Monday, 22 October 2012

Dance yourself.

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."  - Martha Graham.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Lesson plans.

I spent some time over the weekend working on lesson plans for my eight-week hooping course, which starts on Wednesday. I've had my plans roughed out for a while but I went into it more detail with it over the weekend. {I have a special journal for planning which has been scribbled in a lot recently - mostly hooping stuff and wedding stuff! That's where I've been writing my lesson plans.}

I love going back to the very first moves I learned in March and April, and dissecting them for my students. These days I do a lift-up without thinking about it {I could probably do it in my sleep} but it wasn't so long ago the lift-up was my holy grail of hooping. I watched clip after clip on YouTube, trying to work out how to do it! I think that move is a thrill for most new beginners - being able to lift the hoop off the body for the very first time. So I've been going over this and other moves, pulling them apart and working out how I will explain and demonstrate each one for my students.

Last week the manager of a local gym and I negotiated for me to teach a hooping class there, too. This class will be promoted as hoop fitness rather than hoop dance, so I'll probably have to come up with a different set of lesson plans for that course. It doesn't start till next month, though, so I'll focus on it later.

I really love this, you know? I love planning my lessons - even though I know they could go right out the window once the course starts! At least I'll still have those guidelines. I love taking each move apart in order to be able to teach them. And I'm really looking forward to meeting all my students. {I have 15 of them - the class sold out two weeks ago!} I just know teaching them, watching them connect with the hoop, will be a joy.

Happy hooping,
Anne-Marie x

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Size matters.... least, it does when it comes to hoops. Finding the right-sized hoop for you can make learning to hoop so much easier. As you progress, you learn to hoop with hoops of all weights and sizes, but beginners need a proper beginners' hoop.

People often think they should learn to hoop with a small, light hoop - but in fact the opposite is true. Many of the students I taught during the adult education week arrived at class with their $5 hoops from The Warehouse. "I could hoop when I was a kid," they said, "but now I can't." I gave them one of my beginners' hoops to try and within minutes most of them were hooping happily away. We had quite a collection of The Warehouse hoops propped up against the wall during that class!

Those little hoops are made for children, mostly. [I can hoop with them, but not easily.] If you're a beginning hooper - forget about them, or give them to your kids.

The generally accepted rule of thumb for a beginners' hoop is that when you stand it on the ground it should reach your tummy button, or just above. For most people a hoop between 99 and 106cm [39" and 42"] would be just fine. If you are very petite, you'll want something smaller, and if you're very curvy or very tall, you'll want something larger.

Why is it easier to learn with a big heavy hoop rather than a little light hoop? Well, that's getting into the realm of physics, which was never my strong point! So to put it simply, a big hoop turns more slowly around your body, giving you more time to make your moves. This is what you need as a beginner, as you imprint hooping into your muscle memory.

Happy hooping!