Hoopologie Ambassadors

Twisted Orbit

Twisted Orbit

Valentina

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? Los Angeles

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? Hooping for me was a natural extension of the belly dance practice I had done since the age of 12. After graduating college, I went to Burning Man and came home deciding that I would like to spin fire one day. About a month or so later I went to the San Diego Burning Man Decompression and met HoopCharmer, who had an LED hoop with her on the dance floor. I tried it and was instantly hooked! I literally spent the whole next day hooping with hoops I borrowed. I went home, ordered a hoop and was obsessed. I would spend 5 hours or more a day trying to figure it out. That was when there weren't many (or very good) tutorials online and no one teaching formal hoop classes either. Within a year I was teaching, making hoops and performing. It seemed like what I was meant to do with my life and I still feel that way.

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? Hooping has taught me that anything is possible. As I started to hoop, I would look at videos and see tricks that I thought I would never be able to do. Literally thinking, "I could never do that." Now - 8 years later I have mastered many of those tricks. I also felt the same way about Aerial arts but because of hooping, I had the confidence to try it and spent years training Lyra, which I eventually performed and taught. I have learned to juggle, which was another one of those things I thought I couldn't do. Hooping is directly connected to my bravery in trying new things, sticking with them and eventually being able to do them! I have discovered my place on this earth, which includes to be a hoop juggler! Who would have thought?!

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I have some goals for 2016 involving tricks I would love to master...there is always more to learn! I want to continue to hone in on my partnership with Bags, both in performance and teaching. I plan to eventually open a hoop/dance/yoga/circus training space in San Diego. I also want to continue to travel performing and teaching around the world.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I value the community's constant source of inspiration and sharing of knowledge. There will always be someone completely rocking it! Giving me the fuel to keep working hard on my hooping practice. Skill share, openness of information and opportunities to grow are abundant in our beautiful community. I can't wait to see where we all go!

 

Safire

Safari Hoop Dance

Safire is a world-renowned circus and fire entertainer, skilled in a variety of movement arts, and has a range of performance experience. She has performed in 15 different countries around the world, has almost 3 million views on her YouTube channel and has appeared in dozens of television spots, magazines, newspapers, blogs and more.

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I grew up in Northern Alberta in Canada. A city tucked away in the Boreal forest, 5 hours north of any other major city. Fort McMurray is an oil town and as a young girl I was always encouraged that I could work in any field I wanted to, I could work on the oil rigs and do a “man’s job”. There were always tons of job fairs as a kid, encouraging women into these fields. The trouble was… none of it interested me. I was always a bit of a weird kid, very excited, wanting to explore everything, interested in the arts, and being creative. When it came time to pick a career path, I decided to get an art degree because visual art was the only thing I really enjoyed in High School.

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? After a few years in art school I choose to get a teaching degree as well, opting to become a high school art teacher. While in University, I met a girl who spun fire poi. When she acted very casually about it, like fire dancing was normal and anyone could do it, I was inspired to try it for myself. Literally the next day I was online, ordering a set of poi, spinning random things in my house and trying to figure out tricks she had done. That was April 2006. Fast forward to August when a friend brought me to Shambhala, an outdoor EDM festival in B.C. It was my first non-punk festival and my second ever “rave”. I saw a girl fire hooping and she was beautiful. BAM, I was hooked and the hoop took over my flow practice full force.

Over the next year and a half I hooped obsessively and after 6 years of University I returned home and said “mom, dad, I want to be a professional hula hooper.”

That was awkward...

In the end I decided to take the leap. I moved 5 hours to the city of Edmonton because I had booked one paid gig. I lived in the living room of a home with two Vietnamese girls in China Town and began my career as a ‘hooper’. The only problem, I didn’t know what that meant. So I decided to do everything. I taught local classes, tried to find performances, did public speaking, sold hoops, etc. The first year was a struggle to make ends meat but it’s now been 8 years working as a hoop dancer and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? How to teach myself ANYTHING. The great thing is I was learning how to hoop at the same time as I was learning how to teach through my education degree. I was able to apply those lessons to myself, the hoop, and to my early students.

In addition to working within the hoop world, I also work as an anti-bullying youth motivational speaker. I suffered from constant bullying and major stages of depression as a child. Learning to find my own happiness has been a very long journey and the hoop has helped me tremendously in that journey. The hoop has taught me how important it is to make decisions for yourself, based on your desires, not on the desires of others. People will call you names in life and tell you what you can and cannot do but it’s you who has to live with the decisions you make. If you want happiness you have to follow your own path. The hoop has taught me that the things you need in life are out there, happiness is not handed to you, you have to work for it.

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? Right now my focus is to create content for hoopers who have been in the hoop for years and are struggling with their practice. There has always been a lot of resources out there for beginners but as our community grows we will need new conversations and new information for long-term hoopers. I’m also working on re-fliming over 400 tutorials for my online hoop classes at http://www.hoopingclasses.com It’s a tedious task but much of the content was filmed in 2009 and I have learned a lot more about how to teach the tricks covered so I want to improve the quality for my students.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I am constantly appreciative of how welcoming and flattering the hoop community is. I still don’t see myself the way other people do so I’m happy to have support on days when I’m feeling down. My contribution to the hoop community is to inspire people in their journey, to teach, and to invite others to share the hoop. In the future I would like to do tropical retreats for hoop teachers and performers. When I’m ready, I'm interested in creating retreats to help others find and discover their own path to happiness.

 

Emma Kenna

Emma Kenna

I am originally from a town in the middle of England called Corby where I stayed until I finished school, safe in the knowledge that I was the sort of child and teen that couldn't hula hoop, handstand, cartwheel or any of that other 'active' stuff. My career choice of Scientist took me to Nottingham to do my Genetics degree. When not studying I was going to music festivals like Glastonbury Festival and became obsessed with watching the amazing fire spinners there. It took 2 years of me sitting by the fire circle every night before one of my mates said to me 'emma, why don't you just learn how to do it?' and the lightbulb switched on! The next year I was IN the circle with my fire poi rather than on the sidelines. :) This was way back in 2000! I spent the next 7 years studying while occasionally spinning my poi at festivals.

So it's 2007, I'm in the second year of my Immunology PhD living in Bristol and I'm asked if I'll teach some poi and do some fire spinning at festival called Secret Garden Party. Why not? So I went along for the weekend. I was set up next to the hula hoop girl, the amazing Anna Hulagan and I soon realised no one wanted to do poi and everyone wanted to hoop with the giant hoops.

Ahhh except I can’t hoop. Never was able to. I'm not even going to try.

Yup I was one of those people.

Anna just hooped and looked awesome and after about 2 days of watching her and wishing I could do it I picked up the courage to have a go and what do you know?.... seems my 'broken hips' weren't so broken and the 44" hoop worked pretty well. I then spent the rest of my festival hooping at my waist and make every passerby join in. Teacher from day 1 :P That night at the fire show, I was feeling pretty good about my poi until Anna rocks up in her leather chaps and a fire hoop and that was it. Decision made. THIS is my new thing!

But I didn't buy a hoop then... "what £25 for a hoop?? I'll make my own"

Yes, I was also one of those people :P

I made myself a 42" hoop a few weeks later and couldn't really do it that well and got completely discouraged. It wasn't until the following January when I saw Beth Lavinder's "Hooping to Nick Drake" video in her dance barn in North Carolina that I completely decided I was "going to be able to move like that". I went online and bought a 44" spongy taped Hoopnotica travel hoop (anyone remember those :P) which I hooped to death over the next dew months in my living room, curtains drawn so noone could see me! Then I got another one and hooped that one to death too :P All I wanted to do was hoop :P

At around this time, my mum passed away after a long 6 year battle with cancer. I was writing up my PhD thesis, working on my postdoc research, working in an undergraduate student residence as a warden to afford rent, the grief was always there... honestly it was a hard time. Hooping kept me sane, kept me happy, kept me dancing and I can never be grateful enough to have had it :)

I started my first hoop class in the winter of that first year for some friends who wanted to learn. This quickly escalated over the next couple of years it turned into multiple regular classes and some of my advanced students starting to teach for me and 'Hooping Mad' was born!

I managed to finish my thesis and get my PhD but I was only 6 more months in the lab before I decided I wanted to teach more than research so I was looking into teaching positions when I thought 'why not try the hoop stuff full time?' So that's what I did :P

And since then it's been a whirlwind of world travel, great friends, dusty firey festivals, sparkly outfits, under over pants, crotch emphasis, van dwelling, workshops, SWhoops, comedy thrusting, personal development, sofa surfing, ohm-ing, TWEEKs, ohmadonna-ing and obviously a lot of hooping! It's not been all roses, there's been some heartbreak, money dramas, loneliness and lots of random pets sitting on my head or licking my face in the mornings (one of those things when you’re a professional couch surfer :P) but I can live with that! It's been an amazing journey so far and I can't wait to see what the next stage holds.

The biggest thing hooping has taught me is that I can do anything if I put the time in. I’ve taken ‘can’t’ out of my vocabulary. It may have taken until I was 30 but this realisation means I'm 35 and new at learning handstands, cartwheels, ukulele, speaking german and I've literally just got into pole dancing.... I reckon I'll be a master by the time I'm 50 :) More things!!

I've been lucky enough to gain support from some amazing companies such as Hoopologie, Bendy Wicks, Fancy Tapes and Astral Hoops as well as individual support via my patreon page which is a new-ish venture but has been really well supported.

Other than the pole dancing and yoga, I'm currently working on organising my crazy amount of online hoop resources to one place, making more online workshops and doing week intensives in Bali and Turkey. I’m loving instagram and have just started doing the 15sec instatutorials which are fun. This year I’ll be teaching in Bali, Hong Kong, Turkey, Dubai, Germany, Holland and Austria :) I would like to work on a street show which includes my comedy character and over-under pants and ukulele and hoop and I’m also working on a heavy technical hoop act for the hoop conventions this year. This year I’ll be performing (and teaching) at the The Hoop Dream Retreat in Bali, the German Hoop Convention in Hannover, Heart Hoop Dance in Holland and the Austrian Hoop Convention in Vienna.

Life is good.

 

Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan

Since leaving her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan almost 3 years ago Kate has traveled the world teaching and performing circus. Her journey began in the summer of 2013 at a transformational festival of music and arts. A short year later Kate found herself teaching social circus in Asia and would soon be traveling to study circus in Australia. Kate was never a shy person, however in hoop dance she found a voice to speak the words she could never quiet figure out. Now an avid writer, workshop facilitator, circus artist, and inspirational "kid at heart" Kate lives her days fully embraced in the "childhood dream". Hula hooping taught Kate that her quirks were to be enjoyed. She was different, and she quickly learned that these "things", the "things" that often make you feel alone, are the contributing factors that make YOUR dance YOUR own. Embody your body. She has visited a global community of hoopstars and discovered one thing we all have in common, we LOVE to play.

Kate travels the world sharing this message "....always play, in everything you do BE YOU. Be silly, be weird, be adventurous, embrace the childhood dream, live your life optimistically, anything and everything is possible!" Currently wrapping up her west coast tour of Canada, Kate is headed south down to California next. The dream? To start her very own circus. Following her hearts content Kate is searching for the clown in everyone of us. To follow her journey though circus visit kateryan.ca where she shares travels blogs, updates, tips and tricks, behind the scenes of her latest project.

Circo Cielo.

"I know it is cliche to say this, but hula hooping saved my life. My childhood was not ideal. These experiences shaped my troublesome teens and sent me spiraling downhill. I was living the wrong life, with the wrong crowd, in the wrong place and time. I saw no potential for myself, and then I started hula hooping. I started hula hooping when I was 18 years old. I am 21 now. I I have traveled 4 continents, 5 countries, and taught well over 3,000 people how to hula hoop. From the beginner hoop tricks to traveling the world solo, I have accomplished things I never thought possible. I found confidence, I found a friend within me. However it is not about the number, what it is about is living my life to it's fullest potential. Living OUR lives to their fullest potential. For the first time I see myself happy". Most importantly Kate values the uniqueness of the hoop community. She truly believes that happiness is found in a child's play toy.

Simple as that, let's play!

 

Gail O'Brien

Gail O'Brien

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in a little village near Belfast in Northern Ireland.

2. Why hooping? I started hooping for fun after being introduced to it by a friend in Bolivia I was terrible and couldn't shoulder hoop standing still for about 3 years!

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? Playing is still the most fun even if you're supposed to be a grown up!

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? More practice, less travel. I love travelling but it's really hard to maintain a consistent practice when you are moving around so much. This year I want to focus more on training and performing and growing my business.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? The hoop community are always really open and generous whenever I visit different cities and that is really appreciated. I hope to contribute less goddess and more tech!!

 

Hillia Hula

Hillia Hula

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born and raised most of my life in Yakima, WA and started hooping when I moved to Ellensburg, WA.

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? I remember randomly buying a kids’ toy hoop at a yard sale because it looked like fun. This was before I knew that hooping existed. I Googled “hula hoop workout” and found a hoop dance video for the first time. I was absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of hoop dance and knew I had to find a way to learn what I had seen. Unfortunately there were no instructors or classes around the area so I had to rely on YouTube videos and the few tutorials I could find. I started in a small storage room in my apartment and used my webcam to record my progress. I fell in love with hooping and wanted to do it all the time, wherever I could. I guess you could say not much has changed since then because I am still obsessed with hooping! I started off as a busker at local farmer’s markets and gradually gained the confidence to expand into a full time performance artist.

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? I can honestly say that hooping has changed my life for the better! I spent many years trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. Looking back, I would have never imagined I would be a hula hooper doing half of the things I do now. Anything is possible! At the time, I was also dealing with many anxiety issues. Hooping allowed me to escape into a sort of trance and allowed me to immerse myself in a creative flow process. My love for hooping gave me self-confidence and ambition like no other. There is a great freedom and joy that comes with expressing yourself fully without fear of judgment.

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I’m currently doing lots of performances across the west coast and am grateful for every minute of it. I also love making creative videos to share and am always inspired to push my perceived limits and step outside my comfort zone. My goal is to travel and share hooping with as many people in as many places as possible. That being said, I definitely hope to busk and perform abroad in the near future.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I love the support and inspiration the hoop community gives one another. Each hooper has a completely different flow unique to them. I think its great that we can have our differences in expression of movement and still support each other rather than striving for one, correct style. Our community thrives when we lift one another up and grow with each other. I personally hope to encourage and inspire other hoopers and hope to contribute by creating lots of fun new hoop concepts.

 

Trixie Turvy

Trixie Turvy

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I grew up in a rural town in Georgia, where we raised cows and watermelon. I was shy and quiet but I wanted to travel, so I worked hard at school, applied for an early entrance scholarship to go away for college, and started working toward funding for academic conferences and summer programs in different cities across the US. So the first half of my growing-up happened in the middle of nowhere, and the second half happened all over the place!

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? I met a hooper at an academic program in 2006. He had giant hoops, and he was playing alone in a park outside the college, looking very peaceful. He taught me to waist hoop, showed me a couple other moves, and told me how to make hoops from irrigation tubing. I liked hooping immediately because it was such a different kind of challenge from what the rest of my life was focused on, in books and classes and part-time jobs, and it gave me down time that I really needed, but it still let me feel like I was learning and achieving something. I was a super workaholic! I hooped to take breaks from schoolwork through my bachelor’s degree and my first graduate program, and by then, I had taught a close friend to hoop. We met with our hoops every morning before taking and teaching classes. She gave me a hoop “assignment” each day (i.e. figure out this cool barrel roll break thing so-and-so’s doing on YouTube) and it was my job to learn it before the next morning and teach it to her. The back and forth was a lot of fun, and it kept me constantly at the edge of my abilities. About that time, I saw Lisa Lottie’s “Slinky” routine, and then I saw a couple multi-hoopers in circuses for the first time. I already loved the activity of hooping, but this glamorous, world-traveling, and apparently superhuman style of hooping blew me away! I started using hooping as a corner of my life each day to play pretend, to try ridiculous-looking multi-hooping tricks and imagine my way to being able to do them. My friend said I was “becoming a circus” and it made me smile, but I never really imagined myself onstage in a tent somewhere with platinum blond pincurls and sequined leotards, spinning five or six hoops up and down my body!

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? Hula hooping eased me out of the workaholic mindset I developed early on, the one that got me into graduate school at 18 but also ate up all my spare time and wore me down. It taught me the very real importance of play, of taking time to follow your fancies and do things you want to do for no external reason, just for yourself, however unproductive they might appear to others. I learned that play actually is incredibly productive, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The years I’ve been learning to hoop have been an education in myself, helping me take better care of myself emotionally, teaching me what kinds of activities and challenges make me feel best on a day-to-day basis, and eventually leading me to ways to form my life around what makes me healthy and happy. I left my PhD program and teaching job to join the traveling carnival sideshow I’m now in my third year with, where I hula hoop, perform old-fashioned stage illusions, and get knives thrown at me for a tent full of fairgoers three or four times a day, and I’ve never been happier!

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I love working with the World of Wonders Sideshow, and I plan to keep performing and learning here for the foreseeable future. I enjoy putting together a new routine each season based on what I’ve figured out over the previous one, so practice daily, and I sit down every couple weeks and watch lots of videos of amazing hoopers doing things that are still out of my reach. Right now I’m working on six-hoop splits and some other multi-hooping tricks that are new for me, and I’m also trying to catch up on some of the wild single-hoop moves that hoopers have come up with over the last few years! I’m also learning a lot about performance from this job, which is an entirely different type of skill. I feel myself growing as a performer each season, and I can also feel how far I still have to go! In terms of my hoop “life,” I’d really like to make the most of my traveling by getting off the fairgrounds more often to hoop with local hoopers and hoop groups, and I’m interested in eventually coordinating circus-hooping and multi-hooping guest workshops in established hoop classes and communities. Finally--and this isn’t exactly about hooping, but it’s an offshoot of my hoop life—I’m learning trick roping, which feels like a much feistier and more difficult hula hoop, and it’s exciting to start basically the same learning process all over again after a decade!

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I love how hooping as an art is so dynamic and constantly growing. So many people do so many cool new things with their hula hoops each year, and even though I’ve practiced mostly traditional circus hooping, it’s amazing to me to watch the community as a whole expand what the art is further the longer hooping is popular. I love the growing sense of free play in hooping, that there’s countless ways to approach a hoop and no right path to take, and I’m grateful for the free exchange of ideas and creativity between hoopers in person and online. I’m happy to be able to share what I know and give other hoopers gentle and positive guidance for some of the time-consuming and physically challenging learning processes involved in circus hooping and on-body multi-hooping. I love helping other hoopers build a foundation for their own exponential growth!

 

Lisa Looping

Lisa Looping

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born in the countryside in the very west of Austria, right next to Germany and Switzerland and had a very beautiful childhood. I left to explore the world when I hit 19 after my A-levels and went to the south of France for 1 year. After coming back I moved to Vienna and started studying advertising and also worked in an advertising agency for a few years. 2003 I met the right people and started to work for an international performance company 2005 and slowly sneaked my way from the office onto the stage. That's also when I started to travel a lot.

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? The first people that I saw hooping was 2 amazing artist friends: Grace Billings and Satya Bella from FlameOz (UK / Australia). They taught me my first workshop and they have been my inspiration for multi hooping from the very start.

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? Never give up. You are never to old to start something new! Let your passion drive your life! Do what makes you happy and this will inspire everybody around you to do the same and we will make a happier world! Follow your heart and your dreams!

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I am teaching regular hoop dance courses and workshop in Vienna every spring and autumn that are all full which makes me extremely happy! On the weekends I usually perform my multi hoop act for a local dinner + show company all over Austria.I am escaping European winter and will travel in Asia in February and March, coming back for spring. Specially looking forward to Thailand and Bali where I will teach an Aerial Yoga Teacher Training and also dedicate some time to my AcroYoga teaching practice and connect with the local hoop community.Austrian Hoop Convention 2016 will take place for the 3rd time in Vienna: 12. - 14 August! Preparations have already started and ticket pre-sales will start soon!

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I love the fact that every hooper is eager to share the latest tricks he learned or developed. There is no holding back of knowledge but a deep understanding that by expanding our community we will all have more fun. I specially like it when hoopers are gathering for conventions and workshop weekends. The energy is simply amazing being in the same room with so many enthusiastic people looking for more inspiration and exploring their passion.

 

Ninja Hoops

Ninja Hoops

Saving the world is an epic assignment. But with years of training under their belts, Ninja Hoops is up for the challenge. Teaming up in 2010, these movement masters have taught and performed at events across the world in 10 countries, from California to Canada and Bali to Berlin, and everywhere in between. Their distinctive hooping style is known for integrating elements of martial arts, classical acrobatics, and silly clowning. Their act is recognized for combining a diverse array of disciplines in an inspirational display of their unique talents and solid connection. Zach and Marria offer workshops year-round that teach students of all ages and all skill levels. They are serious about training their ninja skills, and their favorite fruit is the banana. They hope their collaboration will inspire other artists to try other disciplines, share their experience and continue to push the evolution of the movement arts.

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born in Florida and raised in New Jersey. I moved to Massachusetts for university and discovered hooping and Zach in Boston. Zach was born and raised in Oakland, California. He moved to Massachusetts for university and discovered Marria and hooping in Boston. Now the we both live in Oakland, California. - Marria

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? I discovered hooping in 2005 at a regional Burn in Vermont called Firefly. A friend offered me a huge, adult-sized hoop. I was a little self-conscious at first and couldn't do it, so I went into the woods and spun it around and around until it stayed up. Success! I fell in love with the hoop and hooped for hours to great music with amazing people on that first fated morning. - Marria

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? The hoop has showed me that the most unsuspecting things can carry deep meaning. We should follow our passion and joy and that will lead the way to the most enjoyable life. - Marria
The hoop has taught me that play can transcend age and social status, and that something fun can be so universally translated to others. Using the hoop the bridge the gap between people and cultures would have seemed impossible to me before. -- Zach

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? Somehow, the hoop has taken me and us around the world several times. That was a dream that has become a reality. I want to keep traveling and hopefully find a place where we can host a Ninja Hoops retreat. We want to continue to reach as many people as possible digitally and to push the art to the next level. We hope to team up with other artists, musicians, videographers and digital production teams to elevate hooping to be a respected art form worldwide. - Marria

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? Being part of a such a close-knit, yet world-wide community has been a very special experience. As we've traveled, we've met hoopers from all walks of life, and made friends with people who's experience differs great from our own. I'm grateful that this plastic circle has let me connect with so many sweet, caring, supportive people all over the world. I hope to be able to support my community by sharing my knowledge on how to play. The hoop is our friend, partner, challenger, and muse, and by connecting with that we find ourselves transcending our normal experience. I hope also to grow our community all over the world by exposing people to the awesome that is hooping. --Zach

 

Anna Fisher

Anna Fisher

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born and grew up on the North West coast of Tasmania.

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? I grew up emerged and enthralled in youth circus since I was about 8 years old. It was during this time I began hula hooping and it quickly became one of my favourite specialities. As I got older I wanted to take my circus training to a higher level and was accepted into the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne to complete a certificate III and IV in Circus Arts whilst finishing high school. Gradually I drifted away from my other circus disciplines and now strictly train my absolute passion, Hula Hoops.

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? Hoops have taught me to work hard and never stop pushing yourself about what you can achieve.

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? Amongst finishing my Psychological Sciences degree, I am hoping to continue training and push the limits of balance and circus hoops further, as well as expand my repertoire to hoop juggling and hoop rolling. 2016 saw my first international tour to Europe and New Zealand teaching workshops and performing at hoop events and circus festivals. I absolutely love teaching and my dream is to take my hoops all around the world.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? The people hooping has led me too – I’m so grateful for all the wonderful friendships I have made because of it. I am also passionate about hoop conventions and events, as I owe much of my own hooping experience to events like this growing up as a kid. I think it’s a great way to learn, meet people, have fun and get inspired. I am hoping to get more things like this happening in Australia!

 

Marianna De Sanctis

Marianna De Sanctis

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in south Italy, Catanzaro.

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? Before hooping I was waitressing in a bar and was severly underpaid. Silvia Pavone introduced me to the hoop and I instantly fell in love. It came naturally and I pursued it further by doing street performances and entering circus school. When I first entered school it was seen has more of standard circus prop as opposed to the flow prop it is known as in today's contemporary circus. Fortunately things are changing!!!

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? The hoop is everything to me. The hoop re-introduced me to my inner child and have been very fortunate to make it a working career. My work is a game and is the best gift I could have ever dreamed of.

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I worked a lot, traveled a lot, and met a lot of beautiful people along the way. But what I miss is that inner peace and lasting relationships you get from staying one location for long periods.
But two things are important to me. The first is my desire to teach more people that the hoop is not only technique but also a form to develop their personality. Currently I mostly teach in Europe but hope to travel extensively in America and teach creative workshops. I have heard there are a lot of hoopers in America, so I would love to bring my style to the US.
The second is to work on a new number with my juggling duo with my boyfriend. Currently we work together in a cabaret in various parts of Germany, the GOP. The act showcases my hoop routines, a number of routines with hoops and clubs, and then we also work with another girl that also performs with a hoop. Three hula numbers in one show, a great achievement for the hoop world.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I love the hugs in the convention, the non-competitiveness of the beginner, the love for the common art, the open mouth of someone who sees a new trick, the colors of the hoop ... and much more.
How can I help someone if the same people to which I teach, contribute to my life? I would like to share my unique style as well as the business aspects of being a professional hooper. The business can be often difficult and distract from why I started hooping in the first place.