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This is Me

I’ve grappled with this idea of creating videos of me hooping to upload into the vast ether world. I’ve been videoing my hoop journey since the very beginning for the sole purpose of trying to figure out where I was going wrong. Back in the day I had no hoop teacher and the number of hoop tutorials on you tube were limited. As I progressed so to did the hoopers on youtube and I always felt that no matter how much I progressed I had nothing to offer in comparison to them. Now in 2016 8 years after I first picked up the hoop the level of hooper-tricks is out of this world…………….

Realisation number 1 – There will always be 1 or 1000 hoopers ‘better’ than me.

Ok so now I’m cool with having thousands of people better than me, because at the end of the day it’s not about being the best. It’s not about the end result, it’s about the process. Of course if the end result is friggin awesome then hell yeah! I do still strive to perfect what I do and create a beautiful end piece. But I still couldn’t face putting my self out there. What if people didn’t like my style of hoop dance? Wait…What?  I have a style?

Realisation number 2 – Every single hooper is different. Just like we all have preferences for foods, colours, partners etc. we all like to move differently. We all have our own individual style which actually means no one is better than any one. I am the best at my own style. My style happens to be old schoolish thanks to Safire, Shakti, Brecken, Babz and Tiana.

This means that some people will love my style and others will dismiss it as boring or some word that describes the opposite of their style. So now I’m ok with being different, in fact I love my style and I embrace my old school vibe. I don’t push aside all these super cool, hyper speed, mind boggling new moves, I actually challenge myself with them and see if once I can do it I can make it into my own style. This brings up something new………………what if ‘they’ steal my moves!? What? Like I just did with Tiana’s head hooping?

This is an odd thought and I actually haven’t had it often, mostly because I don’t really have anything to steal, but it’s still an interesting concept. Here’s the thing, the hoop community has grown the way it has because of peoples generosity with their knowledge and skills. If Safire hadn’t taken time to break down the vortex back in 2008 I might still be waist hooping!* I wanted to learn what I saw Brecken doing (after first scrubbing the floor) because she inspired me. I wanted to move like Shakti in her hoop camp performance because it brought tears to my eyes every time I watched it; She inspired me on so many levels. I am so grateful that each of you had the courage to put yourself out there and inspire me.

Realisation number 3 – Inspiration; To be inspired and To inspire, my Self and Others. This is a great reason to put some videos out there.

So I’m almost there, and yet something else holds me back. I detest editing it’s not my strength, it takes FOREVER and the less time I can spend behind the computer the better. But I very seldom have a video where I don’t fuck up, at least in my eyes and all the videos out there are so friggin perfect!!!! Sigh! Then I spent a weekend with my friend Bela, the hoops were rolling and flying all over the place and Bela said “There should be a hoop series called The Real Hooper, where tutorials show the hoop flying off and rolling away because no one ever gets it right first time and it would make people like us feel so much better.” Hmmmmmmmmm

Realisation number 4 – I am human, I make mistakes. When I teach and a student comments on how graceful I look, that they will never be like me, my response is “But I was once like you and in fact it took me way longer and many more mistakes to get it right.” It’s ok to show the world these bloopers.

These bloopers are what make me the hoop dancer I am today.

One last thing that you should know… I’m really nervous in front of a camera. I recently did some professional videos for tutorials and such and after watching them I realised I’ll leave the bulk of tutorials to the professionals. I can break down a trick pretty damn well but talking to a machine about it, is just weird!

So putting it all together. There will always be hoopers doing crazier stuff than me. I have my own style which I am the master of. I hoop to inspire my Self and Others. I am human, I make mistakes just like everyone else and it’s ok to be this and share it. You probably won’t find me doing tutorials, for now anyway.

So I’ve started a youtube playlist on Hoop Flow Love called This is Me. The most editing I do is chopping beginnings and ends, adding my story pieces and some music if the back ground audio is bad. I video my personal play time, I don’t set out to ‘film’ a piece. What you see is in my wild habitat just being me.

I hope you enjoy them. I hope that along the way I will inspire someone and I’m excited to watch my own progress.

Thanks for reading.

Here are some links to the original youtube videos that inspired me back in the day. There are newer ones but these are what got me wiggling. There’s also a link to my playlist.

* I could have sworn it was Safire who I learnt the ‘snot on the back of the hand’ metaphor for the vortex, but I just tried to find the video and I can’t. So to whoever used that metaphor – Thank you. It’s the BEST. I still use it with my students today and it works a dream 🙂 Safire Thanks for all the other tutorials I watched over and over again. 🙂