Tag Archive for Transformation

And Then I Started Hooping: A New Documentary

And Then I Started Hooping by Liz Frederiksen

Picking up the hoop can be life changing. Whether it’s weight loss, finding inner peace and joy, or making new friends, stepping into the circle can have a huge impact on our lives. We often, however, keep these transformational stories to ourselves, sharing them with only a few fellow hoopers or a particular group. Sensing the power of our collective stories, and the impact they could have on a wider audience, Emma Bice of Emma Bice Performance Art, a filmmaker and Loyola University student, set out to share hoopers’ stories in her new documentary, And Then I Started Hooping.

Like many of us, 20-year-old Emma found hooping to be a huge benefit, and, as a result, she feels connected to her documentary subject. “I moved to Chicago away from my family and friends and hadn’t quite found a place I belonged. There was a hula-hoop club on campus that I decided to join and I ended up falling in love with hooping. It’s been my savior here in Chicago,” she said.

Top: Liz. Bottom: Rachael Lust and Emma Bice.

Top: Liz. Bottom: Rachael Lust and Emma Bice.

When Emma, a film and dance major, first came up with the idea for her documentary, she thought she would make a short 10-minute piece, doing interviews in the Chicago area about how hooping helps people. All that changed when she met Baby Jane, a hooper from Tennessee who uses hooping to help her cope with breast cancer. After hearing her incredible story, Emma knew she and co-director, Akash Patel, had to make a feature-length film, and look beyond Chicago for other inspirational hoopers.

Of all the amazing people Emma has encountered on her filmmaking journey, the woman who stands out the most to her is Liz, a hooper who suffers from brain damage. “If hula hooping has improved anyone’s life dramatically, it’s hers. I don’t want to give away all the details, but it’s such an inspiring story and I can’t wait to share it with the world.” She also met some well known hoopers like Rachael Lust. “She is seriously the sweetest girl,” Emma explained, adding, “She shared many of her adventures due to her recent hooping fame, and how hooping has drastically changed her life. Hooping is now her job, and she travels just about every weekend.”

Making the film, which is a completely extracurricular project for Emma, has been a long, but rewarding experience. She and Akash were blessed with a summer of shooting without technical problems, and they had no issue finding hoopers willing to share their stories. However, as with most indie films, budgeting was an issue, but, thanks to the help of the hooping community, they were able to finish filming and are now spending the cold winter months in post production.

And Then I Started Hooping 2Emma would like to finish the film in April and the release date has not been set. “We’re going to send it to some film festivals, and those festivals usually require that you don’t share it with the public until after you’re finished with the festival circuit. As for the release, we plan to sell DVDs, stream it online, and sell the rights for hooping organizations around the world to have premiere parties.” Whenever it rolls out, we’re looking forward to seeing And Then I Started Hooping. In the meantime, you can follow her filmmaking process on the And Then I Started Hooping Facebook page.


lizfrederiksen Contributor Liz Frederiksen was a rhythmic gymnastics performer with Ritmika in the ‘80s/‘90s and participated in the SkyDome (Roger’s Centre) opening ceremonies and Argos football halftime shows in Toronto. After two decades away from rhythmics, she discovered hoop dance and is having fun learning the on-body skills to go with her off-body tricks. She’s a social media consultant and lives in the GTA with her husband, cat and growing collection of hoops! She’s on Twitter and Pinterest.

Living Hoopily Ever After

Hoop Dance Like Nobody is Watching by Theresa Rose

Last weekend, I had the incredible privilege of attending a weekend hooping workshop led by the gorgeous Ann Humphreys of Line and Circle. Like her mentor Baxter, the golden goddess from the HoopPath tradition holds a safe, trusted container whereby students can learn deeper aspects of hooping, exploring greater realms with our sacred circles while exploring our own inner spaces that are calling out for healing and empowerment. (We also learn mind-blowing techniques that refine and strengthen our hoop skillz, making our flow flow like butta.)

At the beginning of the workshop, we all sat in a circle within our circles to share our love affair with the hoop. As any hooper can affirm, there were lots of passionate exclamations of previously-undiscovered depths of joy, stories of dramatic healing, and diatribes on the profound spiritual transformations that can take place within the hoop (and that was just me talking).

This is not news to me. My Facebook feed is chock full of hoopers of all ages, shapes and sizes extolling the virtues of the hoop. One only need to take a peek at the posts from Hooping.org and local hoop communities like my homies at Hoop Twin Cities to see that the hoop has a powerful effect on those who are blessed to dance with her. (Sorry if I am offending any masculine hoops out there – I always see my hoop as a female. The staff can be male.)

But one comment from a participant in Ann’s workshop stuck with me long after the hugs had ended. She was a relatively new hooper, about a year into her practice and had characterized herself at the outset of being “just” able to waist hoop (JUST?! Hey, it’s a huge deal that
you are doing that! Congrats, sister!). She summarized her relationship to her instrument like this:

“I’m not shy in my hoop.”

I get that. I understand what it’s like to step into that sacred space and finally, finally, FINALLY shed the cloak of insecurity, fear, doubt, shame, and self-hate, replacing it with unbridled joy and kick-ass chest hooping. I understand how spinning can become addictive because it is the only place where one can feel truly beautiful. I understand the freedom that the flow brings.

But I also wish that my hoop brothers and sisters would feel more of those feelings when they are OUTSIDE of the hoop too.

Like it or not, we cannot live our lives solely within the confines of the hoop, or anywhere else that is our safe haven, whether it’s the gym, the office, the yoga mat, the basketball court or the house of worship. At some point, we must stop the action that is brings us infinite pleasure and rejoin the real world of jobs, bills, commutes, and dinner. Blech. The key isn’t to ignore those less-than-hoopy activities, but to find the hoopiness within them.

My advice to the schizophrenic hooper who is blissed out in the hoop but miserable outside of it is this: Just as you learned how to become an amazing hooper by constantly drilling your isolations, breaks and paddles, you can also become an amazingly powerful, joyful, and
successful person by drilling your confidence, belief and gratitude.

When you find yourself afraid to take the next move at work or in a relationship, ask yourself, how would your badass inner-hooper respond? Would she or he shrink at the opportunity or go blazing forward as if all five wicks were lit?

When you find yourself feeling insecure because you aren’t the hottest, skinniest or richest babe in the bunch, ask yourself, what would your badass inner-hooper think? Would she or he tell herself that she should just pack up her gear and go home, or would she decide to highlight the tricks she knows and do it with gusto?

When you find yourself wanting to shrink away from your power, ask yourself, what would your badass inner-hooper do? I don’t know what yours would say, but I have a feeling I know what Ann Humphreys would suggest: she would challenge us to engage the opposite, or the anti-point, in order to fully express ourselves.

The anti-point of our fear is LOVE. If we want to live just as joyfully outside of our hoop as we do on the inside, we need to see fear as our emotional contact point, and the love of ourselves, each other, and the earth as the anti-points of that fear.

To live happily and hoopily ever after, each one of us is invited to acknowledge our fears that pop up moment by moment and activate the anti-point by choosing to show ourselves genuine, authentic love and gratitude for the many gifts we offer the world.

My hope is that my new hooper friend will someday say,

“I’m not shy in my hoop. Or outside of it.”

As hoopers, we know what bliss is. Now it’s time for us to live that bliss whether we are spinning or not.


TheresaRose Theresa Rose of TheresaRose.com is a nationally-acclaimed inspirational performer, award-winning author, and hardcore hoopdancer who is passionate about helping others to live, work and move in joy. Thanks to the hoop, she lost over 50 pounds; more importantly, they didn’t find her again. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Salina Hudak’s Amazing Hooping Transformation

SalinaHoops Salina Hudak, aka Salina Hoops, has been hooping for two years and during that time has made an inspirational transformation. She says, “I tried hooping and gave up because I couldn’t even hoop around my waist. Then I gave it another go. Since then my confidence and self esteem just bloomed. I started losing weight too. Alot of it. I lost a total of 70 lbs in 5 months!” Her hoop love runs deep and someday she would like to open a studio where she can inspire others through hoop dance, the way it has inspired her. We love it!! Salina is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and her soundtrack is “Man on Fire” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, which can be easily purchased and downloaded for your own collection on iTunes.

Jackie Adams Spins Her First Hoopiversary

Jackie Adams Jackie Adams of Jackie Spins Hoops is not only celebrating her first hoopiversary, she’s celebrating a life transformation that she found inside a plastic circle as well. Allow her to amaze you with her flow and progression in this compilation that includes a taste of Jackie’s fire hooping, and some slick moves all entangled in her love for hoop dance. Jackie is from Springfield, Missouri, USA, and the soundtrack to this isn’t one we could identify, so if you know it please share that info with the rest of us below.

Circular Awakenings: Hoop Dance and our Higher Self

Circular Awakenings “Circular Awakenings” by The Independents is a mini-documentary exploring the sacred connection between hoop dance and the ancient tradition of spinners & meditators. Filmed at the Sacred Circularities gathering in Bali, Indonesia, Erick Joseph and others discovered there was much more depth and tradition to our rapidly expanding hooping movement than they imagined. Featuring Jaguar Mary who states, “Spinning supports the universe…everything spins. We’re just bringing this ancient tradition into the 21st century,” we also get to take a closer look at the circular awakenings of Tiana Zoumer, Adam North, Francie Fishman. Their passion for hooping has as much to do hooping, as it does connecting to their higher Self.