Tag Archive for South Africa

The Fiery Pixies at Play in Bali

The Fiery Pixies The Fiery Pixies, otherwise known as Shaheen Van Der Schyff and wife Shouniez Johnson, are pixies at play on the island of Bali, and these pixies like playing with matches. Currently living in Bali and training with the Bali Circus, the South African couple spin up some cool moves, dynamic partner hooping and hot choreography that you won’t want to miss. They’re from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, and their soundtrack for this is “Catgroove” by Parov Stelar and you can grab your own copy of it on iTunes.

Hooping from Laos to Bangkok with Bunny Smith

Bunny hooping Karen “Bunny” Smith recently packed up her hula hoop and traveled to both Laos and Thailand during a holiday vacation where she was able to capture some great footage hooping in front of breathtaking scenery on the Mekong River. Not only did Bunny impress the locals with her repertoire of skills, she also spent lots of time teaching children to hula hoop along the way. She lives in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, and the soundtrack for this is “Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me (LCAW Remix)” by London Grammar, and your own copy of it is available for download on Soundcloud.

Mini Hoop Shapes with Shaheen Van Der Schyff

Mini Hooping Shaheen Van Der Schyff of The Fiery Pixies spins up some very intriguing mini-hooping shapes and patterns here, ones he’s been working on for the past three months. “Its been giving my brain a serious workout too,” Shaheen told us. Filmed in Bali, Indonesia, the end result is beautifully mesmerizing! Shaheen lives in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, and the soundtrack for this is unknown to us, so if you know it please share with the rest of us in the comments below.

World Hoop Day 2014 (Part 1)


by Philo Hagen

World Hoop Day brought hoopers together this weekend in cities and towns all around the world. Celebrated for the second time in it’s new timeslot, the first Saturday of October, hoopers all over this big blue marble were hooping it up in support of world peace and raising funds to help gift more hoops to needy kids around the globe. On six continents this year and in over 125 locations world wide, hoopers gathered together to spin up a wide variety of World Hoop Day celebrations. There were community hoop jams, performance showcases, daytime events, flash mobs, big crowds, rural solo celebrations, fire hoop extravaganzas and a whole lot more. So let’s take a closer look at some of the coolest stuff that happened for World Hoop Day this year.


Cape Town, South Africa: The World Hoop Day Performance Finale by Arise and Hoop featured a choreographed fire performance not to be missed. Circle of Love also gifted many hoops and puts smiles on the faces of many kids.

Johannesburg, South Africa: A celebration for World Hoop Day was held at the Emmarentia Dam.


Kamakura, Japan: Hoopers gathered to spin up the World Hoop Day Dance with WHD Dance for 2014.


Manchester, England, UK: Hoopers gathered at All Saints Park for a World Hoop Day Dance for 2014.

Moscow, Russia: World Hoop Day was celebrated with the World Hoop Day Dance in Moscow as well.

Reykjavik, Iceland: Hoopers spun the World Hoop Day Dance inside what appears to be a local shopping mall.

Zagreb, Croatia: This fun World Hoop Day flash mob was part of the celebration this year in Zagreb.


Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada: A dynamic duo spins up the World Hoop Day Dance.

Chetumal, Mexico: A World Hoop Day event held at The Park Bandshell in Chetumal City included various arts, artists, workshops and performances.

Detroit, Michigan, USA: Grace Alexander was one of the inspiring performances at the WHD event held there year in Wayne.

World Hoop Day Edmonton

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Hoopers gathered to celebrate World Hoop Day. Photo by Cindy Anita.

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA: Anna Mandala shares footage from her local celebration, as well as some solo spin time of her and her friends.

Guadalajara, Mexico: Their big event at Parque Extremo included this amazing choreographed hoop number by Cuatro Diez (Four Tens).

Madison, Wisconsin, USA: One of the performances in Madison this year was this mini hoop piece by Breezi and Kenzi at the Madison Circus Space.

Mexico City, Mexico: Tebo Noseqe was one of the performers this year at the World Hoop Day celebration in Mexico City.

Nine Mile Falls, Washington, USA: Brooke Verwiel celebrated World Hoop Day solo hoop dancing on the Spokane River.

Quintana Roo, Mexico: The second World Hoop Day event held in Quintana Roo had many things going on.


San Diego, California, USA: The Circus Mafia kept right on spinning in 97 degree weather, including a workshop taught by Valentina “Unity” Martin, and many hoops were gifted to kids. Photo by Krystin Nicole Railing.

Washington, DC, USA: Lighting up the fire hoops after dark was part of the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) gathering for World Hoop Day.

There’s undoubtedly a whole lot more to come so keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 of our spotlight on World Hoop Day later this week. Hooping.org is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of World Hoop Day and to be involved in sharing the mission of World Hoop Day annually because we truly believe that in doing so, we are making the world a better place. The more people hoop it up, the happier they are. The happier people are, the happier the world that we live in becomes. World Hoop Day may be over for another year, but you can still donate to this important cause and share the gift of play and joy and exercise with kids around the world by visiting WorldHoopDay.org too. Happy World Hoop Day 2014 everybody and let’s spin up an even bigger celebration next year on October 3, 2015.


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.

Hoop Dancing with Mbali Ngubane

Mbali Ngubane hooping Can you say hoop crush? Mbali Ngubane of Fires Alight is a joy to watch, spinning up so much inspiration on a beautiful day. She explains, “It is the first sunny day we have had in awhile so I decided to make a little video to amp everyone up.” Amp them for what? A workshop she’ll be teaching soon. She lives in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, and the soundtrack for this video is called “Rises in the East” by Kalya Scintilla. You can grab a copy of it for yourself quite easily on iTunes.

A Couple That Hoops Together, Stays Together

Shouniez Johnson Hooping A couple that hoops together, stays together. Just ask Shaheen Van Der Schyff and his wife Shouniez Johnson. They quit their corporate jobs eight months ago to travel, experience life, and hoop it up! Here they are a moth after selling everything they owned and taking to the road. Shaheen says, “We found this lovely little private beach in the Transkei. There was absolutely no one around except us, the dogs and a cow.” Shaheen and Shouniez are from Cape Town, South Africa, and their soundtrack for this adventure is “Set Fire To The Rain” by Adele and you can grab your own copy of it on iTunes.

Fire Hooping with Sandra Dee Mitchell

Sandra Dee Mitchell Sandra Dee Mitchell of HoopFlowLove was last seen on Hooping.org back in the Fall of 2012, but she’s back and things have certainly gotten hotter! Watch her show off some impressive fire hooping skills in this beautifully filmed video. Filmed in Hout Bay, Sandra lives in Cape Town, South Africa and the soundtrack for this is a remix of the song “Rain Geometries” by H.U.V.A NETWORK and you can score a copy of it for your very own quite easily on iTunes.

Hooping the Orange River in Africa

OrangeRiversm by Marlys Hersey

What do you do when you have forgotten your hoop in the mad rush of packing the car at 5 in the morning? Panic? A little….

We left Cape Town, South Africa, and drove nine hours to the Namibian border to start our adventure of paddling down the Orange River for five days. Who needs a hoop when you are going to be paddling and riding rapids? You always need your hoop!

In the middle of the desert an hour before the border, we stopped and found a hardware store and I bought piping, connectors and duct tape. 

Strapping the hoop to the front of my boat was a challenge, but left me with a hoop frame of all the beautiful surroundings. I hooped every evening once it had cooled down from 40 degrees Celsius [104 Fahrenheit]. All the kids hooped and it was well worth the effort. We even duct-taped glow sticks one night to enjoy some nigh hooping with the fireflies.

So wrote Karen “Bunny” Smith of her paddling and hooping journey. While none of us are surprised at her insistence on bringing a hoop, her resolve to make one on the fly and the resulting hoop-enhanced experience of the river trip is a lovely story.

Hooping on the Orange River

A resident of Cape Town, South Africa, Karen Smith and her family got the opportunity to go on this trip thanks to friends who used to be Orange River guides, “before we all had kids,” Karen explained. “This was the first year that all our kids were at an age that they could go down the river.”

It seems her last-minute hoopmaking paid off.

“Every evening when the sun had gone down and it was cool enough, I would hoop for an hour,” she said. “The highlight of hooping on the Orange River was when we duct-taped all the kids’ glow sticks to the hoop, and I hooped at the water’s edge. The little fireflies were attracted to the spinning lights. I had not seen fireflies since I was about fifteen. Everyone had a go at hooping. The girls loved it and I left the hoop with one little girl who really took to it.”

Karen Smith Night Hooping

Karen Smith Night Hooping 2

While clearly worth the effort, Karen cautions that traveling with a hoop on a river raft is not the easiest thing, “especially when you have to try strap it to something,” and especially when traveling with others who may not perceive your hoop as sacredly as you do. “I would definitely recommend a travel hoop or one that you don’t mind getting a bit damaged,” she suggests. Keeping the hoop’s circular shape while it was strapped to the boat “was the hardest part for me,” says Smith. “Especially with my kids jumping in and out of the water; they thought the hoop made the perfect handle to pull themselves back into the boat.”

Forty-four-year-old Karen has been hooping less than a year, but is a devotee. As for many of us, Karen was first inspired to hoop by one profound experience—going to Afrika Burn last May, and being “fascinated with the hoopers, especially Mbali Ngubane; she had such beautiful flow and looked so happy hooping. I left the burn with the big idea that I would learn to hoop so that I could hoop at Afrika Burn 2014.”

Karen and a friend started hooping classes last July, and they were “instantly hooked. We loved how every new move seems so unachievable, and after a couple of hours it would all of a sudden ‘click’ and we would squeal with delight. We were like kids again. I now take my hoop everywhere. I used to sit on the beach doing nothing while my kids surfed or went skating in the park; now I hoop!”

While Karen says she’s “never been big on exercise,” hooping has changed all that. “I now want to keep fit and eat healthy. My core is so much stronger and I feel energized when I hoop. I have lost nine kilograms [about 19 pounds] in the eight months that I have been hooping.”

Living in the city bowl area of Cape Town affords Karen a multitude of spaces to hoop in a wide variety of settings: on beaches, in the mountains, in parks… but there’s nothing quite like hooping on a river rafting trip down the Orange. She’s looking forward to her dream coming full circle next month too. “I have just booked my Afrika Burn 2014 tickets and I am so excited to go and hoop in the desert.” Inspired by a hooper to take up hooping, we imagine her experience will inspire others to take a hoop with them on their river trips, and we look forward to hearing all about it.

[Photos by Mike Wrankmore Photography].


marlys Columnist Marlys Hersey caught the hooping fever in Spring 2013 and promptly surrendered to it. She started a hoop jam in the Chihuahuan Desert where she lives in Alpine, Texas, USA. She works as a massage therapist, and is Editor/Writer/Co-owner of The Big Bend Gazette.