Guru-guru Camp

Hooping with the Frolicaholics – the GGC 2014 music/hoop video project

Filmed by Rob Moreno on the beautiful island of Niijima during Guru-guru Camp, this video combines two of my favorite things – hooping and playing ukulele – along with some of my favorite people (especially Tod) and a song I adores, Sophie Madeleine’s Stars.

The video was shot at various locations around Niijima: the campsite, stone animal zoo, Habushiura beach, Maehama beach, and the ferry terminal. We created quite a sight for the locals and tourists as we cycled around in costume with instruments in our bike baskets, performed in random spots, and woke before dawn to shoot the sunrise scenes.

The results of Rob’s vision and editing awe me. It’s a gorgeous video. Please enjoy it.

Thank you to Sareh, Akemi, Alice, and Harusa for joining in the group choreography and hoop solos. I’m so glad you all came to camp this year!

Guru-guru Camp

Guru-Guru Camp 2014


20 people joined us at Guru-guru Camp during Golden Week for hooping, balancing, hiking, biking, bubbling, photographing, eating, decorating, bathing, playing, making a video, and so much more.


You’ll find these photos and more on Tink’s Flickr.

Guru-guru Camp

World’s Most Loved Hoops

chewed hoops

Guru-guru Camp is one of the highlights of my year and it is also a lot of fun for the kids and adults on Niijima. This year, it was a little bit too fun for my hoops.

Three were  chewed by Tank the dog. Two sprung apart with snapped connectors. Five hoops were shredded on concrete to the point where the tubing was scratched. That was a good day!

I brought 11 hoops to camp. I left five of them behind for the garbage man; I felt guilty for discarding them, but they were too chewed up to repair. I shipped the rest home to fix up for harsh environments and rough play.

Love your hoops to the max, then turn them into hoops for the beach. More love, more love, more love.

Guru-guru Camp

Let’s go to Camp!

Let's go to Camp!

Want to come to Guru-guru Camp, but don’t have camping gear? Join in with the Tokyo Gaijins’ all-inclusive Niijima camping weekend from May 3-6! 28,500 yen includes ferry, tent and camp gear, and 6 meals. Come to the top of camp to do workshops and hang out in the “hoop camp” with us and enjoy your meals and party time around the lower camp at night. Perfect combination!


Guru-guru Camp Info and News

Ska Hooping on Niijima

This video has a rather long history. It started when the Japan Hoop Dance Championship was announced in spring of 2013. I passionately dislike contests, but I wanted to support Ayumi’s project, so I devised an entry based on one of my favourite ska songs, Every Day is Sunday by The Slackers. Then I read the rules more carefully – no editing!

Well, I was still up for the challenge of hooping to ska. It’s super bouncy music and the traditional ska dance movements aren’t ideal for on-body hooping or many fancy tricks. Dancing to ska is full of abandon. Hooping to this song led to a lot of joyful, gawky gyrations. I kept the tricks to a minimum, focussed on dance, practiced a lot, and still ended up looking like I’d just learned to hoop. Yay, me!

During Guru-guru Camp on Niijima in May, Rob & Tod helped me shoot the video. Rob & I scouted the location in the windy, grey dawn capturing some pre-coffee footage, By afternoon the sun had come out for some beautiful blue sky shots.

Although I’d been practicing singing the last line of the song backwards for the final scene, I wasn’t happy with the results, so I kept my mouth closed as we shot the bit in the water. Good thing, since I concussed myself in the outgoing tide.

It was worth it, though. I love this video, wonky moves, windy mistakes, B-roll and all. It helps me remember that every tomorrow’s Monday.

Guru-guru Camp

Guru-guru Camp 2013 Recap

GGC 2013 Hoopers

What a great GGC this year. We hosted 34 people for camping and activities over  the ten days. Shiho came all the way from Sydney; we had a group from Osaka; and were delighted when Inga showed up from Germany (by way of Thailand). Other campers around the site joined us for lessons and impromptu hoop parties, including Sandra and Donnie, who were enthusiastic new hoopers by the end of GGC. We had toddlers and grandmothers in the mix this year. Artists, musicians, photographers, poi spinners and of course lots of hoop dancers.

The weather was chilly and windy, and one night of rain. Days started early and ended..not too late. The camp kitchen was always busy, with as many as a dozen people using it for meals.

So many people came together to add their skills and passions to the workshops and other activities. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Wakago Adventure with Takashi
  • LED Hoop Jam with Shiho
  • 466969_10151581836118166_1263012955_o
    Shikine Adventure with Uko
  • Yoga with Beth
  • 466054_10151581542523166_1153371296_o
    Day and Night Photo Sessions with Rob
  • Thai Fire Lantern Launches with Tod
  • BBQ party with Takashi
  • Trick Share, Juggling and Poi
  • 913682_10151653230621869_949741362_o
    Genesis Drawing with Liane
  • 466954_10151583734968166_1960029865_o
    Live Tribal Beats with Tadat
  • Hoop Fitness
  • High-Low Hoop Dance
  • Palm Candle Construction
  • Yoga Mandala
  • Double Hoop Tricks
  • Power Stone Bracelets
  • 913731_10151581834273166_574473943_o
    Fire Jam
  • Sand Bath & Yakiniku Rain Night
  • Hibashiura Music Festival

There are more photos on the Facebook event page:

Guru-guru Camp Materials & Essays

Hoop DANCE Game at Guru-guru Camp 2013

During the “High-Low Hoop Dance” workshops I taught at GGC, we played a game using action verbs to create more varied body movement in our hoop dance. This video shows the dynamic sequences that our hoopers created using the prompts.

All the details of the Hoop DANCE Game, including ways to play the game and a list of the 64 dance verbs, are in the FREE STUFF section for you to enjoy.

Guru-guru Camp

Guru-guru Camp 2013

Guru-guru Camp 2013

April 27 – May 6
Niijima, Tokyo, Japan
Free spin and flow camp
Learn, Share, Smile!

Guru-guru Camp Hoop Tutorials Materials & Essays

Evening Hoop Meditation

During Guru-guru Camp, I held some evening hoop meditation sessions. They involved a number of different moving meditations, but this one was a favorite with everyone. It’s a guided meditation based on one I learned via Caroleeena. You’ll be waist hooping in two directions as you listen to the instructions to release negative thoughts and gather positive energy. Because it happened during our camp retreat, you may notice some references to outdoor and camp-related concepts.

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Script and narration: Kristen McQuillin
Music: Learn to Fly by Josh Woodward

Guru-guru Camp Hoop Tutorials

Elbow Wrap Weave

We had a partner hooping workshop during Guru-guru Camp and while we were playing with two-person weaves, Shiho and Trine came up with a new one. I love the dynamic body movement that accompanies the wrapping and opening of their arms.

I grabbed the camera and shot a few seconds of video so we could share a mini-tutorial on the new move. Thanks, Trine and Shiho, for your cool invention!