Dancing in the Mountains: WHD Dance 2015


Travel in India inspires this year’s WHD Dance. In the foothills of the Himalayas, I’ve been choreographing Bollywood style and it’s turning out to be quite cute and fun. It combines some off-body moves with a bit of on-body dance, lots of bouncy footwork and graceful things to do with your arms & eyes.

The song, Chaiyya Chaiyya, is an Urdu love song from the film Dil Se. It’s 3 minutes long, edited from a longer version, and you can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/spin-matsuri/chaiyya-chaiyya-whd-2015

My Internet access is limited until I get to Bangalore in early July, but I plan to film the tutorials and get them uploaded as soon as I can after that! If you want to start working on the hoop moves, here are some in the dance so far (If the names aren’t familiar, you’ll find most of them in the 33 Hoop Moves video.)

  • Anti-spin flower
  • Weave
  • Baseline pass
  • Isolation
  • Mandala
  • Z-spin
  • Lasso/cowgirl

If want to drill movements while waist hooping, practice turning in the hoop, walking, and doing grapevines. Some of the footwork also involves squats, turns, and formations.


50 Positive Words for Hoop Teachers

Using positive words with students is a powerful teaching technique. Everyone responds well to genuine and sincere praise. It’s especially helpful to point out something specific about a student’s effort – whether it is how hard they are working, a natural gift for rhythm, or graceful footwork.

But as a teacher, I find myself stuck using the same three or four phrases repeatedly. I am sure my students are getting bored being told they are awesome, terrific, and gorgeous! So here is a list of 50 useful adjectives that you can use to pump up your praise without repeating yourself. These are also helpful for your own personal affirmations and self-praise.

  1. Alive
  2. Amazing
  3. Animated
  4. Awesome
  5. Beautiful
  6. Blissful
  7. Brilliant
  8. Bubbling
  9. Calm
  10. Comfortable
  11. Courageous
  12. Curious
  13. Ebullient
  14. Effervescent
  15. Energetic
  16. Enlivened
  17. Enthusiastic
  18. Excited
  19. Expressive
  20. Exhilarated
  21. Exuberant
  22. Fabulous
  23. Free
  24. Gorgeous
  25. Graceful
  26. High spirited
  27. Hopeful
  28. Hot
  29. Inspired
  30. Intense
  31. Invigorated
  32. Joyous
  33. Lively
  34. Motivated
  35. Optimistic
  36. Passionate
  37. Patient
  38. Powerful
  39. Radiant
  40. Refreshed
  41. Serene
  42. Soft
  43. Stimulated
  44. Strong
  45. Superb
  46. Surprised
  47. Terrific
  48. Vigorous
  49. Wonderful
  50. Zestful

 Not sure how to start? Try some of the words in these phrases:

You look ____!
When you do X, you show how _____ you are.
Your X is so _____.
I really like how _____ you have become at X.
Do you know how _______ you are?

Tink on TV in Myanmar

In February I made my TV debut in Myanmar as the assistant to Nat Brown, balloon artist extraordinaire. Our act for the Yangon International Juggling Festival’s “Big Show” in Kandawgyi Nature Park was brief, fun and colorful. We worked it out the same day we premiered it, so the music was a little bit too short however that did not stop the delight of the audience.

Circus show in Fukushima


Jason and I did a show at Harmony Hongo in Aizu, Fukushima, yesterday. We had a terrific time performing song, dance and circus activities with 40 elderly people who live there.  They loved clapping and singing along with Jason and laughing along with me as I hooped and juggled and clowned around.

We’ve been invited back this summer and I am already excited to return. Older audiences are an interesting challenge. Mobility issues mean games need to be chair-based, or chair compatible. Shyness levels are about the same as in any adult audience – there are always a few keen people who jump right in, a lot who’d rather watch, and some who need only gentle persuasion to come out to play.

Yesterday we got everyone playing games and there were colored scarves and laughter everywhere! Thanks to Jason’s generosity, Spin Matsuri now owns 25 beautiful finger flower scarves. They are a terrific addition to our collection of circus toys and workshop props. Thank you, Jason, these are going to be well-loved at our workshops around the world!

Circus Bake Sale!


Actually, it’s more than a bake sale – it’s a flea market, bake sale, & workshops put on by Intrepid Model Adventures. Donations from the flea market will go to support Spin Matsuri’s social circus projects, including the work coming up in Dharmsala this summer.

Tink will lead a circus workshop, and is selling a ton of lovely things “one coin” style to help pay for the circus supplies she will need in India. With the support of bargain hunters and all the other flea market stalls, Spin Matsuri will be able to create a performance with schoolchildren and adults in Dharmsala.

4th IMA Charity Flea Market, Bake Sale & Workshops
Sunday, April 19 from 10:00 – 18:00
Wkabayashi Heim 2-26-8 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0016

More details are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1414196388887941/

Social Circus in Yangon


This month, Tink spent a week in Yangon, Myanmar, for the International Juggling Festival – a social circus event with workshops and performances organised by Serious Fun. It was seriously fun to meet and collaborate with jugglers and performers from all around the world to bring moments of fun to the Burmese kids we entertained.

WHD Dance 2014 Compilation video

275 dancers. 11 countries. 27 locations and 31 performance groups. That’s what you’ll see in this year’s WHD Dance compilation video.

If you watch closely, you’ll also see: a giant kite, a hooper on stilts, hair hooping, twerking hoopers, Gail, disco lighting, a windmill, acro-hooping, two different oceans, the Friendship of Peoples fountain, and a trio of professional circus performers.

As a hooper yourself, you’ll probably recognise the culmination of hours of rehearsal, costume planning, and location scouting that went into making each one of these videos happen. You will certainly recognise the personal attributes that make this project work: courage to try, determination to succeed, and the ego surrender of being a good group dancer.

Thank you to all of the hoop dancers who participated this year – including everyone who didn’t get a video of their performance or rehearsals. You’re as much a part of the WHD Dance as the hoopers who appear in the compilation. I know there were many of you – I sent out over 150 tutorial packets this year.  Wow.