Info and News

How to Engage an Audience

There are a lot of tips given to new hoop performers and one of them is always “engage the audience.” Unfortunately that advice is rarely followed up with instructions beyond “smile and make eye contact.” So for my own good, and maybe yours, too, I’ve written up 3 Ways to Engage Your Audience.

Scenes from the weekend workshops

2014-02-01-ws-collageOn Saturday morning, nine Circus Fitness participants walked invisible tightropes, formed a human pyramid, juggled and balanced chocolates on their heads! NHK talent, Jason, joined us and wrote about it on his website, with some cute photos.

After a shared lunch, we were joined by a few extra hoopers and learned new tricks with Jo Mondy, visiting from the UK. I know that Japan’s hoopers will be mastering escalators and butterfly hinges in 2014. Thanks, Jo, for sharing your enthusiasm and ideas.


Retiring 4th Sunday Spin

It is hard to retire a long-running program. As of January 2014 our monthly hoop jam, 4th Sunday Spin, is cancelled. We’ve hosted a lot of fun at Yoyogi Park since 2010 and that you for coming out to play! With so many other terrific community events it is time to step aside for the new players to shine and for Spin Matsuri to focus on other hoop activities.

Wondering where to get your hoop on? Try one of these:

Meet Maru

This is Maru, the “on beyond smart hoop” that Chris Wang of Freaklabs has been working on. It’s version 1. Version 2 is already in the lab with a tinier logic and power supply:

Chris watched the Maru video above and decided to switch from slow software serial to faster hardware serial to eliminate glitches during heavy data transfers like fading. So he made a new board right after our meeting yesterday, and explains, “Here’s a shot of the new logic and power supply circuit for Maru. The power supply IC is tiny now so it heats up quickly. I’m going to have to figure out how to dissipate the heat. Otherwise, logic gating works fine. It’ll be nice to be able to use hardware SPI. Software serial is so flaky.” He made a video in the lab of the faster acting updates

The prog

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.

Happy World Hoop Day!

2013-09-29-WHD Dance -happyGreetings and salutations to hoopers around the world! Wishing you all the hoopy best from Japan.

World Hoop Day is a good time to reflect on your hooping and connection to the global community. Here at Spin Matsuri, we are thinking about events and activities for 2014. Here are some of the questions we’re asking; maybe you’d like to share your ideas?

  1. How did I participate in my local hoop community this year?
  2. What have I done in the global hoop community?
  3. In the coming year, what events will I attend in my area? Outside my area? Online?
  4. What events do I wish to host/organise?
  5. How will my hoop and I contribute to society in the next 12 months?
  6. Will/can I earn money from hooping? How?
  7. What are my wildest hoop dreams?
  8. Top three hoop goals between today and WHD 2014…

Flow Camp Fun

Flow Camp Fun

Thank you to everyone who joined me for workshops at Flow Camp over the weekend. Hello Hoop Dance, Ideas for Group Choreo, Hajimete Hoop, and the WHD Dance workshop were well attended. I had a great time teaching and sharing all weekend.

Nine participants in the WHD Dance workshop performed the dance for an audience of about 100 people during the open stage on Sunday night. Four of those dancers had just started hooping that morning, so congratulations on your hoop dance debut!