Monday, 27 January 2014
John and I have just come back from a rare and much-anticipated holiday in Auckland. We stayed at my brother's idyllic place in the far west of Auckland, about an hour from the city centre.
Every morning I hooped on the big wooden deck, which was [mostly] drenched in sunshine. I was surrounded by beautiful gardens and native bush, and as I danced I looked out over the Manukau Harbour.
It was pretty much like hooping in paradise.
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
This is my flow
There are many like it
But this one is mine
It's revolutionary by design
It's ironic that I begin this post with a quote from Tiana Zoumer, because this post is about how I discovered I didn't want to be Tiana Zoumer.
Recently, I've taken a few hoop lessons via Skype with the one and only Brecken Rivara. Brecken and Tiana are my two favourite hoopers, so to learn from Brecken is a dream come true. She is a great teacher and a thoroughly likeable person, so if you get the chance to take a lesson with her, do it!
In our first lesson we spent quite a lot of time talking. One of the things we discussed was hoop speed. I told Brecken I had got a shock when I first videoed myself and discovered I am actually a very slow hooper. I do not move fast in my hoop, even though I feel like I do! I shouldn't be surprised by this because I have never been fast at anything, but there you go.
During our discussion Brecken made three points on this topic:
1. a naturally slow hooper incorporates speeds easier than a fast hooper incorporates slowness;
2. a good hooper, whatever her natural speed, will learn how to vary her speed at times to provide texture;
3. if I'm a naturally slow hooper, it's my mission to make that my personal style.
I found myself thinking about the last point during my next session in the hoop. I realised that deep down part of me had wanted to be some kind of hooping composite of Tiana Zoumer and Brecken Rivara! If only I dedicated myself to the hoop enough, I would magically develop Tiana's speed and energy and Brecken's athleticism. Sigh.
Tiana and Brecken aren't much-loved members of the hoop tribe just because they are fast, energetic and athletic. They are admired for their unique flow and their creativity. So do I want to be a copy of Tiana or Brecken, or do I want to be myself? Do I want to force my body to do things it doesn't want to do, or do I want my body to feel gooooood?
The answers are pretty obvious.
I also realised that the times when I walk away from my hoop feeling dissatisfied are those times that I have been comparing myself to someone else [usually Tiana or Brecken] - which is never a path to happiness!
So my hoop mission for 2014 is to begin finding my own flow, my own personal style within the hoop. This totally makes sense to me, and I wish I had thought of it before.
This does not mean that I now believe I have nothing to learn from anyone. I'm still going to take lessons from Brecken, and you bet I'll be learning everything I can from Tiana when she comes to HoopFest in March [squeal!]. But I no longer want to be Brecken or Tiana - I want to be me.