Every Hooper Should Know: 33 Hoop Moves

This is a visual index of hoop tricks. In under 5 minutes, I demonstrate 33 moves that I teach to new students and have used in the WHD Dance over the years.

Is it the definitive list of what you should be working on? No! Your favorite trick isn’t even in here, trust me. These are moves that I think every hooper should know how to do and thirty three tricks is just the beginning.  I’ll be creating more videos in the “Every Hooper Should Know” series with themes like legs, lifts, leaps and LEDs.

The video was shot in two beautiful locations in Japan with help from Mirai Wakabayashi, Rob Moreno, and Tod McQuillin. I did the hooping and the editing. The music, Imagine Magenta, is by Dan-O Songs


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!


Hoop Lounge silliness

Did you know that Tink can hula hoop while playing ukulele and singing? Here’s proof! The Frolicaholics covered “Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd” at Hoop Lounge on April 1.

Workshops & Events

Recap of Escalators and Butterfly Hinges with Jo Mondy

Jo gives us a quick review of all the tricks she showed us. Let’s keep practicing!

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 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.

Workshops & Events

The Clock Act

This is the act I performed nightly – on fire – in Thailand for Spark Circus during January and February. It’s captured here in a show at Hoop Lounge in March. Of course, we can’t burn things indoors in Tokyo, so I did it with LED hoops instead.

Being in a fire show was a new experience for me. I was afraid of the fire at first* but by the end of the 6 week run I was comfortable playing with flames. My act was very different from the more skilled performers’ pieces so I was included in the lineup almost every night. I got a lot of practice and I had to stop being scared of fire.

This video is the first time I got to see the act all the way through. I have a rehearsal video from December, but the piece evolved from its original choreography. I think I like it. I’ll keep using it and it will continue to evolve. And revolve.

* The first time the circus crew lit its tools, I had a panic attack, dropped mine, and cried. Not a great beginning.


Hoop Hanami 2013

Our hooping spot doesn’t have any cherry blossoms, so at the last 4th Sunday Spin, we made our own.

Thanks to Kana, Deko, Noda, Yasu, Masashi, and Koichi for playing along with Tink, to Tod for filming, and to Tracey for being bubbly!

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.

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!