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WHD Dance

WHD Dance 2013 – collaborative efforts

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With World Hoop Day coming up in about 4.5 months, it is time to get the ball rolling for the 4th annual WHD Dance choreography.  Hundreds of hoopers at Hoopcamp will be learning and filming the dance this year and that is really exciting.

I am asking around in the various hooping networks for some collaborative help and I want your ideas, too.

  1. What style of music would you like to dance to this year?
  2. If you could add one synchronised group move to the dance, what would it be?
  3. Any other suggestions or ideas for the choreo?

Send in your comments and ideas before June 1, please.

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WHD Dance

WHD Dance 2012 Compilation Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7Qh69XJqko]

379 hoop dancers in 11 countries danced this year during 32 performances and 12 workshops. What a beautiful and enthusiastic global community we hoopers take part in. Thank you to everyone who learned the choreography, taught it, shared it with friends, organised a performance, created costumes and got into the groove of this group dance.

I’m already thinking about the choreography for 2013 and should have tutorials online in the summer. (Now is your time to make suggestions or offer your help!)

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WHD Dance

WHD Dance 2012 – official Tokyo version

Here we are, turning around! The 2012 World Hoop Day Dance performed by Tokyo hoopers at Yoyogi Park. Dance leaders: Ayumi and Kana. Video by Rob and Jesse. Silent cheering off camera by Tink, who had laryngitis that day.

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4th Sunday Spin Info and News WHD Dance Workshops & Events

WHD Dance in Tokyo – schedule for WS and practices

We have just a few weeks left before World Hoop Day. I arrived home from the tour today and I am ready to take Tokyo’s hoop dancers to the next level with this choreography. I hope you have been practicing! If not, there is one official workshop and several practices scheduled before our filming date on 12/16.

WHD Dance Workshop
11/26 (Monday)  7-9 pm
Edogawabashi Gymnasium (map)
Learn the whole dance from beginning to end!
The workshop is free, but there is a 300 yen entry fee for the gymnasium. RSVP is essential via e-mail or FB.

WHD Dance Practices
11/25 (Sunday) 3 -4 pm at 4th Sunday Spin, Yoyogi Park
11/28 (Wednesday) 1 -2 pm at Edogawabashi Gymnasium
12/1 (Saturday) 1-2 pm at Yoyogi Park
12/9 (Sunday) 7 – 8 pm at Edogawabashi Gymnasium (to be confirmed)
These practices are free (300 yen entry at Edogawa Gymnasium). Please bring your own hoop. We will refine our group dance, work on duos, and smooth out any tricky bits.

WHD Dance Filming
12/16 (Sunday) 1-3 pm @ Yoyogi Park
One final rehearsal followed by the filming. Wear your favorite hoop costume and bring your hoop.

If you would like to make a donation to World Hoop Day, it will be gratefully accepted. World Hoop Day funds raised in Tokyo will be going to hooping activities with Spark! Circus and the Peace Boat.

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WHD Dance

Staying in Synch

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkSyBqAR0rk&w=500&h=305]

For this year's WHD Dance, staying synchronised throughout the choreography is an important point. Here are some tips and notes that I didn't put into the main tutorial videos, but are essential to getting the dance and all the dancers looking their best.

Shot in a little park in the Inner West of Sydney on a sunny Wednesday. Thanks to Julian for loaning me his hoops, which appear as set decoration in this video.

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WHD Dance

Halfway through the tour

I am sitting in a crowded breakfast room at my hotel in Warsaw this morning, getting nourished and ready to fly to the UK for the next three workshops on the WHD Dance tour.

Hopping.org wrote up a feature on the tour today, so I thought I'd better post here and keep you up to date, too.

So far, the workshops have been exciting and every one has been different. We have danced in dance studios, an old church, a gymnasium (the other kind of hoopers were shooting baskets nearby), and outdoors. The workshops have been getting bigger and bigger. I hear that Glasgow is sold out.

My personal experience jet-setting around the world and staying with a range of hosts has been terrific so far. I hate to jinx anything, but my flights have generally been on time and uneventful. In the past few weeks I have slept in a tent, on an inflatable mattress, in an attic, on a futon, and in several comfy beds. It's been a real treat to meet everyone and to fit into their lives for a day or two.

The dance workshops themselves are never long enough. Two hours gives us all enough time to explore the moves, but never quite enough to get into the duo and solo sections. Every workshop has homework!

One of the things that I am learning is how diverse our skills and strengths are. For every hooper that gets a particular move, there is another one who struggles with it. I am learning new ways to teach things I had not even considered covering, and figuring out better ways to explain all of the moves in the dance.

By the time I get back to Tokyo, the workshop will be perfectly smooth. And then I will get to present it in Japanese!

 

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WHD Dance

Connecting to the group dance

There is a feeling I have when I dance with a group: a connectedness that emanates from the heartbeats of the dancers who have practiced together.

So many of us are solitary hoopers by choice or circumstance. We dance solos and freestyle, sometimes in company at festivals and jams, but rarely in sync with the hoopers around us. Dancing a group choreography is a completely different experience. I let go of my individuality and melt into the precision of the dance. I support my troupe as a member, not a star, so that our movements shine. There is no me, only we.

When the choreography has been practiced and polished until it is integrated into each dancer’s muscle memory, then the spirit of the dance takes over. Nobody panics about the next 8 count, it simply unfolds as everyone moves. The kinesthetic spirit that rises is the reward for rehearsals and for giving your self to the service of the group.

Many hoop dancers shy away from group choreography. It’s a commitment to learn and practice. It may require them to put away their best moves, shelve their personal style. Or perhaps it is a struggle to learn new forms. It is definitely not for the hooper who wants to dance exclusively in her own way.

For the rest of us, group choreography is a structure that gives our dance form. It allows us to work within constraints, finding dance within the counts of the choreography, offering challenges along the way as we figure out how to make it our own.

Most importantly to me, group dance creates a shared history that cements our troupe and our community. “Do you remember when we did that dance?” Yes, we do. We all have a story to tell about it.

This is why I create the WHD Dance: to help dancers connect with each other and with the amazing spirit of united movement, and to give the world of hooping a collective experience.

I invite you to join in the WHD Dance this year to find this feeling for yourself.

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WHD Dance

World Hoop Day Auction

Hoop Camp is host to the World Hoop Day auction and this year the WHD Dance is represented with a t-shirt that shows off the structure of the dance. We wore similar shirts in the tutorial videos and you'll see me in one when I'm teaching the dance on tour.

Win the auction for this shirt and you can wear it for rehearsals or confound people with the mysterious code.

/Specs: purple cotton Uniqlo shirt, M size. Hand cut stencils, acrylic paint. Wash gently & avoid high heat drying.

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WHD Dance

WHD Dance 2012

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zVhNKp4KHw]

Welcome to the official kick-off of the WHD Dance 2012. The tutorials and teaching materials are available, the music is ready for download, all we need is you!

The WHD Dance is a global hoop performance and video project. You can join in for free: learn the dance with your hoop friends, perform it for World Hoop Day on 12/12/12, and send in the footage to be included in the compilation video.

The choreography presented is a framework for your dance.  Feel free to vary it to suit your stage, your dancers and your event. Dancing solo? Teaching it to your beginner hoop students? Doing a flashmob? Performing for the head of state? There are creative ways to adapt this dance to any situation.

If you want advice on variations or assistance on a particular point in the dance, request a tutorial by dropping me an e-mail. I’ll do my best to get one to you, even while I’m on tour.

The choreography, music, and planning are the culmination of months of effort by hoopers and friends in Tokyo. I want to thank Kana, Ayumi, Bekah, Manami, Minako, Colleen, Uko, Masahi, Minoru, Kouchi, Swinky, Rob, Jesse, Huw and especially Tod.

On behalf of everyone, I welcome you to the WHD Dance 2012. Let the worldwide hoop dancing begin!

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WHD Dance

Turning Around, the WHD Dance music


 Turning Around (4:10, MP3 on Soundcloud)

Turning Around is an original song written especially for the WHD Dance 2012. Huge thanks to my talented and patient musician friends who put this together over the course of several months after I mentioned the idea on a whim to Huw during a ukulele lesson. We composed it on the ukulele and wow did it evolve!

Via meetings and dinners and late-night recording sessions in my bedroom, six of us brought it to life. We all had our fingers in the pie; mostly these were our roles:

Composer: Huw Lloyd
Lyricist: Jesse Koester
Vocalist: Esther Thirimu (Swinky)
Arranger: Rob Moreno
Producer: Kristen McQuillin
Executive Producer: Tod McQuillin

The lyrics are on the Music for WHD Dance page, in case you want to sing along.