By Philo Hagen – from hooping.org
While the hooping community truly spans the globe these days with hoopers from around the world sharing their moves and hoop love with one another online, it’s still really no substitute for the in real life experience. Seeing familiar faces live and in the flesh that you’ve previously only encountered on a laptop or smart phone can be a most wonderful thing indeed. It’s at a hoop gathering where many of us really realize that our community is extra special too. We’re one of those special groups that has a tendency to include all sorts of people that ordinarily would not mix, people of all ages, shapes and sizes that simply love this plastic circle as much as we do. So if you’ve been holding back on going to a hoop gathering like Hoopcamp, here are 5 great reasons to fine yourself at one.
1. To Find Out That You Belong
Got an idea that the hooping community experience doesn’t include you? Think again. Lara Eastburn had her own set of concerns prior to showing up. She says, “What if I’m the odd-hooper-out in groups of old friends? What if I can’t hack the three hour-long workshops? What if they’re all work and no play? What if they’re all in bikinis while I’m left to double up my sports bras (Ha!)? I already feel perfectly safe and involved in the community from behind my computer screen – is this really necessary? Please… I hadn’t even slapped on a name tag before I had to steady myself from the happy greetings and excited hugs. What I knew as familiar online avatars sprung to life, transforming themselves into smiling faces and real-life, human, hooping miracles right before my eyes. By the end of the weekend, I counted myself as having at least 50 more friends than I did when it began. And I’d at least exchanged conversations, understanding glances, or hoop time with a hundred more. When I came home my online hooping life was an even more meaningful and personal experience as well.”
2. To Learn, No Matter What Your Skill Level
Probably the biggest reason I’ve heard from people over the years for not attending a hoop gathering is, “I’m really not that great of a hooper”. What’s kind of funny about this whole idea, the one that you somehow need to be great before you even get there, loses sight of one of the biggest reasons to show up. I’m talking, of course, about the opportunity to learn, grow and get personal live feedback from some truly great instructors. Most hoop gatherings have classes for all skill levels so matter where you are in your learning process, you’re sure to find ones just right for you. And – get this – when you come home from that hoop gathering I can pretty much guarantee tht you’ll have taken some big steps up in your hooping journey as a result. Attending a hoop gathering is like sprinkling miracle grow on your hooping experience. You’ll be picking up all kinds of new things and doing so at an accelerated rate.
3. To Retreat, Refresh, Renew
Most hoop gatherings tend to be held somewhere special. From the towering redwoods of Northern California to the beautiful beaches of Bali, there’s something to be said for getting away from it all. How many of us give ourselves the time and space to hit the pause button and take a much needed break to surrounded ourselves with nature in a heart centered experience and some serious “me” time. Not only will you be refreshed, but your hooping will too. Say goodbye to that plateau you got stuck on. It will most definitely be a thing of the past.
4.To Watch Amazing Hoopers Do Their Thing Live
It’s one thing to watch tht killer YouTube video, and another to actually see some of your favorites doing what they love to do live. Almost every hoop gathering we know of has some type of showcase where there are hoopers taking the stage. There’s something about performing for an audience of fellow hoopers too that makes the whole experience all the more magical too. Remember when Kenya Flowrescente blew us all away at Hoopcamp? She’s back there this year and this time around she’s teaching too.
5. To Simply Party With Your People
Whether it’s a super special Solar Eclipse Hoopjam with Sunshine Jones, an LED hoop hike to the Wishing Tree, or a gleeful afternoon just getting down, one of our favorite hoop gathering highlights is spinning it up with our people. Looking in all directions with more and more hoopers surrounding us, everyone getting lost in their own bliss and flow, is an experience not to be missed. And when it’s all said and done, the cool conversations while relaxing on the steps, the bonding over breakfast in the dining hall, the greatest thing about a hoop gathering is connecting with your community.
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