Sputnik wanting to play in the snow.

Clearing Space

We just had a huge nor’easter here on the East Coast.  I’d say we got a foot in some places around where I live.  All I know, I’m sore from shoveling yesterday.  Sputnik up there had a great time playing in the first big snow he’s seen.  He loves it!

I haven’t been hooping much, truthfully.  I haven’t had the chance or space to do so.  Still, this past weekend, Sam and I cleared out a lot of our basement.  There is more space for me to hoop down there now.  I actually did get a hoop out and twirl around the open space for a little bit.  The only drawback is that the ceiling is low.  Oh well, no lasso and tosses for right now.

Well, here’s to spring being right around the corner, and with it, the hope of warmer weather.  It just has to hurry up and get here.

Hooping and Poi at Long's Park in Lancaster, PA, USA

February Hoop Jam

We are having a stretch of unseasonably warm weather here in February, so a few of us got together at Long’s Park in Lancaster, PA, USA for a hoop jamA hoop jam.  In February.  It was almost 70 degrees Fahrenheit when we were out on Saturday the 18th!

We had a nice time!  Marcus and Bethani, who are fairly new to poi and hooping, respectively, got the jam together.  I was there, along with Hilary and her cutie baby daughter, Nora, pictured below, as well as Amanda, along with her mother and cutie toddler son Thorin.  They are in the photo above.

Nora playing with a hoop. She's so cute!
Photo by Hilary Worrell

Being that it was such a nice day, I believe a large portion of Lancaster was in the park that day, as I’m sure most people are suffering from cabin fever.  I know I was.

Marcus with poi, Bethani hooping, and Thorin trying to make a go of it.

As always, I’m glad I went.  I make new friends and get to know the ones I knew better.  (Marcus and I knew each other from before because we’ve attend the same photography meetup.)

I hope if you are in the Northeast of the USA, you are enjoying the weather.  I find it slightly disturbing to be honest, with global warming and all.  This is not normal weather, but I’ll take the warm sunshine over snow!

Revisiting My First Hooping Video EVER!

Remember the Hooping Game frenzy from three years ago?  It was a Facebook group that you could join where you mentioned you wanted a song to hoop to, and someone gave you one.  You had 48 hours to post your video, and then you gave your giver a song and they had to post a video.  Ring a bell?  I think it’s still going on, too, as a closed group on Facebook.

It was in that group and on YouTube is where I posted my very first hooping video.  I had only started hooping in October 2013, so I was a little shy about participating, but I threw my proverbial hat in the proverbial ring.

Picture above is from that video.  It was in our old apartment kitchen, and I couldn’t hoop outside because there was a ton of snow on the ground.  I remember coming home from work after brainstorming my possible set up and after listening to the song I was given, which was “Crystalize” by Lindsey Stirling.

So, I did the video.  Here it is!

So, my point of this post, mainly, is that I’m toying with revisiting this song again and see what I can come up with NOW with a few more years and skills under my belt.  I’ll post a video, too, of course, in the spirit of the the first one.

Keep an eye out!

 

 

Me hooping at work

International Fun-At-Work Day

It’s International Fun-At-Work Day!  Since I keep hoops at work in case of nice weather and a chance to hoop over lunch, I decided to have fun actually at work for a few moments while my co-worker Heather took a few photos of me.

Another one of me hooping at work

What can you do to have fun at work today?  After all, it IS Friday.  Get ready for the weekend.  Cut loose over your lunch hour.  Do something out of the ordinary with your co-workers.  Have fun at work!Last one of me hooping at work

Collage of the performers of the Burning Hearts Fire and Lights Theater

Flow Arts at the Reading Fire + Ice Fest

On Saturday, January 14, 2017 I was at the Reading Fire + Ice Fest with Joan in Reading, PA.  This is the third time we’ve been to the event, and it’s gets better every year.  The weather was sort of crappy with a slight drizzle of rain, but it was decent enough for some really cool (hehe) ice carvings and some really hot (ha) fire performances by some awesomely talented flow arts.

First, we caught one of Madeleine Belle’s sets.  A usual, she is mesmerizing at what she does, and this year donned a really cool fire wick headpiece.

Madeleine Bell at the Reading

Here are some other cool shots from her performance, including some really stunning fire breathing!  Joan also took some video of her act for BCTV on their YouTube page.

Madeleine Belle at the Reading Fire + Ice Fest 2017Madeleine Belle breathing fire!Madeleine Belle with fire fans

The Burning Hearts Fire & Lights Theater from Allentown, PA were also in attendance to put on a show featuring different members of the troupe.  There were poi and hoop performances, such as with poi, hoops, and a contact staff, and there were some cool stick manipulations, too!  You’ll see in the photos below.  Each act did a great job!

So, yeah, it was so cool to see people doing what I love to do, only with fire.  I’m still chicken to try hooping with fire, but I probably will take a big gulp of air and try it one day.

 

 

Me Peforming in the 2016 Studio Spin Student Showcase.

Student Feature by Studio Spin

Cool beans!  I was recently interviewed by Rachel Skye, owner of Studio Spin where I’ve been taking hoop classes for a while, for their bi-weekly student feature.  Sweet!  You can read the interview here on Studio Spin’s blog.

Otherwise, I want to keep you up to date with what hoop classes are going on in the area, so I thought this would a good time to keep you in the know.

Winter Hoop Classes in Lancaster County

Ephrata Rec Center Classes

Hoop Yourself Fabulous:  Great for beginners!  Taught by Jenny Hill.  Jan. 12 – Feb. 16 Or Feb. 23 – Mar. 30  Sign up here.

The Ab Fab Hoop Lab:  Great for intermediate and advanced hoopers!  Taught by Jenny Hill.  Jan. 12 – Feb. 16 or Feb. 23 – March 30  Sign up here.

Studio Spin

Hoop Fit: Great class for all levels!  Taught by Krystal Honey.   Tuesdays at 7:15pm starting January 1o.  Sign up here.

There, now you do not have any excuse to get to a hoop class if you live in Lancaster County, PA, USA.  If you have have always wanted to try hooping, NOW IS THE TIME.

I hope that you had a “hoopy” New Year!

Speaking of Hoopy New Year…..

I was at the Ephrata Rec Center on New Year’s Day to work out.  They were open for a little while, and Sam and I thought we’d go take advantage of that.  I did a Facebook Live video during that time, and you can watch it here.

That’s about it for now.  Hoopy New year!

 

Mary Ferris' art clas. Courtesy of Town Lively.

Make Art, Interact with Kids!

Photo from Town Lively.

Mary Ferris is an elementary art school teacher, and a fellow hooper.  I’ve performed in the Spinspiration Hoop Troupe with her, and she’s a neat person.

Know what ATC’s are? They are Artist Trading Cards.  She has come up with a program with her students at a local library to collect and trade them with the kids and artists in the community.

You can participate!  Check out this article here on how you can do so.  I plan on it.  I have a bunch of blank ATC cards around and a few that I’ve created pieces on, too.

The idea behind the project is to make art accessible to anyone.  I think that is a fantastic thing!

Again, here’s where you can find out how to participate.  Share this post!  Let’s see if we can get artists from all over the world to send in ATC’s for Mary’s program.

Favorite Hooping Christmas Present

A while back in the Hoopinions days, I wrote a TBT post about my first hoop, which was a Christmas gift under the tree when I was probably about eleven years old.  You can read about it here and how my dad fixed it up for me so it was usable.

That purple and teal hoop was probably the best presents I ever received at Christmas, and so far is my favorite hooping Christmas present!  What’s yours?

I came across a great list of gift ideas for hooper a few weeks ago, too.  I’m sure some of those would be great to find under the Christmas tree.

In short, what I’m getting at, is that I’d like to wish all of you out there a very Merry Christmas, a fantastic Solstice (which is today!), a Happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful New Year.  My best!

Sputnik the pyrador

Sputnik

I would like to introduce everyone to a our new dog, Sputnik!  He’s a Great Pyrenees/Labrador mix, hence a “pyrador,” and is six months old.  Sputnik is going to be a BIG boy.

My husband and I got him from LaMancha Animal Rescue in Unionville, Pennsylvania, USA, not far from Coatesville.

LaMancha is a beautiful rescue facility!  They are a working farm with chickens, cows, horses, and, of course, dogs in clean kennels and cats in a special house to adopt.

Sputnik’s story is that he came from Alabama, USA, where he was a stray.  LaMancha transported him here, called him Zeus, and he was barely there a week until Sam and I snatched him up.

We were going to LaMancha to see two other dogs and didnt’ know about Sputnik until we got there.  When we arrived, we were told that the one had been adopted, and the other one we walked for a little bit, and he seemed frightened.  Not a match.  We asked about the other dogs there, and were told about Zeus.  We walked him on a trail on the farm (all the dogs get walks there), and were treated to kissed, hugs, and was known as the Pyr Lean.  Great Pyrenees will lean into you really hard you pet them.

We had our dog.

Sputnik was put into the back seat of my car, and I was treated to hugs and kisses on the way home as I was sitting back there with him.  Here’s a video of me introducing him.

That’s Sputnik’s story thus far.  He has a tiresome amount of puppy energy, but the quiet times are worth it.  I haven’t introduced him to hooping yet.  He’d probably chew on the hoops or be afraid of it.

Sputnik and his whale.

Penn Square in Lancaster, PA, USA at Christmas.

First Friday with Lancaster Flow Arts

Some of us from the Lancaster Flow Arts Facebook group got together and decided to have some LED fun during Friday in Lancaster, PA, USA, on December 2, 2016.  It was pretty chilly, but once we got moving, we warmed up.

The funny thing is, I had four lumbar injections in my lower back the previous Wednesday, so I couldn’t take m LED hoop out there and play because I was under a “no strenuous exercise” limitation from my pain doctor.  I initially wasn’t going to go, but was talked into hanging out, BUT…..I remembered I had another flow toy that would allow me to participate in the action;  LED flow gloves.

I had gotten them for $10.99 at Crystal Caverns in Berks County, PA about two years ago at the urging of two friends, and never had used them.  I dug the out of my costume drawer, tested them out, and WOW, they rocked.  (You can get a similar pair here for a similar price on Amazon, if you so desire.)

I could participate!

We met in Binn’s Park in downtown Lancaster.  Chris W., who spins poi, and Hilary came, and brought music.  Chris and I flowed, more like I waved around my hands, and Hilary held Nora, her and Chris’ super cute baby daughter.  Here they are below.

Hilary and baby Nora

After a few minutes, Chris T. and Kelley came.  Chris, with his poi, and Kelley had an LED flow wand, which rocked.  Let’s face it, all LED toys rock in their own way.

So, let’s see, we had two glowing poi spinners, a girl levitating a smart wand, and someone waving their hands with lit up fingers.  We actually attracted quite a bit of attention from passers-by.  Some people even stopped to you take video of the action.  (If you did, and you’re reading this, we want to see it!  Link your video in the comments!  Seriously!)

A group of kids across the street were fascinated with what we were doing, and eventually came over to us.  Chris T. and Chris W. let them test out test out some of the poi.

Kids testing out poi in Lancaster, PA, USA.

How cool!  And, kids, if you’re reading this, here’s how you make your own poi.

After our stint at Binn’s Park, we moved to the Abstract Fountain across the street from the Lancaster Marriott hotel.  We didn’t get as much attention over there, and it was cold.

Beer time!

Here are a few more photos of the fun before I wrap up.

Chris Tamburro and his LED Poi

Chris Wennerstrom in a cool poi pic

Kelley and her LED levitation wand.

All in all, don’t let the winter chill keep you inside when it comes to flow arts.  There are different ways you can get out and share your love of flow arts.