I've been hooping for 7 years last month and teaching hoop for about 5 of those years. I have also been substitute teaching high school math and science for 6 of those years. I got well known at first from my 2013 Electric Forest Hoop Troupe video where my buddy and I made it onto the troupe. The next thing I got recognition for was my 30 Day Chest Roll Variation Challenge a couple years back. I was sick of everyone pretending to do chest rolls and tried (successfully I think) to change the standard. A lot of credit goes to the other big name hoopers that participated in that, Gaile and Emma Hornell to name a couple.
Describing my style is kind of a broad question to undertake. As a hooper, I have a very "dynamic style," and by that I mean I have many tempo changes and cover a lot of floor space. I rarely on-body hoop, but if I do, it's vertical hooping, like Rico. What I mainly do is what I call folded hooping, these are escalators, arm wraps, folded tosses, etc. similar to Nick Guzzardo. I also specialize in chest rolls, these have been my main passion for years and this has turned into hoop balance as well. Currently I am getting a lot of online attention for rolls and balances. My style as a hoop figure in the flow community is mainly based around my reputation as a teacher. A couple years ago I found that my main passion had shifted from the hooping, to the teaching, and I hadn't even realized it. I love to teach so much, and I love to hoop but the activity I most easily find myself getting into the flow state with is teaching. This has been the main motivation behind me teaching at 18 flow events last year. Over the last 3 years I have been trying my damnedest to cultivate a reputation of quality teacher and I believe I have succeeded. In August I received the Fow Arts Institute's Instructor of the Month award, I am in the running for instructor of the year, and this year I taught at more events that almost anyone in the circuit. As a teacher, I have an analytical teaching style that informs intuitive, hard to explain concepts, through single technique-based breakdowns. As for my style as a human, I can't really offer much except for some of my thoughts. Just today, one of the applications I was filling out to teach at a flow festival had this question: In 5 sentences or less. What makes you? Here was my reply, some things I've been thinking about lately, discussing with Emma a bit too.
After 3 years of teaching in the community and gaining a little recognition, I've been starting to consider what impact I'm capable of having within the flow world as a whole. I've learned, through my own observations, that manipulators in my position have an ever present opportunity to impact our community. This opportunity happens outside of class in our everyday actions, how we interact with others, and what we say. This has a real and immediate impact on whoever is observing, and it has the potential to affect their future decisions and opinions, for better or worse. What makes me?: if my stature in the community has made it so more eyes are on me more often, then I am grateful for the opportunity to be able teach others, through my actions outside of class, how to treat people with respect and love.
As for my future plans, or what my vision of my future is, it's quite simple: I want to teach hula hoop, as often, in as many places, with as many different people, for as long as I possibly can. This is the first time I've found a community that feels like a family, and I want to contribute to the collective of knowledge.
Follow Mike Hayataka on Instagram: @mhayataka