March 2011

posted 14 Mar 2011, 13:13 by Norwich Hoop Club

This month got off to a flying start with a very successful sell-out “Manchester Hoop Congress”. The video highlights from the Saturday night show are well worth a look. Also, thirteen eager participants turned out for the first ever workshop hosted by Norwich Hoop Club and led by Sharna Rose and Diana Defries. Their hoop dance journey deftly challenged the very disparate abilities within the group and many thanks are owed to them for making the long trip to see us; Hopefully we can get them to return and weave more of their magic at some point in the not too distant future.

Hooping Idol has just launched a competition to find a new hooping superstar. It doesn’t seem that long ago that it was announced but the closing date for “casting” entries has just passed and the finalists have already been chosen to go forward to the next stage. The format will be along the lines of the popular TV shows with a number of weekly challenges being set for the hopefuls on the way towards a grand finale. This is not just to recognise technical proficiency but also personality and creativity and previous Hoopie award nominees are excluded to allow for a broader community participation. The judges will be Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach, often referred to as the mother of modern hoop dance and the UK's very own Sharna Rose.

A good number of UK hoopers put themselves forward and the following is a list of their video entries for you to view. Of these Nick Broyd, Kay Dent, Andrea Painter and Sue Wilkinson have been selected as finalists - congratulations to them!


More video submissions can be located on YouTube by searching for “Hooping Idol”.

Hoop Path UK
Following on from SWHoop last year Jonathon Baxter is returning to the UK to teach his own brand of hooping in a workshop series that he calls “Deep Water”. This is being organised by Emma Kerr and more details and booking information can be found on the Hooping Mad website.
It is being held at the Kingsdown Sports Centre in Bristol and will consist of a 3 hour session on the Friday night and 3 hour afternoon slots on the Saturday and Sunday. It’s likely that a social event will be organised for the Saturday night.

Video of the Month
This is a beautiful example of belly dance combined with hooping and is performed by Adelaide Marcus from San Diego. The second half of the video moves into an equally engaging acro yoga performance.


February 2011

posted 6 Feb 2011, 12:38 by Norwich Hoop Club

A surprise turn up last month was the World Record Breaking Day which was mentioned in a local free paper as providing an opportunity for members of the public to set some new records in various activities (mostly silly!) including hula hooping. So a number of us went along to take part in setting some records. In fact, if we hadn’t turned up then there wouldn’t have been any hooping! They were very grateful to us for helping to raise the energy of the event at the end of the day and create some entertainment for the public. So do keep an eye out in the local press for news that could provide a hooping opportunity and let us know.

World Record Breaking Day – New hula hoop records set 

On Saturday 29th January a world record breaking day was held at The Forum to raise money for Macmillan Cancer. The event which ran all day was reported in the Evening News but unfortunately it makes no reference to Norwich Hoop Club (The reporter must have gone before we turned up!). A number of us set some new, previously unrecorded records for hula hooping. Paul Lightning set some waist and neck hooping records, Emma Ward set some waist and neck hooping records, Tracey Daniels set a waist hooping record and Sachiko Quelch set some foot hooping records. We also put on a rather spontaneous short hoop dance demo including 5 year old Arwen who impressed us all and some good photos were taken of the event. Dean Gould, a local man who is the UK president and founder of Record Holders Republic and was adjudicating our records appears to have a lot of connections and will be interested in arranging future appearances for us – stay posted!

Hoop dance classes coming soon
Sachiko is soon to be starting some  hoop dance fitness classes in Norwich. In her own words: “In these classes work on tricks and techniques to create dynamic routines and learn to express yourself with this uplifting dance form. Suitable for complete beginners, all ages and body shapes. Email to be the first to hear about these exciting new classes.”

Teacher training in the UK
Both Hoop Girl and Hoopnotica are offering teacher training over here this year. The Hoop Girl Teacher Training is taking place in London for Level I (April 18th – 20th) and Level II (April 25th – 27th) -  the UK organiser is Diana Defries. The The Hoopnotica Teacher Training is taking place in Nuneaton on February 25th – 27th and covers all 3 levels (one on each day) – the UK organiser is John Parnell (HoopGuy). These certifications are expensive but participants always seem to rave about them in terms of the confidence it gives them to teach.

Event announcements
Dates are starting to be announced and tickets going on sale for the summer season circus festivals. Southern Lights is in Kimmeridge Dorset again (June 9th – 13th), a beautiful location close to the sea and is gaining popularity every year. It also appears that the Play Festival is returning (July 27th – 31st) after a few years absence and comes highly recommended. These events provide a more relaxed opportunity to acquire new skills and share time with other hoopers on the field than the more intense weekend hoop specialist workshops.

Take part in a hoop survey for a research project
Jenna and Martie, PhD students in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara are looking for hoopers to take part in a survey as part of their research project into the hoop community. The online survey form needs to be completed by those who are interested before the end of this month. You can find more information about them and the project on their Facebook page.

Article of the Month
Lara Eastburn investigates the origins of the modern hoop movement in The Legend of the Hoop That Started a Revolution

Video of the Month
Ciara Blossom and Caterina Suttin Of Hoopsie Daisy demonstrate some very good coordination in this excellent electro-swing hoop dance performance. A lot of trust is required with your partner when their hoop is on fire!

January 2011

posted 5 Jan 2011, 15:19 by Norwich Hoop Club

So another year has passed and it's encouraging to look back and see that in that time we have come a long way and our numbers are continuing to grow. This makes it more viable for us to organise more regular and ambitious local events which might otherwise only have been catered for further afield.  If you have any ideas to contribute on this then let us know.

New Year Diary 
Upcoming events this season include a series of workshops in London with Emma Kerr (Hooping Mad) in January and the Manchester Hoop Congress in March organised by Gail O'Brien for which tickets are now available. Check  the Diary for links to further information on these events. Also Free Trial Hula-Hoop Workout Sessions are taking place in and around Norwich in the week commencing 10th January. These are being organised by Linda Mellor Steedman, a local fitness instructor and are unconnected with Norwich Hoop Club.

UK Hoop Gathering News
It’s now possible to pre-register for a ticket to the UK Hoop Gathering events and I understand that 150 out of a total 200 have already been reserved - email to reserve your ticket. Scholarships (free tickets) are also being offered for each UKHG event this summer, for those who cannot afford a ticket but who still contribute to their hoop and circus communities – details to be released in April. Article of the Month
Whereas is excellent as a social networking site one can feel rather overwhelmed by the scope of the content while over at Philo Hagens’ editorial control offers a more sobering experience (to his credit!). A new feature is that he now has guest writers providing content who not only write very well but are also very insightful.

Have a read of his own seasonal article warning against over-seriousness (yes, it's even possible with hooping!) – For the Joy of Hooping All Year Round

2011 Hoopie Award Nominations Open
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 Hoopie awards up to Friday 7th January. Follow the link to register your preferences if you feel so inclined. Once the results have been collated voting will take place. These annual awards have been in place for a number of years and give the hooping community a chance to acknowledge achievement in the art by individuals or groups in a number of categories.

Video of the Month
This unusual video which offers an aerial view of Safire and Babz Robinson from 2009 is quite striking.

October 2010

posted 3 Oct 2010, 14:42 by Norwich Hoop Club   [ updated 4 Oct 2010, 15:08 ]

The summer seemed only too brief, probably all the more so for being filled with wonderful things, but just because it has passed doesn't mean hooping has to come to a halt. Here are some enticements to help carry you through the colder months ahead.

Upcoming Workshops 
Diana Defiries and Sharna Rose are holding a workshop in London on Saturday 23rd October. They will be teaching strategies and providing tools to help you explore your potential. Check here for details.

Gems Goddard of the UK Hoop Gathering is running workshops in various locations in November. Check here for details.

In summary:

"Progression Training" is for hoopers who feel a bit stuck with their hoop practice and want to move forwards. It will be suitable for beginners right up to advanced.

"How to create a hoop act" is for hoopers who already have tricks and flow and dance but want to put it all together to create a 3-4 minute choreographed hoop act!

LED Hoop Sale
Rainbow hoops have a sale on at the moment on their pre-made LED hoops which may provide you with an opportunity to aquire one. When making an order, make sure you get the right size for you - the 25mm diameter tubing is very heavy while the 20mm makes for a more agile hoop. 

Fire Hoop and Poi Meeting
There will be a meeting on 11th October from 6:30pm in Chapelfield gardens due to a special request and as a belated nod of acknowledgement from Norwich to World Hoop Day which is on the 10th.

This is an opportunity to give your fire and LED equipment a spin (hoop or poi) or just come along to have a look. Note that when using fire equipment you should wear natural fibres which won't melt onto your skin.

It has also been suggested that it would be nice to have some drummers provide live music accompaniment so if you know of any musicians then they are welcome too.

Norwich Hoop Club October Meeting
The next Hoop Club meeting is on Saturday 16th October in Chapelfield Gardens, 11am – 2pm. This will be the last park meeting of the year and the advice is to wrap up warm or otherwise hoop energetically! Bring your own hoops if you can and feel free to bring iPods or mp3 players with your own music selections to share. Music will be provided by way of an ION Tailgater ( .

Video of the Month
This is the very wonderful Malcolm Stuart peforming at Hoop Convergence, a real showman who knows how to play to the crowd. Notice in this that after he loses the hoop he goes into a horizontal isolation - a simple move in essence - which he plays with in a way that suddenly becomes absorbing and exciting. Enjoy!

July 2010

posted 5 Jul 2010, 15:45 by Norwich Hoop Club

As June turned more to summer a few of us took off to the beach for a bit of a hula on what was a beautiful, if somewhat windy day and the turnout for the June meeting in the park was excellent despite the weather. This club wouldn't be anything without the enthusiasm of everyone who gets involved. Here is a round-up of upcoming events for July.

Elements of Flow festival (
This local festival which is in its first year looks absolutely wonderful. It is taking place at Rougham Airfield in Bury St. Edmunds over the weekend of 30th July - 1st August 2010. ‘Elements of Flow’ is a 3 day workshop event aimed at exploring the concepts of energy flow and shared philosophies between the fields of martial arts, dance, circus skills and meditation. There will be a variety of activities on offer  with workshops during the day, performances in the evening and camping available on site. Tickets can be booked on the website and include full weekend options as well as day tickets. Hula Hoop workshops for beginners and more advanced hoopers as well as trick swap sessions are being facilitated by Abi Coop.

Tickets still available for Norfolk Hoop Camp
Tickets are still available for the first ever Norfolk Hoop Camp. This promises to be as prestigious an event as the UKHG and is definitely not one to miss. Book now to avoid disappointment!

Hooping workshop for children
As part of the Lord Mayors celebrations on Saturday 10th July there will be an open workshop for children who want to hula! This is 1pm - 4pm at St. Georges Plain.

Norwich Hoop Club July Meeting
The next Hoop Club meeting is on Saturday 24th July in Chapelfield Gardens, 11am – 2pm. Note that this has been put back a week to the fourth Saturday of the month due to holidays and the popularity of the Latitude festival! Bring your own hoops if you can and feel free to bring iPods or mp3 players with your own music selections to share. Music will be provided by way of an ION Tailgater ( .

Norwich Circus Skills
Norwich Circus which provides a space that is open to hoopers is continuing to meet on Mondays 6.30-8.30pm, at Belvedere Community Centre, Belvoir Street, NR2 3AZ. Entry is £4.00. (Refer to the Venue page).

Video of the Month
This is an outstanding example of sustained spinning from Rebecca Halls at the Hoop Convergence gathering earlier this year which really exemplifies what a beautiful art form it can be.

June 2010

posted 3 Jun 2010, 15:27 by Norwich Hoop Club   [ updated 3 Jun 2010, 15:35 ]

Last month saw the superb Norfolk and Norwich festival come to town with "Rock a Hula" rocking out the Garden Party weekend and NoFitState circus running workshops in Earlham Park. "Rock a Hula" proved to be extremely popular, especially with the kids, although using the main thoroughfare to the Spiegeltent as the hooping area posed additional challenges! A lot of interest has come through as a result of that event and if the weather continues as it is then a beach gathering over the summer has to be on the cards!

Hooping superstars coming to the UK!
Fast on the track of Safire coming over here for the Southern Lights Festival and the UK Hoop Gathering came news that Baxter (HoopPath) and Brecken (Female hooper of the year 2010 in the annual hoopie awards) are appearing at SWHoop (the South West Hoop Gathering in November). With these high profile names visiting us and given that ithe UKHG sold out within a matter of days in only its second year (there is still the "3rd Time Lucky" weekend for those that missed the rush) it feels like the profile of hooping in the UK is very much on the rise.

An account of working with NoFitState circus by Sachiko Quelch
When NoFitState were in Norwich for the festival they ran a series of workshops for the public entitled “Run away with the circus”. When Sachiko travelled with them to Brighton we really thought we weren’t going to see her again! However she did return and has given us this review of her circus experiences! She can also be seen in the video at the bottom of this newsletter.

Workshop leaders announced for Norfolk Hoop Camp
Details for the first ever Norfolk Hoop Camp have been released including information about tickets and workshop leaders. This promises to be as prestigious an event as the UKHG and is definitely not one to miss!

Hooping workshop for children
As part of the Lord Mayors celebrations on Saturday 10th July there will be an open workshop for children who want to hula! This is 1pm - 4pm at St. Georges Plain.

Norwich Hoop Club June Meeting
The next Hoop Club meeting is on Saturday 19th June in Chapelfield Gardens, 11am – 2pm. Bring your own hoops if you can and feel free to bring iPods or mp3 players with your own music selections to share. Music will be provided by way of an ION Tailgater ( .

Norwich Circus Skills
Norwich Circus which provides a space that is open to hoopers is continuing to meet on Mondays 6.30-8.30pm, at Belvedere Community Centre, Belvoir Street, NR2 3AZ. Entry is £4.00. (Refer to the Venue page).

Video of the Month
This is the hooping sequence from the NoFitState performance for the Norfolk and Norwich festival - including Sachiko! It was brief but spectacular. While hoop dancers can be very keen to post videos of their redoubtable talents to YouTube and the like, this is a reminder that there are exceptional performers out there with less of an internet presence but who are regularly entertaining the public as professionals.

May 2010

posted 4 May 2010, 16:24 by Norwich Hoop Club   [ updated 4 May 2010, 16:29 ]

We had our first ever meeting in Chapelfield Gardens in April on what was a beautiful day with perfect hooping weather - take a look at some photos from the event. A good crowd turned out for the mix of music, hoops and icecreams! May will be a bit different as we will be at Rock a Hula for the NNF (see below).  
If you were thinking of going to the UK Hoop Gathering this year and have not yet secured a ticket the news is that both weekends have sold out - in fact the Beginners/Intermediate weekend sold out within a matter of hours of the tickets officially going on sale! As a counterbalance there are a lot of hoopy happenings coming up in the locality  to catch your interest as outlined below.
NoFitState Circus
As part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival NoFitState will be resident in Eaton Park, Norwich from 8th-13th May to present their project “Parklife”.
In their words “Parklife is a creative enquiry aiming to explore and develop new ideas for a large scale outdoor circus performance. The conversation will happen in many modes – singing / music, theatre devising, circus skills training, exchanging skills with other practitioners, playing with objects and new equipment, public engagement - and will include collaboration and creative exchanges between professional artists and creative practitioners at all levels of professional development, creative community groups in each residency location, the passing public and anyone else who wants to join in.”
There will be a public meeting at 6pm on 6th May (at the park) if you would like to find out more about what's happening and how you can get involved. In the afternoons and evenings there will be free Open House sessions and meetings with local performing arts and sports groups (presumably that can include Norwich Hoop Club).
Intriguingly one of their offerings is a “Men Only Hula Hoop” workshop! An update will be sent out as more information becomes available.
Norwich Hoop Club and Rock a Hula
Norwich Hoop Club are teaming up with Rock a Hula! who are coming to the city for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. They will be hosting the event while we will be on hand to provide hoop instruction and promotion for our club. This will be happening in the Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens during the weekend of 15th/16th May, 11am – 5pm and will be a good opportunity for any hoopers out there to try something a bit different! 
Cambridge Flow Jam
Cambridge Flow Jam is a monthly event that provides a space for circus skills people to practice their craft – hoopers are welcome. The next one is an outdoor event on Saturday 22nd May at the Lammas Land picnic area.
Norwich Circus Skills
Norwich Circus which provides a space that is open to hoopers meets next on Monday 10th May 6.30-8.30pm, at Belvedere Community Centre, Belvoir Street, NR2 3AZ. Entry is £4.00. (see the Venue page).
Video of the Month
This video of Michelle Hazzard and Taylor Daynes at the University of Washington really captures the joy of both Spring and Hooping.

April 2010

posted 8 Apr 2010, 16:06 by Norwich Hoop Club   [ updated 4 May 2010, 16:27 ]

It looks like this summer is shaping up to provide lots of wonderful hooping opportunities and hopefully this year the weather will come out to support us. Here is a round-up.

Norwich Hoop Club Inaugural Meeting
Hoop Club meetings will take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month kicking-off on Saturday 17th April in Chapelfield Gardens, 11am – 1pm. These may become more regular if there is demand for them and someone who can be on hand to facilitate. Bring your own hoops if you can and feel free to bring iPods or mp3 players with your own music selections to share (Music will be provided by way of an ION Tailgater).

Hoopers are also welcome at Norwich Circus which meets on Tuesday evenings. At the moment there are three of us who are regulars there. See the Venue page for directions.

Norfolk Hoop Camp Announcement
The first ever Norfolk Hoop Camp is being created by Mel Brown of Flaming Melons Hoop Dance and will take place at The Secret Meadow over the weekend 20th-22nd August. No further details are available as yet but we’re all very excited about it.

Rock a Hula comes to Norwich
Rock a Hula! who run monthly club nights in London combining live rock n’ roll bands with hula hoops and swing dance lessons are bringing their vibe to Norwich for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. With DJ El Nino hosting there will be lessons in swing dance and lindy hop with hula hoop instruction on hand. This will all be happening in the Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens during the weekend of 15th/16th May, 11am – 5pm and will be a good opportunity to try something a bit different! As it happens this coincides with the new monthly hoop club meets so we will be there anyway to sample it!

UK Hoop Gathering Ticket Information
This year the UK Hoop Gathering is taking place over two weekends to cater for different skill levels. The “Get It Started” weekend for beginners/intermediate hoopers will take place from Friday 2nd July until Sunday 4th July 2010. The “Push It Forwards” event for intermediate/advanced hoopers will take place from Friday 9th July until Sunday 11th July 2010.

Tickets are £135 for each weekend and will be released on Friday April 30th 2010 at midday. The price includes dorm accommodation or camping space, all workshops, all entertainment, all food and refreshments,wine/beer on the Friday night of the event and use of all the facilities at Wild Ways retreat centre during the weekend.

Visit the website for more information about ordering tickets, it's sure to be a sellout!

Website Updates
There is now a Diary page that lists upcoming events, both locally and nationally. For non-local events there is a form available to submit a request for lift sharing.

Video of the Month
Shakti Sunfire, Richard Porter, Spiral, Shredder and Brecken share the stage; All were winners or nominees for the 2010 Hoopie awards. Hooping has never been so exciting, enjoy!


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