Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Light in the Darkness


Bella Thorne

Stylish wanderer, hula hooper, and (apparently) Disney Channel star. Who knew? 


Foot Hooping in style!

Fighting Osteoporosis with the Hoop!

"You'll break your hip if you don't start taking meds." 

That's what 57-year old Pam Theobold heard three years ago when her doctor diagnosed her with osteoporosis. Rather than start the medication Pam decided to try exercise, but soon got bored with weight lifting and mindless walking on the treadmill.  She decided to give the hoop a try after seeing a woman on TV hooping. 

Friendlier looking, more colorful, and cheaper solution than medication. 
Picture via flickr

After one year of consistent hooping she revisited her doctor. Imagine her surprise when it was reported that she had the bones of a "35-year old" and she showed no further bone loss! Hooping had significantly helped slow the signs of her osteoporosis! 

Uhm. Wow! 

Pam, now better known as HoopDeeDo has been a hoop instructor for over two years now and has a great website with endless resources for tutorials and videos. Here is some great twin practice: 

Definitely check out HoopDeeDo for tutorials as she commits to doing a new one each week and already has a massive catalog of beginner and advanced moves. 

Way to go Pam! Quite the inspiration. Quite.  

Check out the Hoop Dee Do website
More about Hooping and Osteoporosis on

Hep Cat, Hoop Cat(s)

 Cat sees hoop. Cat immediately plops down in the direct center of hoop. Adorableness ensues. 

I have seen shots like these for years in my quest for good hoop pictures and thought I would finally share! Take it easy, hoop cats. (I know you will.)

...your guess is as good as mine about that animated one...

all photos via flickr. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bee Varga Makes Some Steam

I can hoop in water or with fire! Whatevah - I do it all!
Very Impressive Bee.

photo by: Mark Hull

You can find out more about Bee, 
and lots more on her site!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Sufjan Stevens. As if I didn't already love you enough. 

Sufjan created a comic book called "Hooper Heroes" about "three extra-terrestrial superhero sisters and their use of hula-hoops to combat the "the Messiah of Civic Projects," Captain Moses. The comic book is written by Stevens and gorgeously drawn, colored, and inked by longtime friend and collaborator Stephen Halker."  I posted about it months and months ago and am stoked that, thanks to hiptronic hoops I just saw all of this sweet new Hooper Heros merch on the Asthmatic Kitty Records site.

Sufjan Stevens is proud to present The BQE, a cinematic suite inspired by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Hula-Hoop. Commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The BQE was originally performed in the Howard Gilman Opera House in celebration of the 25th anniversary Next Wave Festival in October of 2007.

The BQE is an experiment in multi-media. Sufjan wanted to present it in as many forms and methods as we could muster, which ended up being quite a lot. We made this page to keep track of it all. To read more about the release of The BQE click here

Pretty. Sweet. 
You can also get hooper hero shirts and posters. Which, judging by this one - I don't think I even need to know what's going on to want one... 

Hoopers here to SAVE THE DAAAAY! That is all. 

Pink Hurricanes and Hula Hoops

Hurricane weekend. 
I am from Florida so I didn't know that watching the wall-to-wall coverage of a hurricane could be enjoyable - and for the most part, it's not - until you make up a drinking game to play with the insipid and redundant coverage. "Flooding" - drink, picture of a boat - drink, "We seemed to have lost our connection" - drink, Guy in poncho in the rain - drink. You get the picture. 

The only damage we suffered were a few hours without power, lots of rain, and a tree that fell over in the yard. Upon closer inspection I thought the tree looked like chicken. I almost got some ketchup and a fork for the picture - but really, that's overkill (right?)

The very last of my birthday goodies came in today, which was this wonderful Barbie shirt from Hells. YES. Sleeveless and super light it is amazing hoop wear. 
I brought out the hoops and my last bday balloon to get one of what will be my final sessions in this glorious yard. This upcoming weekend is moving time. 

How did it get here so soon? 

Tangled Blur of Hoops

Mmmm. Dreamy.

Seven Steps to Starting a Hoop Group

There is a great article on today about how to begin your own hoop group! Lara Eastburn lists some great tips on how to get started, and what's important to keep the group growing and running smoothly.
I added a few more tips from my experience with hoop jams below the article. Organizing can be lots of work - but if you are hoping to meet, and make a few hoopers, there is no better way than getting a hoop group started.
Here is an excerpt from the list: 
Step 1: Get a Lay of the Land. Search through the regional forums here on for hoopers in your area, just as new members do on every single day. There may or may not be a group that is close to you, but this is the place to start. If you come up empty-handed, then there is no better person to fill the need for a local hoop-group than you!
Step 2: Pick a Place and a Time, Bring Extra Hoops, and Be Consistent. Starting your own local hooping meetups can be as easy as showing up to your local park at the same time and day every week. Take a friend with you if you can, and let people know in your social networks where you’ll be. You may be alone the first time, and maybe even the second or third, but you WILL see the hooping magic happen. Don’t get discouraged. Many, if not most, established hoop jams started out in exactly this way. Your persistence will prevail.
Step 3: Embrace Your New Role as a Hooping Ambassador. Starting a hooping group will require a bit of bravery on your part. It can be hard to hoop alone in the middle of a public place. But tough it out, and you won’t be a solitary hooper for long. Remember that you’re doing what makes you happy and that your enthusiasm is infectious! Greet the curious with a smile, hand ‘em a hoop, and answer any questions they have as best you can. When you see that gleam in a newcomer’s eye that is the telltale sign they’ve caught the hoop-bug, ask for an email address or invite them to join you online for updates and reminders about your weekly hoop-gathering. Before you know it, that person tells their friends, who bring their friends, and you’ve got a full-fledged weekly hoop jam.
Step 4: Crank It Up. There’s no denying it – besides having extra hoops on-hand, MUSIC will be the second most important component of bringing the energy that will grow your hoop group and keep folks coming back for more. In the beginning, perhaps you huddle around a small battery-powered boombox. But as your group grows, you’ll feel the need for bigger sound and booty-shaking playlists. Luckily for you, Philo has some suggestions for HoopJam Sound Solutions right here.
Step 5: Don’t Drop the Ball. As your hoop group grows and evolves, so too will your responsibilities. You started this thing, and you will be the glue that holds it together. But don’t be afraid to ask for help in keeping it going. Make sure there is always someone there at the appointed time and place to get things started. Before weather becomes an issue, seek out alternative venues for rainy and cold days. Get creative. Churches, schools, community centers, music venues, dance and yoga studios are all places to look for indoor hooping space. Put out the call and see who answers. Read the rest of the list on >>

All of these are excellent considerations to starting and running a hoop group, but there are a few more I would add. First, it's important to also consider what you want your role to be in the hoop group before you get started. 

If you are showing up as the head hooper each week and have some flight time under your belt, it's likely that folks seeing new moves will ask for some instruction. If one person tries, another is going to join in. Soon it will be just like a class! 

Teaching people new hoop moves is a blast, but, if you were hoping to get a place to jam with other hoopers, it can be tough to be in teacher mode the whole time - especially if the group is a free get together. Have a plan in place if you don't want to teach the whole time; as in, the first half hour is "free teach" for Q&A and instruction, but the last half hour is for free spin time. 

If it is in a park or school, it's also important to keep an eye on the kiddies. Some times they may not understand that the hoops are only to be borrowed, and I'v had hoops walk away from me more than once during larger jams. 

Anyone attending the group who is meaning rude, disrespectful or disruptive - don't hesitate to ask them to leave. In my experience, the only rude folks were the ones who were doing so out of embarrassment or anxiety - but that is no excuse to make the group feel uncomfortable.  It can be rough to ask someone to leave, especially when the event is so casual, but just asking them to please let the group operate in a friendly environment, as intended, can help. 

Asking for help keeping a look out for hoops from any regular hoopers and taking a minute at the start of the jam to go over basic ground rules can make jams run much more smoothly. If new folks walk up, introduce yourself and let them know what's up. 

Hoop jams can be a great time and a wonderful way to build a new community. With hard work, a great attitude, and dedication you never know how it will grow. If you start one up, remember have fun, be consistent, be you and happy hooping!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jewels: Success/Discouragement and a Double Chest Roll

It was so a Jewels morning.

A fave hooper of mine since '07, I have always wanted to be able to do her beautiful double chest roll (you see it at the end of this video.) In a more popular video of her spinning, she completes the move with such lovely confidence and precision. I have never seen this 'practice' vid of her before, and it just goes to show that no matter what - as long as you keep practicing the moves with come.  Lovely, messy, early stage hoop moves. They all start there.

I have a video of my sloppy pretzel twist move that I am hoping to one day look back upon and think, hey remember when that was hard?

Progress, progress, progress.

Sparkle and Shout

This photo makes me extremely happy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Movement Improvisation w/ Henna Matanuska

Awhile back I was trying to think of good transitions from prone position leg hooping because it is so much fun to do - but definitely something that takes effort to smoothly incorporate into a routine. I love all the ideas in this vid! Also digging the slower pace than much of what I have recently seen.

Plus... leg warmers.
I mean, I have to give bonus points for legwarmers. It's science.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gray Skies, Don't Ever Clear Up

My pink poly pro this morning.

It's raining outside and a hurricane is expected to follow. I absolutely love rainstorms. The grayer the better. The darker the better. The windier the better. There is a fine line between sounding deliciously destructive and being horrifically so - and I hope that nothing tragic comes of these hurricane warnings.

But for now. There is nothing better than listening to the rain, tying my hair back, covering my camera in a ziploc bag and aluminum foil and heading outside for a rain hoop dance.

I hope it rains all day and night. 

Burning Man 2011 Hooping Events Calendar

Anyone heading to Burning Man this year? put together a list of hoop events for this year's event -!

Monday, August 29th, 2011
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. @ Rites of Zion – 10:00 & Esplanade
It’s a hula hoop world record attempt hosted by Hula Hoopligans for most hoopers hooping in one place at one time! What’s it take? Currently, the most Hoopers at one venue at one time is 2,400… that’s right, less than 1% of the Black Rock populace… can you see it? It only takes less than 1% of the Black Rock populace gathered at the Rites of Zion, spinning hoops in unison… let’s do it!!
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. @ Conscious Dreamers Bar – 6:30 & D
The Alternative Energy Zone Village is hosting a Hoopjam. Bring your own hoop or borrow a loaner. DJ music and cool beverages provided. Come strut your stuff and/or learn some new moves!
4 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. @ Camp Mystic – 5:00 & A
HoopSoup is about teaching basics and having fun. Bring a snack (i.e. stone soup idea) for post learn-age-work-out. A feast for the eyes and a hug for the soul!
4:20 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. @ Whiskey and Dust – 7:30 & D
Hoopin’ Annie from World Hoop Day is teaching a beginner hoop lesson with hoops provided and traded. Learn how to keep it up, walk, spin, bring it to your shoulders, spin around your arms and other special requests. Bring H20 and your burning, burning love!
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. @ Slutgarden – Location TBA
The Slut-a-Hoop Class will be teaching basics or pick up some new tricks from Holly Would, Queen of the Slut hoopers. Hoops provided.
Noon – 1 p.m. @ VW Bus Camp – 3:00 & F
Join the High Noon Hoopjam! Whether you are a hooping guru or a beginner, please come join us in our expression of joy with this magical toy! Borrow one of our hoops, or bring your own.
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. @ Conscious Dreamers Bar – 6:30 & D
The Alternative Energy Zone Village is hosting a Hoopjam. Bring your own hoop or borrow a loaner. DJ music and cool beverages provided. Come strut your stuff and/or learn some new moves!
4 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. @ Free Movement Zone – Location TBA
The Temple of Polegasm is hosting “Hoop Ritual” teaching hula hoop basics. Learn basic waist hooping, hip hooping and a fun lift! All Levels welcome.
Wednesday, August 30th, 2011
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. @ Slutgarden – 9:00 & Espalande
The Slut-a-Hoop Class will be teaching basics or pick up some new tricks from Holly Would, Queen of the Slut hoopers. Hoops provided.
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. @ Conscious Dreamers Bar – 6:30 & D
The Alternative Energy Zone Village is hosting a Hoopjam. Bring your own hoop or borrow a loaner. DJ music and cool beverages provided. Come strut your stuff and/or learn some new moves!

Click here to see the full list on >>>

Lace Vest, Blue Sky and a Smile

Super Hooper Accessories from Etsy!

 Ah, I love to to think about  how to dress-up, stand out and show mah hoop 
love with rad hoop internet finds. (My fave.) 

Etsy is the best for random finds of hoop-inspired wear!

Hand in the Sky + Cotton Candy Hoop

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Triple Threat

Rico, "My Contact Staff is Round"

Madness! So different!
I remember I tried to use a prop once and picked up a hat to try out - only to quickly put it down when I realized that taking off and putting on a hat while waist hooping looked pretty ... lame. 
Haha. Rico has got me beat. 

Dearest Hoop,


For always giving me something to look forward to -

For shutting my mind off and letting my body take over -

For helping me grow and achieve -

For allowing me to more readily accept myself and others -

For giving me community and common ground.

It doesn’t matter if I am happy, sad, broke, stressed, 
bored, exhilarated, confused or doubtful - 

I always find peace in you. 


B.Bubble Spins with a Leopard Hoop

Gorgeous shot by B. Bubble via Flickr. 

Hmm are those port-o-potties (what a terrible word) in the background? 
Who knew that they could be so colorful and interesting looking...

Miss Dussault, You Impressive Creature...

This viral gem is everywhere - but I had to post it, if only for my own reference when wanting to rewatch and rewatch and rewatch... 

She starts off as an extremely good, but 'normal' hooper - if that makes sense. As in, I recognize the moves and can do some of them/could learn others. Then. Oh Then! Welp, she just takes off and shows herself as the Cirque du Soliel trained performer that she is. And it is mighty impressive. 

So. Much. Inspiration. 

Oh how I LOVE days like these. 

Up for a Challenge (Time to Get Twisted Like a Pretzel.)

I first saw this tutorial back when it was posted in May and definitely thought it was interesting - but wasn't all too amped to get up and learn it. Moves that are more technical than flow-based usually have that effect on me, like, 'OH HEY WOW COOL....uh, I'll, uh... learn it.... later." But! Today I woke up ready to challenge myself and add something truly new to my hoop repertoire. 

It is also getting down to the last few classes I will be teaching at the very first location I ever taught hooping. Some of those ladies have been with me for years and I want to learn some 'wow factor' moves to leave them with for their self practice. Not that they couldn't scour youtube for inspiration - but it's always more fun to learn in class - at least you can ask the teacher to slow down and show ya some new angles!

Pretzel twist here we go! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Burst of Yellow

That smile says it all!

Blue Sky and Shadow Hooper

In the circle we find peace 
Via: Flickr

Jumbled Colors/Surreal Memories: Birthday Weekend [!!!]

Currently, I am laying down in the awesome bed-fort that still stands. 
The strings of lights are hanging a bit lower, the sheets are tangled and messy and a few white and pink balloons can be seen deflating slowly underneath pillows and blankets. 
Simple props, made important by memory

The weekend began with a bang as Cyndi and I excitedly scavenged all needed supplies for fort building, cake making, wine drinking and non stop revelry. Balloons, oh yes - we need balloons. Glow in the dark bracelets? Absolutely. Plastic wine flutes for added class, several feet of twinkling lights, champagne? Put them all in the cart.  

After putting up the structural support we got to the fun part - decor.  We added the LED hoop for extra lighting, and the new vintage hoop went too well with the color scheme not to be involved. The 3D printed mini hoops were clasped to the lights to further the theme and it was completed with mountains of pillows and balloons and stick-on letters perfect for acerbic birthday wishes. 
(Are there any other kind?)

It was then time for wine and conversation along with my favorite party game for horrible people.
All that fort building and witticism was exhausting and we left the cake bakery for day two. 

Sooooo... RAINBOW CAKE OWNS!  All we needed were five cake tins, one box of white cake mix, food coloring, funfetti frosting and vanilla pudding. We alternated the layers of frosting and pudding to cut some of the sweetness and man-oh-man was that some DEEEELICIOUS cake.
Rainbow flavored joy.

Throughout all of this I also got to dog sit my landlord's sweet silky terrier, which was certainly a birthday treat, and I received a surprise hot pink 29" polypro on Saturday. Sunday was pure recovery. A few spins and turns with the new hoop-but largely a day of lazing before leaving the surreal and care-free weekend world. 

All in all, I must say it was one of the best birthday's to date. 
The past several have been horrifically bad, and I had almost decided that birthday celebrations were over with. But I am so glad I questioned that motive. In my view, you only get one life to live - if you don't create the memories, who will? It is important to celebrate life, no matter what age. This year I stopped taking things for granted and finally made what I wanted to happen - happen. 
The older I seem to get the less I care, and the more fun I have. 

A fact that bodes well for next year, and those that follow. 
Happy birthday indeed.