My Hooping Life



  Since I am in the midst of teaching hoop classes I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about my hooping life.  I am often asked, "How did you learn how to hoop?".  I started out as a self taught hooper watching tutorials via youtube in 2006.  I remember the first time I saw a woman rock her hips back and forth inside this circular toy and thought to myself, " I am teaching myself how to do that NOW!".  The excitement overwhelmed me. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.  I immediately ordered my first hoop from a California based company called Hoopnotica.  I've been hooked ever since.

   Hooping has changed my life in so many ways.  It's a wonderful workout that has improved my fitness level. There's a connection between your body and mind that happens when you work with the hoop and stick to it. It's very much like meditation and I truly believe that's originally what got me hooked.  Of course when I first started viewing videos online initially what caught my attention was the "eye candy" aspect of this art form. The costuming, hair and makeup, the music, the lights (not only in the club but in the hoop!).  Yep, hula hoops that light up! You've got to be kidding me!  However, I didn't know how great I would feel just stepping outside on a nice sunny day and hooping in the sun. It was later that I started getting into hoop dance vs. hoop fitness.  There is a difference! Hoop fitness is more about repetition to help you tone and gain strength, while hoop dance is about dancing with the hoop, learning various tricks, and transitioning those tricks into a routine.  It wasn't until 2011 that I took my first go-go hoop class in Cambridge, MA. On and off I have hooped with friends in the past 3 years where we share tricks and bounce ideas off of each other, but I still watch tutorials mainly as my way of learning to hoop. When the band first started in 2009, I didn't know of any other hoopers. I didn't have the opportunity to learn from someone else because I didn't know anyone else who was doing it! Now I can't go anywhere without seeing a hooper at the beach, a parade, the park, a nightclub, a festival, a party or any other public gathering. The hoop community went from me knowing no one to hundreds of people!  Just in the state of Maine! Literally, hundreds in about 2 years or less.  I have met so many people because I am a hoop artist. I am very grateful for that!

  One of my favorite experiences as a hoop performer was connecting with Madison Orange. There aren't a lot of performance opportunities in Maine as a hooper so I tend to branch out once and awhile.  I ended up taking a trip to Provincetown, Mass where Madison and I hooped at a club called The Boatslip Resort! This was my first real gig as a go-go hooper. It's a challenge to hoop on go-go boxes, this was not something I was used to.  I was invited again the following year where I had the chance to hoop memorial weekend. The crowd was crazy despite the weather and the vibe is addicting. This is what I truly love to do.  If you are a hooper that performs I hope you get to experience this if you haven't already. I would like to thank Madison for taking me under her wing in the hoop community outside of Maine.  The connections I've made all over the world with hoopers are endless. It's quite incredible to live in an age where technology is so thriving.  I have gone places that I would not have been able to go to otherwise. It's VERY cool :-)

 I've also had great success with being a hoop instructor.  People started reaching out to me online and at my shows wondering if I taught hoop dance, so I started.  I teach mostly during fall/winter/spring because the summers here are so beautiful and the chances to perform outside are greater.   Besides, most people want to be hanging out at their houses on the lake!  I've taught in over a handful of towns, some more than once.  It means a lot to me to have so many students over the past 3 and a half years of teaching.  I never saw myself as an instructor and now I can't imagine my life without it.  I hope that teaching hoop dance has brought you balance and strength. I hope that it makes you laugh regardless of how good you are , and that it brings some kind of joy to your life with friends, family, performance art, meditation or just simply as a hobby!  I know it has for me, and to able to pass that on to others is so rewarding :-)

   Nikki Hunt xoxo



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