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.
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