What is the HoopPath?
From the beginning, the goal of The HoopPath, has been to teach hooping as a movement “practice.” A practice is something done with weekly regularity. When someone commits themselves to a movement practice, one begins a journey toward physical, psyhological, and even spiritual growth. In fact, in a world full of meaningless promises and guarantees, the benefits of a commited practice are near certainties. Our growth may not come at the pace we desire, but growth and improvement are inevtiable, nonetheless, for those who stick with it.
When you’re learning how to move your body in new, sometimes complicated ways, it is a vulnerable experience. In fact, it can be downright terrifying. You don’t want to look like a clumsy goof, but when you’re learning new movements, it’s almost impossible to look cool and develop new skills at the same time. It may seem trivial, but people who are wanting to always look cool, rarely can “let go” to learn new things, and are, thus, usually unlikely to learn as quickly as they could if they would embrace momentary awkwardness. (Lot’s of “cool always” people are so traumatized by their first class, that they never make it back.)
With this in mind, I work hard to create an environment of safety and equality. It might sound extreme for a hoop class, but students who fear being judged, ranked, or compared, are less likely to enjoy the experience. So, the “container” or energetic vibe within a class, becomes my greatest teaching tool.
If you are thinking of coming to an HP class or workshop, you can relax knowing that I was once shy. As a former shy person, I hated being asked to be silly or do silly things. You will not be asked to hoop or perform infront of everyone ever. You will not be asked to do anything, that I, myself, have not done before. Outside of telling us your name, you can keep your mouth shut the whole time, if that’s what you want.
Whether you’ve been hooping 10 years or ten months, you are equal to everyone else. The only rank that exists in class, in the one I hold: Teacher. I’m the only (verbal) teacher in the room, and everyone else, regardless of flight time, is equal.
Concepts vs. Tricks:
If you’ve heard anything about the HoopPath, you’ve proably heard that I don’t teach tricks. Many who are new to HP, can be confused by this. One could reasonably ask, "If you don’t teach tricks, then what do we do for four hours??
It’s a reasonable question, so let me try to answer it.
As I said above, I teach to the hoop practitioner. As you get deeper and deeper into your practice, you will probably begin to forget as many tricks as you remember. In fact, in my hoop life, the moves that are shown to me without context are almost always forgotten by the next morning. Teaching specific tricks is important, to be clear, but since I am usually seeing a particular group only once a year, I have found that students in my workshops benefit far more from the teaching of concepts and themes, than specific tricks.
An example of a ‘concept’ I teach, is footwork. Having active feet is essential, yet frustratingly elusive for many hoopers. I could teach students how to do a high kick why hooping (a trick), or I could teach them how to get the feet moving and keep them moving (a concept.)
To teach concepts, I use a variety of exercises coordinated into a ‘chapter’ of a workshop. In the case of ‘footwork’, we could do as many as four or five exercises to get closer to an embodiment of the concept.
The #1 ranking concept most hoopers come to learn from me, is how to ‘flow.’ Especially, when you’re new, you may have a lot of tricks, but you want to put them together in a way that expresses. That’s a concept concern and that’s something in which I specialize.
Is The HoopPath Right for me?
Maybe. Maybe not. We’re not all alike. Greedy people want to tell you that everything comes in one delicious flavor, but in reality, we don’t all like the same things. Personally, I’m not into trick workshops, so much. My brain starts to hurt after an hour or so, and I never remember them, anyway. The kind of classes I like, are the classes in which the instructor shares an idea, then gives me time to absorb it, and mabye even, develop my own take on it. So, that’ s the kind of classes, I teach. Not everybody is like me, therefore I realize, not everyone wants to learn this way.
If you are looking for the type of teacher that says, ‘Put your hand here, bring it over like this, then twist it up, and…’, you *could* be let down. If you like a little room in a class to discover and develop as much on your own as possible, I think you’ll dig what i do.