Monday, August 17, 2009

Hoop dreams

I saw hoop dancing for the first time this summer. That day was pretty memorable for me- it was a vibrant celebration of arts and culture and humanity. It was also the first day that I felt happy after being in pain for a month- I had pulled a muscle in my back sneezing, of all things.

Since then I had a boatload of physical therapy with an amazing PT (believe me, after injuring myself so many times, I have had a lot of physical therapy, and I never encountered an amazing one that actually seemed to care that I do things to enable myself NOT to get injured again). That day, the day that I was almost pain-free and happy, I was waiting in line for snacks and one of the other-kinds-of-dancing performers was behind me, talking to the lady in front of me, saying that she had scoliosis and dancing really helped her re-integrate her whole body. It was one of those a-ha moments. We had a really interesting conversation.

Then I saw hoop dancers at Arab World Fest and realized I really wanted to do those amazing things.

Google led me to a hoop dancing class this past Saturday at the Lakefront, led by the vivacious and amazingly spritelike Anna, below center.

Not only did I not get injured BUT it was a blast. I DID IT!!! Yay me.

I didn't look as amazing as Andy, above, or this girl below, but...
...if I ever make it to Burning Man, I'll have something to share.


elizabeth said...

ooooooh lady, you rock!!! after your post and seeing a video on zumba i was thinking how hooping would really give you (a person/me) good flexibility!! i am so proud of you that YOU DID IT!!! way to seek out new experiences... i hope it gives you lots of joy!

The River Otter said...

Aw, E, thanks! I wish we lived closer together!!

Natalie said...

I know the girls you saw hooping at Arab Fest, in fact they were playing with my hoops. The tall one is Shelby who teaches veil and the other one is Courtney a fellow dance student. Anyways I saw the picture you got of them hooping so I came to your page and read through some of your posts. I was really excited to see that your taking hooping lessons now (we need more hoopers around here) plus I think that they will be excited to hear that they inspired you to pick up a hoop. I cannot wait to tell them!

Also you should check out
Its an online hooping community run by the very woman that inspired me to pick up a hoop, SaFire. Its a good way to connect with other hoopers plus if your interested she teaches online classes (which is how I have been learning hooping for the past 7 months) that you can download and put on your iPod. And for some hoopinspiration here are some hoopers to google and/or youtube:

SaFire (Excellent teacher with mad multihooping skills! Also a fire performer)
Hoopalicious (She has been hooping for at least 12 years!)
Baxter (HoopPath instructor with amazing blind hooping skills)
Karis (always entertaining and fun to watch plus exceptionally skilled)

Also check out:
The Hooping Life

Anyways sorry to overload you with all that I just wanted to share. Hopefully we will be at Arab Fest again next year, if so you should stop by and hoop it up with us! Its always great fun to meet a fellow hooper...

Happy Hooping!

The River Otter said...

Thanks for the info and the links, Natalie! That is really inspiring. :) I'm just getting into it a little- so many possibilities!