Skip Navigation LinksNovember2008

Welcome to November 2008

Highlights of the month
  • Teaching my first classes.
  • Learning how to do the duck out.
  • Hooping more to the right.
  • Having my first photo session.
  • Shoulder barrel roll :o)
  • Designing a poster for my classes

November 29
th 2008

My first two hoop classes were absolutely awesome!  I was a little nervous and very excited with my first class although I did benefit from rehearsing my lesson plan, particularly the warm up.  I spent an absolute age getting the music compiled though.  I thought that perhaps my taste in music might not appeal to others so I went and bought a house music cd, most of it isn’t my own personal taste but they were ok to hoop to, I found some old pop tunes, by old I mean in the last 3-4 years!  So not pop from the 80’s or anything!  I picked some tunes that perhaps people wouldn’t have heard so that they can listen to something new and as my classes progress in the new year then I’ll take suggestions from my attendees and we can play some of their hoop tunes.  The first session was at Frantic-Uk, there were 6 attendees, although to some that might not seem that many to me it was plenty.  They were all complete beginners which was also good and the “I can’t hoop” statement flew around the air!  The age range within the group was broad from under 16 to women in there 30’s. I was impressed with how adventurous they were to try a new class and to determine whether they could actually hoop and I’m glad to say they were all waist hooping by the time they left.  I got really good feedback on the forms I asked them to fill out and received some interesting view points on the pace of the class.  One member found hoop dance a “slow” exercise, which I found intriguing and I suppose when learning the absolute basics it may well appear slow and it is a low impact physical activity.  I’m keen to explore this notion to see if I can find away to challenge this in my lessons in the future.  I suppose if I remember when I began hooping in my days at drama school I’d say my approach was frantic in energy and pace, I didn’t quite know what I was doing and gave too much energy into it, plus I wasn’t aware of the basic stance needed for hooping.  The pace is quite slow/melodic in tempo once I got my larger hoop and I suppose even the pace of learning forward and backward angles is also slow, having said that I’ve always felt my body working hard, I always start up a sweat, even when hooping on my waist.  Perhaps the slowness is always there until a repertoire of moves has been amassed and a smaller hoop used to speed up the movements.  At the moment my preference is either my 40” or 38” or 36” hoop, I like the larger one because I can meditate more easily while I hoop, I feel I have time.  My smaller hoops I use to get a bit of zing or just my way of working towards a smaller hoop.  I quite like the way each size hoop impacts my learning and dexterity as a hoop dancer.


The second class I gave had my hoop cake acting twist.  I had the pleasure of working with Ahem!  A local drama group for 11-14 year olds.  There were 12 of them and they were all amazing.  The main difference I noticed with teaching younger people was that there ability to learn was a lot faster and they were definitely more courageous in there approach.  I merely guided them, they seemed to be teaching themselves.  I was delighted at having a few boys in the group as well.  I definitely want to encourage more men into hoop dance.  They look great at it and maintain there masculinity brilliantly (if they indeed want to highlight there masculinity!)  A young man indicated that perhaps he didn’t have the hips for hooping but I did my best to dispel that myth!  I was meant to teach for 1 hour and ended up teaching for 2 as they were so hungry to learn.  I had a little break for them which they didn’t seem to want, they had a quick taste of water and got back to hooping!  I adapted some theatre games to include the hoop and they went down a treat!  I encouraged them to devise a piece of movement using the hoops, they could use what we had learnt and also had permission to be creative yet respectful to the hoop (ie no tugging of the hoop!)  For me hooping is about sharing, we share our skills with each other, if someone doesn’t know how to do something then we encourage and help others to acquire the skills.  In performance it’s a chance to celebrate where a hooper is in their journey and to commend them on their courage for hooping in front of an audience (even if the audience is there peers!)  When I watch other hoopers it is easy to compare, it’s normal to have those feelings I suppose although I do my utmost to avoid it but I would never contemplate competing with other hoopers.  One of the things that is so attractive about hooping is how universal it is, how easily wherever we are at with our learning we have something unique to share that others want to see.  We celebrate and congratulate and help boost each other to keep learning, keep working together, supporting one another and ultimately having fun!  All of the group impressed me with their hooping.  


Teaching these two classes has really boosted my confidence with teaching and I can see how over a 5 week course I can make the warm up more challenging and I’m sure I can generate some hoopers hungry to learn more!  I’ve got two more sessions booked for this coming week and I’m extremely excited about it!  Once I find out how my hooping has been received at the end of this week I can better gauge what to do next.  I want to cover more of the area and if I find there are more hoop dance instructors or hoopers I would like for us to unite.  I’m keen to organise some hoop discos in the area.  I’ve gone to two in London and they are the best fun ever!  The only issue being is that the events don’t last long enough!  I wish it was for an evening rather than a couple of hours in the afternoon.


My hooping practice is coming on very well.  I’m managing to be more creative with my movement and with how I use the hoop.  I tell myself that it’s unlikely that I’ll come up with a new move but I pretend that what I discovered is unique and that I’m the only hooper to have discovered it (only to see it well rehearsed and performed on youtube! Lol!)  I’m working on transitioning better at the moment.  There are certain things that really do need space for me to practice and the lack of that freedom really pisses me off!  I want space, I miss the summer sun inviting me outside.  Winter sun is cool, a little too cool though!  Brrr it’s cold out so hooping outdoors is kept to a minimum!  I’ve figured out how to go from warrior/infinity to jumping in the hoop, it feels lovely to do and I picture myself as a horse show jumping through the hoop!  It’s a delicious move.  I’ve been working my opposite rotations too, they are coming along very nicely indeed.  I can do most basic things whilst hooping to the right.  I can waist hoop, hip hoop, vortex/beam me up, palm to palm and pick up from either the front or the back!  What’s really hilarious is that my body is doing the same things it did when I learnt in the first place!  I do some bizarre things with my body, it makes me laugh because intellectually I know what my body needs to do but it does something different!  Why is that?  It’s baffling!  I have the technique, I know the technique, my muscles then need to learn it and that is the process I’m witnessing!  I pull some very interesting new move faces, I think I must get them captured to help encourage others through their own learning processes.  I’m learning isolations too, they’re quite tricky but beautiful if I pull it off.  I can do them with two hands but want to do it one handed, it looks so beautiful.


I’ve found a beautiful hooper in Japan (I think it’s Japan) her name is Ayumi, she just looks fantastic hoop dancing, she’s really playful with her pacing, she makes it look so easy, she’s light and flowing, masterful and delicate, she’s definitely on my “up there” list!


I’ve been doing some pining after my hooping stars.  I’ve been hungry for intermediate dvds.  I’ve been checking out my idol and hooping goddess Rayna.  Her hoop physique is stunning, I wish my abs looked like that, I wish that my butt looked that good!  She has an elegant way with the hoop.  I love her whole team there at Hoopnotica.  Stunning, Keaton is adorable, I love watching her hooping!  I’ve been checking out Hoopgirl and I’m astounded at her brilliance and beauty, her holistic and poetical approach is tastey and moreish, there’s something about that smile of hers and those twinks in her eyes!  Then my beautiful angel, the woman that helps me bliss out on hooping is the fantastical Diana Lopez.  I’ll always remember Diana because that teacher training made me feel so welcome and I was soooooo happy, Diana’s a great teacher and being in her presence is very special and she sure can hoop dance, she inspires and supports me!  Awesome!!!  I want to meet all the worlds great hoop dance teacher trainers!  All have something for me to learn and I’m keen to learn it!  I’ve also been checking out Anah from Hoopaliscious, she’s awesome, dynamic with an unbelievable body.  Her command of the hoop is pure magic, she’s extremely attractive in my opinion.


I’ve reached a point where I have a lot of technical knowledge that’s waiting for my body to absorbed.  I can do a lot but need to work on detail.  I’m trying to learn to do corkscrew stalls and I notice when I do it with the hoop going right I lose momentum.  It feels like what I need is strength and momentum, I want to do this without having to turn in any way.  So I know I need to fine tune!  All in all my progress is right for me.  I’m really looking forward to next summer because I’d have got my Level 1 & 2 Hoopgirl, I would have done my story telling project, the lawn outside will be ready for me to do some pretty awesome hoop dancing!


Hooping has been keeping me sane and as grounded as I’m able to be during a difficult time for me.  It’s like the hoop is there for me, to play with whatever my state of emotion.  For the most part I’m uplifted by it but on occasion I feel sad when in my hoop.  I’m getting some moves that I like stringing together polished for when I get a performance booked.  I’m really looking forward to whenever that may be.  My positivity is coming from the energy in my hoop, even when I’m feeling sad. :o)  My hoop helps me feel optimistic!


Wednesday 12th November

I’ve been working on my lesson plans and they are coming along brilliantly, I know my students are going to have lots and lots of fun!  I’ve got some taster sessions coming up very soon and I’ve got some promotional material to sort out for it and hopefully get a bit of a buzz about it.


I’ve been delighting at the new things I’ve learnt and I’m happy with the work in my opposite direction.  I’ve sent out my first mail out to generate some performance work and I’m really hoping that I get some Christmas bookings it will be awesome to hoop for lots of people. 


I had a really bad day today, without my office job I’ve got too much time to procrastinate!  I really thrive on being busy, to stop myself getting the blues I decided it was time to record myself again.  I was actually wanting to see what my shoulder barrel roll looked like if I’m honest, I’ve been imagining myself as Hoopgirl doing it but I’m sure I look extremely different.  I started to imagine myself in the future hooping, I imagined myself being able to do easily all the things I’m less good at now, really enjoying the freedom of the moves being embedded in my subconscious like that feeling I get when I’m driving and the gear changes are autonomous, what a wonderful time that will be, complete hooping freedom!  I wish that I knew some fashion students, hoop wear will make a fortune for that right designer.  I looked at some clothing on-line and it’s fantastic but way too pricey, I wish there was a high street version of melodia designs.  Anyway, after I recorded myself hooping and watched it back of course I identified areas to improve, a lot of it though was okay, the mistakes led into some interesting moves, it’s given me some ideas.  I must get my PPL license so that I have more choice with music in my classes, music is key to how I hoop.  If I hoop to jazz then my rotations are slow, if it’s to rock my movements choices are different, if it’s something sexy I use my arms in a different way, hooping is delicious, meditative and like medicine for the blues and for a healthy body and spirit. 


I’ve been wanting some pictures of me hooping so I’ve been looking for a photographer, a friends boyfriends into photography and he generously gave up a bit of his time this afternoon to take some pics of me and my goodness do they look fantastic!  He made me look cool!  I’m going to use some images for promotional material and some to go onto my website.  I’m really delighted with it, if it wasn’t for hooping I’d be less happy!  I’m just so happy that my work colleague at the time told me about hooping and that that was the beginning of my serious non-kid hoop hooping!  So the therapeutic nature of the hoop changed my day from a bad one to a fantastic one!


Monday 10th November 00:44am

I’d actually aimed to go to bed for 00:30 but I’ve just discovered a new move and I’m totally seduced by it, it seems to be a weekend of a lot of things falling into place.  I’ve done a fair few shoulder barrel rolls tonight.  I imagine myself to be a woosh under the ocean, not just any woosh but one that turns like a delicious whirlpool.  I was trying to figure out what I was actually doing with my shoulders so I can teach others to do this move, it’s taken me a long time.  A long time being a few weeks of practice.  What I do know for sure is that whatever I’m doing know is less movement, before everything seemed too fast and my shoulders were over working but now it’s like my shoulders are hands gently guiding the hoop where it needs to be.  It’s such a seductive move, I love it.  I’m getting so many new ideas for performing and wish with all my heart for somewhere larger to practice in so I can take more risks! 


I did something else rather funky, I had a massive attack track on and it was instrumental, there I was hooping away and started singing.  Nothing groundbreaking but I was surprised how my voice was a lot less shaky than I thought it would be considering the energy required to hoop.  I’m really going to get back some of that drama school training and integrate more of it into my hooping.  Wouldn’t it be cool if I made a hoop voicescape, fantastic if it works out like how I’m imagining it!  I could choreograph some abstract pieces.  I love riding on the wave of having learnt something new.  It makes all the times I thought I couldn’t do it seem far far away!


Sunday 9th November

As I’ve stated so many times already in my journal hoop dance is what keeps me going.  The urge and desire to introduce hoop dance to as many different types of people as possible is strong in me.  I adore all my hoop friends and all the time I’m finding hoop dancers who are coming up with the most amazing and innovative way of using the hoop.  All of my hoop friends are progressing faster and accomplishing lots, hopefully my students will experience the same when they learn about it.  It’s good that progress can be quick so people enjoy the diversity of play available to them.  It’s also good when progress is slow, like it is with me, I enjoy each little piece of the cog that falls into place, I acknowledge my feelings if I feel frustrated or cross and if I feel any anger whatsoever then I call a time out and have a break.  Only happiness is for the hoop.


I desire my career to begin its journey, so off I went to my trusted hoop to meditate on myself in terms of movement, in terms of my strengths and especially in terms of my perseverance and determination. I started working on hooping to the right again, trying to cement what I’d learnt before I got sick with flu.  I worked on picking up the hoop with my right hand and putting it down with my right hand and then I thought, I wish I could corkscrew whilst hooping to the right, I guess the first part is picking up the hoop from the back.  I thought I might have trouble with the hoop with my left arm so there was only one way to find out, give it a go!  So I did the prep just like I did so many months ago when I learnt to do it the other way.  What do you know?  I managed it, but, I had noticed something, my shoulder clicked when I was doing it, obviously I need to get that looked at, it may just be synovial fluid in the joint as it’s not used to moving that way and then I thought, I don’t really know enough about synovial fluid to make such an assumption!  I practiced what movement my hand needed to make to achieve the move but without the hoop, there was no clicking, so in theory there shouldn’t be any clicking full stop!  So I thought maybe I was moving too fast, so I gave myself a mantra of “slow” and that unlocked it for me!  I can do this almost every time I wish, hooping to the right and picking up from the front or the back.  Then I worked on the corkscrew and once I understood the momentum I needed to achieve it I managed it, I did it repeatedly as I couldn’t believe I’d learnt it!  I then went on to work on the vertical step through and continuous step through.  I’ve been attempting these since the Bodyhoops course and haven’t been able to do it much other than step through from hooping in the right hand and passing through the body to the left hand.  I knew the mechanics of the continuous step through but wasn’t getting the momentum and foot work right.  I’ve been doing some research on this move and put what I learnt into practice and I don’t know what’s going on tonight with things clicking into place but I first managed to do a step through from right to left and then somehow the first time ever I managed to step back from left through to right and then I found the rhythms and spices to do the continuous step through, it feels really good to be on the way to smoothing this out.  I haven’t finished just yet!  I’ve been working on hooping behind me and it’s all coming along better than I thought, looks like the ground work is paying off.  Hooping on one leg is going ok but the lack of space is doing my head in.  Tonight is all about what I’ve achieved, did I say tonight, I ought to say this morning, is 2.24am!  I’ve earnt my sleep and filled with DV8 happiness and inspired to find a way of movement that works for me, something like hooping!!!