so for the past couple of days i have been trying my hand at hooping in stillness. caroleena the magnificent posted a challenge and it has been on my mind day and night.....so tonight i finally put up the camera, get it all set, get my music going and start to film.....it is going good......sort of......and then i hear my husband SKIPPING down the hall (he wont admit to this). he's giddy with delight at the new application he has downloaded onto his new ipod touch, which he got for his soon to be birthday.
if you just want to see my husband skip to the very end.
yes, oh yes, that is a light saber....i here by renounce my rights to the biggest kid in the house!!!!
i hope you didnt miss the preview of spiral and richs' hoop technique video a couple of days ago! it was brilliant in epic proportions!!! they only gave us a 24 hour taste of the beauty that is going to be packed into this 2 disk bundle of amazing.....
if you did see the demo.....then i know you are still picking your jaw up off of the floor...
if you didnt get to see it....i am so sorry, and to make you feel a little better, i will link the video of the day in honor of spiral!
i can just picture my 3 year old saying this in her cute little voice....and it is exactly how i feel!
i feel like i could 'splode with gratitude! the past couple of weeks have been so busy, and so wonderful! i have been hooping and making hoops like a crazy woman! then to top it all off some really beautiful ladies gave me the biggest pat on the back ever!
for some reason i just assume that everyone in the world knows my girl Sara. she is the most exquisite woman! she is an encourager of the rarest breed! a few months ago i had the pleasure of having the best conversation with her about venturing out into this new facet of my life. she was soooo helpful, and pretty much gave me the pep talk of the year!!!! thank you so much sara!!! a few months ago she also asked me to do the most wonderful thing ever as far as i am concerned, she asked me to write a guest spot for one of her blogs.....once again if you know sara you know she is the blog QUEEN, so to step in and write for her was such an honor! you can read the blog entry here.
i also have recently made a new friend via social networking who is quite extraordinary. Shannon is the owner of a jewelry shop in jacksonville florida, mom, and sister hooper. she contacted me a few weeks ago about an email newsletter she sends out to her customers. you can see it here......talk about gonna 'splode!!! i am looking forward to getting a piece of shannons beautiful jewelry soon!
i am completely overwhelmed with the support and love that has been coming from all over the place, and grateful for such good friends who are teaching me everyday what it means to pour yourself out for others! may it flow right back around like the hoops on our hips!
hey all hoopers, and future hoopers....(i know you are out there!) i have had the privilege of opening my arms wide open to hoop making. i LOVE it! i love every bit of it from beginning to end! i get giddy every time i get a new shipment of shiny new hoop tape in, and something tells me i always will!
so i wanted to list a few of my old and new creations here for perusing! hoops make great presents, they are inexpensive, classic toys that get kids and adults up and off the couch!!!! the homemade hoops of today aren't your average toy store hula hoops. they are made of denser tubing, hand taped, and no two are alike! A lot of time and love go into each hoop. Not to mention the huge amount of gratitude that i have every time get to make someone their own one of a kind hoop.
if you see one you would like please follow the facebook link to the right and send me a message. if you dont have a facebook account you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. for the holidays my kids hoops start at $15 and vary according to decorative tapes adult hoops start at $25 and vary according to tapes and collapsibility. (all hoops that are shipped will need to be collapsible to keep shipping down).
looking for something with some christmas flair?
or maybe something a little flashy....
you can also incorporate fancy ribbons!!!
or make it glow in the dark!!!
a special something for a special someone....
and all hoops come tagged and decorated with a little something from my craft nook!
i have all sorts of colors and can make your hoop in any size, even custom make one for your experience level.
all hoops come with 2 hoop tape colors, and a grip tape standard. extra hoop tape colors or grip tape are $2.00 a color. sparkle tapes are $5 extra on small hoops, $7.50 on larger hoops. glow in the dark strips are 4 for a $1.00 full glow hoops are $15 extra. to make any hoop collapsible is only $5.00 (this makes for cheaper shipping, and easy storage and travel!) with every hoop comes a card with my personal youtube channel web address, where i regularly post short tutorials to help you with hoop technique and tips for hoop fitness.
thanks to all for the support that has already come from all over the place!
i love to role play in my hoop dance time. the perfect song + a different you= beautiful things. you get to step out for a bit, see things from a new perspective, move differently than you normally would, and focus on something other than your day to day.
today in my short hoop time i was enjoying one of sigur ros' older albums, and i was transported......i became a tribal hunter and the hunted all at the same time.....my hoop, a bow, my hoop, my camouflage. it was what it needed to be during the dance.
if i am not feeling very graceful i can dance like i am a clumsy two left footed lump, and it starts to feel right. why not flow with how you feel? instead of putting the hoop down, just go with it, you never know where you body may take you today.
if there is one thing so far on my hoop journey that has pushed me further, made me go deeper, and taught me more, it is SUPPORT!
if it wasnt for a sweet friend showing me the awesomeness that is hooping, then sending me my first hoop i never would have started on this path. i have needed my family, my husband who is okay with his wife stepping out for an hour or more most nights to crank up the music in the back yard and dance like a wild woman (he says the pleasure is all his :). ) i have needed my friends who show so much encouragement and excitement when i get all geeky about my hoops, and who even have been so courageous as to try new things with me! i have needed the people who got excited with me and come out weekly to dance in the dark! i need the new friends who have trusted me enough to give me the absolute pleasure of making hoops just for them! the thought of being a part of their special hoop time fills me up to the top. i have needed the friends and family who stand behind me when i say i want to teach this beautiful art!
i am finding that the hooping community is chocked full of beautiful people who are pretty much knit together with the love of movement, a simple plastic hoop, and the support of people who understand it. once again, i am overwhelmed with the prospects of what hooping has, and can bring into revolutions in my life, physically and metaphorically.
so please be encouraged, we are here, we understand! go get that hoop on! find that flow! spin to your bliss!
for the past few days i have been eyeball deep in tape, piping, and plastic couplers! i figured out how to make collapsible hoops, and i am completely sold out! i love these things, the way they are put together, the way they fold down, the way people stare at you when they see you bend that thing like it is nothing....it is fun!
i have been blessed with some really awesome friends who are fully supporting my new love for all things hoopilicious!
this new path is so exciting, and lined with so many colorful people.
i wish i knew how to fly airplanes, i am having one of those write THANK YOU in the sky days.
i was just watching over a couple of my favorite hoopers videos, and realized there is one thing that makes their flow seem flawless.....posture.
i used to be an avid yogini, but as of late i have let my yoga practice go by the wayside. i think it is time to pick it back up again, not only for the goodness of it, but i think it will help my hooping by a cadrillion times. (yes, i just made up that number).
for those of you who are hoopers, do you work on your posture specifically for hooping? by what means? how often? has it helped with your flow???? oooo questions questions questions!! hehe
wanted to check in and drop a quick note.....still hoopin', teaching at a weekly hoop session, and just trying to find the time to catch my breath.....hopefully i will be back full force super soon.....till then.
so i am heading to vegas for 5 days at the end of the week, and i am super stoked about the fact that i can still travel with my hoop....last go round i flew to chicago, and didnt have a problem, other than the awkward small spaces in the overhead compartments. ummmmm. but it still fit with a little push and wiggle. the only thing now is finding a place to hoop in vegas while i am there.....i am going to need a place to unwind after a stressful day, and a casino is the last place i wanna be. so where to hoop in the city of lights and "cha-ching"? ill bring back pictures.
today i was having a very hard time wrapping my head around the fact that i may not be able to take my hoop with me on a trip i am going on later this month. even though i have a collapsible hoop, it will still be too much for me to carry on board the plane.....i was so upset by this sudden revelation that i started looking up travel hoops that break down into several pieces....while i could get one of the hoops in time, or maybe purchase a solid hoop there, and leave it (yes i have considered it), i started wondering why i was so eager to get a new hoop in time to take with me on this particular trip. i will only be gone for 4 days, i am sure i can survive without it. while perusing through my blog list tonight i came across this wonderfully written post on hooposophy. it pretty much sums it up.
will i still be looking for travel hoops? you better believe it! but i will keep this in my mind as i may have to put the hoop down for a few days.
have you come to a place where you identify yourself as a "hooper"? do you feel "naked" without a hoop nearby? how long did it take before you felt like hooping was a part of your life fabric?
so i am noticing a progression in my hooping.... i started this hoop journey with a very simple approach to it....waist hooping.....trying hard just to keep it up. but as the months have progressed i have found so many different "styles" of hooping, and each one has its own appeal. it may be hoop dancing at its rawest form, or trying to perfect the ultimate "trick" technique, sustained spinning, or perfecting your flow.
i love this about hooping....it never gets boring. i have life A.D.D! i move from one interest to another like it is my job! but hooping has so many different branches it is easy to flow right into another branch and incorporate it into your own practice.....make it your own style. do something new!
like tonight i was watching some sustained spinning videos, while i am not ready for it quite yet, i am completely mesmerized by it, and know at some point i will want to delve into that deep deep pool. (seriously look it up, that goes way back, like to the whirling dervishes of rumi.)
right now i feel like i am in a place in my practice where i need to be very aware of wether i am hooping for the wow factor or simply because it is an extension of me. i want to move more toward the latter. to move because that is what my body feels, that is what my heart means. i am learning new technique all along the way, but more to give my body the vocabulary it needs to speak a language it is learning.
so my question to you is.....where are you in your journey? are you in the technique junkie faze (this is a fun place to be!!!!) learning all the moves your bruised body can handle, are you settled into your routine, picking up new styles?????? how do you feel about your practice right now, do you see it moving in a new direction soon? what new motions have you spinning your heart out?
today i grabbed my hoop and headed to the backyard for a much needed session. popped in the amazing cd sara made for me, and shook it like a mad woman..... i am trying my hardest right now to teach my body to hoop the other way.....i have no desire for the 3 pack abs. so for a good bit of tonight's practice i hooped to the right. it is very much like starting all over again, but the concepts are a little easier to get this go round. but what made todays hooping spectacular was that at some point around song 6 my skirt fell off.....hehehehe....so there i was in my back yard in my tank top and undies! normally i would be a little self conscious about this, but we have a privacy fence, and my undies look very much like boy shorts, soooooo my clothes stayed off. this was when practice got good! i could pull of maneuvers that i have never been able to land with pants or a skirt on. my leg hooping got about 150% better! i could even do a kick start for the first time without feeling like i was trying to beat myself to death by way of my ankles. i kicked legs out of the hoop, and got them back in again with ease, did switches, and reverses. it was great!!!! once i did put my skirt back on my muscles already had the concepts down, and i could rock it with my skirt on.....i just had to let my skin hold the hoop. it added the grip i needed to let my body work out the movements. i highly recommend taking another layer off during your next hoop session, or rock some short shorts. who knows maybe one day i will suck up my pride and rock some of those furry leg warmers that some hoopers wear....i for the life of me cant figure out what purpose they serve, but who knows maybe they help with all sorts of stuff..... as soon as i get a chance i want to post a picture of my dirty dirty feet, the fruit of a good hoop session in the yard.
so if you have, what changes did you make to your wardrobe that helped you move to the next level of your hoop practice?
thanks to the fabulous hooposophy blog i came across this video, please go check out the post she wrote up about telling stories with our hoops!!! unbelievable! this video made me cry and giggle all in its very short time span....enjoy!
today i hooped blindfolded again for a very short time, and filmed some of it before it started raining. i was really feeling this song while i was in the house earlier, hooping pretty hard to it, and figured i would take it outside......i enjoyed dancing to it, but i wasnt feeling it in the open space. like i had too much room to move with the music....it made me feel off balance and i couldnt figure out where my body wanted to move. but here it is none-the-less. the music is rosyln by bon iver and st. vincent. i am surprised by effect of space on the music and the flow of the dance.....ill have to play around with this some more.....
so i decided like i posted earlier to incorporate the blind fold into my hoop time today. let me just start out by saying that my world has been officially rocked to the core! i had no idea!!!! i cant even begin to describe where you go when you cant see the hoop, only feel it. i became someone else, somewhere else. but was totally present at the same time. the music was playing and i could feel it on my skin, direction was irrelevant. even gravity sort of shifts....you are very aware of your center of balance, that doesnt mean that i stayed balanced by any means though...hehe. i guess from hooping for the past few months my muscles responded to moves from memory and i could spin the hoop and catch it in new ways based on what i was seeing with my imagination. moving felt 100% more fluid. somewhere about 30 minutes into the session i felt an overwhelming surge of emotion, and started crying....seriously crying!!!! it wasnt happy or sad crying, just a welling up that had to be released. i felt free to make really weird noises when i moved into funny positions.....like it was an extension of the expression....it felt good to jump and not know when my feet were going to hit the ground but could still feel the hoop swirling around my shoulders. i am exhausted! this was the most intense hoop experience yet. my body feels like i have been swimming in the ocean all day, you know that red eyed loose muscle feeling. yep, that's it. so anyways....go get your blindfolds and hoop with your imagination. it is unbelievable!
i have a new hoop crush....oh yes, yet another.....this week i am stalking baxter....yes the baxter of hoop path. this guy rocks my world...."dont worry beardy man, you are still the only one for me ; )". actually i am just completely mesmerized by his flow. he hoops blindfolded, and has this technique that is sort of his calling card called paddling. it is actually a fairly easy technique to work into a hoop dance, and looks freakin' awesome!!!! here is a sample of what i am talking about.....
i havent hooped blindfolded yet, but i will probably do that in my hoop time tonight. i have hooped with my eyes closed and it is a very different experience. a very tactile yet inner vibration sort of feeling.
i want to say thanks to sara once again for telling some of the new followers about my blog. so new followers, what is inspiring you right now?????
i am sitting here on my lunch break winding my way through unseen hoop videos looking for inspiration for my next hoop session....i love watching other hoopers get into the flow. it expands what i think is possible with the hoop. the deeper i dive into the hoop world the more opens up like the physics of it....space, planes, points, variables in movement......really a mind blowing experience every day...... so today this video stuck out. i dont know what it is about her flow that i love, but her movements actually make me move along....like i feel what she is getting ready to do, and i literally bend my body where i am sitting to try to match her positions. so here ya go enjoy......
that is right, that is what my hoop dance looked like tonight..... tonight's dance may have been the most fun practice yet! i hooped for about 30 minutes and worked on some new isolations, and got a really cool spin in down pat, then i decided i would get down. literally! i did hoop headstands, and ended up on the ground rolling around like a kitten with a ball of yarn. it was glorious!!!!! i hooped with my feet, and did back bends and rolled in the grass with the hoop balanced on my feet and knees. i kicked it up, and caught it with my feet. i wiggled and wobbled like a gyroscope. i can not even explain the creativity that burst out by hitting the ground! i had some sigur ros playing and i felt like a beautiful acrobat rolling about with limbs spinning in all directions. i am definitely going to allot some time out of every session to ground work, i think it is almost more freeing than standing hoop dance. i cant wait to get back in the hoop tomorrow!
i am getting ready to write a lengthy post with lots of personal junk in it so get ready..... i am going to be sort of honest here....i am sort of good at a mish mosh of stuff. but i have never really chased one thing for a very long time. i guess what i mean to say is i am not REALLY good at any one thing. but there are things in my life that have presented themselves more time and energy worthy than others. like music and art and......dance. i love to move. i love to feel music move though me. i have hang ups with all of these things stemming from insecurities of all sorts. but since this is a blog about hooping, and dance in the middle of a hoop i want to talk about this particular hang up. when i was younger i loved to dance. i think i have always understood music, and to make my body translate that with movement only made sense. i put on grand performances in my bedroom for the audiences in my head. i was a modern dancer, a ballerina, a whirling dervish. then one day while sitting in a movie theater with an older friend of mine and one of her friends, who was an actual dancer, i told her about my deep love of dance. i wish i could say the dancer friend had encouraged me to move and twist, seek out a dance class, anything. but instead all she had to say was that "i was too tall and my hair was too short, i could never find a taller partner, and dance would never be right for me"................ okay i know what most "normal" people would think...."she was just young and ignorant". but that didnt matter to me when i was 10, and it hit me hard. i have had issues with my body since. there is an awkwardness that i feel every time i bend, or try to melt into a song. hell, i feel it when i walk. i am too tall, my hair will always be too short, and i will never find a partner.
but it is time.
time to put the shit behind me. time to be tall, love my style, and love the fact that i have found a partner ( who is 1 inch shorter than me, who loves me a whole freakin' bunch).
tonight i danced hard. i hooped what i felt.i dropped the hoop. i picked it up. i was clumsy. i was tall. i was soft, and hard all at the same time. it is time to let it go. to enjoy the time i have. i danced, and the hoop just happened to be there swirling around me at just the right times.
here is to letting things go, picking things up, and allowing things to be right where they need to be at just the right time.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- tomorrow is the first meeting of the hooptacular extravaganza here at my house! i cant wait to post pictures and stories!!!
this is a blog response to my sweet friend sara's latest blog post. she wanted to know how we store our hoops when we aren't using them. she is a nomadic mama, traveling with her hubby and two beautiful little girls. she is also the sweet friend who sent me my first hoop, and started me on this crazy spiral journey. sara if i havent told you in the past week, thank you so much sistah!!!!
so how do i store my hoops?
since i started hooping a little less than 3 months ago i have made about 14 hoops, some have stayed here some have found new homes with new hoopers. so to accommodate that many hoops i needed a place that could hold the weight, and keep all those big hoops out of the way. i was searching for just the right place for them, when i realized i already had a hoop "holder" hehe. just above my front window in the dining room is a heavy duty plant hanger that has been there for years with no plant on it. so shazam!!!! instant hoop holderererer. here is a pic of what it looks like right now.
i havent had any problems with warping, or bending of the hoops. the only problem i have with this system is that if i want a hoop that is at the back i have to take them all down to get to the smaller ones. i normally take at least 3 hoops out at a time so it isnt a problem, but it can be a test of strength to get 3 hoops down at a time to get the one you want. so sara, there is my hoop storage.
here is a video i took yesterday in the back yard. i didnt feel like i actually got into the song until about half through. it is hard to remind myself to be present with the hoop and just dance. i have a hard time finding things to do with my hands while the hoop is on my body. another note to self......SHUT YOUR MOUTH! i am going to tie my bottom lip to my forehead next time! it is just so hot out right now, like breathing underwater. i actually only hooped for about 45 min. yesterday because i was sweating so hard the hoop was slipping off.
on a funny note, yes those are maternity pants, and yes they do hang down to the backs of my knees, but they are sooooooo freakin' comfortable.
the song is by arcade fire, they are super fun to hoop to.
so i figured i would post the tricks i am working on right now, and hopefully get a chance to come back and post some video footage.....i wanted to post some youtube tutorials on the moves, but cant find the ones i am looking for.....but alas
tonight i wrestled with the double shoulder hoop, and the double behind the back pass....ill get video soon. i am feeling more comfortable with the barrel rolls, and the walk through, going to the left and the right. my single shoulder hoop is cleaning up nicely, but i still cant get that dagblasted behind the back elbow pass!!!!!!! BAH!!!!! tips, please!!!!!
today was a beautifully wonderful day!!!! i got to spend some good genuine quality time with one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world. seriously check her out, she is one of the funniest most sincere women i have ever met! but to top off the fact that we got to hang, she learned to hula hoop today!!!! i love seeing people learn to hoop. it always starts with someone saying, "i've never been able to." or "i could when i was little but...." and then within a few minutes with a little perseverance, and a little bit of practice they are pushing that hoop around and loving it! there is a technique to it that i have yet to master the language for, but the basic idea of it is to put one leg a step in front of the other, then when the hoop hits one of the two pressure points on your hips you counter re-act that point with a slight shove, sending the hoop swirling around. now i have found that there is one factor that can not be taught, no matter how good the teacher, or how devoted the pupil. that factor is the ugly face......oh yes, the ugly face. the contorted face you must have at the beginning of a new task. it is different for different tasks, and changes with difficulty levels, but there is always a face. most times we are not aware of it until someone points it out. it just comes naturally, and once we get more acquainted with what we are doing that face relaxes.
today just as my sweet friend learned her own face, and how to hoop, i learned something else. i am learning new things every day. not just hooping, but also passing through a new place in my life, and with it comes a contorted face, one that might look misshapen or ugly. but i need it, and i should give myself some grace with it. i have no doubt i will get the hang of what is going on. and soon i will be able to relax into it. sure the "hoop" will still slip off of my hips, ill lose control, and it will fly off across the yard. i'll keep at it, holding to what my teacher told me, practice hard, relax my face and get ready for the next lesson.
digging too deep? maybe, but that is how i learn. ugly faces, bruises, and grace.......
i like that.
ps. mad hat lady, you make me smile real big!!!!!!!! thank you.
completely inspired by my sweet friend sara "strong heart" i have decided to make my own little hoop page, to journal my own hoop journey, and maybe inspire others to step out and try something different. a couple of months ago i learned at the ripe ole age of 31 how to push a hoop around my hips. sara got me started on my hoop journey in more ways than one. pretty much every day since i have been spotted in my yard, pumping, swooping, bumping, and hooping, for at least an hour, most days more. i have set a goal to learn at least one trick a week. i try it, get bruises, try it some more, get knocked in the face, try it again, break my sunglasses, try it till that magic moment where.......it happens!!!!! of course then i do the happy dance, and i trip on something, and cant do it again, but at least i get it that once. na, over and over again, i keep at it till it works, then i can put on some music and it just happens without thinking about it. i love that place. the music is playing, no one is watching, the grass is cool, my feet are dirty. that first shove is hard, or smooth depending on the tune, then around it goes. i turn with the hoop as it sends me somewhere else, time slows for a second. then the hoop shimmies its way up my arms to my shoulders like it has a mind of its own. all i can feel is my feet in time and where the hoop hits at the corners of my body. i round out to give it a smooth run. i am pretty sure that at some point the spinning will cause the universe to shift, and i rotate like a dervish, one hand open palmed facing the sky, the other grounded, with my foot planted and my face painted transfixed on the inside of the ring. i hold tight as the hoop slides up over my body and threatens to take me with it into the sky. in a game of tug of war i pull it back down as it floats back up in a vortex of pure spinning delight. this goes on for what seem like hours. the dance broke by a whirlwind of color and giggles as the hoop goes flying across the yard chasing after the dog or crashing into a tree. how do you not smile, how do you not laugh? here is to the journey.