Sharna Rose Bevan, one of the finest, highly regarded, inspirational, enviable, dynamic hoop dancers in the UK! She’s flipping marvelous Spirit Hoop Cake readers! Sharna
has appeared on television spreading the hoop dance love and so many
people I speak to are in awe of her ability and her style! She hails from Maidstone and is known around the world for her YouTube clips. I’m absolutely ecstatic that she has agreed to be interviewed! Go on, quick, get a drink, curl up on your sofa, bean bag or floor and read & learn from one of the best!
Beautiful Sharna thank you so much for giving my questions your attention! I can’t wait to get started so without further ado let me begin…
When and how did you discover hoop dance?
At the end of 2005 I was bought an Acu Pressure exercise hoop as a gift after helping a friends fatherwith some charity work. I used to hoop for 40 min’s a day, 20 min’s each side whilst dancing and doinglunges and squats. When I started looking for other exercises I discovered Hooping.org and the 2005 film festival. I was totally enthralled and captivated and have not looked back.
What attracted you to it?
I was seriously compelled to watch hoop dancers with a big smile on my face but I also had serious goose bumps because I knew at a very deep level that I would be able to do it. The community on hooping.org really reached out to me and I had such a strong “knowing” feeling like I belonged amongst these people J
Do you remember your first experience of hooping? What size hoop did you get and how did you react when you saw the size of your hoop?
In 1999, 7 years prior to learning how to make my own hoops, I had hooped with a flimsy child’s hoop in order to get fit however my son broke the hoop and it was forgotten. My Acu hoop was a heavy lumpy beast measuring 42 inch in diameter although it was not too heavy it was nasty and gave me internal bruising. The first hoop that I ever made for myself was 40 inch’s in diameter.
When you began learning how did you go about learning the skills? Did you go and seek guidance from a teacher or were you predominantly self-taught?
was entirely self taught for the first year and a half until 2007 when I
trained with Diana Lopez of Body hoops and Christabel aka Hoopgirl. From
the offset I †rained myself to hoop in both directions partly because I
have mild OCD and partly because I crave balance in life (I am a Libra
funnily enough J) I watched a lot of video’s and spend hours and hours playing with energy and developing
my own style. I taught myself to learn from my mistakes as I went along
so that they would never stop me from moving. If only I could apply
this to my ‘real’ life.
Which hoop dancers currently take your breath away and why?
Spiral is undoubtedly my most favorite and cherished hooper. Her strength and speed change is something to behold. Beth Lavender is also amazing. She is so present and precise, something that I can only aspire to. Baxter is such a pioneer and hoops with a warrior style. Brecken….OMG, her gently speedy approach is awesome. Mona of Sphongle hoops is immersed always and free, a shiny example of pure hoop bliss. Christabel is performance perfect and inspiring angelic being….There are so many!!!!
What elements make a good hoop performance in your opinion?
personally prefer a hooper who is immersed in the moment. I feel that
we spend so much of this earthly existence playing out roles and
characters in the story of our ego’s that it is refreshing and inspiring
to see someone playing and worshipping their divinity. I do like a polished act as well though, one where the hooper is on the beat and engaging with the audience but in this instance I prefer funny or clever over sexy.
Can you tell me a little bit more about how you learnt hoop dance. Did it take you a very long time to master basics or did you learn quite swiftly?
It takes me a long time to learn anything, even general life lessons. I am not a confident person and I have issues about self belief and self worth that are hard to shift from my diffiucult first years. It certainly isn’t easy for me JWhen I started the basics were a lot more basic than they are now but I put in the time, that is the most important thing.
when I’m learning a new move and struggle with it I feel a little
frustrated and disappointed because I haven’t progressed as quickly as I
wanted. Have you got any advice for hoopers who experience similar feelings to me when learning something new?
Where ever you are able take every ‘mistake’ and see what it can teach you. My best moves have arisen from something being ‘wrong’. We all learn at different speeds so as far as possible stay true to who you are because it is your gift to the world. I don’t want to see clones when I watch videos I want to see the beauty of the individual shiny through in the danvce of the inner being.
I’m curious about what you did before hooping. What
is your physical history (did you do dance, if so what dance
disciplines or perhaps sports in which case which sports did you do?) What started the ball rolling for seeking an activity to do?
I have spent most of my adult life desperately trying to keep fit and failing miserably. I throw myself into yoga, or the gym, or swimming only to reach a plateau or become bored and then let it slip. I have not had formal dance training but I do love to dance. I spent 1 year consistently going to ecstatic dance classes and these really brought the real me out into the world. Since then I don’t care what I look like when I dance without a hoop, dancing like a crazy thing really makes me feel connected to the chaotic unverse. I am the flower child of hippies, can you tell?
When I’ve seen you hooping I notice how small the hoops you use are. At what point did you decide to change hoop size? Can
you advise hoopers of when might be a good time to explore the
different sized hoop and what benefits this might have to their hooping
and their body?
I started hooping with a 42 inch hoop and have gradually worked down to a 32 inch. I like the smaller hoops because I am a small person at 5ft 2 inches and I like to be able to reach the hoop at all times. I
would not recommend reducing hoop size too quickly because the larger
hoops help build all sorts of valuable core body skills.
You do amazing work with twin hooping. Have you any pearls of wisdom to help people who want to work with two hoops? What’s the best way to start and to explore this safely and with minimal injury?
The twin path has not been easy for me. I
feel like I am in a ménage a tois, it seems like an exciting idea but
sooner or later a clash of personality and power comes into play. Obviously
you need to master hooping with one hoop both ways really before you
start with two, it will make it a lot easier and the planes of the hoop
will be cleaner. My right hand is more dominant and my left hand always ruins my double hooping J
thing I’ve noticed about you is how playful and experimental you are
with your hooping, this is quite a rare quality for adults to have. Where has your ability to play come from do you think?
love to dance and especially free dance. I’m a bit rebellious about
routine and structure; to my own detriment sometimes I might add. If
I routine something then I always return to it in free practice which
is a shame and it feels boring. I’m all about feeling rather than the
way it looks, as I said before we perform so much in life and I love the
selfish pleasure of being in my hoop and just not thinking about
“Sharna”. Presence is the best present we can give to the world. I guess I am just a kid trapped in an adult body and as I’ve got older I’ve learnt to welcome not subdue it.
you speculate why some adults have difficulty engaging with play and
what steps can be taken to feel positive about embracing playing as an
Unfortunately a prerequisite of growing up ischoosing which roles you will act out for the rest of you life, thus letting go of large parts of our imagination. We are conditioned to believe that we are free but in fact we are nothing more than glorified slaves trapped in a big machine. The
more you allow yourself to connect to your imagination, through play,
dance, laugher etc, the more the collective consciousness of the planet
Earth will expand in positively. Not everyone
embraces this concept however and it is not our place to force it upon
another but I do believe that if enough individuals take this onboard
suddenly the scales will tip.
I notice that the clothes you wear are very unique in style, very funky indeed. Was
that a conscious choice on your part and how do you create such
beautiful clothing that compliments the rhythm and flow of your dance? Are there any Innerspin headscarfs available or outfits for those who might want to attain a similar style?
I have been trying to get my good friend to make hoop clothes for nearly two years now but to no avail. I love groovy clothes and have always tried to find garments that are different those mass consumed. As
for head scarfs maybe when my business has grown enough then I might go
the commercial route and produce items for sale….keep your eyes peeled J
I really enjoy looking through your website and find your blog of particular interest. Where do you find the courage and confidence to be so open about your experiences?
I believethat it is our gift to the world to express ourselves as we feel fit if It makes us happy, but only if this does no harm to others. I am actually quite shy but I guess the hooping community makes me feel safe J
It seems to me that hooping is not only a joy and pleasure to do but also a life line if things have gone awry. Can you give voice to how hooping helps through difficulties in life? I know it’s certainly helped me!
Hooping helps me connect to the inner spin of all life. To the energy of all that is, was and ever will be.
This energy is timeless and has no end, it is neither good nor bad and
it supports us even when it feels like we are not loved by life. Language has created a mental paradox by
giving us a mental standpoint from which to view the world in positives
and negatives, by making ‘me’ the most important aspect. When
I hoop I understand that I am a fragment of perceived time and space
and that there is so much more and so many more realities. Meditation
does the same thing for me but hooping is more satisfying because it
allows me to be in two dimensions simultaneously. I am both the centre
and the space in the hoop all at the same time. It makes real life more bearable carrying this knowledge.
you can do so many mind bogglingly good hoop moves, very impressive,
how have you managed to build such a strong rapport with your hoop?
I love my hoop and try to spend as much time as possible learning new things. I watch a lot of video’s and am inspired constantly by amazing people across the globe. As far as possible I like to take the inspiration and evolve it, help it expand and share it with others so that they too expand it and make it grow. I feel that the more time one spends making it all look good means less time spent in the presence of the creative muse. Feelings are the most important part of our reality, vision is so fickle and open to many unintended interpretations of others J
Can you tell me about how your body manages to so easily accommodate the moves you do? Is
it perhaps something unique in you or are there any tips you have for
hoopers wishing to be more adventurous with what they learn and achieve?
The more you embrace presence the more able you will be to adapt to whatever is thrown at you in the hoop and in life. Always be soft and able to move in ways that you do not expect and don’t stop moving even if you duff it up
Have you had any injury from your practice of these astonishingly good tricks? How long does it take you to control and manipulate further a new move? You’re bloomin’ HOT with your moves girl!
If I spend too much time hooping in a mono direction then I will hurt myself. It is inevitable in my opinion that one must be open to moving either way. I have given myself split lips, bruised hips, crushed toes and a bashed nose…ooohh poetry J I
try to mix both free hooping and developing new moves in a practice
session…and I try to keep moving as much as possible even through
frstration. I actually think that I am quite sloppy really though because I’m such a wing it type of lass J
has taken the USA by storm, I know you’ve been an expert hooper for the
UK for years and have appeared on TV, yet when I first started hooping I
struggled to find the UK hoop scene. Do you have any insight as to why hoop dance in the UK has been quite quiet?
The UK nation is one steeped in pessimism due to the long time our empire has been ruled under tyranny. The USA
is a fairly new nation that was began by people who risked everything
and a horrid journey across a vast ocean to start a new life away from
this tyranny. We have a lot more
emotional/genetic baggage to release than our American cousins who are
way ahead of us in terms of conscious awareness. However the hoop
community in the UK has grown phenomenally since I started the UK Hoop Dance Tribe. It is going to grow, it is like a snow ball rolling down a long snow filled mountain, it will expand and grow – watch this space J
How is this changing if it is at all? Do you think hoop dance will change if it becomes more commercial?
Already I feel that we are placing too much importance on how it looks for an audience, this makes it a commodity in my opinion. I understand that human beings appreciate beauty but I sometimes wonder how much remains of our natural perception and
how much is programmed perception by those who wish to sell us
something. All we can do is stay true to ourselves, whatever that truth
may be J
glad that someone at your level is seen at so many hooping events and
that you are so generous and willing to share your skill and you really
encourage and motivate. This is so unusual as a lot of people from other disciplines are less likely and even hostile when it comes to sharing skills. What is it about hoop dance that lends itself to people who are so willing to share?
you have experienced the bliss that comes from being connected to the
spin of the universal energy how can you not share this gem. Why would
you want to keep it to yourself when it is so life affirming and
empowering. Sharing will help heal the earth and move humanity forward into a new age of co- creation.
How has hooping affected your life? What improvements to your physique have you noticed?
I have lost some weight (not sure how much because I gave up weighing myself a long time ago) and I am more toned and perhaps have dropped 2 dress sizes. I can stay awake for a long time without any additives to my body and I am certainly less depressed than I was 3 years ago.
I love all of your youtube videos and not only does your hooping impress but your choice of music. Where do you find these beautiful pieces of music? What’s on your current playlists?
love the DJ Ktel podcast on Youtube and Pendulum are just outrageously
good for jumping about to. I am presently uploading my entire CD
collection to a hard drive and I am rediscovering all the fantastic
music from the last 20 years. I love music as much as dancing and hooping.
Now 2008 is behind us what exciting plans have you got for 2009 that you can tell us about? Are there any events your performing at you can tell us about so people can come and watch and be spell bound by you?
I can already feel that 2009 is going to be a truly divine year for hooping and for all hoopers everywhere. I have several plans that revolve around teaching/ sharing, and performing.
In relation to the festival season I will be at Glastonbury in the Circus Fields: two performances daily followed by 2 hr workshops. I shall be in attendance at the Glastonbury
and Bristol Childrens’ Festivals (my favourite of them all) and I
normally attend the Small World music festival in Headcorn Kent. I am also looking forward to “Out of the Ordinary” in Hailsham, West Sussex.
You should keep your eyes focused on “The Hoop Dance Experience” , my joint venture with Diana Defries of hoopswhirled.com. We are planning to take this marvellous training resource further out into the wider country this year. In relation to personal teaching I am going be facilitating HoopGirl classes for Star Monroe of Ultimate Goddess in Maidstone. I will also be teaching some classes at the first ever Hoopcamp retreat in the Uk.
See you somewhere in this year which is going to be amazing, I can just feel it in my bones J
Excited? Then do pass by Sharna Roses' amazing website to learn more!