Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What I Did: Ann Humphreys Hooping Workshop

It may sound silly, but my little plastic circle has taught me a lot of valuable life lessons.

Hooping at the Ann Humpreys Workshop

Like, it's okay not to be perfect. Keep trying anyway.

Or, taking time to make yourself happy will make your work better.

I am constantly surprised by the meditative and teaching qualities my hoop offers me. Maybe it's because hooping is an activity where I'm not stressing about anything else. Maybe it's because hooping allows me to be a work-in-progress. Maybe it's that hooping, for me, is not about money, or grades, or anything else quantifiable. Whatever the reason may be, I have learned many lessons in the hoop that translate to the rest of my life as well.

Hooping at the Ann Humpreys Workshop

This past weekend, I went to Ann Humphreys' workshop in Dallas, and I learned another lesson: Community changes everything for the better.

I have been mostly self-taught when it comes to hooping. I would love to take classes and go to workshops, of course, but I had a hard time finding the time and money to budget for that. I occasionally attend events or meet up with friends, but for the most part, I hoop alone. For me, hoop practice was solo time, and that was okay.

When I heard Ann was coming, I did not want to miss out on gleaning from such a valuable and experienced teacher. I knew I'd try new techniques, but I wasn't expecting to have a completely new way of looking at my hobby. My perspective on how I view the hoop, how I view my body within it -- all totally changed. Ann is truly a wonderful teacher.

Hooping at the Ann Humpreys Workshop

More than just techniques, however, was the community at these workshops. I met hoopers, some old friends, some new, and we all had our own way of finding the hoop. Some of us could never dance but the hoop set our creative talents free, while others are long-time performers and artists who found a physical form of expression. The people at these workshops were diverse, talented, and open about their experiences.

Talking with each person, hearing their story of how hooping benefited them, reminded me that it's okay to ask for help. It's okay to learn from others, to ask them how they see things.

To the many hoopers I spoke to, had lunch with, and shared personal stories with, thank you.

P.S. - I know I've been missing lately, blogging just didn't feel right! I should be back for good now, thanks for your patience with everything.
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