photo credit: Cadencia Photography
I got sent a message on Facebook today by a sweet hooper seeking help with getting into the flow of dance with her hoop. It was juicy enough I felt it begged to be answered in a full blog post… Here is an excerpt from her message:
“The main expression of yours I’ve been meditating on lately is “Dance First. Hoop Second.” And this has been resonating with my hoop practice a lot lately, thinking of how I can affect my hooping more with this knowledge. I don’t know why, it seems kind of silly, but this has been difficult for me…the end result I want is for the hoop to move around ‘effortlessly’ and smoothly (don’t we all?! ha!) while at the same time seeming secondary to the dance.”
Wow! This is a big one and I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to it. Dancing in your hoop is where all the juice is for me and I love to share access to that, so here goes...
It is easy to be pulled of the path of dance into tricks because it is more comfortable for the mind to handle us "doing" something (easiest felt while executing a trick) than just being and enjoying (easiest felt through dance). This is where hooping can become a path of self-realization and transformation. Many of us (me included) have a challenge with being stuck in our heads. In our modern society, the ego mind definitely rules the roost. The ego mind is much more comfortable when being “impressive” from the outside or pulling off “difficult” tricks. The easiest way to appease the ego is with loads of fancy and big tricks. To be clear, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with tricks… I LOVE them... seriously! But if you are doing tricks for tricks sake and not feeling the flow in your dance, then you won’t really reap the side benefit of the joy being in the flow brings. And the paradox is, it won’t land as impressive to your audience either! The other half of this is dance, which I define as simply “enjoying the music in a rhythmic fashion”. This FEELS great and is a sure fired way to get you out of your mind and into your heart, where your true expression lies. The last thing the ego wants is for you to simply BE. It is a direct assault to the control the ego mind has over your life. One last word on the ego(which of course we could talk about for hours); The ego is not the “bad guy” and we should attempt to keep it in a neutral light. It has a very important and colorful function, it’s just not meant to run the show, you know? Know the HEART, on the other hand… well, lets save that for another post… J Ok, so are you ready to FULLY enjoy your hooping in a new way?
This is what I suggest; Pick a song that you really like to dance to (with or without the hoop), a song you can't NOT bob your head to. COMMIT for this one song to just dancing. For now just keep the hoop on your waist as this is the easiest place to begin to feel your dance flow while keeping the hoop going. Eventually you will want to try this on all different parts of your body and THROUGH your tricks (talk about WOW!). Really go for it. Allow the song to take you over, breath deeply, move your arms and legs and extend your reach in all areas. At first this is likely to be uncomfortable and you may get anxious or bored. Just stick with it, you are breaking a habit... a habit of the mind as much as a habit of your hooping. You may need to do this for 3 or 4 songs and for many practices before you really feel your hoop become a dancing appendage and not the whole focus. Over time you will find new areas to stretch into and your hooping will become smoother and more effortless!
Here is a recent video from SWhoop Gathering:
I love this video because I made a real breakthrough in just letting go and dancing, even though it was a performance and I felt a pressure to do "tricks". Afterwards I felt great and the feedback I got was that no one felt there was a lack at all. This was major for me and I feel really blessed to have challenged myself to surrender to my souls desire to dance like there is no tomorrow!
Happy hooping to you and I hope to see you in the circle soon!
PS: This is the subject and practice of the Body: Gateway to Spirit workshop I am offering in two cities so far (just prior to Teacher Trainings in both cities!!). Here are the links if you want more info: