Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goddess Loee Love




My passion is hooping.  Yep, that’s right, as in “hula hooping.”  I first saw hoop dance at a festival in 2008.  I fell in love instantly.  I told my girlfriends “I’m going to do that.”  The very next weekend I made my first hoops.  My life has never been the same!
At first I just enjoyed the challenge of it.  Learning to hoop, learning tricks, seeing how far I could take it.  It quickly became an obsession.  All I wanted to do was hoop!  As time went on, I found other benefits, I found it relaxed me.  It was a great escape.  I could get into my hoop and get into a meditative state, peace, and energy, being one with my hoop.  This state of being is referred to as “flow.”  


Wikipedia states: Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.
According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task although flow is also described as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions.

I was hooked!  Learning something new, exercising, getting fit, AND having fun?!  I started hooping everywhere with the few friends I had that were learning with me.  We were hooping in back yards, dining rooms, parking lots, bars, hotel rooms, rooftops, in the street, on the sidewalk, in the elevator…..yeah, that happened.  There was no where we wouldn’t take our hoop! A friend lovingly called us a group of hoop hooligans, another friend saw the humor in that and dubbed us “The Hulagans.”  And so we have been ever since.
We started out as a small group of friends hooping for fun, but as time went on, we started to discover our potential.  We started getting asked to go hoop at events, we had kids looking up to us, we had people wanting to learn from us.  We began to realize we had a real gift, and we needed to share it!
Since forming in 2009, The Hulagans have taken hooping to the streets!  We’ve performed at charity and fundraising events for The Special Learning Center, The MU Children’s Hospital, The Special Olympics, Big Brothers - Big Sisters, Relay for Life, and the Mid-Mo Pride Fest.  We have also been asked to perform at gigs big and small!  Such as the Columbia Parks and Rec’s Family Fun Fests, CDC’s Bass Cabarets, The Blue Note’s 70’s Dance Parties, Pedaler’s Jamboree, T/F Film Festival’s March March Parade, Citizen Jane Film Fest, Dixon Cow Days, Columbia’s First Night Celebration, Thursday Night Live, Salute to America, Videology, South School, California MO’s Girl Scouts Troup, and many more.  One of our biggest gigs is yet to come, the 2012 Roots, Blues and BBQ Festival!  Yay!  We have been featured in the media as well.  Widbin’s Way on KMIZ, the Maneater, Vox Magazine, The Columbia Missourian, The Jefferson City News Tribune, to name a few.  The Vox Magazine story can be found here: http://www.voxmagazine.com/stories/2010/08/12/hulagans-hoop-group-roll/


We have even hosted two World Hoop Day events, one in 2009 and one in 2011.  We made and gave away 200+ hoops to local children at each event, provided live music, and taught the kids to use their hoops, all for freeeeeee!


The Hulagans are now a group of over 20 hoopers, dedicated to the art of hoop dancing.  We have recently undergone a change to facilitate an even more powerful group of professional performers.  We’re going to take it to the next level. Watch out!  Soon everyone will know our name.  J


Hooping has done a lot more than just bringing me together with one of the greatest hoop troupes ever!  I feel like the wheel of my life was moving very slowly when I found hooping, and since then, it has done nothing but gain speed and momentum.  Hooping has set things into motion that I would previously have never dreamed of.  I have become a lot healthier, both physically and mentally.  I’ve been exposed to more people than I ever have been before.  People who have taught me much!  I’ve learned about energy transference, The Law of Attraction, the food industry, eating healthy, gardening, meditation, music and more!  I have since adjusted my lifestyle to live in a way that is both healthier for myself and the earth, and also more spiritually conscious. 

Around the time the Hulagans formed, I started my own business making and selling custom hoops.  I named it “Little Miss Hoops-A-Lot” after a series of books my daughter was reading at the time, The Little Miss and Mr. Men books.  She once told me I would be “Little Miss A Lot of Hoops.”  Business started out slow, but gradually, as hooping gained popularity, I soon had more orders than I could fill.  I sold at festivals, over the phone and the web, and even in a few stores.  I still take custom orders today, and you can still find my hoops at Maude Vintage, in Columbia, MO.
In 2010 I met a small group of fire spinners, and began joining them for regular spins.  Soon I was performing with the Burn Circus, as much as I was the Hulagans.  This group has swollen over the years too, and now has 30+ members spinning all sorts of fabulous fire toys.  These people also became the greatest group of friends I have ever had.
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Through the Burn Circus, I also met the man of my dreams!  We have been together for going on two years. I really couldn’t be happier. We have much in common, but enough difference to keep it interesting.  Our love of spinning and that feeling of flow continues to be a good foundation for us.


I’ve also been introduced to other circus arts that I never would have considered in my pre-hoop life.  I’ve dabbled with poi and staff, but really found an interest in pole sport, and aerial silk
I am continuing to learn those new skills, as they are helping me get fit, and increasing my self-confidence.  I am discovering that same new joy and excitement in them that I first found in hooping. 
Photo featured on hooping.org
 I’ve even earned some bragging rights in having some of my photos featured on some hooping sites, being featured in a student journalist’s documentary film on hooping, and even inspired a beautiful song for hoopers by my dear friend, Shibaten!  Track #1 on this album http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/shibaten3.
I have found my joy, my purpose!  I’m happier and healthier than I have ever been.  I belong to two amazing performance groups, and have met and made the best friends I could have ever asked for, including my darling boyfriend.  

All because of a hula hoop.
Much love to you all!  Keep doing what makes you happy. 

Loee Love


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1 comment:

jessica mullen said...

THIS IS SO INSPIRING!!! Thank you for sharing!!