GeoRev Hooping

Collapsible Dance Hoops Professionally Made in Canada

Hoop Therapy for Youth

hoop therapy, kid hoopCaroline KruegerComment
teens hula hooping therapy

http://calgaryclosertohome.com/2017/05/31/making-happen-caroline-alternate-teaching-parent

My company featured my therapy work with kids and hoops! Click the link above to read the article.  I wanted to write more about some of my experience hooping with troubled teens in a group home. The internal and external chaos these kids live with is significant. They have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect and abandonment. These are not, in general, the happiest kids. We try to bring stability, love and consistency into their lives as stand-in parents.

Closer to Home uses the Teaching Family Model to help kids learn to use essential skills they will need to be successful as adults. Accepting no, following instructions, emotional regulation and problem-solving are things we work on every day.  Privileges like video games and Netflix, and hanging out in the city unsupervised, are earned when the youth are using their skills. Privileges are limited when the kids are struggling, but we never take away educational programming, sports, access to outside, being with others, music, etc.

Good things happen when we can turn their favorite music on and get to doing my favorite activity, hula hooping, in the sunshine or in the high ceilinged great-room of the group home. The kids are so expressive and it brings smiles and laughter to us every time. I am using this circle as a healing tool for the kids I work with as often as I can. I always have a bright colourful pile of hoops lying around, and make hoops for kids who like using them. Even the most resistant of surly teenagers has used them when I got their favorite music playing and they had "nothing else to do" because their use of electronic devices was limited. ;) 

This photo means a lot to me. It's my job to keep these kids safe and teach them skills, helping them to navigate life with parental like care. Sometimes it's a really hard job. I have a special relationship with the kids I work with, especially these two. They are the ones I mention in the interview.

One of the youth not mentioned in the article is a young man with FASD. He doesn't use his hoop regularly, but when he does it's for hours at a time. Showing me his inventive moves (seriously, you wouldn't believe how fresh these kids are with their hoops) and learning tricks, he is smiling, relaxed and calm.  He usually presents as quite intense. I really love that kid and do my best to treat him with compassion and respect no matter how he treats me. I don't think anyone can fully understand how magical and therapeutic it is when we are hooping together. Only through relationship can past traumas be healed.  He heals me too, making me a more patient person, with a thicker skin and a better ability to remain calm when others are not. This hoop has allowed me to connect with someone who is often manic, verbally aggressive, and depressed. To hear him ask me politely if we can hoop together and take turns playing our favorite songs like we did last time is head-turning and it tells me that he felt way better after hoop dancing for several hours, because it made him feel happy. That, to me, is success.



 

kid hoop

Building a Hoop Practice : Lessons from the Circle

Hoop PracticeCaroline KruegerComment

Creating space for a sustainable hoop practice takes time, it's a fine balancing act. It doesn't always look like a strictly adhered to schedule. I know you are probably hoping to find a sure fire method to create the practice that you desire, but sometimes looking beyond the hard and fast formulas is actually what helps us create the heart-centered practice that we truly want and need.

Hooping has taught me so much, both inside and outside of my circle. Among many things, it has taught me to listen to the infinite wisdom of my body. Our bodies are in constant flow, never truly remaining the same from one moment to the next. Its needs and desires shift. I have found that this translates directly into creating a hoop practice - if we change on a daily basis then our practice must also change too. We so often strive for this flow in our circle but forget to seek the same wisdom outside of it.

Before I discovered hooping I struggled to create any kind of sustained practice for more than several months at a time. I was coming at things from a very black and white perspective; if more than a few days of my schedule were missed I would feel like I'd fallen off the bandwagon and give up. It had been easy to pick up various activities in the past, but next to impossible to stick with them. When I hit my first major hoop rut, there was a part of me that was terrified that I would just be repeating the same pattern. But to my relief, my passion for the hoop is what kept me coming back to my practice. It's easy to hoop everyday when we are feeling blissed out and inspired by our plastic circles - but what about the hard days (or if we're totally honest sometimes weeks and months!)? Like any good relationship it takes time, dedication and effort (and in the case of our hoops sometimes sweat and multiple swear words) to make it work. Nothing is stagnant, nothing is going to be the same day in and day out. Through coming back to the circle time and time again I've come to realize that we're actually learning the most in those tough moments; the times of greatest frustration with ourselves and our hoops. Those moments of WTF (also known as growth) are what truly create the space for the moments of bliss, flow and ease that we all so desire with our hoops. We can't have one without the other, we inherently have to flow between the two.

Flow and balance are intimately connected. In one of her recent videos Anah Reichenbach talked about hoop balancing and how when we first start to do this we over correct, swaying way too far one way, and then to the other, trying to offset the movement of the hoop. As we work more with balancing our hoop, our corrections get smaller and smaller until the hoop essentially looks still and we are only making micro corrections. You can think of your hoop practice (or any practice really) in the same way. Flow on the other hand is about tapping into each moment. It's the impulse to pick up your hoop even though you don't want to, and a knowing of when to take a break and back off for a while. These start out exactly like the big over corrections in balancing; feeling so frustrated and stuck that we don't touch our hoop, only to then swing back into a space where we find our passion reignite and we hoop with more frequency. This isn't detrimental to creating a practice, in fact it's what creating a practice first looks like! As we begin to sink into the flow of where we are at in each moment, in each day (just like the flow we find with our hoops) - we start to need smaller and smaller corrections to sustain our practice. Needing to take a day off here, doesn't spill out over there and impact our ability to come back to our circle the following day.

If you haven't touched your hoop in weeks, months, or even years, that's totally ok. In the past I've taken breaks and found myself channeling energy into other creative pursuits and I came back to my circle when I was ready, feeling refreshed and renewed. Through riding out all of these big over corrections I've finally found a balanced place of sustained practice. For me, that usually means at least 4-5 times a week but there's always flow and flexibility within that. It's about finding what works for you. If you give your hoop some serious time, it will teach you how to show up for yourself, for the moment you're in. Whatever you're feeling that day, just bring it with you. Whatever you're feeling is totally okay - your hoop is just a hunk of pretty plastic and it's NEVER going to judge you. So I invite you to bring whatever it is you're feeling today into your circle with you. Hoop with your frustration, hoop with your rage, hoop with your happiness. There are so few places in our lives where we give ourselves the space and time to be free. So whatever it is, just invite it to dance with you. Some days it's going to look and feel freaking amazing and other days it's -definitely- not. Just move, just breathe, embrace the frustration AND the flow and I promise that you will keep coming back for more.

-Meaghan McQuade, Sponsored GeoRev hooper. 

LED Hoop Battery Safety

LED Hoop, Smart Hoop, Battery, Smart hoop batteryCaroline KruegerComment
Improper storage and charging of these batteries is actually very dangerous and can also short out or blow up our precious hoop babies. Most of us have seen the video on ICC of a girl who had her battery explode while she was recording her hoop session. It ruined her walls, ceilings and floors. This can happen to anyone using rechargeable batteries. Any company that sells these batteries or hoops that use these batteries should teach these simple safety steps. PLEASE SHARE with your flowmies so everyone can hoop safe!
— Mina Brown

 

 

HOOPERVIEW: with Lars Carlson

Caroline KruegerComment

Last week I got to sit down (virtually) with famous male hooper Lars Carlson.  If you don't know who he is, you are missing out on some cutting edge hooping from one of the most dedicated athletes in our field.  I enjoyed picking his brain.  Now if only I could pick up his no-handed step-through....

How long have you been hooping for?

5 years  :)

When did you start hooping?  Who introduced you to it?

On April 5, 2010.  My best friend Jenny gave me a hoop after I had gotten back from a vacation.  I was a senior in high school and became hooked, very quickly, carrying my hoop to school every day and hooping nearly every second I had free until school was out.

Do you have a background in another flow art or dance?

No, I don’t, and this often surprises people.  I’m a raver, however, and have been dancing since I was 15 and started going to raves...street dancing, nothing professional or formally trained.  I believe I had at least a bit of an intro to movement flow from the many hours spent dancing until the wee hours to all forms of rave music.  Other than that, it’s just been hoop, hoop, hoop :P

Who are your biggest inspirations in the hoop world? 
 Do you watch a lot of videos and tutorials?

The first youtube hooper to blow my mind was Mona ShpongledHoops.  She remains one of my most favorite hoopers and will aways hold a spot in my heart as being my first true hoop inspiration.  After Mona, I discovered Sharna Rose, who has captivated me since I saw five seconds of her hoop.  She will be a god in my eyes, forever.  I’m also very inspired by Caterina Suttin.  I love her magic techy style that I could never recreate anywhere near the same.

You have been seen to eat cheeseburgers and spin records while maintaining a hula hoop.  Do you feel that this multitasking while hooping enhances your ability?

Yes, I think it absolutely does!  It can be a very fun way to distract yourself from the drilled details of the hooping you’re doing and it also has possible performance value.  I like to have as much fun as possible while hooping, despite the serious face I usually have on.  It makes me smile inside to geek around with other activities while hooping and really puts me back in the silly shoes I wore as a toddler.  It’s playtime for me, a chance to forget all about being an adult.

Speaking of ability, you are well known for your unique style and mastery of some of the hardest hoop tricks out there.  Which trick was the hardest for you to learn?  Can you tell us a bit about your learning process?

It was the no-handed step through or sliding door.  It involves leaping back and forth sideways through the hoop, vertically, with your thighs bouncing the hoop from left to right at very precise times.  It took me five years to master, and is extremely aerobically demanding to perform, so that made sustained practice challenging.  My learning process involves a lot of conversation with myself and is pretty abstract.  This may be a bit long to describe, so bear with me.  I deliberately wage a mental war with myself and fight the habits I’ve developed when I’m learning something foreign.  What exactly is this?  It’s my process of breaking through the physical AND mental patterns I’ve grown into and changing factors in the system I’ve become familiar with.  I don’t believe growth is possible in any other way than by destroying the walls you’ve constructed around your mind and thinking of things in different ways.  When I can’t get a movement, I analyze myself hooping in a conceptual grid using each joint in my body as a node in the system.  Think of a mannequin- I manipulate different pieces of the mannequin at different times in order to change the overall permutation of my body and meet the physical necessity of that motion.  To move so freely in your body is a challenge, however, and your mind subconsciously stops you from making many of these motions.  That’s why I say it’s necessary to wage a mental war against yourself to break down the barriers, quit tricking yourself into repeating the actions that you’ve grown accustomed to and explore the extremely vast range of motion you possess!

What are you working on right now?  What can we expect to see more of in the future?

Right now I’m working on a lot of foot tricks, which I’ve avoided practicing heavily for quite some time.  I want to be able to hoop standing vertically with my foot above my head, rotating horizontally on that foot.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be that flexible, but I think it’s worth a shot!  It’s not something you see many guy hoopers do, that’s for sure.  I’ve played a lot with floor hooping and foot hooping on the floor and have some ridiculously fun breakdance-style tricks I’ve been playing with.  I’m always working on about 30 things, so progress can be slow, but I’m somewhat ADD with it and jump around too much…

In the future you can expect to see me with a more circusy repertoire.  Acro is something that’s intimidated me over the years, but it’s so dang fun I’m just gonna have to suck it up and learn it already!

How could someone best support you in the desire to earn a living from your incredible talent with hooping?  What appeals to you most - workshops and lessons?  Selling hoops?  Performances?  Hoop porn?  (lol)

Workshops, lessons and performances appeal to me most, but I do love selling hoops and am doing fairly well with the small word-of-mouth hoop business I currently operate.  I’d like to sell DVDs at some point and cover a lot of in-depth hoop theory that I haven’t seen taught too often, but that’s far down the road.  End-game?  I hope to make hooping my career.  It’s cheesy, and everybody says this, but I have truly been able to bring hooping to a large number of people who have enjoyed it and taken it up, and now have seen betterment in their lives because of it.  I suffer from a rare neurological condition and experience chronic nerve pain but have found solace from the suffering in hooping.  I think that a $25 hula hoop can do so much more for somebody’s health than a $150 doctor’s visit during which the doctor simply tells the patient to exercise, which they don’t.  I want my hoops to be covered by health insurance and I have the healing stories to prove that it is viable in the field of health care.  So, someday, I want to take my hooping full-scale and start a nonprofit that gives the gift of hooping to those suffering from serious physical and/or mental health conditions.  I think it could be a huge change in the world if it hit full popularity within the global circuit.  (I couldn't agree more.  -Caro)


Much of your hoop style involves feats of cardiovascular endurance and extreme flexibility.  What do you do besides hooping to stay in such excellent shape?

I pretty much only hoop!  I try to bike everywhere in the summer and I’ll dance my butt off at a show, but I love to dance most of that time with my hoop or hoops.  I love all physical activity, but hooping is my favorite.  I have gone to a gym maybe four times in the last five years and am in the best shape of my life.

Do you have any advice for someone who has seen your videos and is inspired to start hooping?

Take it exactly your own way!  Learn what feels right to you, and don’t let other people define your journey. Find inspiration in others but always maintain your own sense of integrity.  There couldn’t be a better way for you to truly connect with yourself but I’d recommend having fun with it as you go about this.  Just go do it, and don’t compare yourself to others.  Through this approach will you find the most comfort to hoop just like you do best.

Festival Hooping

Caroline KruegerComment

The consensus is in.  When it comes to public hooping, the outdoor music festival is the number one place to get your groove on.  Few environments are as ideal for public hooping as an outdoor concert, and a festival offers around-the-clock access to djs and artists you can choose to suit your personal taste. If you've never hooped in public before, go buy yourself tickets to the nearest outdoor music festival featuring artists you enjoy RIGHT NOW.  It is truly an incomparable experience, and here's why!

The Music

Think your home stereo system is enough?  It isn't.  A festival is a hoop lover's playground, where you can follow your heart and your ears to various spacious and beautifully designed stages. If you've never danced next to a hundred foot long wall of subwoofers, its time you give that a try.  Something magical happens when the music is really good, and also really loud.  Everybody gets on the same wavelength.  You wouldn't believe the flow you can experience, the energy available to you, in this kind of crowd.  A festival is the only place where there is unlimited room to dance with hundreds of other people in an absolute excess of bass.  You will feed off the vibe of the dj, the other dancers, the earth you're all stomping on, and the open sky.  Which brings me to my next point:

The Space

 No ceilings!  No limits!  If you need fifty square feet of space, you get it.  If you want to be right up close to the stage, you can do that, too.  Festival hooping is way better than club hooping because of the space factor.  No matter what stage you're at (unless it's the Pagoda at Shambhala when Pretty Lights or Excision is playing) there is always room at the sides and the back.  And if you do have to go chasing your hoop, it is likely to be intercepted by someone only too happy to hand it back to you.

The Other People

These aren't the picnickers staring at you in the park (annoyed that your hoop has rolled upon their finger sandwiches and knocked over the mustard), or the businessmen who ask you if you aren't a little old to be hula hooping, or your horrified family members in the mall parking lot.  These are people who fully expect you to be doing your thing and getting your groove on, because that's why they are at the festival, too.  A music festival contains some of the happiest people you will ever find gathered together.  Everyone is there to dance and have a good time.  Everyone is on vacation.  There are always tons of hoopers, staff spinners, poi spinners, acro-yoginis, and others whose particular style of dance causes people to watch.  You are not alone.  Unlike in the lobby at your place of employment, your hooping will be at the very least  condoned, if not outright encouraged and applauded at a music festival.  Furthermore, there is no more appreciative audience for your LED hoopdance than the lysergically informed.

Other Hoopers

This is a huge resource.  I live in a small town where I am pretty much the most experienced well known hooper, so music festivals are the only time I get to have dance dialogue with my hoop peers.  Hoopers come out of the woodwork from hundreds of miles around to attend music festivals.  You will see hoop skills being demonstrated at every level.  It doesn't matter if you're brand new, drop the hoop a lot, have a bit of skill, or have been hooping for ten years. Hula hoops are expected, and a normal sight at music festivals. Hoopers just want to dance and connect with people.  You will find most of them to be very approachable.  You might also inspire someone else to start hooping!  You can share your knowledge with newbies and learn a thing or two from the pros.  Where else are you going to find hundreds of hoopers congregating?  Hoop church?

A Few Tips For Festival Hooping:

1.  Plan it out.  Research all the music festivals happening this summer in your area.  Or take a road trip!  You want to pick a festival that caters to your musical taste.  These things aren't just techno raves.  There are rock festivals, bluegrass festivals, folk festivals, country music festivals... the list goes on.  With a little bit of research online you can find a festival showcasing a musical talent that you enjoy, and hooping to live music is so, SO much better than a recording.

2. If your festival journey has any kind of road trip involved, and most of them will, ALWAYS PACK YOUR HOOP(S) LAST, on top of your other stuff.  You don't know what's going to happen.  There could be a construction or landslide delay on the road (happens a lot where I live, but I live in a remote mountain town).  There could be beautiful nature to stop and look at, and hoop in. Someone at the gas station could see your hoops and ask you for a demonstration.  There could be a busking or jamming opportunity in a city or town you roll through. There could be a lengthy line and a long wait to get into the festival.  The music could be so bangin that you have to leave camp setup to your significant other or friends and begin hooping immediately upon entering the festy grounds.  You definitely don't want to be digging through your shit to get at the hoops when you really need them.

3. Get an LED.  Seriously.  You're going to want it at the festival when the sun goes down.  If you can't afford an LED, you can put glowsticks in your polypro.  You can also approach other hoopers when they are taking a break from using theirs.  Most will let you use their LED if you have a day hoop and have shown some skill with it. 
If you want to bring your super expensive smart hoop, you should!  It can't get stolen if you have a death grip on it the entire time.  When not in use, storing it out of view in a locked car is your best bet.  You can also stash it under your tent or under the bed in your tent.  It's always a good idea to make it difficult for thieves if you go this route.  Tie or lock the hoop to something else.  Most thieves want to get in and out and won't bother trying to steal something that takes a lot of time and effort to carry away.  I always camp in a big camp with a ton of friends, so that helps too.  If someone is always around, it isn't very likely that tents in your camp will be plundered.  In general, your stuff is safer at a music festival than it is in your front yard, but there could always be a rotten apple on the tree of fun. 

4. You need a good system for water.  Most festival goers know this, but it's extra important if you're hoop dancing.  When we dance in public to really good music it tends to make us go all out and expend a massive amount of energy per hour.  We lose a lot of H20 generating this energy, and sweating.  Hydration is even more important if you're day-dancing in the hot sun.  Whenever you aren't hooping, you need to be drinking water.  Expect to drink more water than you ever have before - several gallons per day would not be unreasonable.  Some festivals have only one or two water sources so a large (1 - 2 liter) personal water container is advisable. Bring several re-usable water containers.  When you see all the plastic bottles overflowing from the garbage bins, you will be glad to have saved seven or eight of them per day from going into a landfill.

5. Bring extra hoops if you can.  Hoops work well as currency at a festival.  They are always in high demand.  A lot more people would start hooping if they knew where to get one.  Because I am a hoop maker, I am able to bring many extra hoops to a festival.  I carry a sign that says "HOOPS FOR TRADE" and get accosted from all directions the second I leave my camp with it.  I have traded for: jewelry, crystals, amazing clothes, other hoops, fun, other dance props, party favors, delicious food, energy work, massages, art, homemade wine and cash money.  You can't go wrong bringing extra hoops to a festival, even if it's just to put them in a big inviting pile on the dance floor for people to use.

GEOMETRIC REVOLUTION ONLINE HOOP TRADE POLICY

6. Pace yourself.  I had to learn this one the difficult way.  It is very, very tempting to go hard on Thursday night.  I have danced so enthusiastically at the one stage open on my first night at a festival that I woke up the next day to the complete lactic acid RUIN of my leg muscles, and the party hadn't even officially started yet.  It's not physically possible to hoop dance all day and all night for five days in a row, but your ears and heart will try to convince you otherwise.  I force myself to not dance if I feel at all "meh" about what I'm hearing.  That doesn't happen too often, and when it does I just walk myself to a different stage, but it does give me a little rest.  Do not overheat, take breaks, eat well, sleep as much as you can, and monitor your energy and pain levels. 

7.  On using drugs.  Expect there to be drug and alcohol use at a music festival.  Whether you partake or not is entirely up to you.  There are also plenty of people who stay sober (or relatively sober) and don't stay up all night.  Some drugs can enhance your creativity with the hoop.  Some can dissolve your ego and leave you unable to hoop for hours.  Sometimes you can get either of these results from the same drug.  I like to focus on my hooping at festivals and keep the drug use to a minimum.

8.  Try going to bed super early on Sunday night, and set an alarm for 4 am.  All the best dj sets are between 4-10 am on Monday and these are very difficult to attend after a long hard weekend of hooping  without chemical assistance.  It's far better to miss a few acts on Sunday night, get good rest, and have the best Monday morning hoop session of your life. 

9.If money is a concern, volunteer.  Volunteering to help set-up, or clean the land up after a festival is a very rewarding experience.  Not only do you get a free ticket, but you get first choice on a camp site, which can make all the difference in your energy level and ability to switch between hoops easily at a festival.

For many people, festival hooping is where they got their start hooping and hooping in public.  It is a non-judgmental and approving environment to start putting yourself out there with the hoop.  Organizers and dj's spend all year designing the experience for people like us and it shows!  You will have the best time, make new friends, bounce your booty, hoop your face off, and come out on the other side of the festival experience a better and stronger hoop dancer. Happy (festival) hooping! 

If you have any tips or want to share your experience with festival hooping, please leave a comment below! 

On Being Afraid to Hoop in Public

Caroline KruegerComment

So why should you hoop in public? Why do something that may evoke your fear response?  

If you are afraid of something, and it's not going to cause you bodily harm, that is actually an indication that you should move towards that thing. Our emotions are our spiritual compasses, but fear is not what we commonly take it for - something to warn us off of a potential experience because it will be unpleasant. The anticipation of some action, the fear itself, is usually the most disagreeable part. Confronting your fear and growing through it is one of the most liberating feelings in the realm of human experience.

Furthermore, fear is a very real blocker in the flow of universal energy.  Fear makes you say "I can't" to yourself, and then you don't.  If you don't do something on account of fear, nothing will happen.  But if you work through the fear and at least try to do what scared you, anything CAN happen. To push through your fear is to push open the  doors of possibility in your life. 

Think about something wonderful in your existence. It could be that person of quality that you get to hold at night.  It could be an experience which afforded you some opportunity. It could be your skill with a hula hoop or other rewarding hobby. Invariably, the chain of events that led to this marvelous thing can be traced back to a moment when you were afraid - afraid of being vulnerable, or of potential rejection, responsibility, afraid you weren't as good as others, or afraid of what they might think - but for whatever reason, you plunged into the void of uncertainty (possibility) and took action. You faced that fear. This cleared the way for a series of events to get you where you are - and none of it could have happened if you didn't have the courage to find out what lay on the other side of that particular mental worry.

People often tell me that I make it look easy, but I experienced all the physical symptoms of fear the first time I hooped in public, and many times since. It didn't come naturally to me.  Fear can trigger physiological responses that make it hard to hoop - sweaty palms, weak knees, shortness of breath, shakiness. This is nothing more than a challenge to overcome, and I promise you there are rewards waiting for you on the other side.  

Hoop confidence is something I developed over time, and you can too. I just took a deep breath and steeled myself to dance with a prop that we all know makes people look at you.  I hadn't been hooping for very long, maybe four months, and had only just enough moves to string together a bit of flow. Yet that little bit of ability was something I had worked at, a unique relationship with a circle.  It's special. Every day I had practiced and improved until I felt ready to shed my insecurities and say - this is me.  I love this. This is what my body can do and I am no longer afraid to be in the gaze of strangers.  It's ok to be shaky.  Your skill with hooping in public will grow in pace with your hooping ability if you keep doing it. It's a fake it until you make it kind of thing.  It really does get easier.

In the beginning of my hoop journey, I didn't want attention.  I would have much preferred if no one noticed.  And sometimes, people don't.  Hundreds of people might walk right by you and not even take note of your brave new dance. Some might stare.  Some might judge.  Some might be amazed at what you can do.  Some might only notice when you drop the hoop, and then look away.  And none of that is important.   All that matters is that you are incredibly powerful when you face your fear of public hooping and do it for yourself. When you are unapologetically yourself and do what you love in front of the whole world, you give permission for others to do the same.  We all have thoughts of fear and they usually revolve around what other people think. But other people spend exponentially more time thinking about their own fears than focusing on what you're doing. 

You might get a lot of positive thoughts about your public hooping from people, and never even know it.  You might make a new friend.  You might bring joy to children.  Someone might take your picture.  You might spark a conversation between others later on.  You might inspire someone to go home and look up hooping on the internet, and get a hoop, and start hooping themselves! 

So what if someone judges you negatively for your level of hooping skill?  Is that really so scary?  It actually doesn't matter at all.  If they think hooping is dumb, or that you look clumsy - if they are embarrassed to watch a full grown adult who isn't afraid to be herself and do what she loves to do no matter who is or isn't watching, what does that really affect?  It affects them, not you.  It is their own mind that they pollute with negative thoughts and fears.  You are working through yours, by hooping in public. If you are uninitiated to the hoop, what does it mean to judge someone negatively who is obviously in love with that form of movement?  It's a subconscious recognition of the void in your life and a population of your thoughts and words with negativity, which is easier than examining your own fears and going for something that makes you just as happy.  

You see, there is really only one thing to be afraid of when hooping in public, and it isn't the gaze of others.  It's losing your hoop to a busy road or adjacent body of water!  Here are a few tips for overcoming the fear of public hooping:

1.  Baby steps.  Start somewhere you are unlikely to draw a crowd.  Your own yard, the corner of a park, or at a music festival where everyone is already dancing. You may be aware of other people and people possibly watching you, but you're far enough away that they can't see the details of your fear - just the beautiful indistinct shapes and planes of your hoopdance.  If you put yourself between the sun and other people, all they will see is your silhouette.  If you are having difficulty relaxing, turn your body so that you can't see the other people.  Out of sight, out of mind.

2. Smile.  As you get more comfortable, or due to circumstances beyond your control, people may come quite close to you while hooping in a park, at the beach or other public place.  If they can see your face, and if you make eye contact, always smile.  This goes back to giving permission, and faking it until you make it.  A smile says that you are relaxed and confident. It says you are unapologetically enjoying yourself and they can enjoy being outside with you, too.  Smile from your heart.  Smile from humility and elation, from the special relationship you have with the hoop.  Your own energy and the energy of those around will respond to it, I promise. 

3. Choose somewhere inspiring to you.  It is so wonderful to hoop outside.  The general public also enjoys doing activities and being outside in beautiful places near your home, and don't let that stop you from hooping there. 

4. Bring extra hoops, and maybe some music.  You'd be surprised how approachable a pile of brightly colored hoops are.  Suddenly, others are confronting their fears and asking you about what you are doing, and maybe even joining you!  Now you are no longer alone, but instead have become an educator and an advocate for hooping, an agent in the geometric revolution.  You will know that you have conquered your fear and are already reaping the rewards when you see someone else smiling and rocking the hoop in public - because of you.

5.  Practice your chest and back rolls parallel to (and a good distance from) the water.  Practice your escalators perpendicular to it.  Just sayin'.  Hooping in public is awesome!  Retrieving your hoop from a duck pond in public is not. 

Jill Terry hoops under a beautiful arch and adds to the epic scenery (photo above text)

"I've been hooping for a year and a half and majority of my hooping has actually been in public. I taught myself because I'm so driven to become better. Even at 27, I can still find the joy in this plastic toy! Living in St. Louis, my beautiful apartment looked over the neighborhood park. I went down with music, and some ideas...and grew from there. I have dancing background so hoop dance just came naturally. I love the idea of hooping in a public place because of the draw - it intrigues so many people from kids to adults. I've inspired so many people to pick up the hoop and that in itself is the main goal"! - Jill Terry

Kiara Sade-Monia Hoops on Downtown city streets!

"This photo was taken in downtown Chicago. These drummers ran into each other about an hour before they spotted me walking down Michigan Ave. and encouraged me to dance along! I was extremely nervous, as it was my first time hooping in front of complete strangers. But it turned out to be the experience that gave me more confidence in my practice.  Public hooping can definitely be a confidence builder and also help introduce hooping to people in a positive light! I just started hooping last September It's been 8 months and I'm hooked for life. The lake/beach, parks, random grassy areas, pretty much anywhere that's tranquil is my ideal hoop zone. I practice outdoors more and more as the weather warms up and each and every time I take something new from it. With the amount of space and freedom you have to explore your flow you just can't go wrong. With the possibility of onlookers, though they can get your nerves going, it teaches you to focus under pressure. And eventually you realize you're not under any pressure, you're just doing your thing as per usual..." -Kiara Sade-Monia 

Pamela lamont hoops outdoors

"I started hooping in public because I started at festivals!  (Bonaroo and Burning Man, 6 years ago).  Now I teach at festivals, community centres and schools! It is amazing to introduce this whimsical circle to the masses. I still get nervous but I always find the hoop brings out the best in people. At the end of the day someone picks up a hoop and falls in love"! - Pamela Lamont, www.thehoopfairy.com

Jessie Broschart hoops in a public square, in parades, in the park, in nursing homes....

" I have been hooping for a little over 3 years. I started hooping in public after my first year and was invited to hoop in a parade. It was so much fun that I got involved with other events in my community and I love the positive feedback I get from everyone. I love the attention from hooping. It is all positive and a good way to get noticed and make new friends! I always get so excited for any hoop event"! - Jessie Broschart

amy henry hoops in a parade

"I've only been hooping for about 9 months. This was my first (and only, to date) public "appearance". I was really nervous but it helped that there were other hoopers my age participating in the parade". - Amy Henry

Samantha Yvette double hoops at the cherry blossom festival

"I've been hooping for 6 months! I started hooping in public about 3 months into my journey when I was a little bit more confident with my flow. There's so many places I love to hoop at, but my favorite by far is in Great Falls National Park. In the middle of the main trail there is this "beach" along the river where many hikers stop to eat and rest".

-Samantha Yvette

Nancy burns hoops at festivals and an elementary school in Thailand

"I have been hooping for 7 years - in certain places the entire time, but I probably started really publicly hooping and not caring about the reactions I got about 5 years ago then doing "gigs" within the past 3 years.  I love hooping at festivals, elementary schools/orphanages or really anywhere with children are gathered to play, and definitely anywhere while traveling abroad". - Nancy Burns

Krystal Carosiello led hoops at a bonfire

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"I have been hooping about 6 years on and off.  This picture was taken at Return to Roots festival. I actually finally got waist hooping for the first time outside of a concert in a parking lot selling jewelry....everywhere I hoop is pretty public. My yard is on a corner next to a bus stop and hooping in my house sucks....so I guess I always hoop in some form of public...my favorite spot would probably have to be the beach. I haven't been in forever but I've loved it every time"!  - Krystal Carosiello

Jenny McKinney hoops at a crowded beach

"I've been hooping about a year. I started hooping in public within a few months. My favorite public place to hoop is at festivals! Second favorite is at smaller electronic local shows where they let hoops in". -Jenny McKinney

Courtney Janicki LED Hoops in the club and is unperturbed by onlookers

"I've been hooping for a year and 8 months. I technically started hooping in public right off the bat, because it was summer so I was outside a lot and I really started hooping in public at camp bisco that summer. But I still didn't fully start doing it comfortably until the past 6 months because living in Buffalo I had to find indoor places to hoop, so we had a lot of shows and events that are flow friendly held for the public. My favorite place to hoop is at festivals, because everyone is encouraging and feeding off the positivity from each other". - Courtney Janicki

tonya lucas hoops with her baby on her heart at an outdoor concert

"I've been hooping for three years. I've been hooping publicly for two years. I owned a hoop troupe and performed with a burlesque team before my kiddos came along. My favorite place to hoop publicly is at festivals. I was shy, but as soon as I start hooping none of that matters. Hooping makes me feel free".  - Tonya Lucas

jan henry hoops at disney world

"I have been hooping for 5 years total and in public occasionally for the last 3 years...shyly. I get anxious because I worry that people will think I'm showing off. I'm getting bolder. I do like to hoop in unusual places, though. My favorite so far was probably the Grand Canyon because I carried my travel hoop along on our day hike and stopped at various points to assemble it and hoop in ideal spots".  - Jan Henry

Jeanne Rebecca Harrel dances with her mini hoops at a pier

"My one year hoopiversary is in a couple weeks. I hooped for the first time at a festival last summer called Northwest String Summit. My favorite public place to hoop is at outdoor music festivals, but I also love the beach (although wind makes it harder). I keep hoops on me at all times in my car, at work, in case I get the urge to bust them out. I was along a sidewalk pier in this shot so most people were in front of me. A couple families with kids stopped and watched. It was awesome". - Jeanne Rebecca Harrel 

sarah marie hoops in parks, downtown, and at festivals

"These photos were taken at Gasworks park and a music festival at the Gorge (WA). I have been hooping for 13 months and have been public hooping for 11 months.  I am trying out busking and I'm also a contestant on HOOPING IDOL 2015. [THIS VIDEO LINK SHOWS SARAH DOING ALL KINDS OF AMAZING PUBLIC HOOPING!] My favorite place to public hoop is at Greenlake Park in Seattle"!

- Sarah Marie

Ashley LaClair Cribbs hoops in downtown public parks

"I've been hooping since September of last year, about 7 months. I started hooping in public almost right away because I didn't have much of a choice... I live in the city (Stockholm) and in an apartment with not much room, so I was outside in the grass as much as possible. There are always people walking or biking past that space. Sometimes I even see people watching me from their balconies or windows. Honestly I love to try lots of different places for public hooping. There are tons of parks here in Stockholm so I'm trying them all out slowly! The picture was taken in a small park just by the middle of downtown Stockholm, and the view you see in the background is Gamla Stan (Old Town)".

- Ashley LaClair Cribbs

caroline Krueger hoops In her bathing suit on a beach in costa rica

"I have been hooping for four years.  I started hooping in public pretty early on - as soon as I knew a few moves.  I knew from day one that hooping was going to be a big part of my life and that I wanted to be able to share my passion with others.  Although I found it challenging, I pushed myself to hoop in public.  In the club, in public parks, at festivals, and on stage with my fire troupe.  Over time my confidence grew and I am proud to say that I am no longer afraid to hoop in public!" - Caroline Krueger, Geometric Revolution Hooping

If you would like to be featured in this article, contact me.  All you need is a picture of yourself solo hooping, with members of the public in the picture! 

 

10 Hoop Moves for the Club... Or Your Bedroom: Hooping in 4 sq ft of Space!

Caroline KruegerComment

Often the very best place to hoop (where there is 20,000 watts of bass, or in your own home) does not afford you the luxury of unlimited space.  There may be drunk people on all sides of you, or your furniture.  Topping my list of qualifications that make a venue hosting live music excellent is space, both floor space and ceiling height.  I got rid of my coffee table and most of my furniture a long time ago.  Even with these considerations, I often find myself hooping in four square feet of space (or less). 

There are so many moves and combos you can pull off on a crowded dance floor, or in your trailer.  I recommend drilling these tricks, so that when the time comes (i.e., winter) you can still have an ample supply of motions to flow with.  You want to think about all the moves you do that keep the hoop on your body, or close to it.
 

#1.  Core hooping on the waist, chest and knees.  This is your bread and butter for confined space hooping.  Duck out, duck in.  Get low with it.  Breaks and paddles.  One legged hooping.  Moving the hoop up and down your body without using your hands.  Play with your foot work, and use your arms expressively.  I'd say 50% of my time in small space hooping is spent with the hoop on my body. 

#2. Vertical torso hooping on the chest and waist.  This type of movement is amazing to dance with, and also looks very impressive.  It takes a while to learn, so that's probably why.

#3. The vortex.  Continuous vortex, one-handed vortex, vortex breaks, vortex from the knees.  If the space you're in has a high ceiling but you're hemmed in by people, vortex pizza toss. 

#4. Isolations.  With each hand individually, in both directions.  With both hands.  Vertical linear isolations.  Ghosting.  You can usually ghost-pop above your head unless the ceiling is really low.  In that case, angle it above your head and to the side.  Pushing and pulling isolations that occur directly in front of your body in short wave format.  Drive the bus.  Arcing.  Bouncing.  Body spin isos.  If you get right up next to the stage or a wall you might be able to do horizontal linear cat-eye isolations. 

#5. The smear.  Smear for days.  Smear in between all these other tricks.  Smear to change planes.  Add sustained spinning to your smear for the gyroscope globe effect.

#6. The escalator.  Escalator up, escalator down.  Catch your failed body hooping and turn it into an escalator.  Pause for drama with the beat drop and whip that thang.   

#6. Chest rolls and back rolls.  If you're in the club, migrate to the front or back row, against a wall if possible.  If space is really limited, perform these from a stop.  You can even do half chest rolls from flow which require very little space (provided you catch it). 

#7.  Coin Toss.  What, you can do a toss in the club?  I use this one all the time.  It is visually effective to have the hoop airbound in a small space.  People will wonder how you became a ninja.  By practicing the coin toss until you have it so tight, you can get a few full hands-free rotations happening directly in front of your body.

#8. Step-Throughs.  With the hoop spinning forwards, with the hoop spinning backwards.  Continually, or just one to change sides or punctuate how awesome you are.  From an isolation, you can lower the hoop, do a step-through, break it to reverse direction, spin around, and isolate on the other side.  Step-throughs and isolations are best buds when hooping in the club.

#9.  Elbow hooping and passing.  In front of your body, or behind the back.  Vertically, or horizontally, in the bunny ear style.  Forearm in, forearm out can be a great addition to your dancing.

#10.  Shoulder duckouts.  On the horizontal and vertical plane.  The vertical ones are so much easier to do when you're nice and sweaty, which is bound to happen when hooping in the club in your sexy, skin-exposing outfit.

 

TIPS FOR CLUB HOOPING

The best time to hoop in the club is as soon as the dj starts.  This is usually between 9 pm and 11 pm.  Dance floors take a while to get going.  Most people don't like to be the first one dancing so it takes a few confident souls and usually a certain amount of alcohol consumption before the dance floor fills up.  THIS IS YOUR TIME TO HOOP.  You have your own private dj and lighting, and all the space you could want. Once a few people start dancing, the lemming effect takes hold in the group consciousness and your available space to hoop dance rapidly diminishes.  You can always reserve your four sqaure feet of space in the back corner, unless the club is at or over capacity, in which case it is polite to put your hoop away.  At that point you might as well join in on the sardine dance. 

Have an LED hoop.  This is going to save you so much trouble.  Drunk people are far less likely to walk into your hoop if it's brightly lit.  And if they do, well, LEDs are heavy, so it will teach them to watch where they are going.  A hoop is a great personal space enforcer in an alcohol saturated environment, which is usually also where the best live music can be found.

Share the love!  Make friends!  You will inevitably have to take a break, because confined space hooping is work.  I guarantee you there have been girls or boys watching you with longing, wishing they could play with your LED hoop to this amazing music.  Maybe they didn't think club hooping was possible until they saw you.  Find these people if they are too shy to approach you and let them rock it out while you drink water and catch your breath. 

 

 

 

It is the Thrill of the Universe to Surprise You

Caroline Krueger

On an auspicious fall day, I was fortunate enough to meet this soul and aid his travels.  I was privately amazed at the fearless way he ventured into the rain and wilderness with almost no physical possessions.  Since our chance meeting he has consistently enlightened me with powerful messages that seem to be channeled directly from the everlasting Love of source consciousness, one of which I am grateful to share with you here today.  This piece in particular speaks to me very deeply as I consider following my dream of street vending and performing with my hoops.  I hope you enjoy the wisdom of guest author Cody Spierenburg.  

Sadly anything other than the currently accepted scientific approach is stigmatized in our culture. Patents and scientific advances are owned by those who control the money. For this reason there is the appearance that science has stalled, personal transport and the treatment of cancerous diseases have made little to no progress in the last 50 years. The only way to bypass the major road blocks of organized money is to explore to boundaries of life outside the commonly accepted dotted lines.

This is where the societal ideals and commonly accepted "truths" truly pass or fail. It is also a fantastic opportunity of self discovery, so much can be learned about ones self, ones origin and ones destiny beyond the comforts of societal living. In fact it is the only place. So much is false of what we have taken to be true, yet few bother the really test the hypothesises of life that are fed to us at an early age. Beneath the role you've been playing all your life, of son, father, student, professional, there is a truly unique and dynamic individual. The potential depth of any human being is extraordinary beyond measure yet most will never risk moving beyond the shallow waters of limitation.

Adventure is not meant to test you, or prove yourself worthy; it is to show you that magically, without fail, and every time... life works out. It will take care of you, it may even reveal some of its secrets to you. Is even the mere possibility of this not reason enough to run out to middle of the street, flag down the first car you see and let it take you where it may go? Will you tragically not even let the world a chance to surprise you? Will you not give the universe a dance so she may show you some of her magic. Or will you stay your routine, day after day, looking forward to that someday when you are happy, when you are truly fulfilled? When you finally have that nice car or that number in the bank? Or will you be a pioneer of new age? Of a new Renaissance, ancestor of the first people who took a step outside the box, set one foot on the road and declared, "take me life! To the lessons i need to learn!" Will you not rise up to challenge with courage, and say this world needs one like me. One who is not afraid to stand against the current of monotony and throw themselves into the tide of the not-yet-known, not-yet-realized and the not-yet-understood. To step into their God-given power and follow through no matter what. To stand on their own two feet confidently, walk in the world with magic eyes and musical ears. And to be kind, to just be kind and forgiving to those far too ignorant or afraid to ever understand what you are doing or what you would hope to accomplish. If life is not for adventure, what could it possibly be for? What other purpose could we be here other than to learn, explore, appreciate and love?

The system can't be beat from the inside out, you must leave the confines of the castle to find your legion of angels and then you may return to burn it to the ground. If you are ever afraid, or can't even think of where to begin, remember this, I will always be there, waiting for you waiting for your call, with an open invitation to come. I will wait. wait wait wait wait wait, until your desire to know burns stronger than your apathy to stay. That my friend, will be a glorious day.

-KODIAK BEAR-

Circle Consciousness for the Hooper

Caroline Krueger

I could tell the story of how hooping dramatically changed my life, unlocked the strength and love of dance in my body, gave me a form of movement I am obsessed with doing, increased my confidence and opened doors I never imagined existed for me before I identified as a hooper.  My story mirrors your own and that's why I would like to deliver a very important message to you: we are all one and this circle is a primary tool for that discovery.   

Doubtless you have felt magic in your state of flow.  It's the Universe reminding you of that which you already know deep down inside.  You are a powerful creator of reality as we all are.  Within every part of you exists the divine that connects you to everything else, and the complexity of the entire natural universe is reflected by the simple sacred geometry of this circle you dance with.

We have all the answers inside of us, even the ways to change the collectively destructive story we are currently telling on this planet.  It begins with looking inside yourself and listening to your heart, as you did when you first picked up a hula hoop and decided that yes, this is something I can do.  You have already learned that you can achieve what once seemed impossible when you spent months attaining that technical trick.  Manipulating the circle through space and time, you created a new reality out of what began as a thought and a feeling.  What would happen if you applied this concept to every part of your life?  

Keep "playing" with your hoop.  Tap into those beautiful patterns of vibration and make them visible to the whole world through your dance.  Look to your heart and your gut whenever you have a decision to make.  It is the Universe's thrill to surprise you with opportunity and synchronicities, as when you discovered hooping.  Use that feeling as a moral compass.  If it doesn’t feel good in your core and you do it anyway, you force your life into a shape you were never meant to be.  

The hoop has gone viral in the greater populace not once but several times throughout recorded history.  Circle consciousness is on the rise and this is happening again.  This time it will be recognized as a bringer of spiritual education for the masses, sparking a geometric revolution.  You’ve witnessed the web of influence that hoops occupy in our culture expanding, and play a vital link in that growth.  

A hoop is a powerful energy gathering device.  It’s a direct manifestation of the Flower of Life, the community of circles which exists at every scale and enables the coalition of vibration into matter.  The infinitely complex sacred geometry derived from connecting the hearts of the circles in this pattern is the fractal algorithm that Nature uses to construct atoms, molecules, you, planets, stars and galaxies.  You cannot help but to connect with source consciousness on an acutely momentary basis when you tap into flow with a hoop.  If the desire to know your spiritual nature is present, consider that your relationship with the circle is no mere coincidence, but a deliberate and sacred gift from the Universe.

May the Flower of Life open and reveal itself to you!

Happy hooping!

 

Luna hooping for the camera

Sean Allen

These are great hoops and I wanted some great images to show them off. Luna was the perfect pick to show off The Kids Hoop. She was all smiles and spins. Check out a few photos from Luna's quick shoot with Sean Allen.