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!

 

Rachel Skye, owner of Studio Spin

Studio Spin’s Mannequin Challenge

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  I did. To work off the turkey, Rachel Skye from Studio Spin had an open pole/hoop/silks jam at the studio, and we did a mannequin challenge video while we were there.

I was the hoop mannequin, obviously.  I chose to do a one handed float move as my pose, and my arm was starting to shake by the time Toni, who was taking the video, came by and got me on camera.  I managed to hold my position, though!

Here’s the video if you want to see it.  I think it turned out really great!!

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My as a crazy mad scientist. See my periodic table leggings?

This Past Weekend: I Hooped!

Photo by Sam Dixon

Yes, indeed!  I got to hoop this past weekend!  I know it’s Wednesday today, and we’re halfway to the next weekend, but I am pleased that I got hoop, and even give an impromptu performance!

Friday, the 28th, was Studio Spin’s annual Halloween party, and my husband Sam and I went.  He went as Preppy Bowie, complete with Aladdin Sane makeup, and I went as a crazy mad scientist, complete with periodic table leggings.  That’s what I wore in the above photo.

Party of the games we played at the party was to give an impromptu performance, which I did.  I asked for a hard song, and Rachel, the studio’s owner, gave me “Bad Girl” by Avril Lavigne.  Luckily, I had hoops with me, so I went to town!  It was fun, and it reminded me how much I love performing.

Overall, it was a fantastic party!

Sunday, I went to the Ephrata Rec Center for the first time with my new gym membership.  The Rec had finally processed it, and I took some hoops with me, and practiced in the gym, dodging balls from a game of kick ball and basketballs, but I had fun, even though Sam (he was lifting weights), told me about an empty class room that was open.  The door was open so I went in and had some fun, until two staff members came in and asked me to leave.  I explained how I got in there, but I had to relocate back to the gym.  Way to get in trouble your first day, Jenn.

As to hooping and my current physical therapy series, I did not do hoop moves that hurt.  Hip hooping hurt, as did leg hooping, so I avoided doing those moves. Once my sacrum is healed, I’ll be back doing all my moves.

So, yeah, that was my hoopy weekend!  I plan on going back to the Rec on Thursday, and again on Sunday to work out.  I’m looking forward to it!

Hooping while concentrating on footwork

Three Major Excuses

I’ve been stuck between a rock an a hard place, hooping-wise, for a month and a half now. The last time I was hooping was down in the Outer Banks a few weeks ago.  Here’s what been going on, as there are three major excuses affecting my situation right now.

Excuse 1:  I’m in physical therapy for the sacrum in my back.

Again, good ol’ PT.  I’m only going once a week, and I’m doing a good bit of work at home with PT, but, still, with a hurting back, it prevents me from hooping.  Well, I should say the pain prevents me from hooping.  That’s probably a better assessment.

What hooping has done to benefit my PT is that my core strength is very good.  I’m able to do a lot of the stretches a bit more ease and good form due to hooping warm ups, yoga, and well, hooping itself.  My therapist is pleased, and, truthfully, he didn’t say I couldn’t hoop.

Chronic pain makes me lazy and give out a lot of excuses.  The pain is better right now, so I need to start hooping more.

Excuse 2:  Hoop classes at Studio Spin are on hiatus right now.

My regular hoop class at Studio Spin has been put on hold right now due to a lot of factors. This has made me fall off the practice and learning wagon a bit.  I often look to those classes to keep me motivated to hoop, and to give me something to scratch my brain while learning something new in class.

At least for the next few months, I’m going to have to learn to motivate myself.  I can’t depend on someone else to do it for me.  I need to buck up and get going.

Excuse 3:  It’s colder outside and the days are getting shorter.

Yeah, fall is in full swing here in PA, and it’s harder and harder for me to get outside during the week to hoop.  By the time I get home from work, the sun’s mostly down.  My weekends are busy.  Besides, it’s been really windy, cold, and sometimes rainy.  Yuck.  Not the hooping weather I want.

So, what am I going to do about my three excuses?

I’m glad you asked.

I signed up for a program that my place of employment offers.  Participating gyms in the area will let you join for $25 a month though my health insurance.  The one my husband lifts at participates in the program, and I know they allow hoopers in the gym to practice.

I’m going to go tonight.

I’m going to start slowly, and hopefully this will get me out of my hoop slump right now.  A gym will offer a consistent place for me to get back in a little better shape, a consistent place to practice, and protection from elements outside.  I think this is starting to sound like a plan.  I will be letting you guys know how it goes.

 

 

Group Shot of Recital Particpants

Recital Photos

All photos were taken by Andy To. Thanks, Andy!

Photographer Andy To was on hand to take photos of the 2nd Annual Student Recital and Instructor Showcase on August 6, 2016, which I performed in.  Andy took a lot of great photos, but I want to share the ones that he took of me and during the act that Jen C. and I did.  If you want to see all the photos, and I encourage to to look at them, head on over to this Facebook album.

Me #1

Me #2

Me #3

Me #4

Me #5

Me and Jen C. #1

Me and Jen C. #2

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Me #5

Jen C. #3

Jen C. #3

Me and Jen C. #3

Again, these great photos were taken by Andy To.  Thanks for viewing!

Jen C. and Me. Photo by Jenny Hill

Student Recital Outcome

Saturday was Studio Spin’s second annual Student Recital and Instructor Showcase.  I performed to “Starlight” by MUSE, and did a hoop duet with another hooper, named Jen C., and we did our act to “Fever” by Peggy Lee.  You can see us up there after practicing in a local park with Jenny Hill, who choreographed and taught us the routine.  She also took the photo.

Overall, things went really well!  Of course, there were mistakes, and I am especially hard on myself after a performance, focusing on what went wrong, rather than look at the smiles on the faces of the people congratulating me on a good performance.  My husband Sam told me before I went on stage “to have fun,” and I did.  I usually do when I perform.

I ended my number with the following pose.  Yay!  Part one was done!  Jenny took that photo, too.

Me in my ending pose.

In the second part of the show, Jen C. and I did our sassy little number. Now, Jen C. has only been hooping since June.  And for her to get on stage and perform is awesome!  Well done, Jen C.!  To celebrate the momentous occasion, I made us fascinators for our hair to wear for our performance.

 

Oh, and my husband took this photo of Jen C. and I after the show.  It’s not the greatest photo, but you can still see our smiling faces.

Me and Jen C. after the show

There was a professional photographer there taking photos during performances, so I’ll share those once they come out.

Overall, all the performers rocked, and the audience loved the show.  We are awesome!

 

Photo by Ava Dae Photography

Starting Circus Style Hooping

My first thought this morning was “Crap, why do I hurt so much?”  And then I remembered why.  I started taking Jenny Hill‘s class on circus style hooping the previous evening at Studio Spin.

Circus style hooping is different than most of the hooping many of your are familiar with.  First, it’s mostly on body, specifically your core.  Second, it involves multiple hoops.

Jenny is a circus style hooper.  Here’s an example of her doing multiple hoops in her hoop reel.

Yes, she is that awesome!

We started off a circus warm up drill that I’ve probably have written about before, but as a reminder, it an exercise that starts at the top of your body and you work your way down.  Here’s a great video by Kristin McQuillen, who is also Jenny’s sister, that explains and demonstrates how to do it.

It’s a pretty hardcore workout.  Give it a try.

Then we worked with hooping with two hoops at the waist, and then Jenny added a third for each of us.  We did multiple (haha) exercises with that, and worked with placing a second hoop on different parts of the body while maintaining one at the waist.

Now you see why hurt even as I write this.  It’s not as bad as it was when I woke up, but my abs are gently reminding me of the workout I got last night.  And, it reminds me that I’m out of shape.  Oi.

I recommend checking out circus style hooping if you need to try something different in your hooping life.  Core hooping is the base of what we do, anyway, and circus style hooping seems to be a great way of exploring the multiple (tee hee) ways and variations of how that can be done.

Now, go do those drills!

 

 

 

MUSE: Black and Holes and Revelations cover

Recital Preparation: Chasing Starlight

Ack!  The Studio Spin Student Recital and Instructor Showcase is August 6, 2016!  I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then.

Actually, I have been working on my piece.  I decided for my music, I am going to hoop to the song “Starlight” by one of my favorite bands, MUSE.  It’s off their album Black Holes and Revelations, and which a fantastic piece of work, so you should check it out.

I’m glad I picked a song I know really really well this time, and one that I really really like.  It’s a song that easily broken down into defined sections that can be choreographed quite easily.

I worked on my routine last night in the backyard.  It was still hot as blazes in the evening, and tonight isn’t supposed to be much better, but I will still get outside and give it a few runs.  I even made a new grippy hoop with engineering grade reflective tape.  I hope it looks great when it perform!

Since I love MUSE, and I want you to discover them, too, I made this handy dandy Spotify playlist that you check out some of my favorites, and a good sampling of what they are about.

Happy listening!!

 

Choreography Class. Photo by Jenny Hill.

Hoop Choreography Class Wrap-Up

Photo by Jenny Hill

Yesterday, a group of eight hoop students wrapped up a five week hoop choreography class taught by Jenny Hill at Studio Spin.  It was a great class, and we learned a lot!  And, it was a lot of fun, too.

Jenny taught us a group hoop choreography to the song “Fever” by Peggy Lee.  It’s a great song for a group of gals to hoop to.

A few of us will also be performing the choreography at Studio Spin’s student recital on August 6, 2016.  I’ll be one of those performers in the group, and I will be doing a solo act, as well.

Want to see the video of our choreography?  Here it is on Vimeo!

Hoop Choreography Class Fever! from Jenny Hill on Vimeo.

Color Guard Girls and Hooping

Photo by darkhorse93 on flickr featuring the Hermann High School Color Guard

We’ve had a few girls in class who had been in the color guard in their high school marching bands.  One was even a current instructor!

I was in the marching band in high school, and played the trumpet there.  It wasn’t easy for a girl with coordination problems, but I mostly enjoyed six years of marching band through junior high, high school, and one year in college.

Now those color guard girls, and guys, for that matter!  They know how to twirl, toss, and twist.  They know precision and poise.

With those skills, I’ve seen color guard hoopers do some pretty cool off body moves, even after their first few lessons!

For example, we have a new hooper at Studio Spin named Krysten.  She has been hooping two weeks, and is a quick study.  Really quick, and she was in the color guard in her high school’s marching  band.

Lately, Jenny has been working with me on using double hoops.  It’s fun and challenging!  One of the doubles moves she was teaching me was threading the needle.  Krysten saw us working on it and wanted to give a shot.  Jenny have her two hoops.  After a few tries, Krysten was threading the needle with two hoop after never picking up doubles before.  Great job, Krysten!  Go color guard performers!

One of the students at the Rec center was actually an instructor for a local high school and was thinking about incorporating hoops in her guard’s routine.  I think that is awesome.  You can definitely apply the same skills to a hoop as you can with a rifle or flag.

Work it, color guard!