Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hoop Love (or Why I Hoop)

If music is the universal language, then dance is the universal response, the cosmic ear of listening deeply, nodding with the rhythm of our bodies.

My own experience of dancing didn't blossom until I found the hoop. My time dancing was few and far between. When I was a girl I took a couple of dance classes. And once I was older I would dance out in a club. There was usually alcohol involved in loosening up and letting some inhibitions go. I never thought I was a good dancer. And sadly, I secretly, desperately wanted to be a good dancer. The problem was that I was completely convinced that I didn't have rhythm. And I thought that rhythm was one of those golden nuggets only bestowed upon a certain lucky few, just like talent. I have learned too late in life that having a "talent" for something means nothing. A person only becomes good at something with practice, time and commitment. Passion is what drives this. But that is really a whole other blog post. I also learned that all humans have rhythm. It is a language, and it is taught to us by our community, it is a language that communicates the story of our collective soul and I believe that this is why I craved so badly to be a part of it.

When I first found the hoop, I discovered the gentle rocking rhythm to be soothing, like ocean waves. My body became engaged in dance in a way that I had yet to give myself permission to do outside of it. When set to music I felt sensual- like the hoop had given my body a key to access the world of rhythm. As my practice grew and I became obsessed with hooping(and that is no over statement!) being inside of the hoop became trance inducing, meditative. As I learned more skills and techniques, dancing with my hoop became creative- it was a form of self expression. The hoop was the binding ingredient that connected my body to rhythm and my soul to the bliss found inside of it.

I write this now on the eve of teaching my first hoop dance class. I'm ecstatic. Mostly about the opportunity to share what has been for me a wellspring of healing and well being. I feel so honored that I get to help others discover the perfection of this symbolic dance partner.

For more information on hoop dance check out this great site


  1. Oh my gosh, Amanda! I'm so proud you're going to be teaching the "hoop":)!!!! Yay for you! I think your self-observations here are wonderful. . . and true as I know you (even though you always "had" rhythm (plus self-consciousness). Looks like the hoop gave you permission to listen to what's inside you and "surrender" to it. Very cool. Also. . . you have so many "natural" gifts, if I were you I'd have trouble "choosing" one:) AND you're so right that practice and a healthy dose of passion for whatever is makes for "talent". Love you, honey! Have a great first class (and sounds like little Snowball's got the little "wiggle" already:)

  2. Please negate that last "is". . . doesn't belong there. egh.

  3. The first sentence of your post is pure poetry! Beautiful. I love hearing your story to dance. How amazing that now you're teaching! I hope you write a post about your experience.
    I agree with you about rhythm. There are definitely people who appear not to have rhythm but it's totally possible to find it again. I love doing this activity with children. Have them run around get their heart rate up and then have them lay down and find their heart beat. Then have them move their finger or toes to that beat. Eventually, you move more of the body until it becomes their own rhythm dance.
    I'm going to check out your link to hoop dancing now, thanks!