Japan Tricks showcase

Stories from the Showcase: Yoyogi Breeze

Naomi hoops for pleasure and comes to most of our hoop jams and events. During the week, she’s a doctor. On the weekend, she’s an adventurer and hula hooper. And she’s always a thoughtful and lovely woman.

I couldn’t guess what trick she was going to bring to the video.

Yoyogi Breeeze was named after we shot it at Yoyogi Park during 4th Sunday Spin in April, but I know Naomi figured out the elegant and graceful sequence in advance. It’s comprised of tricks we all know, but have you ever put them together like this? I know I haven’t. But I will now!

If you like Naomi’s trick, please consider donating to help the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami survivors.

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2 days, 569 views

On the top page of Hoop City on May 11

Thanks to features on Hooping.org and Hoop City, the Japan Tricks Showcase has been viewed 569 times in 2 days. Welcome international hoopers, to Spin Matsuri.

Video of the Day on hooping.org on May 11, too.

I hope that the donations are following as swiftly as the view count increases, though I understand that statistically only 10% of the people who look at something are likely to act on it. So thank you to the 57 people who have donated! I am grateful that you are one of those people.

We’ll never know the amount the showcase raises for the charities because your donations go directly to them, but I know they will all appreciate whatever you give.

And to be honest, I must admit that I am in the 90% who has seen the video and not donated. I’ll be rectifying that with some donations today. 🙂

Stories from the Showcase: Dorobo

While we were at Guru-guru Camp, I put together six of my hoops into a cube. It was fun to play with and everyone was getting incredibly creative with it: Miki crawled through it a dozen different ways, Masa grappled with it and then…Paolo jumped into it. Not a little jump – a standing leap right into the middle.

He revealed to us that he’d been a high jump champion way back when.  He certainly still has the knack and a new trick was born – Dorobo (thief).

We all hope you like this trick and all the others. Please consider donating to help the people in Tokohu who struggling to recover from the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Details here.

What We Can Do

The hooping community in Tokyo and throughout Japan is pretty incredible. Since the Tohoku quake and tsunami struck, many of our active, lively and lovely hoopers have been helping the disaster victims in many ways.

Sareh volunteered for a week of clearing muck in Ishinomaki and plans to return for more. She organised a flea market, too. Roon Roon has been performing in the shelters. Ayumi collected donations for the Red Cross in her classes. Deanne sold all her extra hoops and donated the proceeds. Heather gathered items for a local aid initiative. Soness made a call for a private shelter run by her Japanese family. Some hoopers are too humble to talk about what they are doing and I know there has been move volunteerism. Countless others have donated money to charities and NGOs.

And now we launch a new fundraiser as a community – the Japan Tricks Showcase – as an outreach to hoopers around the world.

Over the last month, I’ve been running around filming my favorite hooping friends doing new and original moves. From early April until the end of Guru-guru Camp, I collected 20 moves from 19 clever and wonderful hoopers then edited them together into a 13 minute long video.

It’s sort of a tutorial with each move shown in real time and in slow motion. Each move is also a individual tutorial. There are tricks for beginners and by beginners, complex combos for performance, some moves that are elegant and some that are funny. They are all free to watch.

We truly hope that you will donate to one of the charities we support. They are all described on the project page with links to their websites and donation pages. I’ve been in touch with the leaders of each of them and they are grateful for our support. Whether you offer one dollar or a hundred, whatever you can afford will help to ease the trouble in northern Japan. Please open your heart, open your wallet and give generously.

Japan Tricks Showcase: 8 tricks and counting

This week I’ve had the joy of filming three of my favorite hoopers: Kana, Heather and Ayumi. Their original tricks have been edited into the Japan Tricks Showcase. This is going to be an epic tricks tutorial and reference. I am loving all the creativity and effort everyone is putting into this project. Thank you all so much.

One of the tricks Ayumi contributed is the Dango Break, which is a cute move inspired by  the Dango San Kyoudai (3 Dango Brothers) animation. Dango are a popular treat in Japan and Ayumi brought some to share at the filming session on Monday.

The first three tricks

This weekend I’ve had the pleasure of filming and editing the first three hoopers for the Japan Tricks Showcase, our charity video featuring original moves. Here are a few stills to give you an idea of the creativity and variety of the tricks being created.

At this time, there are a dozen hoop stars signed up and I hope even more will join the project. If you have a trick and want to be filmed, please drop an e-mail to spinmatsuri@gmail.com to schedule a time. Filming wraps up at the end of Golden Week Guru-guru Camp (May 5th) so don’t wait too long.

Ideas for Creating an Original Hoop Trick

The Japan Tricks Showcase is a charity video to raise funds for the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. All Japan-based hoopers are invited to contribute an original hoop trick. Please see the Call to Play for details.

I’d never created my own trick until recently. It was really fun! A few people have told me they want to be in the video, but don’t think they can come up with anything original. I know you can! Here are some ideas to help you if you are new to original tricks, too.

  1. Pick a name first, then match the movement to the name;
  2. Create a fresh variation on a trick you already know by adding an arm or leg movement, for example;
  3. Mash two or more tricks into one motion;
  4. Get together with friends and create a group trick.

And then there are ways to explore the motions themselves:

  1. What if you dance while you do a trick you already know?
  2. What if you jump in the middle of a familiar trick?
  3. What if you spin in the opposite direction?
  4. Can you speed it up or slow it down?
  5. Can you repeat it symmetrically or continuously?
  6. What happens if you do it with multiple hoops?
  7. Can you use two hoops doing different things?
  8. Can you do that trick on your hand, knees or neck?

And some other thoughts and tips:

  1. Playful experimentation is delightful fun
  2. Video your attempts and watch for interesting shapes and motions
  3. Think about the transitions between tricks – they can be tricks themselves
  4. Weird mistakes can turned into smooth or funky moves