Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tonight, Tonight!

I have been hoopin' it UP for the past few weeks in preparation for tonight's festivities at Art Carnage!I am going to bring some extra hoops with me in case any one wants to learn or join in (yay!) What will the night bring? Belly dancing, burlesque, improv, poetry, art - everything! Pictures, chats, and reflections from the evening will be posted tomorrow Monday - tonight it is all about spreading the hoop love and rocking out. Can't wait to tell you how it goes! 

Edit: Full reflections up Monday! Last night was a blast, but today is a day of rest!

One of Each, Please

Hula Hoops in Riverdale

Well, gee. Sure Archie.

Quadrocopter Ball Juggling

It's not really juggling, but it is really awesome. These quadrocopters  are not piloted by humans. The copters and the ball are tracked by an overhead motion capture system and then controlled by a pair of computers. Awesome. Playing catch - simple for us, a groundbreaking achievement for robots. You can learn more, and find out about their other nifty research projects, here.

Weekend Review 4/30/11

Let's roll around naked on glass! With cotton candy! And hoops!  Or maybe just watch? I promise it was entertaining.


FANCY HOOP MOVE ALERT! Seriously, I will admit I haven't tried it yet - but, it looks so awesome. And good directions, to boot? Oh yes.

Photo real. Pencil drawn. Some times you need inspiration beyond the hoop world, and artist Esra Roise delivers.

Boo. The internet's cutest dog. And Wednesday's Daily Happy.


Vintage Hoopalicious still delivers. Is there anyone who makes it look as effortless as she does? 

After making a batch of beginner hoops to sell, I couldn't help but sample the merchandise. My body missed you, you big ol' hoops!

Need something new to listen to this weekend? Omega Dubstep is the perfect new hoop music.

Five hula hoop world records is just a drop in the bucket for Ashrita Furman, holder of 120 world record titles. But, with records like "running the longest with a milk bottle on your head (while hula hooping), I am not sure if he had any competition.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Workin' That Fire Hoop in Some Very Stripey Pants.

So often fire hooping can look...well, a bit dull. It seems like folks get baffled about what to do and where to go since (ya know) their hoop is covered in fire. Nick totally brings it in this fire performance, keeping the moves interesting and dynamic by changing the speed, plane and style of his moves throughout!

This time around Hooping Idol gave the entries a few parameters to follow (the song, color scheme and not allowing edits) so you can really focus on the best part - the hooping. I'll admit, I haven't been following - so I am not sure what the other entries are yet, but, I know this one was a treat! 

Daily Happy: An Important Message

tee hee.

Back to Basics

Sometimes nothing feels better than a big ol' beginner hoop. 

Move without Thinking: Omega Dubstep

Yesterday I was introduced to Omega Dubstep by a fellow hooper and lovely lady  and I must say that I think I have found my new music obsession. I love it. ALL. (Clearly, as I am not waiting until Monday to post the music. Now you can jam out this weekend!)

There is nothing quite as wonderful as finding music that simply makes your body move without really checking in with your mind first. The tunes are very - well, dub-steppy (wordvention), so I wouldn't be surprised if it divided the masses into half love, half hate - but, if you fall in to the "love" category you will have lots and lots of new tunes for your hoop sessions. 

Here's a sample from his YouTube, but I highly suggest checking out his soundcloud for more tunes. 
Some of the best don't have videos. (And, yes... he made a song out of that kid who was, well...high, after his visit to the dentist. Very deep thoughts of a child, in the style of dubstep. I dig.)

Thailand Hooper

I'm on a boat

Real Retro

Record breaking Hooping: Underwater and on Land (and With a Milk Bottle on your Head)

This is Ashrita Furman, a health food store owner from New York City who currently holds over 120 Guinness world Records - including the official record for having the most records! If you are like me, you may be wondering...Why?

From his website Ashrita says,  "I'm trying to show others that our human capacity is unlimited if we can truly believe in ourselves." Ashrita maintains that while some of his records may draw more laughter than respect, each one requires a great deal of determination, concentration and fitness. 

His hoop records currently include:
Hula Hoop Racing - fastest 10 kilometers while hooping (1hr 25min and 9s)
Hula Hoop Racing -fastest mile while balancing milk bottle on head (for real.) (11min 29s) 
Hula Hoop Racing - fastest mile (11 min 29s)
Underwater Hula Hooping - longest time spent underwater (2 min 38s)
Large Hoop Hooping - 11.5 Hoop, 64 rotations in 1min
Largest Hula Hoop Spinning - 16f, 6in - 3 rotations

It's still confusing - but, hey - does this guy seem like he is having fun and living life by his own terms, or what? That's what it's all about - so more power to you Ashrita! See a picture of him hooping with that milk bottle on his head after the jump, and check out his many crazy records here (grape eating with teaspoon, pie throwing, Jello eating with chopsticks...)

Hooping.Org: So You Wanna Hoop at Music Festivals

Hooping outdoors while live music blasts and a blissed-out crowd meanders around you can be an awesome experience. When your hooping at a festival, everyone seems happy, you have space, and endless music to which to hoop -  it's an event seemingly custom made for hoopers. But, recently some folks have been having difficulty with festival hooping. Lara Eastburn breaks down some tips, tricks - and, importantly, basic hoop etiquette when embarking on festival season. 
Music Festival season is upon us, my friends. And my guess is that there will be more hoopers on-site than ever before (YES!). While it would seem to us that hooping and open-air music festivals should go together like sunshine and smiles, festival hooping can sometimes be stressful or even meet resistance. Whether you’re a festival-veteran or just learning the ropes, here are a few things to be prepared for when hitting the gate with your hoop.
Hooping at All Points West in 2009
Getting In: Hoopers have reported in recent years that festival officials have asked them to stop hooping or not to bring hoops into the festivals. This is a rather rare occurrence, so don’t fret. Just be prepared. In general, I like a hoop that coils down for convenience. But it will also attract less attention at the gate.
Hoop Haters: I know, the idea of folks who are not friendly to hoopers seems ludicrous, but they exist – like Jackie Briggs in Salt Lake City for example. Take a quick look at festival discussion boards and they often tell us otherwise as well. The majority of complaints though come from festival-goers who deeply resent the amount of SPACE that hoopers take up. Looking for your fellow hoopers? Look out in the field behind the crowd. No matter how much you’re feeling it, my hooping friend, in front of the stage is not the place for you and your 4-foot wide hoop.
Hoop Magnets, Hoop Hogs, and Hoop Thieves: Be prepared for a hundred people to ask to use your hoop. And be prepared for some of them to use your hoop without asking you. Read More 

Photobooth Hoop

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daily Happy: Dinosaurs and Finger Puppets

"Before the internet and eBay, Archie McPhee was a precious source of bizarre gags
 from around the world."
read more here.

Vintage Hoopalicious

Vintage Hoopalicious breaking it down. 
I remember first seeing this 4 years ago and thinking, I wish I looked that comfortable with my hoop - I wish I felt that comfortable with my hoop.  I came across it again today and couldn't help but smile when it struck me that now, my hoop is like an extension of myself. I am often times more comfortable moving and dancing with my hoop than without it. 

Ah, time.

Sunset Reflection

Do or Don't

Hula Eel by Shel Silverstein

Take an eel,
Make a loop,
Use him as a hula hoop.
Feel him twist and twirl and spin,
Down your ankles, round your chin,
Tighter, tighter, tighter yet,
Ain't an eel a lovely pet?
Hey-answer when I talk to you-
Don't just stand there turning blue.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Look Up

The Daily Happy: Boo

I am starting a new feature called 'the daily happy' to feature all the randomness I find that gives a little dose of unbridled happiness for the day. Always needed, yes? 

Kicking us off is Boo. He is a very famous dog. Simply for being cute. 
Boo, you are a tribble with legs and a smile.

Derp. Derp.

Liquid Metal Spirals

I just keep staring.

Penciled Photographs

Some days I wake up a little hooped out. 
That's when it's time to explore my other loves. 

I found these wonderful sketches from artist Esra Roise 
and fell in love a bit. Or a lot.

Pin-Up Hooper

Blue White and Green

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't Scream "Help," Yell "FIRE!"

The last one is definitely my favorite. I don't know what's going on, but it looks pretty magnificent.  Let's all remember to keep this in mind though. Safety first.

Moon's Eye

Gorgeous performance by Tanya Burka of Underground Circus - a creation of two former members of Cirque Du Soleil. The apparatus on which she hangs and dances is completely unique and custom made. The fact that Sigur Ros is playing during the performance only makes me melt more. 

Stolen Authenticity

What Did I Learn From Malcolm Stuart?

Malcolm Stuart's hoop class was about learning how to find your own way to innovate. It wasn't about learning moves or copying a style - but rather a tutorial in how to find your own style by using warm-up and in practice techniques that make your body and mind more open to new ideas.

We warmed up by flailing our bodies every which way to explore 'forgotten spaces.' The area between the shoulder blades and behind the back are easily forgotten when you have a big hoop spinning around, and by intentionally asking our bodies to acknowledge and explore these spaces we had a way to 'bookmark' and interesting spot for later use. It was like saying "hey, this is a good new spot to explore once you pick up the hoop - try and check it out." Intentionally, music was left off so that we would not fall into the pattern of rhythm.  The aim was not to look pretty or polished but to simply get the mind churning about what areas are not normally explored and how to incorporate them.  The first step of learning how to innovate was taking away that which you normally fall back on and then seeing what else you can use.

Simply jumping around isn't enough, though; it takes a calm mind to use the tools that the body gives.  Malcolm suggested keeping the mind as still and calm as a 'river of glass' despite what may be going on around it. Visualizing this image during practice is a great way to get there. This allows you to attend to what is happening as an observer instead of creator, allowing your body to do what it wants. This paired with the bookmarked spots to explore can lead to some new and interesting patterns that are outside the familiar hoop repertoire. I didn't worry about what I was going to do next and just let it happen. Stop telling your body what to do and listen to what it is telling you and you are more likely to experience moves that you haven't before.

This is a picture of the inner workings of my mind.
After these helpful tools were explained we put them into action with unstructured hooping to music for awhile. Though it was easy to slip out of 'river of glass' mode into 'what the crap should I do now' mode, just having the idea to visualize lead to much calmer practice in general. An easy remedy for not knowing what to do next was to stick with the same thing again and again. I used to think of repetition as boring - but Malcolm recommended sticking with just one move again and again so that you mind could start thinking - what can I add to this? Where can I go next? Adding spins, turns, alternate hand grips and reverse direction are all basic ideas that can really transform a trick.

In no time everyone was panting and sweating with the effort. it was the perfect time to slow things down and be treated to a couple of Malcolm's own choreography and moves. His combinations turned simple things like weaving into 3 and 4 step processes that we certainly advanced, but worth it. Innovation and inspiration go hand-in-hand, and learning moves that are new to you can be just as inspiring as creating ones for yourself. I finally realized that it is okay to "copy" someone's moves because it can be a tool for learning. From there you can take those moves and become comfortable with them and then transform them for yourself.

In the end I walked away a better hooper, teacher and performer. This is the perfect workshop for those looking for something a little less tangible than "new tricks" to add in to their work. It was truly a lesson in how to listen to yourself and understand that there are preliminary steps to innovation. In the days that have passed I've noticed that I am being much more adventurous in what I am trying to add into my practice and not nearly as controlling of my own body and mind. Simply put, I am having more fun and it looks better. Now that is money well spent!

Behind the Back 2 Beat and 3 Beat Weave

Michelle Hazzard created an incredibly informative and well put together tutorial for some pretty unique hoop moves! Below she breaks down a behind the back 2-beat and 3-beat weave. Sound a bit crazy? I know I can barely understand the 3 beat weave going in front of me! But Michelle really put together a great tutorial for these moves with everything explained clearly, broken down and with helpful links for learning foundational moves.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lovely Liv in a Classic Shot

work that hoop (and that oh-so-nineties leopard hat.)

Music Monday: David Byrne

From the Talking Heads to his solo projects David Byrne never disappoints. (Okay, that's actually not true - I remember a performance on the Daily Show awhile back that involved girls spinning in office chairs while he sang. That time I thought, hmmm I think this is a miss. So, he never disappoints except that one time.) 

I put up a song I hadn't heard before today, and of course - loved it. If you are not already familiar with his work please please check it out. He is an incredible singer, artist and performer and you are sure to leave inspired.

One more for good measure after the jump.

Savor the Passing Moments

Jaime Beck and Kevin Burg create beautiful animated GIFs designed to"tell more of a story than a single still frame photograph" but without "the high maintenance aspect of a video." Well, nothing meets those requirements than a simple animated GIF. The creations can take several hours with Beck taking the photographs and designer Kevin Burg adding the movement and final touches.

What we are left with is what many would have thought as the impossible. GIFs as art. And, not only that - GIFs as meaningful art, seeking to teach us to be aware of the simple beauty in the everyday. Read more about their creations here and see truly beautiful work on their tumblr

Secret Hoop Space