In 2004, I changed my life in the hoop. I lost 30 lbs, completely transformed my body, and discovered an exercise that I could keep consistent. My mental attitude shifted and I began to feel younger, brighter, happier, and more vibrant. Lately I'm calling it "Hoopiness" - the happiness we can maintain though hooping.
Being a pianist, I spent a lot my life on the piano bench. In my late teens and 20s my body grew heavy through a lack of exercise. My first hoop encounter was at a music gig I was playing in Austin, TX.
(Side note: I perform currently with the Golden Dawn Arkestra and I still am a piano instructor!)
Two girlfriends exploring circus arts in Atlanta brought their larger hoops to a show I was playing in Austin. I gave the hoop a spin after the gig and couldn't keep going on my waist!
I was so determined (and so initially unsuccessful) that my friend let me take the hoop home. That night I managed to get it spinning on my waist and I kept the hoop hostage for 2 months!
I hooped over 2 hours a day and decided that I wanted to master something that did not come naturally to me. If I could do that, then I knew anything was possible!
I realized I would have to learn how make hoops to continue my journey and share it with others. My first attempt at making a hoop with was with some sort of garden hose tubing. Definitely the wrong stuff! Since then I've wrapped and made easily over 1,000 hoops.
Back when I first started making hoops, the only tape I could find was black and white electrical tape.
It molded my style to be striped. I even wrote a song and made a video about hooping because I was so inspired. "Circle." And I was striped.
As my journey continued - I explored hooping with Fire and LED hoops. Fire hooping provided another boost that felt "life-changing." Fire spinning around my body made me feel like a powerful goddess. These experiences changed and empowered me.
I made hoops for all my neighbors, family, and friends.
I gifted 100s of hoops because I felt it was so important to have one and to be hooping.
I began my commuity outreach and "hoop-outs" at schools, health fairs, community events, and other public spaces. I began teaching classes in 2008 after taking HOOPGIRL teacher training in Santa Barbara and after watching every DVD on the market.
Hooping had given me more confidence and courage. I felt stronger, more fearless, and self expressive. I enjoyed inspiring and empowering others also. I began performing some and developing costumes and different "looks." Little slide show below.
As I continued my journey, I wanted to explore more innovative ideas hoop possibilities. Long story short, I developed and patented a product called Maghoops, a magnetic hoop design that allows you to connect multiple hoops together for new possibilities.
I know that the key to my happiness is to live creatively. I believe that when we feel creative in our exercise, then we can sustain it. This is why dance is popular. It's self expression. But some of us feel shy, so we don't dance. I was that shy girl.
With the hoop, I was able to take the focus off of myself - away from my body - my "awkardness." I put the focus into the object - the hoop - not me.
As long as the hoop was moving or spinning, then I was succeeding. Next thing I knew I was lifting my arms and spinning and moving my feet. I was dancing, and the hoop was my partner and guide.
I'm grateful for the hoop teaching me how to be in my body. Because of this I know I'm a stronger, healthier version of myself.
I'm grateful for the massage and touch is provides me, because I always feel hugged.
I'm grateful that it didn't come naturally, because it makes me relate to every beginner. It also made me know anything is possible when we have the desire and passion to learn.
I'm grateful for the bruises and humbling challenges it has given me. It's only through practice that we can rise to mastery.