to do this and I am going to hoop dance for you anyway!” I cranked up my music good and loud and began to hoop.
No one paid any attention. It was difficult to hoop as the crowds of people walked through the stage area too, some carrying chairs, others not, but then I noticed someone in the distance. A well known figure in the hooping community had entered the building and began to cheer me on. We smiled at one another and I knew that regardless of whether anybody cared I was meant to do this. I kept on dancing, despite the restrictions in my space, despite the opposition of those in charge. I danced because I had to. It was difficult, at times frustrating and I there were times I didn’t feel very graceful, but I did it anyway and it felt really good.
That’s when I woke up and I realized I had been dreaming. I laughed to myself as I tried to go back to sleep, to return to the dream to exercise the divine power that only a person who knows they’re dreaming can employ. And I found myself back there. I tried clearing away the chairs and getting the people to move out of the way with the powers of my mind, knowing it is a dream now and I could do whatever I wanted. And you know what happened? I never managed to clear the space or quiet the noise at all.
Upon awakening I realized that it’s not always possible to create what we need or want– no matter how much effort we put into it. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are and work around them, or with them – for they are there to challenge us. They are there for us to overcome. They are there for us to recognize, acknowledge and to no longer give them our power.
It may not always feel “right” when we’re doing what we love to do. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. We might encounter those who simply do not get it or care to watch or listen. There are those who may not even treat us fairly. The general belief that gets tossed around that if we’re doing what is right it will all work out smoothly. The universe will roll out the red carpet and welcome us to our destiny. In reality, while we may have those moments, we’re bound to be given the lessons we need to allow us to grow along the way. Doing what feeds our souls may not always feel nurturing all the time. In fact there may even be moments we’re not having fun at all, but there’s a lesson to be learned there so we keep at it. Those are the moments, those are the gems that will make all the hard work worthwhile. And if we look in the distance we will see our friends, our loved ones, those who support us in our community online or off, people we may not even actually know, applauding loudly and cheering us on.
And I’m smiling and rooting for you. I’m so inspired by what you are doing. You’re amazing. You’re on your way. Thank you for following your bliss and staying on your journey. Your doing so is what gives us all the permission to do the same.
Bonnie Brown of Outward Spiral started hooping in 2007 and has been in the spin ever since. Bonnie believes that dance can be a tool to self discovery, personal evolution and connecting to a larger supportive community of people. She lives in Sarasota, Florida, USA.
Think back to the moment you started hooping. The joy it brought you, the new found confidence, and perhaps it even liberated you enough to feel comfortable dancing. It’s “the joyful movement…movement”, as Theresa Rose of TheresaRose.com describes it during her TEDxTalk. Theresa has lost over 55 pounds since she started hooping and is a self described ex-couch potato that fortunately got a huge circular intervention right before she started growing spuds. Did we mention that she hooped during the entire TEDxSarasota’s inaugural conference? Go Theresa, and thank you for being such an inspiration! On a serious note, inactivity can now be attributed to more deaths than smoking, so go get your hoop and share this and hooping with your friends. Theresa Rose is a master inspirational performer who electrifies audiences from head to toe and her mission is to help women move back into a state of balance and joy. Her partner on that mission is her beloved hoop and you can find her at HoopWoman. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Soundtrack: “Last Dance” by Donna Summer (available on iTunes).
You’ve heard me tell you how incredible this movie is — well, be sure to visit Whole Foods Market tomorrow morning, say around 10-ish, to see some amazing hooping demonstrations. For now…
And here is an interview with the incredible Amy Goldstein, the film’s director!
INSIDER: How did you first become aware of — and involved in — the exciting resurgence (and life-changing transformation) of hooping?
AMY: Much of my work touches on outsider communities and what brings people together. For instance, I toured extensively with R. Kelly for a screenplay set in the hip-hop community. My previous film East of A was set over a decade, one day a year, about an alternative family who risks it all adopting a baby with HIV.
Six years ago, around Venice, Calif., where I live I began meeting a lot of people who identified as “hoopers” and who hula-hooped. Their community was very welcoming with participatory hoop jams all over the city, at music and art festivals like Burning Man. Everything about the hoopers made me want to join them. I wanted to celebrate their openness and playfulness in a film with the same tone and energy as the movement they were spearheading.
INSIDER: Is hula-hooping a way to keep fit?
AMY: No question about it, hooping keeps you fit. It works your whole body, from the inside out! A mellow 10 minutes of hooping and you will burn 100 calories in an hour, the equivalent of two burgers. Shaq O’Neal, featured in The Hooping Life, uses it as a conditioning tool and Michelle Obama hooped at the White house recently to encourage healthy lifestyles. It’s a very accessible, inexpensive way to exercise, and it’s damn fun!
All you need is a hula-hoop, which you can make yourself out of irrigation tubing and colorful tape. There are videos online on how to learn, how to make a hoop, etc. We encourage Sarasotans to come try the hoop at the hoop jams one hour before each of our screenings. Hoops and how-tos will be provided by the local hoop troupe The Hoola Monsters.
INSIDER: Is there a spiritual side to hooping?
AMY: Definitely. Baxter, a young man from North Carolina featured in The Hooping Life is a great example of how hooping can be an alternative spiritual practice. Baxter suffered from depression for many years. In the film, we see him reconnecting with his inner rhythm and the world as he moves the hoop around his body. Baxter has just completed a 10-city tour teaching The Hoop Path, a spiritual practice he created out of his own experience that gets your body and your mind in shape.
INSIDER: How large is the hooping community?
AMY: Well, it is hard to quantify, the census bureau is still counting “hoopers” this year!
What I can say is that there are more than 1.6 million results on Google for hula-hooping… There is a hoop class, a hoop performer, a hoop-maker in practically every town in America. More than 1 million hoops have been made by hand to date.
INSIDER: What are good examples of positive lifestyle changes as a result of hooping?
AMY: One of the main characteristics of the hooping community is that they are very… community-oriented! In the film, Tisha brings hula-hooping to at risk youth in South Central, Los Angeles, to keep them from the gangs. A lot of hoopers organize weekly free hoop jams at farmer’s markets, fairs, everywhere across America. They build community wherever they are. There are many incentives, locally and globally. Hooping for hope in Nashville raises funds for breast cancer survivors by organizing an annual half hoop marathon. That’s right, you are actually hoop jogging throughout the marathon! There’s also World Hoop Day where hoopers congregate once a year in towns from Stockholm to Tokyo and hoop together, give hoops away to their communities and donate thousands of hand-made hoops to children living in poverty.
INSIDER: What challenges did you face when creating your stunningly shot and totally thrilling documentary?
AMY: This is very generous of you! Some challenges were time and money. I had to keep writing for a living, which prevented me from working on the film full-time. But last year I was awarded an HBO-DGA Directing Fellowship that bought me some time. As we were not in a position to follow our protagonists around with cameras all of the time, but wanted the intimacy, spontaneity and spectacle of their daily hooping lives, I had to find easy-to-use equipment, and train the hoopers to make use of video recording equipment themselves. They were very much my partners in the film… The video camera became a confidant that allowed their stories to be recorded in the most intimate, uninhibited manner. Sass documented her return to South Africa to the house where she was raped and hula-hooped her life back. Anah and Christabel took theirs on their world hoop tour.
INSIDER: What were some of your favorite moments from the shoot?
AMY: Hooping moments! I would drop the camera to hoop when something would not work and make me feel frustrated. It’s really a great outlet!
INSIDER: How has creating this brilliant film changed your life?
AMY: The hoopers in The Hooping Life have taught me by example to dream with perseverance.
INSIDER: What’s next for you?
AMY: Well, making a film nowadays is only about 20 percent of the challenge. We must find the most dynamic way to release The Hooping Life. And as hooping is great summer fun, and we want the hooping community and non-hoopers who are discovering us to actively take part in the release (with jams outside theaters like the ones organized by the Hoola Monsters in Sarasota) we are working with a creative team of social media specialists and theatrical gurus to have the film in a theater near you!
I do have a few other projects in the works. I have started documenting a very specific side of the illegal immigration issue and am currently working with a collective of young talented Cuban artists on another documentary.
THE INSIDER—wanted by motion picture executives for revealing industry secrets to a public with the Right to Know, “The Insider” has spent over 15 years working behind the scenes in almost every aspect of “The Biz” developing a secret network of contacts, spies, moles, and highly trained counter-intelligence operatives and movie ninjas whose only goal is to inform and entertain you—and help you make this the best year of the Sarasota Film Festival ever!