1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Southern California. My close family is small but mighty and I am surrounded by the three most powerful, passionate and all around fabulous woman - my younger sister Lizzy, my loving mama and my grandma who I’ve called Mimi for as long as I can remember - and my amazing dad and grandfather. I have always been absorbed in some sort of competitive movement practice - ice skating & dance - and then became a yoga teacher in my early twenties. All of these passions led me to discover my obsession with hooping and throughout my entire journey, my family has done nothing but offer support, encouragement, words of wisdom and unconditional love. I attribute a lot of who I am as an individual today because of the energy and guidance they’ve given me throughout every stage of my life.
2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? Prior to hooping, I was a competitive dancer and unfortunately had my dreams of pursuing dance professionally crushed because I had to undergo two hip surgeries following several years of chronic pain. I was incredibly depressed because my body was no longer capable of moving without discomfort, even after the surgeries. I had no way of expressing myself and I felt so hopeless...like life suddenly had no meaning. And then hula hoops happened. I honestly never intended to become a “hooper,” let alone a hoop dance instructor, because I didn’t even know this incredible community existed. I innocently bought a hoop at Walmart to play with at a festival, not knowing that it would be a life changing moment for me. I waist hooped for hours, crying tears of joy, because for the first time since my pain, I felt completely at home inside my body. I felt beautiful. I felt empowered. I felt like myself again. I saw another hooper dancing with her LED hoop later that evening and it was the first time I had ever witnessed the magic. From that moment on, I knew I had to learn and the rest was history.
3. What has the hoop taught you about life? My hula hoop has taught me so many unforgettable life lessons - it has reminded me how important it is to be playful, how wonderful it feels to be a complete beginner at something, how necessary it is as human beings to unleash our creative energy, how to go with the natural ebb and flow of life and how to overcome challenges during the learning process...the list goes on and on. My hoop has shown me that we are all connected and that each individual on this planet has something special and unique to share. When I hoop, I am reminded to be grateful of my body and its abilities, to be gentle with myself when I’m in pain and to celebrate small victories...even if that means nailing that challenging chest roll combo I’ve been drilling for days. My hoop has taught me to be kind and vulnerable, because I’ve learned when I create space to share my feelings, others are inspired to do the same. My hoop has ultimately taught me to be unapologetically myself.
4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I have been really fortunate because I have had the opportunity to teach hoop dance classes in some beautiful countries around the world - Israel, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Canada - and in cities across America. Right now, I am working on creating more opportunities to share my skills and perspective on flow with more people in the flow community. I want to create space for people to connect, collaborate and create with one another - whether that’s during a community flow jam, class or a hoop retreat. I’m really looking forward to this next year because I will be teaching at my first international hoop retreats in Australia and Kenya. If someone would have told me this a plastic circle would lead me to so many incredible opportunities, I honestly would have thought they were crazy.
5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? My favorite part about the hoop community is how we are all family...anybody can travel to any country in the entire world and if there is a hooper there, you have a place to stay and someone to go on a flow date with. This community is very inclusive and encouraging; we all celebrate everyone’s victories - big and small. I think a lot of people feel very safe showing vulnerability to others within the community and I think that is so incredibly beautiful. My hoop has ultimately helped me feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself and I aspire to continue to connect people throughout communities around the world in the hopes of helping them feel at home, accepted and loved. I want to lead by example, show kindness and welcome anyone who has even the slightest curiosity about flow with open arms because I know how much it has changed my life. I am so excited to watch this hoop community grow and I want to be a big part of facilitating its growth.